This debt payoff story is from Alan and Vicki, who have been married for 15 years. They live in Arizona, having moved from Nebraska right after getting married. They enjoy country and swing dancing, and camping.
They have a daughter, Rebeccalynn, 11, who has a pet care business. (Which is awesome!) Vicki says her daughter has learned so much from that experience in regard to the four things that can be done with money. Earn, spend, save, and give.
Can you start by telling us how much and what kind of debt you paid off?
A grand total of $36,791.92. The breakdown on that was:
Bank of America: $6200.00
Home Equity Loan: $7961.65 (This was for a timeshare)
Citibank Visa: $3914.00
Air Conditioner: $3161.97
Vicki’s Motorcycle: $3155.96
Alan’s Motorcycle: $2166.99
We have no idea what was on the Visas. Jackie’s note: I think that’s common. I had no idea what was on my credit cards either.
How long did it take you to pay it off, and how did you do so?
It took 13.5 months. We cut lifestyle, got on a budget and used the Dave Ramsey Baby Steps. Started paying the minimum on all the debt except the little one, and attacked it with a vengeance, and so on.
What made you decide to get out of debt?
We had some friends whose daughter was diagnosed with Muscular Dystrophy and they started the plan. We then decided to take a good long look at our situation and decided that enough was enough. We’d been spinning our wheels for 13 years, never feeling like we got anywhere. We saw amazing traction the first several months and so the momentum grew!
Did you ever feel discouraged?
I didn’t, I was excited! There were several times where I’d spend an hour in a store, trying things on and when I got to the register, I decided the items in my arms were wants, not needs, so I put them back. Later on, I’d think “What were those items?” and couldn’t think of what they were, so it must be ok to do without them.
What tips would you give to someone else who was working at getting out of debt?
Think of the long term. Think of what you are teaching your children. Find your happiness in anything except STUFF!
Where are you at now, financially?
We’ve started investing 15% of our income into retirement, and have a 529 set up for our daughter. We plan to travel the world upon retirement.
In an effort to pay it forward, we are Financial Peace Coordinators at our church, the First United Methodist Church in Mesa, AZ. We are also able to be much more generous and that is a great thing to be able to do.