Why do you think it was so easy to fall into the debt trap?
“The number one reason that we create debt is simply because we favor instant gratification over long-term financial health.
It’s easy to overspend when we don’t have a open and honest relationship with our money or with ourselves. It’s easy to rent cash from VISA and to pretend to afford things.
Many of us fear money, bills, and our financial futures. We create a dysfunctional relationship with our money, our work and our assets. We become paralyzed and stuck. And we end up avoiding this part of our lives and this creates even more debt.”
What was the defining moment that made you realize that you needed to get out of debt?
“It wasn’t until the end of 2009 that I really realized what I had done to myself. The enormity of living beyond on my means for so many years. The dysfunctional relationship I had with money. My habit of minimizing and justifying and pretending.
It took losing my ass on both of my houses, being broke for a year, waiting to be saved by balloon payment and then realizing that it was gone. The reality of what I owed and what I was going to need to do to turn my financial life around finally hit me.
I made a vow. Stop using credit cards. Stop renting money. Live within my means. And pay off debt. For reals. I made a commitment to myself to get out of debt and never go back. ”
What obstacles did you have to overcome in paying off your debt?
I was going through a divorce. A newly single mom with a 6 year old trying to make sense out of our new life. I had two properties to sell during the real-estate crash of 2009.
A balloon payment for a previous business I owned ended up falling through. And my current business tanked the same year. Brought to my knees, learning humility the hard way, ended up taking on 3 jobs to get through it.
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)
A little under 3 years.
What’s your best tip for someone finally want to get out of debt?
Learn the value of cash. It’s easy to go into debt if you don’t have a close relationship with money. If you don’t understand the value of a dollar.