Down with Debt!


Sometimes life feels like a highway. The ride is smooth, you’re cruising along quickly, getting where you want to be. Other times, life feels like this bumpy path. It’s rough going, it’s hard to get your footing, and you don’t know what’s around the next turn.

That’s where we are. Our family has been struggling with debt for a long time, and we are ready to get rid of it! Our days and months are filled with trying to make monthly payments avoid phone calls from creditors, and not being able to do what we want to do because we don’t have “enough money”. We don’t want our family to live this way anymore, so we are going to change it!

What could we do if we weren’t in debt? We could take our kids on a Disney cruise. I could buy a cello and learn how to play it. We could take our friends out to lunch, or buy a meal for the person behind us in the drive-through. These are just a few of the things we’d like to be able to do with our lives. That is the way we want to live, not frustrated, depressed, and exhausted.

This blog is a chronicle of our family’s quest to get rid of our debt. I know our family isn’t the only one in this situation, but it’s a hard thing to talk about. I’m not a financial expert; I’m learning as I go. I don’t have advice to give – only experiences. I hope you’ll follow along on our journey to get out of this mess. Give us advice, criticism, opinion – I want to hear it! Maybe we can encourage each other to do the hard stuff it takes to make a better life for our family and our children.

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15 Responses to “Down with Debt!”

  1. Brave! I look forward to reading this. You'll find no judgement from me. We've been putting off School loans for a long time. Maybe we should go Occupy somewhere and make the government or wealthy people help us out…or possibly just get tazered.

    • admin says:

      Josh, thanks for your support! It's a little scary just laying it all out there, but J & I need all the support we can get right now. :) If you find somewhere to "Occupy", be sure and let me know. I can at least come for the day…sounds like a nice vacation. Hahahahaha.

  2. Hey, good luck! It's a hard path but definitely worth it. I'm sure you've heard me rave and rave about Dave Ramsey and Financial Peace University. Definitely check it out if you haven't already. It was through this 13 week class that we were able to FINALLY get a handle on our spending and debt. We've now been debt free for a year and a half. No more credit cards. We're saving for college and retirement. We live within our means, on a strict budget but are free-er than we've ever been. We have 3-6 months living expenses saved up in the bank. It's a wonderful feeling. I can't express that enough to anyone looking to get out of debt. It helped our marriage and took this huge cloud off that was hanging over us. We didn't even realize how much. We were, ahem, 30K in credit card debt. I'm so embarrassed to admit that! But, that's how bad we were! Again, good luck! I look forward to following your journey.

    • admin says:

      Thanks, Melissa – I appreciate you braving the embarrassment and sharing your story. That's right about where we are and it is SO encouraging to know that other people have been where we are and made it to the other side!

  3. Lindsay,

    Waylon and I are right there with you and Jeremy! In fact, this blog could be about us as well! We have a TON of debt right now which includes my credit card debt that I brought with me and then both our student loans and a car payment. It all totals around $40k and that's after I've paid off half of the 15k in credit card debt that I had alone. We've paid quite a bit off over the past year but not nearly as much as we should have. It's a hard road with lots of tough lessons. We also went through Dave Ramsey's FPU class and unfortunately didn't put those ideas into proactice until we were barely scraping by and HAD to have a budget or risk overdrawing our account every week. Now that I'm not working things are a LOT tighter so I have a very strict budget we adhere to and unfortunately there isn't any left over to send extra towards debt. I am just hoping that we really learn all the valuable and important lessons we need to learn now and get out of debt and never get back into it! We don't own a house yet, we rent from my dad, so that's a purchase we will be waiting to make when we have gotten out of debt and have at least a 20% down payment on one. Feels like it's going to be forever before we get there but I believe God is going to bless us if we are faithful to be good stewards from here on out. And I believe He's going to bless you guys as well! I look forward to following along your journey and sharing ours with you as well!

    • admin says:

      Thanks, Stephanie – I appreciate your encouragement and transparency. I know we're not alone, but it's still a very difficult thing to grapple with. Thanks for your support.

  4. Jody Lee says:

    I'm rooting for you. We got out of debt but aren't doing very well saving. Our monthly expenses take almost all of it. I miss buying the kids little things, but you can only do what you can do. It will be worth the hard work when you get to the end of the line and can yell "WE'RE DEBT FREE!!!".

  5. Ashley Cox says:

    Hey Lindsay. Good luck in all of this! It is hard, but absolutely worth it. I did FPU in the summer of 2010 and it made a huge difference for me. Following the buget was the hardest part but it seems to have the biggest payoff. It has taken me a little while because I'm doing it on my own with only one income, but I now have an emergency fund and my only debt is $900 on my student loan. One of the coolest things about becoming a good steward over your finances is being able to see God's blessing in unexpected places; a surprise job promotion, a random check in the mail, the sacrifce of a friend. I have lost count of all the little things that God has used to remind me that He is my provider and my security.

    I know you guys can do it! I will keep you in my prayers. Love you!

    • admin says:

      Ashley, thanks so much for sharing! You're definitely my hero! Thanks for the prayers and encouragement – they mean so much.

  6. Leanne says:

    Lindsay, hang in there. It will be tough but well worth it in the end. We are out of debt except for helping the boys with their student loans but we are like Dad and Jody. We are having trouble saving anything. We keep harping on this subject with the boys and I think they get it. We will be praying and cheering you on.

  7. Kooz says:

    Have you considered bankruptcy? Seriously. Forget the stigma, and forget that it ruins your credit (credit is your problem at this point anyway).

    • admin says:

      Actually, we have considered it. If we felt like we couldn't fix the problem, it might be an option for us, but honestly – at this point we feel morally obligated to repay the money we borrowed if we can at all do so.

      Still, you have a valid point, and I'm doing a little research on the subject.

  8. [...] Downs With Debt, a new personal finance blog, opens with a post that explains why she decided to start a blog that chronicles her family’s journey out of [...]

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