“You Know That Nobody Does That, Right?”

That was a recent comment I received from a friend, referring to the fact that we are actually paying off our student loan and credit card debt, and doing it in record time to boot.

Yeah, well, we’re pretty much the only people who do a lot of things, so…

The question then is, “Why in the world are we doing it?”

Why are we weird, you mean? It’s probably something to do with genetics mixed with a little upbringing. Throw in the Holy Spirit and *BAM* there you go. We came out counter-cultural, and I can’t really explain it. I’ve spent a lot of time trying to, but there really just isn’t any explanation that doesn’t sound hollow and contrived. I’m just me, o.k.?

Chances are, though, that if you are reading this blog, you probably have a little streak of counter-cultural in you too. I’m here to tell you: it’s o.k.

Debt-free living certainly isn’t the only way to live. Paying off your debts in wayyyyy less time than they expect you to and then making a commitment to avoid borrowing money at all costs probably just won’t cut it with some folks. And that’s fine. Really. I don’t think any less of those people because there are probably 20 other things that they are convicted about and called to do that I’m not doing.

However, I also want to say that living with debt also isn’t the only way to live. Your creditors, your bank, your neighbor, and your mom all might tell you differently, but they are dead wrong. You can live without a credit score. You can pay cash for everything, even a house (just think how cool THAT would be). You can choose to embrace delayed gratification instead of having what you want. Right. Now. You can  live without having to make a single monthly payment on something you bought/did ages ago!

I might appear nuts, but what’s really nuts is that there literally are people walking around out there with houses they are nowhere near able to afford, cars that cost more than than they make in a year, flat screen TVs that they absolutely could not live without and had to have on credit ASAP, student loans that go toward living in an “upgraded” apartment and daily fast food runs instead of getting a job, and the list goes on, doesn’t it?

There are many reasons for choosing the debt-free lifestyle, and among them is this very simple one: We got sick and tired of being sick and tired. That’s it! We didn’t like seeing our bank accounts deflating faster than a balloon with a pin prick in it while we surrounded ourselves with things we didn’t really need. We wanted to be able to afford a nice vacation sometimes. Or be able to pay cash for a car so we can negotiate a deal rather than end up paying way more money than the car is worth. Or be able to give freely to anyone who has a need.

The debt-free lifestyle might not be the only  way to live, but I would argue that it is certainly a more freeing way to live. And I hope you would agree…

How About You?

Why do you choose to live debt free? Do you agree with me that it is a more freeing way to live? Do people think YOU are nuts?? Leave a comment, share the post, subscribe via email, or send me a note! I would love to hear from you.

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10 thoughts on ““You Know That Nobody Does That, Right?”

  1. Kate, as you know I totally agree with you! And I have received all the same comments and more. People really do not get it when it comes to living debt free. I also agree that it is sooooo freeing in a way you would not expect. Personally I’m a planner and would love to plan every minute of my life for the rest of it, but I can’t, but I can plan when I will be living debt free, and I love it! 🙂 Your blog is one of my many motivators to get us to our goal, thank you!

    • Thank YOU, Megan! Ha- I totally wish I could plan out everything ahead of time too. I still don’t really understand how we’re going to get of debt in less than a year at this point and it drives me nuts! Best of luck.

  2. You know what is funny, people RARELY give us a hard time about working towards becoming debt-free…we must know TONS of weird people 🙂

    Keep at it! 🙂

    • Thanks! People don’t really give us a hard time often either, but it happens every once in a while. Or they just don’t understand/care really.

  3. Hey Kate! I want to encourage you in what you are doing- it is a great way to start off your marriage. Terence and I are not as “strict” on our budget- our personality and current income always us to estimate some variable expenses (like eating out, clothes, coffee, ect.). Basically, we just know not to spend more than we make each month and automatically have money put into various saving accounts. It’s amazing to see how God provides for us in various ways and how we are still able to live debt free even being a soon to be family of 7. Our biggest thing is that we always pay cash for cars. I agree with you that you get better deals and save a ton of money!!! We bought a 2003 Mountaineer for 5k cash and brand new it would have been over 30k! It’s amazing how much that can save you! Anyways, thanks for sharing your journey- I love reading it! 🙂

    • That’s awesome, Alisson! Thanks for the encouragement. Congrats on #5!!! 🙂 That is pretty amazing that you have still managed to stay out of debt, and you are a one-income family, right?

      • Kate-
        It helped us a bunch that I worked full-time for 4 years before having kiddos. While I was working full-time (without kids) we chose to live only off of Ter’s income and put my money towards paying off debt, savings, and down-payment for a house. It was really helpful to only live on Ter’s income b/c we knew eventually that I would stay-at-home with the kids. So, when it came time to purchase a home we based the monthly payment on Ter’s income only.

        Currently, I work part-time for the church from home. That money goes straight into a saving account to make extra payments on our house each month. It is very helpful to have the little money that I make as a “cushion”.

        I think people can be amazed that a family of 7 can “survive” on Ter’s income. I think the main thing that helps is NO CAR PAYMENTS 🙂 It’s also amazing how for the 2nd year in a row Terence has gotten a “side job” that covers the cost of Kori’s school tuition- God provides 🙂 We also love the flexibility of being able to give gifts and bless people around us without having to worry about paying off debt- that’s probably one of my favorite parts 🙂

        Keep it up, Kate & Mike! Your family is awesome!!! 🙂

  4. Kate, I love this post! I’m working toward being debt-free myself, and have lived on cash since November 2009. It is so freeing! I look forward to the day when I can pay off my student loan and car loan and really live that liberated life. Congratulations!

  5. Pingback: How’d We Do? May’s Financial Re-Cap « The Debt Free Family

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