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As of this afternoon, we are completely debt free except our mortgage and our HELOC (which according to DR gets lumped in with our mortgage).

My husband and I always rolled our eyes at people that live off credit cards and seemed to work hard only to send their money off to the cc companies. We prided ourselves in being frugal and not defining ourselves by the material items we owned.

Then one day we sat down and looked at our bills and realized, we were just as much in debt as anyone else. Just because we shopped at Goodwill, bought used cars and didn't have a lot of fancy "toys" didn't mean we were any less in debt than the rest of the country. Hhhmmm....

We spent several years "trying" to get out of debt, but we never seemed to make much progress. We sold two pieces of property that were draining us both financially and emotionally and we thought, once they're gone we can get serious.

Finally, they were both sold and last Spring we got a HUGE tax return. So we figured that was as good a time as any to get started!

In Febrary of 2010, we paid off the BECU line of credit & my husband's truck (see totals in my siggy) with the tax return.

We decided to sit down and figure out a budget that we could really stick to each month. We had that much money deposited into our checking account each month from DH's paycheck and everything extra went into a seperate account at a different bank. We had no debit cards, no checks, no access to this money unless we walked into the bank to withdraw it. THAT was the biggest factor in our success. It's so easy to piddle away the money if it's just sitting there in your bank account all month.

Instead of snowballing like DR says, we let the money sit in the other account until it grew to make sizeable payments on our debts. After several months we had enough to pay off the AmEx & BoA cards.

And, this afternoon we are making the final payment on my van. And we're already well on our way to having 3 months expenses saved up (we're shooting for 6).

It is so liberating knowing that my husband isn't working his tail off just to send the money to creditors.

We are planning on taking the kids to Great Wolf Lodge next month to celebrate as a family and we're planning a nice family vacation this fall (all paid for with cash!!!).

We made sacrifices along the way, but now we have plenty of time to create fabulous family memories with our children and not have to worry about how we'll pay for them.

I just wanted to share my story and let some of the people that are just starting out know that there IS a light at the end of the tunnel!! Keep working. It is sssoooo worth it!!
 

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Congratulations, all your hard work has now paid off! What a wonderful way to celebrate, create the memories , and have fun.Kudos to you and your family.
 
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Heartfelt congratulations on your freedom from debt and the dedication it took to stick to the plan you created. Sounds like you had the discipline to really make that work! Good luck on meeting your next great goals!
 
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That is so great!!! You will enjoy this vacation more than any other -you deserve it.
 

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Congratulations on your accomplishment:grwave:
 

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Congratulations!!!!
 

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CONGRATS! Sounds like your turn around point to decide to start was when you realized you were being 'penny wise and pound foolish'! No more of that for you, and it's paid! I look forward to being in a similar state in the next 13 months (as we plan, we'll see how business goes!).
 

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Awesome! Congratulations!

Now you have the permission and the authority to roll your eyes again... :)
 

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We decided to sit down and figure out a budget that we could really stick to each month. We had that much money deposited into our checking account each month from DH's paycheck and everything extra went into a separate account at a different bank. We had no debit cards, no checks, no access to this money unless we walked into the bank to withdraw it. THAT was the biggest factor in our success. It's so easy to piddle away the money if it's just sitting there in your bank account all month.
THAT is genius! Thanks for the reminder to make it harder to get into our money. We're getting a large tax "return" (tax credits) and now we can get serious, too. I'm going to try your bank method!
 
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