Last summer I had a car accident. While it didn’t kill our car, it prompted us to move on to a minivan, something we had always intended to do with #4 on the way.
We went Dave Ramsey crazy on the car, and today we paid it off only 14 months into a 72-month loan. Grand total savings on interest: $1,491.42.
So this has me thinking… When we first embarked on the Dave Ramsey path about 6.5 years ago, we went crazy on debt to the tune of roughly $12,000 a year, and we did that for about four years. Then we got tired. We burned out. We fried….
We changed our budget dramatically to focus on frugality but also living now. At the time it seemed right, and we did that for a year. We had fun with it and enjoyed ourselves. When we got the car, we almost naturally went back to killing the debt. In fact, in the last 9 months we paid down over $22,000 on the car alone. Add in the mortgage, and we’re looking at paying off over $25,000 in debt by the end of the year.
And it wasn’t that hard.
Now, granted we had a lot of one-time things that came through this year that wouldn’t happen normally, but pull those things out, and there’s no reason we still couldn’t hit $15,000 a year by simply tightening our belts and going back to the crazy side. And that’s where we start dreaming….
Our Idaho friends have paid off debt like maniacs since heading that way three years ago. They are on track to being debt free (house and all) in six or seven more years. As we look at our debts, we’re not that far behind! The funny thing is that we’ve been seven years away for the last three years!!! That’s what getting burned out does to you.
But now that the van is paid off, I’m feeling a lot of energy to go get this done. We only have student loans and the house left, and I’m already thinking of how to kill off the student loans.
What worked for us this last year was having a hard goal and then keeping it there in our minds. When we started the year, we had the goal of paying off the van. We didn’t think it’d be even close to possible, but it drove our conversations and decisions. We would talk frequently about our status and how each decision impacted that long-term goal and when we made a good choice, we took that money and threw it at the van. Little bits here and there made a real difference in the long run!
By my guess, if we maintain the energy, we can finish off the student loan by March. Maybe April.
Then we’ll see if we can make seven years actually start to count down….
I just told Jeff up in Idaho that we’re racing them. They’ve got a good head start in both amount and attitude, but we can catch them. Either way, how wonderful it would be to be in my early 40s and… debt free.