You must have heard many stories on debt repayment but mine is unique. The best part of my journey out of debt was that I got enough support and motivation from my family, so much so that they almost helped me pull myself out of the vicious cycle of debt.
I did the herculean task of paying off $110,000 in debt within 50 months. I was drowning in this huge load of debt in the year 2010 when I had to tell my family that there’s going to be no more vacations this year. The usual strategy (which actually pushed me further into debt) of putting everything on credit card is not going to work anymore. Both I and my wife had maxed our credit cards and the card issuing companies turned down our constant requests for increasing credit limits.
Meanwhile, I got serious about hunting for ways in which I could pay off my credit cards. I started researching on debt repayment through budgeting. My family helped me by setting aside a budget and sliced down my expenses. Finally we both took stalk of our efforts by selecting a debt management plan, my wife settled down with a part-time job in order to help our family with passive income flow.
I tracked my journey in one of my blogs and held myself accountable to my family’s financial goal and stayed focused on my personal finances. Here are few questions interviewers had asked me to draw a conclusion on my debt condition.
- When I started repaying, what was the total debt amount?
During the summer months of 2010, I owed a total debt amount of $110,000.
- What is my total debt now? (When the interview was taken in 2014)
Both I and my spouse became debt free by 2014, September, after 50 months of a gruelling session of repayment with an average of $2200 per month payment.
- In what way did I end up in debt?
I never ever had a plan for my finances and for almost 2 years, we both used our credit cards to cover all unanticipated expenses. We saved very little and hence whenever we went out for a dinner or for a vacation, we depended on credit. We deceived ourselves by thinking that we are doing okay since we were paying the minimum payments.
- What steps did I take to get rid of debt?
I read books of Dave Ramsey like ‘The Total Money Makeover’ and we took into account all new information and followed it. We started following a budget and curbed the expenses. I stopped overspending on luxury things like satellite radio, eating out often and on vacations. We soon started cutting back on all such items and freed up cash to pay down debt. Actually we used our debt management plan to keep us accountable for our debts and have the rates lowered.
Therefore, this was the story behind my motivation to pay back debt. My family supported me through thick and thin and this is how I could eliminate my debt burden and get back to normalcy.