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I am single (never married) without children and I am winning with money by putting God first in every area of my life including my finances. I give 11% of my gross income to God. So here is how I am paying off my debt although we are in a recession.

First and foremost I pray and seek God’s help in showing me ways to be more frugal and he is faithful in doing so. God is so good!!

Second I had to change my mindset regarding debt and frugality. I believed debt was a necessary evil in our society until I read “The Total Money Makeover” by Dave Ramsey and “You’re Broke Because You Want To Be” by Larry Winget. I then began learning everything about how to implement frugality into my lifestyle. I read and reread book on this topic including: “The Tightwad Gazette” by Amy Dacyczyn, The Ultimate Cheapskates Road Map To True Riches by Jeff Yeager, The complete Cheapskate by Mary Hunt and “Living More With Less” by Doris Longacre.

OK, that being said I faced the ugly truth which was my total debt was $78,492 as of January 2008. My present debt balance is $23,915. Yes, I have paid off $54,577 in debt in the past 22 months. My net income is $62,000. No, I did not inherit any money, win the lotto, gamble at the casino and win or sell anything (car, land, house etc) instead I cut my budget to the core.

Housing and Utilities including cell phone: Constitute 12.5% of my net income. I rent a small one bedroom apartment in a gated community, I have a cell phone so I decided that I did not need home phone service, My apartment is all electric so I use fluorescent bulbs, only turn the Use box fans in the summer and only turn on the air conditioner on when the temperature goes over ninety degree. During the winter I put plastic on all windows, use window blankets at night, use a heating pad when sitting for long periods of time and turn off the heat at night.

Food: I only eat chicken and fish mixed with a lot of vegetarian meals I love beans and rice. I am allergic to wheat and milk. I eat small portions as obesity and diabetes runs in my family. I rarely go out to eat. I make everything from scratch. I do not buy junk food: candy, ice cream, soda, chips etc.

Holidays and Birthdays: I do not have any children however I do have over a dozen nieces and nephews. I spend $50 on Christmas which I give to my parents. I do not send/spend anything on the nieces/nephews for Christmas. I do give them $10 each for their birthdays. I make all of my own birthday cards/holiday cards at eight cents a piece.

Entertainment: I am an introvert and I enjoy my own company. I love to read, crochet, sew, attend events (concerts, sporting events etc) at my local community college. I do not own a television as I do not enjoy watching television. I do not have internet access at home instead I use the internet at work or at the library. I do not go walking at the mall or recreational shopping.

Travel
: I shop for airfares and visit family therefore eliminating hotel, meal and rental car fees.

Transportation: I own my car free and clear and maintain it well. During World War II when they had gas rationing there was a billboard slogan you would see everywhere which stated “Is this trip necessary?” I implemented this ideal into my everyday life. I ask myself prior to getting into my car“Is this trip really necessary?

Beauty: I learned how to do my own beauty treatments (manicures, pedicures etc.) I even cut and color my hair myself.

Misc: I have health insurance with a high deductable as I have no major health issues and take no medications.

Motivation: I listen to Dave Ramsey daily from 1pm-4pm. I post my progress at my kitchen sink so I view it several times daily while washing dishes. I also read reflections from persons who survived the Great Depression of the 1930’s this helps me to keep things in perspective.

Weaknesses: I love books!!! I know that I really should not buy anymore as I have three bookcases full but Amazon, and the half price book store lure me in to purchase more and more and more
 

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Larabelle, you have certainly created a successful lifestyle that seems to suit you perfectly - congratulations. Know what you mean about the lure of the printed word!
 
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Keep up the great progess Larabelle knowledge is wisdom. You didn't say what you do for a living just wondering?
 
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I enjoyed reading your inspirational post. I'm curious where you go (online?) to read testimonials from survivors of the Great Depression. I would enjoy that. They had some fantastic stories (I miss the ones my grandparents used to tell).

I don't know if you have an iPod, but my local library belongs to a site where you can download audiobooks for free and listen. I'm a book lover too and find bookstores (new and used) a severe temptation. The free downloads through the library loan site have really saved me a lot of money and kept the clutter of more and more books out of my home.
 
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I enjoyed reading your inspirational post. I'm curious where you go (online?) to read testimonials from survivors of the Great Depression. I would enjoy that. They had some fantastic stories (I miss the ones my grandparents used to tell).

I don't know if you have an iPod, but my local library belongs to a site where you can download audiobooks for free and listen. I'm a book lover too and find bookstores (new and used) a severe temptation. The free downloads through the library loan site have really saved me a lot of money and kept the clutter of more and more books out of my home.
I google around for testimonials. I also found a book at my local thrift stores of letters which people wrote to the president during the 1930's expressing their concerns.
Thank-you for the idea of obtaining an iPod. I think I will look into it.
 

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Try paperbackswap.com. You trade your old books for "new to you" books. I haven't bought a book all year.

I am really inspired by you and it makes me want to do better.
 
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Try paperbackswap.com. You trade your old books for "new to you" books. I haven't bought a book all year.

I am really inspired by you and it makes me want to do better.
Thank you I will look into it.
 

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Cut backs & GOD in your heart

Larabelle,

:dust:You:dust:
:dust:Go:dust:
:dust:Girl!:dust:

He's the man! Combine that with all your efforts, and its a win-win situation.

Sandi
Big on Accountability
 

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Nice post.

I'm fortunate that I am not in debt. My mother is European and nothing was bought on credit growing up, except I assume, the cars and house.

I wish though that I had been smarter with my money when I was younger.

I too enjoy being at home. For me kitties are essential and I couldn't be without them.

I'm on a food budget. I allow myself crafting supplies, books (Amazon! Amazon!) and a little thrift shopping. Since I work as a nurse at least I don't need to buy a lot of clothes for work. I buy a few pieces a year and many of those at Ross. (discounted store like a Marshalls or TJ Max)

I don't need a closet full of clothes and shoes. It has got to the point that I only wear good support tennis shoes outside work and my Teva sandals in the summer. Teva sandals may cost 60 or 70 dollars but they support your feet and last for years.

I grew up in a cold house and always have the heat off at night.

I like TV and will always have it.

Again your post is very nice and may help and inspire some people to simplify things.
 

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Way to go! You keep doing what is working for you. Thank you for sharing your inspiring story.
 
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Discussion Starter #17
Just a quick update!!
As of this month I am debt free!!:king:
God is sooooooo good!!!
 

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WOW! Thanks for sharing your story you are truely an inspiration. You are my new hero!
 

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Larabelle - you are truly an inspiration. Thank you for sharing your story with us! Congratulations on being debt free! :clap:
 
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