Some day, we’ll take a barefoot walk across our backyard.
DH = Dear Husband
In debt “like everyone else”
We live in a time of record-breaking personal debt, and my husband and I fit right in. DH and I have been in debt for all of our adult lives. Student loans, credit card balances, car payments, lines of credit, mortgages . . . As far as we knew, we were doing what everyone else was doing – and we were right. But carrying debt like “everyone else” is not such a great idea – sort of like “everyone else” smoking in the ‘60s.
The unexpected happens
We were very comfortable with our debt, and we continued to go deeper into it even after we came face-to-face with a truth you might have encountered: The unexpected happens. For some, it’s a marriage breakdown. For others, injury or illness makes work impossible. For us, job loss hit. After DH became a casualty of the hi-tech bust early in the millennium, we lived in a limbo of denial and financial stress for years.
In 2009, he launched a home business, and while things were looking up, we had a huge business debt putting us even further in the red. A sober realization that time was passing, that retirement would happen within a decade, and that we were set up to be in lousy financial health – it all combined to make us extremely uncomfortable with our debt. We looked hard at our numbers, and they were not pretty. In 2010, at our worst, we had a debt-to-income ratio of 350% – more than twice the current record-breaking national average.
Our journey out of debt
In June 2012, inspired by Dave Ramsey’s book The Total Money Makeover, we began our journey out of debt. DH and I joined forces to become fiercely intentional about our money and where it was going. We started to budget. We looked for opportunities to earn extra income and to cut costs. We adopted a more frugal lifestyle and gained a heightened awareness of every expense – every purchase. More than ever before, we got on the same page financially.
And it’s working. We’re not there yet, but we’re well on our way! Ramsey says, “ . . . the grass will feel different under your feet when you own it.” I look so forward to the day when we take our first barefoot steps in our backyard, mortgage-free. Debt-free!
Blogs: breaking the taboo against personal money talk
There’s a taboo against personal finance talk in our society that keeps many stuck in denial – or else stressed out in silent shame. Online personal finance blogs help to break that taboo, and to provide a community of encouragement, support, and ideas for those of us trying to turn things around. Check out different sites and find the voices that speak to you. If you read personal finance blogs regularly, it will help to counteract the influence of pressures to buy, buy, buy that bombard you constantly.
Prudence Debt-Free has changed over the years. I started out in 2012 posting once per week to this site, and for a while, I experimented with mid-week guest posts. In 2015, another debt-blogger and I created Fruclassity: frugality for the not-so-badass, and while I wrote on a weekly basis at Fruclassity, I could manage only monthly posts here at Prudence Debtfree. When we sold Fruclassity in the spring of 2017, I started to write every week again at this site. My plan is to continue to blog until our debt is at ZERO.
Thank you for visiting this site and for taking the time to read about our goal to get out of debt. I invite you to join us as the journey continues.