This might be the dweebiest thing I’ve done yet, but I made a video of me paying off my last non-mortgage debt.
Sorry about all the gum-chewing and smacking! Eww! Also apparently I’m a slow-talker? Skip ahead to 1:20 to see the “moment of truth”.
I was inspired by Kate to make this video, because she made one when she paid off her car loan.
Debt is an important thing to think about, yet it can be one of the hardest things to face. It’s easy to make the minimum (or close to the minimum) payment and tell yourself it’s fine, it’s just part of life. But it doesn’t have to be a part of life forever! I encourage you to read Total Money Makeover by Dave Ramsey, or Millionaire Next Door, or Rich Dad Poor Dad, or some other book that tells you that you can be different. You don’t have to keep making minimum payments on your debts so that you have more cash on-hand to keep up with the Joneses. One of my favorite Dave sayings that my friends are tired of hearing is, “Don’t keep up with the Joneses; they’re broke!”
Of course everyone’s situation is different, and it’s a good idea to have some cash on-hand for emergencies (otherwise when something goes wrong- and it will- you’ll just end up further in debt) but I think we need to ask ourselves why we’re holding on to our debts. Is it really because we have no other option? Or is it because we’d rather spend that extra money (either monthly or one-time) on something else?
I completely understand that the economy is bad, and a lot of people are unemployed or underemployed and paying off debts quickly is simply not an option right now. I really do get that.
But I’m talking to people who start to do alright for themselves and still hold on to debts because they just can’t quite pull the trigger and release that money from their bank accounts (guilty), or they justify it because the interest rate is low (guilty) or they want to continue to go out to restaurants (guilty) and generally live the life that an employed twentysomething is “supposed” to live (guilty).
But I’m not the expert. Check out Dave’s seven baby steps, because he has an excellent plan for getting out of debt and living an awesome life. (He encourages people to “live like no one else, so that later you can live like no one else.) And no, Dave is not paying me to rave about him so much. We’re just really good friends now!