Page 2 of 2 FirstFirst 12
Results 11 to 20 of 20

Thread: Life after debt?

  1. #11
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2015
    Posts
    1,050
    Oh we were living the American dream in the 80s. Taught well by DH's parents. Cars, house, lots of credit card debt. (Do you remember interest rates back then?_ Until we crashed and nearly had to declare bankruptcy. I got mad and said "no way, I can't do that". So we stressed and slogged our way through it. I took a ton of surgery call to pay it down. Stress, stress, stress. No going out. No vacations. Nothing extra. We both went to college for a long time. Paid cash along the way (did I say I took extra call?)

    Life was all stress and no fun at all. By 1994 (when my Dad died and I realized how truly short life can be), we had dug out of all consumer debt and "only" had mortgage and 2 car payments. No, we really hadn't yet learned to save and pay cash.

    Then I "met" YMOYL in 1999. i did the homework and DH said he would "go along" but hates to read. We committed to save and pay cash for what we wanted.

    Forward to 2010. 2 homes owned/paid off. All debt repayment $ going to savings and retirement. Build our 18month emergency fund. Vacation? Sure, pay cash. New car in 2016? Yup, wrote a check. I love my C300 and not a moment of buyer's remorse.

    Life is relaxed. The BIGGEST difference. One of us could quit our job tomorrow-no problem. We could both quit if we really wanted to. We would need to increase our frugality but it's totally doable. So work is somehow more enjoyable and that is so awesome! It's easier to get up and go because we don't have to. Does that make sense? We can take an impromptu trip with ease. (we went to our college bowl game last year-dropped a small fortune and enjoyed every minute of the 60 hours we were gone).

    Oddly, we wanted everything in the 80s (you know, that damn Jones thing). Now that we can have it, we don't want it.

    Yes, life is most definitely different. The 80s and 90s were painful and stressful. The 2010s are fun and relaxed with no needs or wants.

    Someone here years ago said, "Now that I can afford broccoli, I'd rather grow it". That line has always stuck with me.

  2. #12
    Senior Member iris lilies's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Posts
    13,215
    Gardnr that is a GREAT story! Just what UL is looking for, no doubt.

    We never had debt as a married couple, owned our house free and clear, but in order to do that we lived in a partially finished rennovated Victorian house. We had no electricity in about half of the rooms when we moved in, for instance. We had subflooring for 10 years. I lived with plaster dust flying around for several years and every day took dishes off the shelf, wiped off the plaster dust, and used the dish. House started in 1989, finished in 2011. It was our 5 year project that took 20 years.

    DH stopped paid work for 6 months to make our house minimally habitable to move in. Back in those days our city didnt require an occupancy permit for our neighborhood because we had lobbied the Aldermanic Board for an exemption. A lot of people in our neighborhood were classic Urban Pioneers who take a 100 year old house and renovate it, and living in it while renovating made it affordable. That also slowed down renovation, haha.

    Anyway, I suppose it was “stressful” to live with ladders and construction equipment in my living room for a decade. I just remember loving to escape to the homes of our friends who had finished houses.

    Those years also make me appreciate my living room now. It is beautiful! I have elegant crown molding! I love sitting in that room.

    An unfinished Victorian house isnt debt, but it is an asset that is difficult to sell. There were years where we were “upside down” in that we had more $ in our house than we could get out of it. That is part of the risk and adventure of being a pioneer—can you finish the house before you get divorced? Haha.

  3. #13
    Senior Member rosarugosa's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Eastern Massachusetts
    Posts
    3,762
    Life after debt allowed me to retire somewhat early and allowed DH to downshift to part time employment.

  4. #14
    Senior Member SteveinMN's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Saint Paul, Minnesota
    Posts
    5,114
    Quote Originally Posted by Teacher Terry View Post
    Steve, we have found good deals on repositioning cruises because they don’t want to take the ship empty.
    Our honeymoon cruise was a repositioning cruise. We loved it! The cabins are low-priced, but you do often end up spending more on airfare because it's not a roundtrip. Last-minute cruises are similar -- the cabin is cheap but sometimes last-minute airfare is not. It's all got to work out to what you are willing to pay.

    In next year's case, we're going with friends so the actual cruise has been chosen (and is not a repositioning trip), but we're waiting on booking until it gets closer to the price we want to pay (probably early next year). We have no special needs or interests beyond being with our friends and seeing the sights.
    Success is to be measured not so much by the position that one has reached in life as by the obstacles which he has overcome. - Booker T. Washington

  5. #15
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Posts
    3,462
    Up to and throughout most of our 30s, DH and I had a sizable mortgage, car loans and credit card debt. Lost our jobs and house in the 80s during that recession and hit rock bottom. Sometime in the 90s, I read the Amy Daczysn books and caught the voluntary simplicity bug. Received a small inheritance and changed our ways. Slowly paid off the remaining debts, lived frugally and saved all the while. Fast forward...sold our last house for 3x what we paid for it and used the profit to buy a house for cash and the rest to savings. Get by with one paid for Honda in excellent shape and continue to live frugally. There is a great feeling of relief/freedom knowing that our house is paid for and that our needs are more than met. And gratitude for finally being in a better place financially.

  6. #16
    Senior Member Ultralight's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2015
    Location
    Columbus, OH
    Posts
    9,188
    I feel sometimes like I need to imagine, envision, life after debt to keep me on track.

    But I also feel like my imaginings and my visions are usually vague or perhaps unrealistic.

    How much did you envision of your life after debt while you were digging yourself out?
    “I came from a real tough neighborhood. I put my hand in some cement and felt another hand." -- Rodney Dangerfield

  7. #17
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Posts
    3,462
    I don't think I was looking into the far off future when we were trying to get out of debt. I was thinking about next year or at the most 2 or 3 years. It wasn't until I was in my late 40s-early 50s that I realized that I really wanted to retire before I got too old to enjoy all that free time. It is so hard to visualize being old when you are young.

  8. #18
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Posts
    3,468
    My 40th birthday, I payed off the house and the next month was debt free. (owed $300 on the credit card which I pay off monthly)
    I do go into debt often, by using that, and do agree I sleep differently when I have no debt then when I do. (worry about the mail/bills delivered to the wrong address, etc) Having no debt allows one to breath easier and you feel less guilty when there is something you want to do. Less stressful.

    That said, so what is your plan if the debt isn't forgiven and are you verified in that program?

  9. #19
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Posts
    226
    My considerable debt was a $200,000 mortgage and wife’s $60,000 student loan. Both are paid off. It feels really great to pay bills with no worries

  10. #20
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Posts
    4,545
    I think debt is just one part of a more complicated strategic problem of maintaining liquidity, reducing overhead and developing income sources. There are a lot of moving parts. It’s been said here before, but this is one area where our educational system isn’t doing a very good job.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •