I can’t believe it is already 2019! I truly believe that time goes by quicker the older you get. If you have been following this blog for awhile, most of you already know that February of 2018 was the beginning of our deft free journey.
It started when my hubby suddenly lost his job and we decided to cut everything we could, to live as cheap as possible. When he found a job, we were left with a startling fact that in spite of our previous misconceptions, we were able to get ourselves out of debt.
A year into it and I can not believe the blessings this journey has given us. The Lord has blessed us beyond measure and it has changed me in ways I just simply can not explain. If you are thinking about starting the debt free journey…DO IT! It is hard, it is humbling but it is one of the best decisions you will ever make.
We have paid off $30,000 in 2018. We have $34,000 more to go. Our projected payoff date is February 2020 but we are going to do everything in our power to be debt free December 2019. Crossing fingers, we will see!
I would be lying if I told you that I have been on fire the entire time. There were times in 2018 that I debated if the effort is really worth it. Temptations are everywhere, especially when you have a goal in mind. It is so easy to get sidetracked and so hard to stay on course. But, as I look back at this year, and how much we have accomplished, I can’t help but to get fired up again!
With that said, here are a few random practical things I have learned thus far to stay on track and staying motivated:
- Know your triggers. Mine are DollarTree, beauty products, homeschool curriculum, books, and supplements. I have to seriously contain myself with these things. I know I’ve talked to many people about their triggers. (Target seems to be a very popular one.) If you have a particular item or store that seems to rob your wallet, it’s best to stay away or find a much cheaper alternative that will satisfy your cravings.
- Always have a meal plan. I have been guilty probably a good handful of times this past year of not making a meal plan. And guess what happened? I didn’t do so well on my budget. It still amazes me how much my money can stretch when I have a meal plan vs. not. Meal planning is magic, just saying.
- Be real with people. Don’t be ashamed about dumping debt. I have learned to just be honest with people and say, “I’m sorry but we are trying to pay off debt so we can’t afford that right now.” More times than not, people completely understand and respect you for being so disciplined. (And sometimes a little jealous that you have the endurance to do such a thing.)
- Remember, this is only temporary. I have to say this to myself all the time. This process requires sacrifices but it doesn’t mean you will never have what you want. You just won’t get it right now. (Time to practice maturity and contentment.) Whatever it is you that you want, it will be there when you get out of debt. I promise.
- Watch/listen to the Dave Ramsey show. If you can’t get it on the radio, it’s on YouTube! I love watching the debt free screams. The stories are really inspirational. I actually cry after every scream. I know, I’m weird but being debt free is such a personal thing for me that I am so happy for people who accomplish it.
- Find like minded friends. Whether it be a FPU class, debt free Youtubers or just one buddy to talk to, having a friend that is going through the same journey as you is invaluable.
- Find free/cheap fun things to do. If you are like most people, it takes about 2 years to get out of debt. We have 4 kids. We still have to figure out ways to build memories and have fun regardless of our decision. Take advantage of free local fairs, conventions and shows, get involved in church, pack a picnic and go to the park, go camping, put together a 500 piece puzzle, invite some friends over and play board games, go on a hike… the options are endless. You just have to use a little creativity and maybe the internet to search for local events.