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November 11, 2013

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Selena Malone

I've seen this recent movement of people posting about their journeys to financial freedom. Dave Ramsey's The Total Money Makeover: A Proven Plan for Financial Fitness, is a book frequently credited as an inspiration. Whatever the motivation is, it's nice to hear about the shift away from consumerism. Good luck and thanks for sharing this very personal matter with your followers.

Kathleen

Good for you, Katie! It's a hard lesson to learn, but it pays off big time in giving you options in your life. When S was offered a buyout which would let him retire early and keep health insurance for both of us, we did the math. Because we had been very careful about incurring debt, he was able to take the buyout even though it meant a tighter budget. Other employees had to turn down the offer and hope they weren't part of layoffs because they just owed too much money.

Katie

Selena - Thanks for reading! I'm excited about the increasing trend to pay off debt. I haven't picked up that book yet but I've had a couple people recommend it to me.

Katie

Kathleen - It's so important to retire when you can and enjoy life! Congrats to you both for putting yourselves in the position to take that opportunity when it came. I hope to follow in your footsteps someday...

Laura Ellsworth

LOVE this post! I'm currently in part two of my scheme to pay off all debt. After taking a second job I've been able to eliminate 17K of consumer debt and will hopefully slash my 23K of student loan debt by September of 2014. The community of those who are looking for financial autonomy is growing! It's so great to hear about your success.

Liam G

My wife and I are on the long strange trip to zero consumer debt (we do have some rental property debt, but the tenants are paying those bills). For us, we had a crazy 24 month period in our lives where we went from approximately $32,000 in consumer and student debt to zero (an unfortunate event in my life gave us the benefactor money you describe), we started a family, our income was cut in half and we (again) got caught in bright shiny consumer debt. This time, the debt ballooned to only $6,000 before the warning flares were fired off. I found a few blogs about frugal living (Mr. Money Mustache and Afford Anything are two of my favorites). We've cut expenses ($25/month for 'unlimited' smart phone plans), we've started cooking even more at home (we were avid cooks to begin with, we've just ratcheted it up a few notches) and we've started to direct every free cent at debt elimination. We are fortunate enough to have a net take home of $3300/month (currently). By directing every free penny towards debt elimination, we were able to pay off almost $2,800 this past month, even though we had 'fixed' expenses of almost $2,500. I'm not entirely sure how we were able to spend that much to reduce debt, but we did. We reduced our debt by more in the past month, than we did over the previous 5 months combined. We are trying to keep this momentum into the New Year. Once we are debt free (hopefully by mid-Jan), we are going to start directing most of our debt-pay-off money towards non-consumer debt (mortgages), or investments (future rental properties and/or stocks).

Katie

Wow! Liam that is such an inspiring story. I'm an avid MMM reader as well. I'll check out Afford Anything - I hadn't heard of that before. I think the hardest part is making the initial lifestyle changes and getting the momentum going. I try to look at it all like its a big game.. how little can I spend today? How much can we pay off this month? Thanks for reading! Keep us posted on your progress.

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