Every Day

I Was Just Thinking………………

I was just thinking how nice it is to have no debt. Sure we use our credit cards so that we can earn rewards points and cash back. But those credit card balances get paid in full every month. It is so nice to be stress free and not have to worry about money.

What brought this to mind this weekend is that a friend was telling me how they will always be in debt and never get it paid off. She told me that we are very lucky to have no debt. Comments like that get my dander up.

Luck had nothing to do with it. It was a lot of hard work to get where we are today. It was years of careful spending and not spending beyond our means. We didn’t buy a lot of stuff that “The Jones” thought was necessary to buy all of the time.

We were careful with our money because we knew we wanted to retire earlier than 65. My Hubby’s parents died at young ages and never really got to enjoy a retirement. Hubby wanted a few years in retirement. We will be retired 18 years in August. Amazing how quickly that has flown by.

You too can have a good retirement if you plan properly and pay off your mortgage, pay off your credit card debt, and pay cash for your cars.

Many seniors are living pretty well in retirement on just social security because they paid off all of their debt before they retired. I can’t stress that enough. 

After you pay off that debt, plan for emergencies instead of charging things. Things will break and have to be repaired. Cars don’t last forever. Homes need repairs and taxes are always an expense as long as you own a home.

I don’t think that people think about the real cost of credit card debt. They go out to dinner and spend $50. and put that and another $10. for the tip on their card. Then they don’t pay it in full when the bill comes due. They repeat it over and over again whether it be dinner out or clothing, or anything else that they want. They are paying exorbitant interest rates. They don’t thing about the true cost of that dinner that they didn’t pay in full or all of the other things they charge. That dinner didn’t really cost them $60. It costs them the interest on it until they actually pay it off. That can take months if you are only paying minimum payments. That dinner ends up costing them a small fortune.

Mortgage interest rates are a lot cheaper so that is the last thing you should pay off. Pay the credit cards and the car loan and when those are done, pay extra every month on the principal of your mortgage loan. It is truly amazing how many thousands of dollars in interest you can save by paying it off years early.

When you have the car loan paid off, start saving that same payment in an investment vehicle so that when you need a car again, you have the cash.

All of this is not rocket science people. It is pretty straight forward. Do you have to sacrifice? Yes, if you truly want to get rid of your debt! But a lot of people I believe do not want to do the hard work to get rid of it. They don’t want to cut expenses or make more income to do it.  

I have actually had people tell me that they deserve to go out to dinner a few times a week, go to the movies or concerts or whatever else they pay to do, because they worked hard. No one deserves anything that they can’t pay cash for. If you are spending your paychecks before you get them, you are headed for trouble in the long run. And some day it will catch up with you.

This may sound harsh to you but sometimes people need a reminder about how they are ruining their lives.

Since I have been blogging(over 12 years) I have had many people write me to say they just paid off their homes and it was the last debt they had. They cannot believe how freeing it is to own everything and not owe the bank. We had one reader who has become a good friend pay off hers recently. I was so proud of her and her husband and so happy for them.

There is another reader who has paid off “a ton of debt” and is now working on paying off their home. I love watching her progress. They will get there sooner than they think.

We are coming up on the month of June. By the end of that month, half the year will be gone. How many of you made resolutions to pay off your debt and haven’t been actively working on it? It is never to late to start. Start right away. Cut those expenses and put the money you save on your debt each month.

I would love for all of you to be debt free. That is one of the reasons that I have blogged for over 12 years. If I can help just one person, all of the time that I have spent blogging is worth it.  

4 replies on “I Was Just Thinking………………”

Hi AD, this is Chris. You are so right about how it feels so good to be debt free. And, I want you to know that with your last paragraph, that I am definitely one person that you have helped to be debt free. I appreciate so much the counsel you have given me through the years, and especially this past year when we were getting close to paying off our house. And, you had taken some time off from blogging when your hubby was sick and I was sick at the same time, but we kept the course and I was so glad when you were blogging again and I found you. I can't believe I have been following you for over 10 years now (since 2008).

This was a good article you wrote today and I hope all of your readers will be debt free in good time. It really is the best feeling.

We are working on our mortgage debt (we're in the bay area, so it's a HUGE mortgage), but we keep working at it. We have no consumer debt. We make a lot, but we save a lot, and we prioritize experiences with our family. We clean our own house, maintain our own yard, try to make eating out a real splurge vs a weekly habit, etc. We do travel, particularly to see family & for special occasions. We budget, look for the best deals, and also have some side hustles going. We are a few years from one of us being able to try something new (quit, work at a lower paying job, etc) & this something I'm taking three months off to spend with the family. I need the recharge for my health (I have lupus), so this is something we budgeted & planned for. I can't imagine being able to do any of this with debt.

Hi Hawaii Planner,

Yeah, on no consumer debt! I love that you are working on the mortgage. I so hope you enjoy your 3 months off when you get there. Thanks for sharing all of your great things that you do.

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