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What is your background with debt and how did you conquer the financial obstacles in your life?
I started with debt in college, risking my financial future on the guarantee of a good paying job. I had a couple of small limit credit cards, student loans, and a car loan waiting on me when I graduated (Mom and Dad handed over the payments).
I spent 3 years post-college letting credit card debt stick around (I didn’t know any better to care about the 20% interest). Thankfully it wasn’t too much and when I decided to pay it all off and never carry a balance again it didn’t take too long. The student loans and car notes stayed with me longer though.
Although at smaller interest rates, the payments and interest paid over the years wasn’t great for my long-term financial health. I’m now debt-free except for the mortgage and loving it. I attribute my success to good ole living within my means and looking for ways to bring in more income. Next step is to get rid of the mortgage debt.
How did you discover you had a desire to help other people overcome their debt problems?
When I was doing things like getting married and saving for a house, I started consuming a lot of personal finance information/advice for my own sake. At some point, I got tired of just consuming, and decided to start contributing my own spin on personal finance tips.
I found that having a CPA (with some tax experience) helped to round out my voice and give me a platform to connect with people looking for the information I was putting together. It’s been fun and rewarding to make an impact simply by sharing my on spin on money.
What is your WHY behind wanting to be a sponsor of the Debt Movement?
I think it’s a great idea. As a group we’re far better off if we’re moving in a positive direction with our finances. The debt movement is inspiring so many people to take action. I want to be a part of that success and help increase the excitement about the movement.
What’s the biggest hurdle you see people face when they first decide to pay off debt?
I see a lot of people start and then stop their efforts. To keep the momentum going you need to visibly track your progress. I recommend a simple pen and paper approach to your debts.
List them out. Put them on the fridge. Cross them off when you get them paid off, one by one. Taking this small step approach will give you little rewards along the way. Which is much easier than trying to wait to some big party after it’s all paid off.
What’s your number one piece of advice to help people stay out of debt for good?
Learn to be content with relationships, experiences, and all the other stuff money can’t really buy. If you’re looking for fulfillment through the purchase of things, you’ll always need another “fix”.
At some point, you’re just going to have to say enough is enough and I’m fine with what I have. Even lottery winners have to say this at some point.
PT Money is one of the Debt Movement’s Silver Sponsors, and is one of the top personal finance blog owned and manage by Phil Taylor. The blog helps out people by giving personal finance tips and a place to share their thoughts about money and personal finance matters.