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How To Earn Financial Freedom: My Story
I have a few goals for this hub that I'd like to throw out there at the beginning. My overall goal is, of course, to gain financial freedom. But how am I going to do that? I'm going to try out a few things I found at christianpf.com, a few things I found on my own, and some things from the scriptures. This is going to be a long, hard road to get out of debt, stay out of debt, and have the freedom to do and be what I want, when I want, and how I want to. I invite all my readers to join along on the journey, or watch and see, but I have faith that with determination and help from the Lord, I can do anything. This is my story. I hope you enjoy it.
How Much Debt Do You Have? (Excluding Mortgage)
I'm going to start off by listing off the debt I currently am a slave to, and hopefully sooner than later, the debt that will be paid off. Not many people are willing to do this, and I hope my sacrifice up front pays for itself in the end.
- I have a mortgage of about 137,000.
- Two cars of which the total debt adds up to about 22,000.
- Two credit cards adding up to 6,000.
- And, finally, student loans adding up to about 10,000.
Total debt: $175,000.
Average yearly income: $39,242 before taxes.
Other sources of income: Hubpages $18
Typing out these numbers, I see that this seems like kind of a daunting task, but keep in mind that I'm going to focus on paying everything except for my mortgage.The amount I'm going to attack is $38,000. I will cover what I'm going to do with the mortgage later. I can do it. I'm tired of being a slave.
Ways to Get Out of Debt
If you do a simple Google search online, you will come across many "Get Rich Quick" schemes and ideas of how to make a mountain of debt disappear in almost no time. I'm here to tell you, none of these work. Now, don't discount the fact that there are some ways to speed up the process, but by no means will you become rich over night. There are two plans that I'm going to use a hybrid of:
- The Dave Ramsey Debt Snowball Plan
- The Automatic Millionaire One Step Plan
These plans can definitely help you achieve financial freedom.
Dave Ramsey's Debt Snowball
I'm not going to go into full depth of Dave Ramsey's plan, but the debt snowball is an ingenious idea. You take all your debts and line them up from smallest to largest. Then you start your debt snowball by throwing as much money as you can at the smallest debt until it's paid off, while still paying the minimum payment on all other bills. Then, you take the payment amount from the next larger bill and add what you were paying on the smallest bill to that. In essense, starting a debt snowball that eventually ends with you throwing a huge amount of money at your final, largest debt.
This is the plan that I have chosen to follow because it makes sense for the type of person I am. If I see bills getting paid off I'm more likely to keep working hard at it, instead of getting discouraged on the other hand.
The Automatic Millionaire
This book's bright idea of the day is that you should pay yourself first, instead of other people. I'm going to envelope this idea and tweak it to work with the Dave Ramsey Plan hand in hand. Right now I have 5% of my paycheck going to savings. After I pay off $10,000 of debt, that will raise to 7.5%, and will keep raising by 2.5% as I pay off each $10,000 chunk. This will start to slow down the snowball a little bit, but at the same time will be building up my savings and emergency fund, which I will cover in the next section. The biggest thing to take from this section is that you need to start saving for retirement no matter what age you're at, and you can do that while getting out of debt.
I don't know about you, but I like knowing that I have a safety net to fall back on. Another part of Dave Ramsey's plan is to have a $1,000 emergency fund before you start your debt snowball. So, in essence, my snowball is going to start with this emergency fund. After I save the $1,000, I will start pounding out on my smallest bill. I would suggest you do this too. There is never a worse feeling than knowing you just emptied your bank account to pay extra on your bills and realizing you don't have enough money to replace a battery that went bad in your car. This may be a bad example since not everyone's car battery is going to die, but you should get the concept. Save up an emergency fund before you start the snowball.
Do You Think You Can Get Out of Debt?
If You Need Help
If you want a little bit of extra help or a better explanation of anything, feel free to email me. My email is firstname.lastname@example.org. I'm avaliable most hours of the day, and though I can't give legal or financial advice as an expert, I can give you my opinion and experience and help YOU make a decision. Thanks for reading. I hope you enjoyed.
I have been working on my finances for the past month since I started writing this article, and I have made some great headway. I sold a few things to help get my bills to a more managable amount, and now I've mixed the Debt Snowball idea with the Automatic Millionaire Idea. Here's the update on my debt:
- I still have a mortgage of about 137,000. (We haven't had to start making payments yet.)
- I sold one of my cars which was giving me problems, bringing my total debt for one vehicle down to 16,500.
- I have paid off about $150 toward my credit cards, bringing the total to 5,850.
- And, finally, the student loans have not had any payments, leaving them at about 10,000. (We paid cash for books and used grants to pay for the new semester. So no new debt was added.)
Total debt: $169,350
Amount paid off: $5,650
Average yearly income: $39,242 before taxes.
Other sources of income: Hubpages $31.50
Even though it may not seem like a HUGE amount of money paid off keeping in mind that I sold a car, it has released about $300 worth of monthly payments. I will use that to keep the debt snowball rolling and pay off my next smallest debt. I hope this is motivating to you. It's happening faster than expected because of that car, but I'm glad that I could be blessed enough to be able to show you that taking over your financial freedom is definitely worth it. I already feel so much better knowing that I have $300 that I can fall back on if I need to.
I wrote a few hubs a little while back that can help people get out of debt. (Or earn money to help lose debt.) Check these out for more info!
Not only does reading these hubs help you out in the long run, they help me out to be able to keep blogging ;). Thanks for the reads and any link backs you give me!