Jackie Beck and her husband are completely debt free – mortgage and all. While she was dumping debt, she gained inspiration from reading the success stories of other debt dumpers. Now she’s in a fabulous position to pass along that same inspiration in our second New Year New You 2015 series profile.
Think you have to live miserably to get out of debt and fix your finances? Jackie has something to say about that. Enjoy her feedback, but most of all, acknowledge that this can be your story in the future! DON’T GIVE UP!
1. How much debt did you dump? We paid off over $147,000 in debt. That includes credit card debt, my student loan, my husband’s car loan, a home improvement loan, and our mortgage.
2. How long did it take you? A long time! About 10 years start to finish, but we took breaks in between each type of debt. It took us about 3 years to pay off our house. We started out slow there (just paying an extra $35 per month toward it), but had hockey stick like progress at the end. We paid off $49,500 of it in that last year.
3. What prompted you to undertake the debt free journey? Where you and your husband on the same page about dumping debt? If not, how did come to an agreement? We were both just sick and tired of debt, of the stress plus never having money that stayed ours. We actually both started working on our credit cards before we were married, so we were on the same page from the start.
4. What was the most challenging part of the journey? Changing our habits, which also involved changing the way we think. I created a free email course the helps people achieve a mindset reset. We made a firm commitment to no longer borrowing money. Instead of turning to debt when we had problems, we got creative and found ways to bring in extra money.
5. Did you suffer from frugal fatigue along the way? If so, how to did you remain focused? No, because we actually weren’t all that frugal. We went on vacations, out to eat, to the movies, etc regularly. The only difference is we made sure we had the money first. A lot of people think you have to be frugal to get out of debt, and that’s not true. You just can’t borrow money, and pay what you already owe. Of course it goes faster if you go out and earn money and you spend less.
6. What strategies do you employ now to ensure that you don’t return to old money habits? We’ve completely changed the way we think and act, so we just continue the new habits we’ve made a part of our lives. Number one is that we can do anything we want to, so long as we get the money for it first. We’ve also built up an emergency fund, have adequate insurance, save for the future, track our spending, and plan for the things we want and need. It’s really just a new way of life, and it’s a whole lot less stressful this way.
Jackie Beck is a personal finance author and creator of the app store hit Pay Off Debt, an app that has helped 44,000+ people break free from debt. Learn more at TheDebtMyth.com
Find additional profiles in the New Year New You 2015 series.