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How I Got Out of Debt February 3, 2008

Posted by pf in Expenses and Savings.
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Ever since I started writing here, it’s always been about my finances now or in the future. As far as I can recall, I don’t think I’ve ever really talked about my financial past. For the most part, I suspect it’s because it is not terribly exciting. Often, many of the blogs I read have some kind of story about being on the brink of financial ruin and how they had an epiphany and turned things around. For myself, while I absolutely remember having some debt, I don’t recall it ever being a big drag on my finances or particularly upsetting. If anything, it was just very annoying.

During college, I had loaded up student loan debt in excess of $10K and credit card debt of about $7K. The great thing about the student loan was that it was on a graduated repayment schedule of about 10 years and wasn’t a huge monthly payment when I first started repayment. The remaining debt was built up on the typical stuff you would expect. I didn’t work a whole lot during my senior year and so relied quite a bit on credit to bridge the gap. As for as the amount of debt itself, well, it was what it was. The minimum payments were easily made and I had a solid job with enough money left over each month to slowly chip away at it.

During this time, I never really felt that I had to deny myself. Of course, I wasn’t really “living it up”, but generally I went where I wanted to go, spent on entertainment such as movies, eating out, etc. However, I always had a very reasonable rent and drove an economical car (both which really helped). I have some difficulty recalling my mindset in regard to the debt at the time. Generally, I was just focused on my job and the credit card was just another item on my checklist. However, my my main motivation has always been retirement and securing my financial future. Although I was putting enough in my 401(k) to get the match, I wanted to do so much more…and that credit card was in the way.

About 18 to 24 months after graduation, I had paid of my credit card. The student loan, however, continued…essentially almost all the way through the 10 year repayment period. Interest rates were ridiculously low and it did get to about $250 a month (not chump change), so I let it ride. Once that was finished, it was a nice feeling to be almost debt free except for our cars and our mortgage.

Since then, I have never really looked back. It seems like you can never save enough, so I always had a new goal that I was trying to achieve. In particular, I have been trying to get to the point where I could both fully fund my 401(k) and Roth IRAs for both me and my wife. As the sole earner in our family, let me tell you…it’s not easy. Fortunately, within the past couple of years, I’ve finally accomplished it. As for the future, I’m still chasing the elusive “brass ring” and hope to retire comfortably (not extravagantly) in 2033.

So, there it is. I’m not sure it’s particularly captivating or has much drama, but it’s my story.

Comments»

1. biblefinance101 - February 3, 2008

Do you use any form of budget system/software to track down your revenue and expenses? This is a very good way to control your expenses and whatever surplus you may have can be applied to your loans/debts. I have been doing this for almost 15 years now and I have been succesful in staying away from debt. The Bible says, the borrower is servant to the lender Prov 22:7.

2. pf - February 4, 2008

I use a very simple spreadsheet that lists both my monthly income and expenses. However, they are all estimates with some being more accurate (savings, mortgage, utilities, insurance) while others have the potential for more variation (entertainment, clothing, gifts, etc…). I review and update it a couple of times a year. Generally speaking, being directionally accurate is sufficient for our purposes versus creating / monitoring a detailed budget. As you suggested, it’s a great tool for managing your finances.

3. pfmoron - February 5, 2008

I admire your steady and responsible financial habits. I enjoy reading pf blogs from an entire cross section of different backgrounds and current situations. It puts a lot of things in perspective and helps keep the less responsible of us on track. Thanks.

4. moneymonk - February 8, 2008

All it takes is focus and a steady income stream.

5. marcus anthony bynum - March 14, 2015

the source of investors business daily has an economy column where you can look at housing optimism hits high… the percentage of consumers who believe the economy is going in the right direction rose to its highest in the history of fannie mae,s national housing survey in feb, some 47% think it will improve , while the 45% who say that its going in the wrong direction was a new low for the survey… also would need a respondent for the business economic survey 36% to monetary policy…..

6. marcus anthony bynum - March 14, 2015

for investor business a message sent to Obama , iran a letter from 47 republicans senators warning iran that a nuclear deal might not pass constitutional muster has a very worthy hidden purpose : to derail these dangerous talks….called nuclear jihad…..

7. marcsu anthony bynum - March 14, 2015

the other part of the message sent to Obama , iran is talking about it has come to our attention … that you may not fully understand our constitutional system “it begains in the case of the treaty party…

8. marcsu anthony bynum - March 14, 2015

revenue– browse financial obligation revenue permit account 102283700, and 102429896 business owner marcus Anthony Bynum revenue period from 2 quarter of 2014 gross sales 250.00 , purchase price 5.00 , tax measure 280.00… the document name : untitled….from permit account 102429896… amount paid 25.00 for the 2 quarter of 2014…. 3 rd quarter of 2014 gross sales 65.00 amount paid 6.63… 4th quarter of 2014- 282.00 gross sales purchase price 108.00 tax measure 390.00 amount paid 34.00$ usd….

9. marcsu anthony bynum - March 14, 2015

revenue — browse financial obligation revenue.. permit account 102283700 marcus Anthony Bynum 4th qtr 2013 gross sales 141.00 , and purchase price 54.00 tax measure 195.00 amount paid 18.86$ usd… 3rd quarter of 2013 revenue gross sales 65.00 tax measure 65.00 amount paid 6.63… 2 quarter of 2013 revenue gross sales 500.00 tax measure 500.00 amount paid 44.00 $ usd…..

10. marcsu anthony bynum - March 14, 2015

lets also look at permit account 102283700 , marcus Anthony Bynum 3rd quarter 2014 gross sales 500.00 tax measure 500.00 rptd total tax 45.00 amount paid 45.00 … also 2 quarter of 2014 250.00 , tax measure 280.00 rptd total tax 26.00 amount paid 25.00$ usd….


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