Introduction – The Reality of Debt
Debt surrounds our entire world. You have a debt instrument in your wallet or purse. You probably drove a piece of debt to work today. Heck, for a lot of you, you even slept, showered, and ate breakfast this morning under the roof of your debt.
Debt is crushing our world. Has it crushed you too? If you aren’t careful, you might “Debt-onate”.
What would your world look like with zero debt, a consistent passive income, and nothing stopping you from traveling the world? That’s the life that my wife and I are about to experience. We are turning in the keys to our debt for a life of freedom.
The best part of this story? We accomplished it all in 1 year.
Creating Our Debt Destruction Plan
I sat across the couch, from my then very pregnant wife, giving her a foot rub after a long stressful day at work. That night, we happened to be having an argument (yes, at the same time as the foot rub. What can I say… we just aren’t the screaming/throw things/steam coming out the ears type of fighters).
We were fighting about our finances and the future. We were newlyweds, college students, and now expecting parents. We were living off of student salaries and trying to make ends meet. To make things worse we were being forced to have a C-section, as our first child was breech. It was a surgery we had not prepared financially for; and it was extremely expensive!
During our fight, we both decided that we were just done with the stress and anxiety of our money problems! So I jumped off the couch and grabbed a piece of paper, a pen, a book to write on, and scribbled the words “Our Debt Destruction Plan” on the top of the page. Then we put our heads together and came up with a plan.
Getting Out of Debt
At the time, we had $16,000 of total debt. That amount may not seem like very much, but for us, it was as large as Mount Everest. I’m not joking about the student salaries either. We weren’t making much, but we knew that we had some wiggle room. Our goal was to become debt free by the time that we graduated college, which was only a handful of months away.
Our Debt Destruction Plan contained the following steps:
- We picked the Snowball Method (there are other good methods out there too, we just knew we needed the psychological win factor).
- We listed out all of our debts, respective to the Snowball Method.
- We looked at our budget and found ways to save money to create a surplus of cash.
- We threw that surplus of cash at our debt in the order of the Snowball Method until we were debt free.
Incredibly, our plan worked and we became debt free four months before our initial goal, when we graduated college (including student loans too).
Financial Independence & Becoming Self-Employed
A lot has changed since that night my wife and I fought on the couch. After becoming debt free, and saving for a few months, I finally quit my job. My wife decided to stay at home with our daughter.
We jumped into the self-employment lifestyle. I started doing miscellaneous jobs to make money (cleaning houses, doing Christmas lights, etc.). My wife started teaching swim lessons and babysitting a few neighborhood kids whose parents have to work. We also tapped into a passive income stream, one that is getting larger every month.
Bottom line, is that we don’t have to make the same level of income that we were making before. In fact, with both of us doing odd jobs (and the passive income), we are paying for our ongoing bills and still saving some money every month… all because we don’t have any debt.
And the best part? We are actually able to spend time together as a family, something that we weren’t able to do before, being employees and students.
Conclusion – Tying Down Loose Ends
If our story isn’t crazy enough, we now want to go one step further and become nomads. We don’t want to be tied down. We want to be able to travel at will. We want to see the beautiful world that we live in.
Ultimately, we want to wake up in the morning wherever we choose to. We just have to tie down a few loose ends first. And once they are finished, we are off to live a nomadic life.
I’m sure the future will include some international travel, or maybe even just traveling around the U.S. in an RV.
The best part, is that we will be able to do whatever and go wherever we want.
We are excited for the future. Becoming debt free, self-employed, and financially independent has opened our eyes to a new world of possibilities.
Our success story took only one year. How long will yours take?
Author Bio: After spending six years in the accounting, retirement, and financial realm, Jacob turned his attention to teaching others about important life skills. He works with clients one on one, in addition to teaching others through his website PowerOverLife. He currently resides
in Gilbert, AZ with his wife and daughter.