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I Was An American Fool

Updated on March 28, 2010

Story of debt

There are many things that we can do to keep out of debt. It seems like most of Americans today are in some sort of debt. They have a big Mortgage, car payment , credit card bills and the list goes on and on. Sometimes we can feel like we are running around dead end corners trying to catch up. It is so easy to get behind on our non essential items. You may be saying to yourself that I am crazy and you are in dept with the things that you really need and that they are essential items.

I was twenty five, had three credit cards, I was paying double the payment, my credit rating was great. I thought I had it all worked out. Living the American dream of paying with credit I was buying stuff like crazy, but I figured even if I had a month where I was struggling I would be able to pay at least the minimum. Suddenly I found myself without a job. I found myself being a single full time dad (which by the way I love) but it was hard and I was not able to pay the minimum payment on my credit cards. A few months went by and with the late fees and the credit cards wanting all of their money up front I thought that my financial future was finished with late fees and interest. I owed triple my credit limit. I was getting hounded from calls from people I owed money to. It was hell or as close to it as I thought I could be.

I decided to change my life around. I called my credit friends and made deals with them to lower what was owed. I was able to pay off my dept for a fraction of what I owed. I was able to get most of the interest knocked off all by my lonesome. I decided that if I could not afford to buy an item without cash it was not worth having.

I own my truck. It is a 1997 ford f-250 heavy duty. I picked it up for 1800 bucks on ebay. It has been a wonderful vehicle and has been very good to me. I own my furniture. I do not make monthly payments. I own a nice 32' hd tv. I own a Wii, Playstation 3,Playstation 2 all paid cash for and I work part time from home and do not make huge bucks, People who know what I make wonder how I can do what I do.

I have told quite a few people about how I only purchase something if I have the cash and they say, well, who could afford to buy a house in cash. Ok, I have to give it to you that most people cannot afford to go spend cash on a house. I purchased my house on ebay for $25,000. The seller was selling it contract for deed so I put $2500 down and $275 per month at 10% interest houses rent in this area for $500 or more per month. People told me that I am crazy for paying this kind of interest. My house will be paid off in 15 yrs and will cost me $34000 and the house is valued at $60000. So in my eyes I am still getting one heck of a deal. You could purchase a $250000 dollar house, you are going to spend a big chunk of your hard earned money on it and when hard times come you could end up with the bank owning your house.

It does not matter how much money you make you make 15000-or-150000 a year the choice is yours if you want to be debt free.

How can you do this, it is easy, it does take a little self control but besides that fairly easy. Choose how much you would like to spend on a car for example $2700 so you save the money, put aside every month what you can afford until you have saved up for the car you want. Do not touch the saved money whatsoever or you will not succeed because there will always be things coming up.. Do what you have to do to save that $2700 if you have to ride your bike to work, carpool with a friend, or walk, do it. You will soon have the car you are wanting. Same thing for every thing else like a tv, furniture, what ever you want, save the money and I tell you, you will feel more happy in life.

Emergency's always come up and they always will, so this is what I do. I take my earnings over the month and put 15% directly into my savings account. This money is only to be used for emergency's only: for example your water heater goes out, that would be a good reason to use your emergency fund. Not if you need a new hair cut, that could seem like an emergency but it is not.

I hope this article was informative and hope it can help some of you out there struggling with debt like I was. Now I lead more of a stress free life, and I can enjoy life. I may not own the biggest or nicest things but I can be happy and content with life.


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    • dpfitzell profile image

      dpfitzell 8 years ago from North Dakota

      Thank you all for your wonderful comments.

    • Rochelle Frank profile image

      Rochelle Frank 8 years ago from California Gold Country

      You learned your lesson early and well. It is easy for people to fall into a hole when they are not looking at the 'whole' picture. Glad you were able to get back on track. Your son won't have to learn the hard way if he can see what you were able to do.

    • Faybe Bay profile image

      Faye Constantino 8 years ago from Florida

      Inspirational! My brother actually saved up enough change over the years to put his down payment on a house, stayed two years, doubled the worth and sold it moving to California. I thought it could no longer be done the way he did. You have proven me wrong. Thanks for the info! Truly inspirational!

    • profile image

      raesmith4 8 years ago

      great concept