My husband and I began getting serious about being debt free in 2007. We’ve paid off our vehicle and only have the mortgage left to pay.
It has been a lot of work digging ourselves out of debt but it was all worth it. We are so thankful to our friends and family who supported us through the years of us declining the dinner engagements, date night invitations and request to vacation together. We refrained from those things and others today, so that we could secure financial freedom for tomorrow.
Here are few tips that have helped us stay the course to becoming debt free.
1. Have a plan for paying down debt. Whether you choose to follow the principles of Dave Ramsey or any other financial guru, be sure to have a clear cut destination in which you will have arrived after all of the hard work and sacrifice.
2. Don’t pay anyone to become debt free. I cringe when I hear that people tell me that they’ve paid X amount of $$ for some company to help them reduce their debts. You can do what you are paying these companies to do. Get on the phone and begin negotiating a payoff.
3. Fight through the pain of self deprivation. I order to pay down debt you’ll either need the make more money or spend less. If you cannot make more or the more that you make still is not enough, then you will have to get used to doing without.
Doing without what?…You must do without anything that is not a necessary element to living. We reduced our spending to the bare minimum. For us the cable, landlines, luxury items and vacations were the first to go. The hardest to let go was the little things like picking up a bucket of $5 ice-cream every week.
4. Make a vow not to argue about money. You must support each other through any bad money decisions. It was bad money decisions that got you into this predicament and they don’t stop just because you decide to become debt free. It takes time to change bad habits and learn new ones. So when he/she accidentally overdraws the account and it throws everything off track…fight the urge to blame. Be the support that your spouse needs to build up the courage to break free of the grips of debt.
Becoming debt free is hard work but not impossible to achieve. Be prayerful and seek the Lord for guidance in your situation.