Day 24: Paid Twice
When I started the “33 Days” series, I did so with the intent of connecting with other personal finance bloggers. One blogger who has written several “reaction posts” is Paid Twice. I received the following guest post from her, and I thought I’d share it in it’s entirety. I am humbled to think that No Credit Needed “inspired” her – and I hope that her post will do the same for many of you!
How No Credit Needed Inspired Me To Start Seriously Getting Out Of Debt – Completely Out
I’ve been in some sort of debt for my entire adult life. I got my first car loan (with my parents co-signing) at 16. I could have bought a good used car with the $6000 I had saved up for it but instead I bought a new car and financed half of it. I collected a small but growing pile of student loans while an undergraduate, for, wasn’t that what you did? Got the grants and scholarships you could and took the maximum federal loans you qualified for. I avoided credit card debt while an undergrad but while in graduate school living on a small stipend, I started accumulating debt bit by bit. By the time I decided to once and for all get out of (credit card) debt in 2003, I was up to my ears in credit card debt to the tune of close to $12,000.
But along with that, I had $15,000 in student loan debt, my spouse had another $14,000, and in 2004 we added a car loan to the mix to the tune of $11,000. But I never even gave any of that “other” debt a second thought. The credit cards were all that really entered my mind as a problem. I stopped using our credit cards and slowly started paying them down. I even paid over the minimum. Sometimes. Three years, two kids, and a house later, it was 2007 and money was tighter than ever and I knew that the credit card debt had to go faster than it had been. I had gotten it down to about $7000 but that just wasn’t fast enough progress. So I started trying to figure out how to do that.
Through my online meanderings I followed a link someone posted on a debt support group message-board to a blog called No Credit Needed. I had no idea that personal finance blogs existed, never mind one that documented the long hard journey out of significant debt. I was fascinated, and ended up spending the next week reading the entire blog archive from the very first post onward. And as I read, I learned a lot not only about debt reduction techniques, but about being accountable to an online audience, persevering even when times were tough and wrenches were thrown in the plans, and how a whole lot of small goals could accomplish one giant goal.
I looked at my own life, and I thought… I can do this. And not only can I eliminate our credit card debt, I can eliminate our student loan debt and our car loan too, and start on a whole new philosophy where debt isn’t just a fact of life. And, in fact, I am. I’m nowhere near there yet, but with a lot of planning and commitment and focus, we’ve made a significant dent in our remaining credit card debt in just a few months time, and we have a plan to eliminate over $36,000 worth of debt in just 3 Â½ years. I started my own blog for online accountability, and the very first thing I did is join the I made a plan, I can see where we’re headed, and I feel like we’re progressing to a financially healthy place for the first time in my entire adult life. And all this by making little changes and paying small “extra” amounts to debt, over and over and over again.. Because there I found a whole lot of other people just like me, just trying to get out of debt one penny at a time.
I found No Credit Needed at just the right time. I was open to the ideas and philosophies and taking that first BIG step to making a total commitment to eliminating debt. And I am so glad I did. NCN’s story could be yours, or mine. And if he could do it, we can too.
Paid Twice blogs about her family’s journey out of debt at I’ve Paid For This Twice Already… where she shares her challenges, triumphs, setbacks, and goals reached every day. Follow her progress towards reaching her own debt-free goals by visiting her blog or subscribing to her RSS feed.
If you have been inspired by a blog, a book, a friend, or a personal finance story, write a post and contact me and Iâ€™ll be happy to link to your post.
Leave a comment about how other folks (bloggers, friends, etc.) have inspired you to get out of debt and / or change you financial habits.