Today we have a guest post from one of our readers, Will. He is excited to tell about how he got out of $24,000 of debt and lived to tell the tale.
In November 2013, I found myself with about $13,000 in debt. Well, kind of. I owed 13,000 actual debt dollars (Grad School, credit cards, etc.), and I owed another $10,000 on my leased car over the next 31 months.
About the same time I decided to go see Dave Ramsey’s Legacy Journey. I walked out of Dave’s event knowing exactly what I needed to do. Over the next few days I arranged to sell my lease. (If you know anything about leasing you don’t stand to make much money selling a lease. Much meaning zero.) I lost $7,000 when I sold my car to CarMax. I went to my Credit Union that same day and borrowed $4,000 for an old junker to get me around town. So, there I was, $24,000 in debt. But at least now I had a target.
Something inside of you has to snap to get out of debt. It’s not a decision you stumble onto. Goals change. Friends can become distant. Friends (and family) will tell you “debt isn’t a big deal… everyone has it”. You and your significant other can differ significantly. Your nights and weekends change. You eat a lot of the same food over and over again and scratch and claw for every last dime to try to pay off every last bill. You calculate things like “should I go to _______? I wonder how much gas that’s going to use.” It’s not easy. But, then again, what is? Ever tried losing weight? I have. It’s really hard.
But getting out of debt is not all doom and gloom. I promise. You learn a lot about yourself. You learn a lot about everyone else. The time you spend with yourself (and family) is good time. It’s real time. When debt and spending aren’t an option you have to exist on what you have. When you’re not busy spending your money (going out to eat, buying the latest and the greatest whatever, trolling the internet for “deals”) you tend to find the time to process each area of your life better. You have time to clean your house. And your car. Your job gets easier because your goals become clearer. You simply, simplify, and simplify some more.
There are many theories (read “advice”) on how to pay off debt. Pay off the lowest debt first. Pay off the highest debt first. Pay off the highest interest rate first. Each one of these methods has its merit.
Here’s the real secret to getting out of debt. Start and don’t quit. You’re going to have your ups and downs. Everything in life does. But don’t quit. Sell stuff. Sell everything. Get extra jobs. Eat less. Stay up later. Get up earlier. Just get out of debt. And don’t quit.
Will can be found on Twitter at @willevanparker. He currently resides in Greenville, SC and works at a car dealership.