This was an email that I shared a few weeks back with my subscribers and so many readers responded that this was the motivation that they needed to either start the debt-free journey or to keep going. So, hopefully this will motivate you as well because becoming debt-free isn’t easy but it’s 100% doable.
If you’ve been following my blog for a while, you know that when I was 21 years old, I was nearly bankrupt. I had just over $11,000 in credit card debt alone and a nice brand new fancy sports car living in an apartment well above my pay grade.
It took years to pay off that debt – in fact, we made the last payment on that debt the month before our oldest child was born. But, there’s one tragic flaw here. You see, even though that struggle made me realize that I needed to manage my money better, it didn’t change my perception of debt.
You see, while working our tails off to pay off my enormous credit card debt, we were still using debt. We were taking out car loans, student loans, a mortgage, and we each even had a credit card.
The problem is that since our perceptions of debt had not changed, all we did was go further into debt. In March of 2013, we had just over $55,000 of debt not including our mortgage. And in many respects, we were managing our debt responsibly.
We each only had one credit card, we had one car loan, and we had my student loans. That’s it, but the problem is those debts still had to be paid. We learned that lesson the hard way when my husband was injured at work and those bills still required a payment each month.
So, if you want to truly become debt-free, you have to change your mindset. That was the pivotal change for us this go ‘round. We stopped believing that you have to have debt. We stopped believing in “smart debt” and started believing that all debt is bad.
We started seeing that debt is a vicious cycle that starts at age 18 – you have to get a credit card in order to establish good credit in order to get a car loan, student loans, and eventually a mortgage loan.
We literally are told that in order to have a life we must borrow to fund that life when in fact, if we are diligent with our money we can just pay cash for everything and never have to worry about a bill showing up in our mailbox demanding to be paid.
If being completely debt-free is something that you truly want, you must change your perceptions about debt or else temptation will pull you back in – or at least that’s been my experience. And if you haven’t read the book, The Total Money Makeover by Dave Ramsey I encourage you to. It’ll help further motivate you down the road to true financial freedom.
What motivation can you offer up to someone looking to become debt-free?
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