A Life Without Debt: It’s Not the Same for Everyone

I’m often asked two things: First, how can someone become debt free and second, how does one really live debt free? The people who ask these questions are usually seeking a blueprint; a set of fail safe steps that will get them debt free and give them instructions on how to live a debt free life. I wish I could give out a set of steps that would fit everyone, but it’s not that simple. While there are some general answers to these questions that I’ve touched on before, the experience is different for everyone. There are things you must do to become debt free, but how you do them is up to you. Once you’re debt free, your life and your money is (mostly) your own and it&#

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5 Responses to A Life Without Debt: It’s Not the Same for Everyone

  1. hejustlaughs says:

    Being debt free isn’t always a good thing. I could be homeless and debt free forever. No one would lend to me! :D

    Though I’m pretty sure you’re referring to “bad debt” and not using leverage for gain.

  2. I teach a simple, guaranteed system to eliminate debt. I agree that you can pay off the debt with the highest interest rate first or the one with the lowest balance or maybe the one debt that annoys you.
    However, the advice to pay more than the minimum payment on more than one debt is totally wrong. Any extra money should be added to the payment of the debt you have chosen to pay off first.

  3. Ronnie says:

    “the advice to pay more than the minimum payment on more than one debt is totally wrong.”

    But I think this is where things start to fall apart. There is NO one right or wrong to pay off the debts, and if people think there is, and fail at that way, they’re in trouble. I ALWAYS paid more than the minimum on all of my debts. The thought of just paying the minimum sickens me. How much more than the minimum is based on which I want to pay off first.

    For instance, I had 3 cards last year. Two had a minimum payment of $45, another had a payment of $60. One of the $45 payments was the one I wanted to pay off first. I calculated that, based on putting all of my excess toward that card, it would take me 4 months to pay it off. However, it would take me 4 months to pay it off and cost me $20 more in interest if I reduced my payments by $150/month. But I would save more in interest by putting those funds toward the other cards ($20 more for one card, versus $45 saved by putting it toward the others). Why should I give up $25 to not pay the card off any earlier than I otherwise would?

    Those type of blanket statements need to be banned. They just CANNOT be true in every situation. FWIW, I use bankrate.com to play around with the numbers and calculate the benefits of paying off the cards.

  4. Gail says:

    I found that even if you can’t dump large amounts onto paying off your credit card debts that paying the minimum plus rounding the amount up to the next $5 or $10 helps knock that bill down, even to the next dollar if that is all you have. Decide this is the amount you will pay each month and send it in. When your next bill comes the minimum will be lower but if you continue to pay the same amount you originally decided to, soon you will see that ALL your credit cards are making progress.

    If you can dump a large chunk of money on one card, decide which one will give you the most satisfaction or better yet, set the money aside to pay CASH for the next item you need to buy instead of charging it. Getting into the habit of spending cash takes a new mindset if you are used to pulling out credit cards and you will need the cash to spend. If you are putting every penny into credit card debt, when you really do need to buy something will you have the cash to pay or did you put it on credit card debt and now have to increase your debt to pay for something again? It can be a vicious cycle.

  5. Larabelle says:

    “There

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