Polls

Reader Poll – Are You Debt Free? – Share Your Story

I have noticed an up tick in visitors to my site, so I thought it was time for a reader poll. This week’s poll is pretty simple – Are You Debt Free? After you vote, take a minute to share your story – How did you get out of debt? How are you getting out of debt? Have you given up? Have you just started? Who or What inspired you to get out of debt? (Feed readers may have to click through to see the poll/vote.)

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Update:  Click here to view results as of November 7, 2007.  This poll received such a good response, I’ve decided to keep it up for another month.  If you haven’t shared your story, or voted, please feel free to do so now.

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39 thoughts on “Reader Poll – Are You Debt Free? – Share Your Story

  1. No debt including my house at 34 + 200k in my RRSP account. I put 50% cash on my house then I applied my tax refund obtained while maximizing my RRSP each year on my mortgage. Also put all my bonuses as extra payment. Did it in 5 years.

  2. I bought a house this year, $65,000. I live in China, earn $27,000 every year. I pay 520$ on the house every month and will continue 10 years. I hope I am debt free in 3-5 years. But, I will be married in 1 year, that is a big payment in China. I need more money…

  3. We are debt free excluding the house as of April of this year. We paid off about 65k, and have a 29k emergency fund. I quit my job, and my husband is self employed. (a professional juggler no less!)
    We pretty much lived by Dave Ramsey the past year and a half. We are currently working on paying off the house!

  4. My main debt is my car loan and student loans. Luckily I have no credit card debt…after working really hard and getting a part time job to pay off about 3K in credit card debt. I have always felt like I was living paycheck to paycheck, and then a friend and I both read Your Money or Your Life and I started to re-evaluate my relationship with money. Now that I am more focused on the importance of living within my means, being frugal, and reducing my overall consumption, I have an emergency fund, have been able to put extra money to my car payment and no longer feel broke all the time. I actually feel secure and more free. I love reading personal finance blogs, such as this one, to continue to increase my knowledge about frugality/simplicity.

  5. Not yet. I’ve actually just started in June to get serious about our debt. Adding it all up (credit cards, student loans, HELOC) stopped me dead in my tracks. Now we’re working our way out and making some good progress.

  6. I have 33k left – $5 in student loans and $28k in a private family loan. My goal is to be completely paid off by next July.

    I’m packing my lunch everyday and I’ve spent about 20 hours a week recently listing stuff on Ebay. I’ve been cooking killer dinners at home and we’re renting dvds from the local library. I too get a huge charge from reading your blog and listening to your downloads – reading your posts makes me feel like I’m not alone in my goal. I work in one of the wealthiest areas of the U.S. and watching all the disposable income can be overwhelming. One day at a time, one blog post at a time. 🙂

  7. I’ve just begun in my battle against debt. My partner and I have $34k in debt, $2k in credit card the rest in personal loans.

    As part of the process I’m trying to “declutter” my life, in a physical sense by sort through our junk, selling some stuff on eBay, donating some to charity and tossing the rest in the rubbish.

    I have a clear goal of being debt free in 5 years and have a substantial deposit for us to buy a house. I have a healthy superannuation program at my work so I’m making good contributions to that without really trying.

    I have found a number of personal finance blogs with great advice, especially this one and a couple of others. Even though I’m in Australia and some of our situations are different eg. I’ve got no idea what a Roth or 401 are but the principles are the same.

  8. Nope, but I’m working on it. Ask me again in a month and my answer will be #1. I’ll have paid off over $20,000 in auto loans in just a little over 8 months.

  9. Yep, completely debt-free and renting. I just graduated from University. I spent the last year and a half of University working to pay off my student loans, credit cards, as well as paying cash for my senior year at a private university. I did it though! I graduated completely debt-free and I’m never going back!

  10. Debt free except the house using Dave’s plan. Paid off ~$41,000 and have saved ~10,000 in the past 13 months. Yes, we had to sell lots of stuff (including our motorcycles… ouch), had garage sales, have and continue to work an extra job.

    My wife stays home and we are now able to save for retirement and college. Perhaps the best part is that now, we get to decide where to send our money… rather than having to send it somewhere.

    We are saving now to pay for the birth of our second child and bump our savings to $15,000. After than we will be saving to convert our garage in to a master suite.

    Jay

  11. Built a home 8 years ago, and sold it just before the market started to turn down on homes. We took the equity, paid off our debts, put some money in the bank and then built a new home. Except for our Home and 1 car, we are debt free.

  12. I’m working on it, and I’m closer than I’ve ever been in my life. My marriage ended 3 years ago, and I ‘discovered’ my spouse had run up more than $50,000 in debt I didn’t know about – on top of the debt I did know about! Since then I have been renting a home and paying off as much debt as possible, living as a single mother. Since I left the marriage with very little, I have been downright cheap about buying house-things (I think my only new purchase was a mattress for my son when he outgrew his toddler bed…).

    I still have student loans (~$5k), car loan (~$1k, down from $10k in 3 years), and some credit card debt (~$3k) as well as debt I received in the divorce (about $5k left of $8k).

    Sounds depressing, but watching the graph in Quicken slowly creeping upward is what keeps me going. I won’t be in debt forever…just another year or two!

  13. Just starting the process. We’ve got about 50k in debt to pay off and managed to pay off about $750 last month without really trying (we are still analyzing our spending at this point and making plans to start hard the first of the year).

  14. Excluding my house payments, I am debt free. Have not had any debt other than the house since paying off a small student loan almost 8 years ago. House will be paid off in about 11 years. Never had credit card or car payment debt…always paid in full.

  15. I voted No, and it’s not a priority. The only debt I have is my student loans, which are consolidated at less than 3%. I pay the minimum every month but I am not working to pay it off before schedule. I earn more interest on my on-line savings accounts and my CD, so why waste money paying off my loan early.

  16. I’m working on my debt. Being 20 and having awful credit is no fun, but I’m pursuing it aggresively. It’s not a lot. I should be finished paying it off by January and I’m trying to get some stuff taken off ChexSystems.

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  18. #2. no debt, but i have mortgages on my house and 3 investment properties. i do not see this as a problem though.

  19. We are working hard on being debt free
    (except for the house) and we have paid off
    almost $43,000 in debt this year and we
    have $12,500 to go before we are done.

    We are following Dave Ramsey’s baby steps
    except we continue to max out our 401ks.

  20. Bought house with cash. 2 new cars with cash – would have bought second used, but….
    Age 35 years Other savings including retirement nearly 60k, non-working spouse and and an infant at home

  21. Debt = BAD! I paid off my debt a while back and it’s all been downpayment/mortgage savings since then. Only 19 more payments on the house, at the rate I’ve been going! You can be that I’m counting every penny.

  22. I voted that I’m debt-free excluding the mortgage. I don’t currently have a mortgage, but that’s because I don’t have a house (I rent). Since my goal is to buy a house in the next few years, I will have a mortgage then (pending a sudden drastic increase in money!).

  23. We’re working on paying off the debt. Started on 5/25/07 with $32729 and are now at $24885 5 months later, paid off $7844 so far.

    Hopefully if everything works out and life isn’t to hard on use we’ll be debt free in July 2009. We’ve cut our lifestyle down and are watching everything that we spend.

    We’re controlling our money insted of it controlling us!

  24. Was working on first and second mortgages when father in law died in October ’06. Inherited enough to pay off both and have a some left for kids’ college and to catch up Roth IRA’s. Not happy with way it happened, but glad to be debt free!!

  25. @Velvet – Option 1 would fit you – This is a poll about where you are now, not where you might be in the future…
    NCN

  26. Me and my husband are debt free except for our home which will be paid off in 2 1/2 more years. We have three vehicles that are paid for. My husband still drives his 1988 Chevorlet truck that has over 300,000 miles on it (he does preventive maintance on our vehicles). My car is 7 years old and still drives good. We just don’t spend alot on things we know that we don’t need. We save and invest more than what we spend. My husband and I make $100,000 a year. Other than our $1000 a month house payment the only other big bill that we have a month is our GAS for our vehicles. We had to go without a lot to get where we are and now we have the money to do and buy what we want but we don’t – we want to retire early.

  27. NCN,
    what advise would you give me. I married a wrong woman and have a child with her. She doesn’t care about finances, i’m helping her pay her loan and she refuses to work. She makes me spend money, refuses to support me.
    I’m afraid that I will be worse off with a divorce.

    Thanks

  28. Debt free, except for my mortgage. I live in Italy and I’m in the process of renovating a house with my boyfriend – we currently have a € 180,000 mortgage to repay, so there’s a long road ahead of us… now we’re trying to concentrare all our efforts at having enough money to pay for the kitchen equipment and furniture (about €12,000) in cash next April, without having to get a loan, even though it would be a 0% interest loan. I just wouldn’t like the feeling of owing more money! Let’s hope we’ll get there…

  29. My husband and I are not accumulating any more debt and are working very hard in Michigan to reduce our debt (house, credit cards used to start my husband’s small business that has almost collapsed in our economy). Our whole family (us plus 2 kids) are very creative to reduce costs and, I believe, live a much richer life in ways that really matter to us. It will be 8-10 years before our debt is PIF, but every month we get closer!
    We have also begun studying our family history books (that family members have worked so hard on!) as a family and embraced that other generations have had more difficult times than us and survived quite well. It is inspiring.

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