How did you acquire $70,000 in debt? What did that debt consist of?
Our $70,000 of debt was $60,000 in student loans, and the rest was a couple of cars and a small credit card.
What did it feel like to have that much debt?
It felt like a huge burden to have that much debt. You feel like a slave and you feel like all of your hard work and time is spent trying to pay off your master – the lender. I compared it to someone who is trying to lose weight, the excess weight is your debt, and you have to carry around this burden until you decide to make a choice to change. I talk about it more in this video around the 1 minute 30 second mark:
How long did it take you to pay it all off?
To pay off all of our debts, it took us 2 years and 10 months, and this included the time and cost to bring a new baby into this world! We found out we were expecting our second child the day after we decided to commit to becoming debt free.
What resources did you use to help you through this process?
We followed the Dave Ramsey Total Money Makeover to get us through this process. Throughout this process my wife and I realized that we wanted a more minimalistic life, so we decided to go on a selling spree to help us pay off the debt. We used Craigslist, eBay, and other sites to sell many different things online. I also discovered that I could bring scrap metal to a local scrap yard and make extra cash that way too. Here’s a video of a scrap yard run:
Did you face any challenges along the way?
Challenges that we faced along the way always seem to deal with staying motivated throughout the 2 year and 10 months. One of the ways that I stayed motivated was to keep myself accountable by making YouTube videos on our channel, TheFunnyrats. Also creating goal thermometers helped to see how our debt free progress was coming along.
How did this affect your marriage?
Paying off our debt has made our marriage even stronger than it was before. We became better at communication and at both of us knowing where our money is going.
What were you doing for a living while you were paying off the debt?
My wife is a school teacher and I am a video content creator on YouTube.
How did it feel once you paid it all off?
To know that you have all your debts paid off is a feeling unlike any other. I have seen people cry when they become debt free and I have seen people rejoicing. In my case, I was in denial at first because I couldn’t believe it, but when we went to the Dave Ramsey Show in Nashville, and did our debt free scream on his radio show LIVE, it took away all of those doubts, and I knew that I could now truly live free! Here’s the video of our debt free scream:
What practical tips do you have for people looking to pay off their debt?
If you want to pay off your debts and become debt free, you have to know that it will take time and work. It usually does not happen overnight; the people who are debt free have been working at paying off their debts for months if not years. Also you have to know why you want to become debt free. We all know the how (make extra money and pay your debts off), but to have a reason WHY you are going to sacrifice to make this a reality is what is going to drive you to make it to the end. Our why is because we want to be able to have the freedom to do the things that we love and not have to spend our money paying our masters because we are slaves to them. Find your WHY and you will become very focused and intense on paying off your debts!
To learn more about Lane and his family’s journey out of debt, you can follow their journey at http://youtube.com/TheFunnyrats .
Note: This is part of a series called “Debt Success Stories” which features people who were able to pay off a significant amount of debt. If you have a Debt Success Story I would love to hear about it. Please visit the contact page to let me know the details.