Yes, you read that correctly! We are debt free! I finished paying off my student loan on Monday. I submitted the payment, and later that night it cleared. I walked out of work with my head held high. It was a beautiful day! The wind, the sun, and the sounds were so beautiful. It is a feeling I never knew before. I feel FREE!!! I owe nothing to anybody!
Where did we come from? Two years ago we started on Financial Peace University. I knew since before college I didn’t want debt. I didn’t understand it, though. I fell into the trap, brushed myself off once with help, and then fell right back in. We were $54,117.39 in debt, excluding the house. Before we sold it, the house was $145,000. So, that’s a total of almost $200,000 in debt!
What was the debt on? Other than the house, we had five credit cards, one of which was maxed out and one we used for a balance transfer (more on that later), car, and student loans. Before we started the debt snowball, we did manage to pay off one vehicle, stupid buy, and a Perkins loan for school. We were normal!
First, why was the car a stupid buy? I had gotten a loan for 72 months at 10% interest. I ended up paying it off early, but only by a few months. I should have saved up and paid for it. You live and learn.
Second, why was transferring so bad? When you transfer, they hit you with a fee. So, not only did I have to pay off the amount on the card, I now had to pay the fee! I could have paid things off a bit faster. Again, you live and you learn. Can you tell that I’m a bit stubborn and think I know what I am doing?
It took 2 years to become debt free, but we made it! It is possible! There were many times where we wanted to give up. There were many times we were at the end of our ropes and wanted to continue on with life. We made it! If we can do this, we can do anything we want!
What’s next? Obviously we are living in an apartment, so a house would be nice. The first step is to keep on the gas and build up the emergency fund. We are hoping by February. After that comes a down payment.
The more I study the more I am going to do a 15 year mortgage with at least 10% down. I would love to pay for a home in full, but I don’t think that is going to happen for this home. I am so ready to start investing again, and enjoying life. We can enjoy some of life now, but will be better once we can slow down a bit.
One thing about a house though, we can start a business. My photography can be run as a business then, and my wife can start up something, sewing or baking or both! Our city currently has a very broad definiation for business, and must get a business license. However, our apartment will not let us run a business out of our apartment. Thus, why I am not selling my work today.
There are things we are dreaming of, like going to Europe. I want to get flight lessons, but will wait until we get a house. I can’t wait for things, but must wait.
Our future is bright! We are out of Debt!!! You can be too!