She and her husband paid off $18,000 in consumer debt, and think that living the debt-free life now is amazing. Here’s their story.
Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?
I’m a writer by nature and by profession. It’s something that I’ve always loved to do. I think best on paper. My husband and I have been married for over 20 years and have six children aged from 6 to 17. I’ve homeschooled all the kids since birth. The first has made it into college, so the experiment is working! We live in San Diego and love it. I was raised in California and can’t imagine ever living elsewhere.
You paid off $18,000 in consumer debt. What kind of consumer debt was it, and what made you decide to do so?
We had credit card, car loan, and home equity loans that contributed to our debt. In 2007 we hit a season when the savings ran out and my husband ran out of work. He was self-employed in construction. That was our wake-up call to get our act together.
How did you pay off the debt?
My husband took extra jobs, particularly in mold remediation which was dangerous but paid well. We sold lots of possessions and I started doing more freelance writing. We cut as many expenses as we possibly could and went bare bones.
How long did it take?
It took us 18 months to pay off the debt.
Was there ever a point where you wanted to give up? What kept you going if so?
There were moments when it was really hard. I just remember a friend saying, “You gotta keep going. It will get easier.” Not sure how, but we got over that hump.
What would you tell people who would like to do the same?
Living debt-free now is so amazing. We are able to do things we were never able to do, like take our kids to Europe for a month. Paying off the debt was HARD, but the rewards have been incredible. Best thing we ever did!
How is life different for you now?
Life is a lot less stressful, and like I said, we can travel and eat out — things we never dreamed of doing during our debt years. Life is a lot more fun.
What are your financial plans for the future?
Our five year plan includes getting one kid through college, returning to Europe, and saving money for a down payment on a house. It’s a lot, but we’ve already accomplished so much, it gives me confidence that we can dream big and make it happen.