Being in debt is like carrying an extra 100 pounds on your back all day every day. It’s exhausting. But it happens and sometimes it’s a necessity.
When our first child was born six years ago, we made the choice to be broke for a while so I could stay home with him…. and broke we were. Of course I took on a few side gigs here and there for extra cash, but it was never anywhere near what two working parents would bring home.
In the past six years years, Rory was out of work a few times, we were living on 1.25 incomes (with three extra people), we had some unexpected expenses and naturally found ourselves neck-deep in debt. We had about $100 leftover after our minimum payments every month (not kidding ugh) so it was pretty much impossible to dig ourselves out of the hole we’d dug.
Fast forward to spring 2020 when the whole financial world stopped. We were getting offers left and right from our creditors saying we could pause payments if we needed to. Luckily we both only lost a few weeks of work during the Covid lockdown so technically we didn’t need to pause payments, but we chose to so that we could dump as much money as possible into our debt. And it worked!
It took us just under a year to pay off $51,000 in debt (!!!). I realize creditors have probably stopped offering everyone a wide open pause button, but if you’re in the same sinking boat we were, it’s absolutely worth a try to pause a few bills and payoff other ones while you’re on a break.
Here’s how to do it:
- Pause as many monthly bills as you can. Even just two months can give you some much-needed momentum.
- Dump all your extra income into the lowest balance first and pay that puppy OFF.
- Repeat step two as many times as you can / need to.
- Use your tax refund, birthday gifts, cash back bonuses or stimulus check (if there’s another one) 100% for paying off debt.
- Don’t go out to eat.
- Don’t buy yourself anything new.
- Don’t go on vacation (this was obviously super easy in 2020).
We’ve successfully lowered our monthly expenses by $2,000 (!!!) following this exact plan. Obviously those paused accounts restarted, but when they did we had SO much more money to catch up and eventually pay them off, too. Being completely debt-free is the most amazing feeling and it’s so worth hunkering down for a year to ditch that dreadful ball-and-chain.
I hope this is helpful! Xo
“Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for whoever loves others has fulfilled the law.” Romans 13.8
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