Finally, another Debt Free Friday!! I always love doing them and it’s been a while since the last one. The point of this series is to show you why debt freedom is so nice and to hopefully inspire you to reach for the stars. When you don’t have any debt following you around, life gets pretty interesting, and your financial options become abundant. I hope this story, and the others available help you see that.
Check out Don’s Debt Free News! ENJOY!
I have also put together a page, where YOU can fill out the Debt Free Questionnaire. I’d love to share your story.
The Enemy of Debt Questionnaire – Don from Money Reasons
I’m Don at Money Reasons! I’m the guy that hacks way at the PF blogsphere matrix late at night,while during the day working at a tech job at a financial firm. I believe Debt truly is the Enemy, and that truth will set you free 😉 I try to blog as much as possible, when not playing with my 6 and 9 year old kids!
How much debt did you have and how long did it take you to pay it off?
I’ve always paid my balance on my credit cards in full each month (sometimes it was painful though!!!)
Other than my mortgage (which my last payment was made this past Monday, 2/22/2010) my largest debt amount was $32,000 (for 2 new cars, I got at great prices in 2004!). For the car that cost $22,000 it took me 14 months (I aggressively paid that one off early). For the $10,000 new chevy malibu, I rode it out for the duration 5.5 years (it’s now paid off too).
My house mortgage took me a little over 10 years to pay off.
How does becoming debt free actually feel? Does it feel better than you imagined it would?
Since I’ve only been totally debt free for a few day I’m not 100% sure yet. But I will say this, in the movie “The Matrix”, at the end Neo puts on sunglasses, looks up, raises an arm, and then flies up like superman…well that’s pretty darn close to how I currently feel 😀
What were some of the struggles that you had to deal with along the way? Was there ever a time where you almost gave up?
Yes, I ran a tight financial schedule (although I never created a down to the last detail budget), using something I called an automatic budget. And both my wife and I lived Year-to-year instead of paycheck-to-paycheck. By this, I mean after Christmas and about 5 birthdays in or around December, the new year has always been a struggle to keep in check (crackers is a well balance meal, right?)!
Hopefully, now that the mortgage is paid off, this will no longer be an issue!!!
What would you consider to be the most important key to becoming debt free? What helped you the most?
Discipline, and the use of spreadsheet for “What if” scenarios and analysis!
Spreadsheet can rock your world!
Without an spreadsheet I’m sure it would have been near impossible for me to follow through with becoming debt-free…
It seems a lot of people have bought into the idea that debt is essential in order to prosper, what do you have to say to those people?
It depends! If you are talking about real estate, maybe… I’m still researching that.
If you talking about debt to buy a new Porsche… well… I beg to differ 🙂
I got luck with my house, the stock market has made my choice of paying off my house a winner… Hopefully, this stock market will be a once in a lifetime occurrence for us. I wish I had my house paid off sooner, I would have loved to redirect that money into stocks when they were down 40% (and I almost did!)
What was the biggest sacrifice you would say you made in order to become debt free? What about you changed the most?
I didn’t buy electronics like the IPhone and some of the cool electronic devices out there… no big screen LCD TV for me yet, but we still are very fortunate!
I became a DIYer with a lot of help from Mr. Google 😉
Did your friends and family give you a hard time about your new mission to eliminate the debt from your life? If so how did you deal with it? Do you think you inspired others by your journey?
I get a little slack, but we still went on the ski trips, half of the time I stayed behind (partially because of work), but we still managed to have fun (our friends have cool toys like boats and wave runners, etc… I make sure I helped out with the cost of gas…). As for my family they are frugal too, so I didn’t get any slack from mom, dad or my sister.
I’m only inspiring people now that I’m debt free. Now everybody want to know how, especially peers at work! Some of my spreadsheets have become popular.
What is next for you? What financial goals do you plan to accomplish?
My financial goals are to create Dividend Funds to augment my income, investments that will keep growing, maybe some real estate, or even the creation of some small businesses… (see Neo Flying…) (as we all know Neo means “new”… and that’s how I feel… like I have a new beginning!)
Thanks for inviting me to tell my story, and I wish you and your readers luck in your future financial pursuits!!!
Debt Free News From A Debt Free Reader Series
Debt Free News: The Kick Off – yours truly @enemyofdebt
Debt Free News From A Debt Free Reader #1 – Kelsalynn @KelsaLynnFitLog
Debt Free News From A Debt Free Reader #2 – Nick @Nickfro
Debt Free News From A Debt Free Reader #3 – Paul @fiscalgeek
Debt Free News From A Debt Free Reader #4 – Peter @MoneyMatters
Debt Free News From A Debt Free Reader #5 – J Money @BudgetsAreSexy
Debt Free News From A Debt Free Reader #6 – Dustin @EngagedMarriage
Debt Free News From A Debt Free Reader #7 – Fabian @debtfree
Debt Free News From A Debt Free Reader #8 – Don @money_reasons
More to come…