Here’s an inspiring guest post from Jason on how he managed to pay off a total of $70,000 in debt in 3 and 1/2 years by overcoming his poor money habits and building better ones.
It is said “As you sow so shall you reap”. Same thing happened with me. I myself was solely responsible for landing into debt problems. You can read this story to know how I landed into debt problems. It would help you avoid making the same mistakes. Though I managed to get out of debt, yet I would advise you all to stop doing things that can lead you to debt problems and filing a bankruptcy.
Here are some money habits that led me into huge amount of debt.
1. Not planning a budget – I didn’t understand the importance of planning a budget. So, I used to spend nearly 98% of what I earned every month. I should mention here that I didn’ t have any extra income. My monthly earning comprised of only my salary.
2. Using credit cards for every purchase – To worsen the situation, sometimes, I used to spend more than what I earned. I swiped my credit cards with the intention of paying back the balance next month. But I was never able to repay the balance in full. Sometimes, I even missed making the minimum payments on credit cards. As a result, interest got piled up making it even more difficult for me to pay off the balances. I also swiped my credit cards for each and every purchase. Right from grocery shopping to eating outs, I used plastic money to pay the bills.
3. Lifestyle mistakes – I had a habit of eating out every weekend and shopping whenever I wanted to. A substantial amount of my salary was used to pay these expenses.
4. Not paying heed to creditor letters – I also received letters from creditors asking me to pay off bills. However, I didn’t pay much attention toward paying off my debts.
Then, one day, my brother got admitted to hospital and I had to borrow from my friends and relatives in order to pay the medical bills. That day I realized my mistakes and promised myself to pay off my debts as fast as possible.
How I was able to pay off $70,000 in 3 1/2 years
All in total, I paid off about $70,000 – Want to know how? Frankly speaking, I thought I wouldn’t be able to repay the outstanding balance in full. So, I decided to negotiate with my creditors to reduce the debt amount so that I could pay it off. The only other option left for me was to file a bankruptcy in order to get rid of my debts. Knowing that I could file a bankruptcy, my creditors reduced the outstanding balances to about 55%. After the reduction, I needed to pay about $38,500.
I managed to pay off the debts within 3 ½ years of time. To do this, I had to plan a frugal budget and follow it strictly. Though it was a bit difficult at the initial stage, yet following the budget became easier as soon as I paid off the first debt. It motivated me to get out of debt successfully.
Jason Holmes is a regular writer with Debt Consolidation Care and is also a contributory writer with other financial sites. His expertise is woven around various aspects of the debt industry and he tries to impart to people the different situations and simple solutions to get out of difficult situations through his e-books like ‘Credit Score The Quintessential Therapy for a Happy Pocket’, Take Creditors and Collection Agencies to Small Claims Court’ and, ‘My Story- From Depression To a Smile’.
P.S. Readers, what other tips can you share on paying off debts?
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