Becoming an Enemy of Debt w/ Brad Chaffee

Brad ChaffeeName

Brad Chaffee

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Why do you think it was so easy to fall into the debt trap?

“I think it’s a combination of financial illiteracy, peer pressure, and not taking the time to consider how the decisions we make now will affect us in the future for starters.

It’s easy to be irresponsible with a credit cards and it’s even easier to just make the minimum payments. Personally, I think the debt trap begins at the very moment we are told to build our credit score.

Add to that excellent marketing, a need to keep up with our peers, and a lack of financial principles ”

What was the defining moment that made you realize that you needed to get out of debt?

“We realized that we were spinning our wheels. We always seemed to have minimum payments which took bigger and bigger chunks out of our paychecks. After paying our credit cards down multiple times and watching the debt accumulate time after time we became very sick of this cycle.

We needed to change our mindset and that’s when we came across Dave Ramsey’s Total Money Makeover. It was perfect for us so we made it our New Year’s Resolution to start our Total Money Makeover in 2008.

This was by far one of the best decisions we have ever made!”

What obstacles did you have to overcome in paying off your debt?

“Well the biggest obstacle was actually making the decision to get out of debt. Once we began to look at debt differently and started putting things in place to help us start eliminating it, it was much easier to deal with. Not to say we didn’t struggle or have months where motivation was low.

We struggled a little with communication in the beginning. It’s important to be on the same page and when you are you can make great strides together. But when you’re not it can feel like you’re not getting anything done. We had to be honest with each other about what we wanted, why we wanted it, and how we were going to make it happen. Once we agreed on those things everything seemed to fall into place.”

How much total debt did you have?


How long did it take to pay off your debt? (If still paying on it, list how much you’ve paid in what time)

20 Months

What’s your best tip for someone finally want to get out of debt?

“Let go! Be Radical! Step out of your comfort zone! Do everything different!

When I say let go I mean, let go of your stuff. Selling things that we liked but didn’t need helped us pay off our debt in a big way. The problem most people have is that they want to get out of debt without sacrificing anything. The sacrifice is short-term but the pay off is HUGE!

We sold our car that had a $300 payment and bought a 86 Honda CRX. To most people that is radical. The bottom line is this. If you are doing the same thing you are going to get the same results.

Do something different and if you are uncomfortable then you’re probably headed in the right direction.”

Check out Some of Brad’s Awesome Posts on Debt

Consumer Debt: The Black Hole of Personal Finance

Your Financial Mindset Determines Your Ability To Handle Credit Cards

What Motivates You? (And Why it Matters!)