I recently interviewed several personal finance bloggers to understand the process they each took to strive for debt free living. Their stories inspired me so much that I wanted to include a brief synopsis of the interviews all in one place and let you know specifically what I learned from each person. I have found that I learn the most by genuinely listening to other people and I can gain tidbits of knowledge from many people that I come in contact with.
What is Debt Free Living
If you have never heard of the term debt free living, it means that you live a life where you don’t owe anybody money. Yes, you will have monthly bills to pay, but when you are truly debt free, you don’t have any loans, mortgages, student loans, car payments or any debt of any sort. You pay your basic bills and that is it. Debt free living is what we are striving for right now .
No, we are not out of debt yet. We paid off $78,000 worth of debt in 17 months and much more since that time. We have actually paid off over $100,000 worth of debt in less than 2 years. We are on the debt free train for sure.
Why Do People Strive for Debt Free Living
When Greg and I started this journey to be debt free, our main goals were to be debt free to have more overall freedom in our lives. We want to be able to travel when we want, be at all of our kids school events, work as much or as little as we want. We started a real estate business on the side to have extra passive income to support our monthly needs also. There are tons of forms of passive income, but that will be for another post. Ultimately, people strive for debt free living because they want to pursue other dreams in life. They don’t want to have to pay other people money for the rest of their lives.
The Interviews with Personal Finance Bloggers
I had the opportunity to interview the following bloggers and I am so happy that I did. I learned so much from them and I love following their blogs because they are all awesome people.
Latoya’s story is awesome! She went from filing for bankruptcy to taking charge of her life and now running her own business as a freelance writer and a blog owner. Latoya goes on to tell her story of what really changed her life and when she really decided to pursue debt free living. You can read more of her inspiring story here.
One big thing I learned from Latoya- worry less and act more. She is all about action and I totally look up to her for this.
Jessi and I share the same car story. She had an awesome Tahoe that she was driving that was all decked out and when she and her husband decided to become financially free, they decided to downgrade their car. Jessi says “At the time sacrificing was hard. Especially getting rid of my Tahoe because unfortunately, I’ve been the poster child for the American belief of “you are what you drive”. So going from a really nice SUV (built-in navigation, heated seats, DVD player, you name it, it had it) to an older SUV that didn’t have the bells and whistles was super hard for me.” The cool thing is, she made the sacrifice and she was able to pay off a ton of debt by getting rid of the car. She knew it was in her best interest to make some big changes and she did it. You can read more about Jessi’s unique story here
One thing I learned from Jessi’s interview- “the biggest benefit of a budget is freedom.” I had to quote her because after reading that and following a budget for almost 2 years, I know she is absolutely right. The best thing about a budget is you stress so much less.
Michelle is an inspiration to so many people. She started with school loan debt in the neighborhood of $38,000 and was able to pay that off with the help of starting a blog. She used the blog for accountability to change her spending habits.. She never intended to make money from blogging, but in 2013 she left her full time job to pursue blogging full-time. Michelle now makes over $70,000 per month blogging. She not only paid off her debt, she figured out how to live the life she wanted to live full of travel and freedom. You can read more about Michelle’s interview here.
I came across Brian’s blog through a link up party. A link up party is basically where bloggers share links through social media to get more exposure to their blog. I started reading Brian’s story and I was amazed. He is truly an awesome person. He goes out of his way to educate others on finances and he takes part in public speaking events in his area to share his personal story and help others find their way with their finances. You can read more of Brian’s story here.
I love Hayley’s story. She and her husband had been living in debt for years when one day, the debt started to become unmanageable. They decided to go a debt repayment plan and really start budgeting. They owed $62,000 in credit card debt when this process all started. They decided to get serious and attack their debt. They ended up paying off the credit card debt in just 22 months. You can read more about Hayley’s interview here.
Pursuing the dream of debt free living is possible and attainable no matter what your financial situation. The first step is deciding that you don’t want to be in debt. The next step is starting a budget. If you are interested in my free email course to start a Rockstar Budget, sign up below.
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