Well, We’re Debt Free (Minus the Mortgage)!

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Any day you can wake up and not have but one piper to pay is a good day. As of last week, my mornings became a whole lot brighter.

Debt Freedom (Almost)

Late last week, we hit the submit button on our Chase Credit Card online program to pay the remaining bit of consumer debt we had. Boy, was that a good feeling. Only building from here folks.

After hitting that submit payment button, we went out a celebrated by buying our friends dinner and drinks. Ha! Just wanted to see if you were paying attention. We actually didn’t do anything different besides a small little private family dance to celebrate the last bit of debt being gone.

What does it feel like being debt free today? There have been multiple times in my past that I’ve climbed out of debt and back into the black only to fall back into debt. Debt freedom has been something I have attained then fallen back into the debt abyss. Being debt free today feels a lot different today than in my past. Why? We have a plan and we track our finances. Honestly, there really hasn’t been much more to it.

But if we are debt free, what’s that (ALMOST) doing in the section header? Well, we don’t owe anyone besides our home lender. We have a way to go on that, but it’s getting chipped away faster and faster with each two weeks that go by.

How’d We Do It

The question most people will ask us is how we did it. Why I say most people is because most people we know (give or take 75% of family,  friends, & acquaintances) are in some form of debt beyond their home.

So, let’s get to the meat and potatoes which I already alluded to a bit already.

First, we didn’t get ourselves into major debt. No school loans. No significant credit card debt beyond a couple grand. No personal loans. Especially no car loans. We didn’t make any huge mistakes which, in my opinion, can be half the battle. We could always see outside the hole we were digging ourselves in.

Second, we built a finance plan around our established, trackable goals. Without a plan, I am pretty much just wandering about with no true results. We built a plan in the last year, stuck to it, improved it when possible, and kept moving forward even when times got rough.

Third, we tracked our finances without being meticulous. We used certain cards for certain types of purchases. We used cash for a lot of the day-to-day purchases like groceries. However, we didn’t sit and count pennies nightly. That would have killed us. The biggest thing has been tracking our net worth. That really kept me on my toes and doing anything possible to move the needle in the right direction.

That’s how we did it. We kept ourselves out of major debt then built a plan then tracked our finances.

If you notice, I don’t discuss paying down this credit card first then this other debt next. No. Why? Focus on the broader picture. Paying down $300 extra on some debt is great, but if I hadn’t built a plan, I would still be borrowing from Paul to pay Peter (or however that goes.) The plan and the tracking kept us focused on goals and benchmarks. They are far more crucial than which debt need to be paid down first or what type of pasta to budget for. Sure, do that stuff too, but not before a plan and the tracking has begun.

Now What

Throughout this week, I’ll share more on our process as well as what we are doing now. Stay tuned!

21 Responses to Well, We’re Debt Free (Minus the Mortgage)!

  1. Congrats, Mr. Warrior!!! I bet it feels GREAT to have that monkey off your back!

  2. Great job! Being debt-free is awesome!

  3. Michelle says:

    Congrats! Haha I like how you tried to trick us in your post about buying dinner and drinks :)

  4. Debt RoundUp says:

    Nice work Warrior on being debt free, minus the house. Good luck on killing that as well!

  5. Momager says:

    Congrats! We are working towards getting out of debt, too, and cannot wait for the feeling…and the happy dance, of course!

    • Mr. Warrior says:

      It’ll feel great. Push forward through all of the frustrations and you will come out on the other side a stronger and wealthier person in more ways than one.

      The Warrior

  6. Huge congrats to you guys, Mr. Warrior! Can’t wait to see what’s next. :-)

  7. Congrats! That’s a pretty big accomplishment! :)

  8. Congrats! I still remember the day I paid off the last of my credit card debt, it’s a great feeling!

  9. […] other day, I talked about finally being out of debt (besides the mortgage). That’s all good, but what does it matter if I can’t help you do […]

  10. Lamont Cranston says:

    My wife and I have been “net worth warriors” for 32 years, but I didn’t know it until today! Great site. I still have net worth forms from those early years after I figured out, we were going to have a net worth. Our first year of marriage we grossed $18,000 and saved $5,400. We have always lived under our income. Maybe half of those years we earned just a bit above the poverty wage. The rest were middle to lower middle income years. But we always saved. We have never owned a new car, but we have nice cars, a 1997 Toyota T100, 2001 Avalon, and a 1997 Lexus my son has a college. We also never had a car loan! Btw, I had a conversation recently with someone that lives paycheck to paycheck, “but has a 2013 Honda SUV”. (Very sad, she related that she sometimes lets her growing boy eat and she eats, if any is left.) That is the mentality that causes poverty.
    My wife buys most items on sale, and uses coupons. We don’t make unnecessary auto trips that waste money (gas). We don’t have smart phones nor the bill for them. We do have cellphones.
    We invested in No load mutual funds and over the long run they have grown. Twenty years ago we paid cash for the home we live in. In two or three years we will get a raise, my son will be out of college :-)
    My advice, live frugally, keep up the effort, it is slow, but you will get there.

  11. […] debt free has been nice, but there’s room for growth in more ways than just getting out of […]

    • Lamont Cranston says:

      I was a bit perplexed by your response. It is like I offended you, not my intent at all. Your site is about being debt free, I responded and told a little about how we have handled our finances. I tried to provide a bit of encouragement. I feel to much of our society lives paycheck to paycheck. It is not necessary. Some people live on $30,000 per year, then there are some that live paycheck to paycheck on $60,000. It is obvious to me they could save $25,000 in a year if they just buckled down. Once you do that, about the only thing you ever need credit for is a house. Although after 10 years of frugal living, even a home could be a cash purchase. Also one of the keys is to trim those pesky monthly bills, cable, internet, phone, cellphone, water/sewer, garbage, electric, gas and health insurance. Regarding health insurance, 5 years ago I bumped my deductible from $2,500 to $10,000, my premium dropped from $9,900 to $4,300. I put the difference into a Health Saving Account which reduced my tax bill.
      Regarding growth in other ways, sure, my hobby is electronics, I have a bench setup with electronic test equipment, I follow the electronics newsgroups, and a crystal radio forum, I really enjoy that. I recently bought a TIG welder, I have always wanted to weld aluminum, so after watching and researching TIG welders I bought one about two weeks ago. On my days off, I’ve been learning how to TIG. It is going to take a lot of practice, it is an art to make a nice TIG weld. I’m checking into a class at the local technical school.
      Thanks, Good luck to you.

  12. […] Warrior and I know we are capable since we have paid down our debt and taken other financial leaps towards a stronger net […]

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