Last night, my husband and I had a real heart-to-heart on debt and how being on the debt-free journey has drastically altered our beliefs on how money should work in our home. And how we’ve seen first hand that yes, you can live and thrive without loans, credit cards, and debt of any kind.
We’ve been on the debt-free journey for four years and it has been one heck of a ride.
There have been setbacks and failures and temptations. There have been weak moments but there have been many more strong and shining moments where we succeeded.
Currently, we’re watching a few friends of ours really struggle – not financially in the sense that they are broke, but in the sense that debt is enticing them to make decisions that they wouldn’t make otherwise.
But that’s what debt does, doesn’t it?
Debt makes you believe you have more money than you really do. It allows you to make that big purchase now, with the hope that you’ll be able to afford to pay for it later. It allows you to fall into the trap of comparison and even makes you feel like it’s “where you’re supposed to be” or “where you’re supposed to be going”. When in reality, you just end up miserable and not knowing why.
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I’m passionate about teaching others the dangers of debt, but that’s easier to do by showing – not telling. You see for years now, I’ve been the one that’s been crazy about being debt-free. My husband has always been on board but he wasn’t exactly passionate about it. He’s the natural spender in our marriage so for him, it was more like a jail sentence because he couldn’t just go buy whatever he wanted.
But now, he’s the one that’s found himself in my shoes. The one passionate about helping our friends see the dangers of debt and of falling into the comparison trap.
He’s struggling with how to help our friends because “they just won’t listen – they want this thing because their family members have it.” He keeps preaching – “I’d rather own everything I have than owe someone money for it. I mean, how different is renting versus paying a mortgage every month? Oh, that you’ll own your house in 30 years? Well, what if you owned your house NOW? Without having to worry if the economy collapses because the bank doesn’t own it – YOU do.”
If you cant’ tell, my husband has grown to really love that we no longer carry the heavy burden of debt. 🙂
During our conversation, he asked me what he could do to help our friends. My response, was to show them and not tell them. When we started this debt-free journey in 2013, many of our friends and family thought we were crazy. Some even flat-out argued with me about it – trying to convince me that debt was the only way to live.
They’d say things like:
- You can’t get a college education without a student loan.
- You can’t get a house without a mortgage.
- You can’t get a decent and reliable car without a car loan.
- You can’t furnish your entire house without financing it.
- You can’t pay for emergencies without a credit card.
“You can’t, you can’t, you can’t”. But we did.
And now, many of those same friends and family members are on this debt-free journey too – not because I told them to or magically convinced them with a passionate speech, but because we simply showed them. We proved those misguided theories about debt incorrect.
We proved that yes, you can get a college education without a loan and you can even pay off your student loans in less than ten years. Yes, you can get a decent and reliable car with cash. You can furnish your entire house with cash. You can use cash for emergencies – even the big ones. You can buy a house with cash.
You can live debt-free.
Is it easy? Nope. But neither is trying to afford all those minimum payments every month.
If you’re on the debt-free journey, let me encourage you that even though it won’t be easy, it will pay off. You will know the feeling of being free from the hold of debt. You will climb your way out and it is a feeling that really can’t be described. It’s beautiful.
If you’re wanting to start the debt-free journey, head here for a quick started guide or head here to join Real Life Money Plan where I walk you through everything you need to know about managing your money well.
Are you debt-free or on the debt-free journey? If so, what advice can you offer to someone wanting to start or struggling to keep going?
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