Debt is like the heavy weight being carried around with us everywhere we go. Every purchase, activity, vacation, or meal, thinking in the back of our minds: “Can we afford this? Should we really be spending our money on this?” It sucks and after 24 months of diligently working on paying off our debt, using the Dave Ramsey Baby Steps, we are DEBT FREE (excluding our home)! We didn’t want to be like the average American who has about $67k worth of debt, even into their 70’s. So we worked hard to pay off $132,408.98 of school loans, car loans, and credit card debt! In that time period we sold a condo and a vehicle. The proceeds of about $38k from these sales helped to pay down our debt. Besides that we have worked 2-3 jobs each and put that extra income towards our debt as well.
It took us about 2-3 months to get the hang of it and actually stick to the budgets we had set for each category. Even now, it is a constant challenge that we work at every day.
It’s crazy to think that we are debt free because all we have known is debt. We live in a society where you go from living at home and being taken care of, to then graduating from high school and going into college where you instantly have thousands of dollars’ of debt. Most students, if they have a part time job in college, are just making enough to get by and nothing goes to pay off the school loans until after graduation. Then you finish school with a ridiculous amount of debt and most likely aren’t making a ton of money when you start that first job after graduation. So making the minimum monthly loan payment is a battle and it feels like a win when you can make that payment. In reality, most of that amount is going towards interest and very little is going to pay down the principal balance of the loan(s). Most students graduate and are happy with a salaried job where they make $45k - $65k/year, and that’s lucky. For us, we graduated at a time, in a job market, where we were competing with seasoned professionals for the same entry level positions. To even have a job after graduation was a blessing.
Blog post written by:
Jacob and Amy Karras
For the love of travel and new adventures, we live our lives for the next dream fulfilled!