I recently conducted an email interview with one of my fellow personal finance writers, Frank from over at The Happy Rock. Frank has written about his own debt reduction success, having paid off $70,000 in four years!
Here’s my favorite snippet from his post-
We watched our spending, trimmed our expenses, and put every extra penny towards debt. We learned how to plan, save, and spend CASH on larger items. We set up Microsoft money, created a budget, and communicated about how we were spending our money. The growth of control bred more motivation and energy.
Frank was kind enough to answer some questions via email. Here’s the interview-
How long have you been debt free? –
Since 2005 which coincides with the adoption of our first child
The following resources both inspired me to get out of consumer-debt and keep me motivated as I strive to pay off my mortgage. Check out-
Financial Calculators –
A random search of the Internet lead me these debt calculators from over at Dinkytown. Once I plugged in my own credit card debt and automobile debt, and ran the calculations for various payment methods, I was off and running.
Radio Program –
If you have spent any time at all researching debt reduction, you have no doubt heard of the awesome Dave Ramsey radio program. Listening to Dave always motivates me.
This week marks our fifth year of living debt free. In a previous article, I shared how our decision to get out of debt has changed our lives. Now, it’s time to share our plan for remaining (consumer) debt free – and paying off our mortgage.
We continue to live on a budget.
One of the benefits of being debt free can quickly become a curse – “extra” cash. Think about it. Without monthly payments, a goodly portion of our take-home pay is now available for…anything, really. Without the discipline of the budget, we might quickly waste the very “extra” cash that we should be saving. We use the awesome You Need a Budget tool to manage our monthly budget – and we stick to it. Every dollar has a purpose.
As I mentioned in yesterday’s post, my wife and I just celebrated our fifth year of living debt free.
Here’s how our decision to get out of consumer debt changed our lives:
We do not pay interest. We earn it.
This one is pretty obvious. Instead of paying interest to various credit card companies or financial institutions, we earn interest on our savings. Even though rates are relatively low, it feels much better to earn than to pay.
We do not feel the weight of debt. We have escaped it.
This one might be more important than the first one. I simply hate the feeling associated with having debt. As a human being, I am extremely risk-averse. Before we decided to get out of debt, I worried about our financial future. Worry has been replaced by peace.