Jeff & Robin Ehrlich
Why do you think it was so easy to fall into the debt trap?
It was so easy to get credit cards, buy new cars and refinance your home. We never had an emergency fund and a “You know about it” savings account. We also were never on a “Spend every Penny” budget. I guess you could say we wanted to stay up with the Joneses (Who we found out were broke)
What was the defining moment that made you realize that you needed to get out of debt?
When I read the “Total Money Makeover” by Dave Ramsey and when Robin and I started teaching his “Financial Peace University” class. At tax time 6 years ago we realized we were spending $1.22 for every dollar we made because of credit card debt and our HELOC. Each year we were getting further in debt and we needed to make a change in our financial fitness if we were going to retire in dignity.
It was an ATTITUDE we both had.
We sacrificed and became disciplined. I still drive my 1999 Camry and my wife still drives our 2004 Ford Explorer and considering we had 37 cars in our 1st 25 years of marriage (have been married 38 years) that is quite an accomplishment since I had an addiction for car lots and the smell of leather. We also are now in the 60/40 club (We give, save and invest 60% of our income and live on 40%) Much less stress than the $1.22 club!! – It is easy to do when all debt is paid off including your mortgage.
What obstacles did you have to overcome in paying off your debt?
College for both of our children, Weddings for both of our children and unexpected emergencies. (Thank the good Lord for the Emergency fund) Also resisting the temptation to buy another car..
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)
6 years (just pd. off mortgage)
What’s your best tip for someone who finally wants to get out of debt?
- Have the right attitude (You have to want to get out of debt)
- Work TOGETHER with your spouse or get a financial fitness partner to help on your journey.
- Get a $1000 Emergency Fund immediately and $2000 if you earn over $100K.
- Set up a “”Spend every Penny”" budget
- Start your “”DEBT DESTRUCTION”" program
- Get your home office organized
- Start eating at home…
- Lastly, Cut up the credit cards NOW and STOP charging..