Andrew and I are on this “Dave Ramsey” plan to pay off our credit cards. Our ultimate goal is to become debt free, including student loans, car payments, our mortgage, etc – but that’s very overwhelming so we’re focusing right now on our credit cards. They have the highest interest rates (and the lowest balances compares to our student loans and car loans), so we started with them first.
Last year we cut up all of our plastic. Cutting up those credit cards was scary! I never knew how emotional that could be. But doing that led me to big changes… and unexpected benefits!
— Marvelous_Mrs (@Marvelous_Mrs) November 12, 2014
Since starting on January 1st, 2015, we’ve done well so far. It is sometimes very tough – the hardest part for me is budgeting for the extras. Budgeting the every-day bills isn’t so bad. But I have a hard time reconciling the purchase of new clothes, new shoes, a new phone charger, going to a movie… that sort of stuff.
Because I can live without it, it isn’t a necessity. And buying those things means less money is going to our debt snowball. But sometimes you just have to get something that isn’t absolutely necessary in order to keep your sanity. We all need a night out now and then, right?
Anyway, I got side-tracked. Budgeting wasn’t the point of this post when I started, so I’ll move on.
I came across this article from Time magazine this morning on my Twitter newsfeed – 10 Characteristics of Debt Free-People.
10 characteristics of debt-free people http://t.co/fTQicqhUwn
— Money (@MONEY) August 21, 2015
It has the things you would expect, like “they’re detail oriented,” and “they aren’t addicted to shopping.” But what grabbed my attention is that, according to this article from Time, they’re self-confident, too. The article says:
Financially free people never let their self-worth be defined by their possessions. They understand that their status in life is more accurately conveyed by self-confidence, rather than dubiously deceptive displays of wealth.
And it made me realize that since starting this debt-free journey, I have put more time and energy into making myself better than I ever did before. I don’t think it’s a coincidence that we started our debt-free journey in January and in February – just one month later – is when I got on the health and fitness bandwagon.
There wasn’t room in the budget to buy new clothes, new trinkets, new furniture, etc. So, instead of defining my self-worth by my possessions, I had to look for new ways to build my confidence.
I chose to change my lifestyle, to make real changes to increase my self-worth instead of relying on “deceptive displays of wealth” in the form of possessions.
This is one of those rare “aaaah-haaa” moments where the heavens open and you hear angels singing. A true epiphany!
Since January, Andrew and I have paid off over $12,000 in credit card debt (embarrassing, but true). Since February, I have lost over 30 pounds and can walk more than two miles without much thought. I started a 5k training program and can now run in three-minute intervals without stopping, and I’ve found a love of fitness and being active with my family!
Working toward becoming debt free has freed me from defining my self-worth by trying to keep up with the Jones’! And has given me the freedom to truly invest in myself – which is an investment in my family’s future as well.
How has paying off debt impacted your life?Interested in re-publishing this article on your blog or website? Awesome! All I ask is that you send me a quick note via my website so I can give you permission. Thank you!