It’s been another month since we checked in with everyone participating in our Debt Free Challenge. It is hard to believe that in four months we’ll be at the end of the year. I am anxious to learn how much debt my readers were able to eliminate during 2011 – you have all done so great!
If you are new to the challenge, or if you want to read up on some past articles, you can find ALL of the Debt Free / Savings Challenge articles easily by heading here or by clicking the image in the side bar (same as the one at the top of this post). I really am passionate about living a debt free lifestyle and NOT depending upon the money of others (credit cards or otherwise) to help me live the life I want to live.
One thing that many of you may not realize is that one of our own Penny Pinchin’ Mom readers is involved in a one-on-one Financial Makeover with CommunityAmerica Credit Union. If you were not aware, CommunityAmerica believes in living a debt free life. They are willing to help anyone who needs it – even if you do not bank with them. Sure, I’ve shared lots of tips and am here to help, but that just may not be enough for your financial situation. I’d definitely check them out if you are looking for a little more assistance in achieving your financial goals.
I actually recently visited with our reader – Monica – about how things have gone and here’s what she shared with me:
1. How much debt has your family paid off since starting the program on January 1, 2011?
We have paid off over $12,000 in debt already this year. We paid off over $3,000 on a credit card and over $9,000 on our van.
2. What has been the biggest reward?
Our biggest reward has been the freedom to make choices. Now that we are debt free except for our house, we were able to decide to have me stay home with our kids. I am now able to be a fulltime Mom. This has been a huge advantage, getting rid of these payments has brought freedom to our family. Now I can stay home with our 4 wonderful newly adopted kids.
3. What has been your biggest challenge?
Our biggest challenge has been sticking to our budget when it would so much easier to just do the convenient thing. We have had to plan our lives out more. I pack my husbands lunch, we pack lunches when we go to park or the zoo, we get pop in a 24 pack rather than paying full price at a convenience store. We are now planning out our meals more too.
4. What advice do you have for someone getting started?
Make the decision today that you will incur no more debt. This is were it all begins. Then realize that this is a big issue that you must handle today. Don’t wait for the problem to get too big. Also realize no one will help you…This is something you must do for you and your family. This is your mess and you must work to get out of it. Once the ball gets rolling, you will be amazed at how easy it will become to completely turn around your finances…You will be glad you did.
I love what Monica shares – because I am sure so many of us can relate to her. Whether you are nearly debt free or just getting started, it is making the decision that this is what you want to do and sticking with it that is the key.
So, would you like to know how much debt has been paid off since January 1st?
If you wish to paritcipate, head on over to our debt free sheet — but please make sure that you only include what you have paid off already and not what you plan on paying off.
I truly can’t wait to see our end of year tally to learn what you all worked so very hard to do this year. Way to go!
(I am not a financial advisor and the information listed within these Debt Challenge posts is not to be construed a financial advice. This is knowledge we gained through our own personal experiences and information as outlined in Dave Ramsey’s Financial Makeover — and is being shared as such. Participants are not required to follow any steps listed if they do not wish to do so. Financial concerns/issues should be addressed with a professional in order to receive advice and assistance.)