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When I first began following the Debt Free Community on Instagram I was drawn in by the stories everyone would share about their debt free journeys. I find it fascinating to read about the progress others are making and also reassuring to know that I am not the only one in my position.
Your Debt Diary is a guest blog series by money bloggers and members of the debt free community for My Debt Diary. Each week someone new will share their debt story. This week Ray from www.thepersonalfinancecoach.org shares his debt free journey so far and his mission to help others become debt free too.
What stage are you at in your debt free journey right now?
Currently I have one debt remaining, my house.
What is your debt total?
As of October 31st, 2018 the balance on my house is $309,136.28. Keep up with my Instagram account to see my progress!
What is your “why”?
My why is my family. Growing up as a child, my father worked around the clock to provide for our family and subsequently he missed out on so much. My wife and I recently had our first child and our goal is to change our family tree forever. We want to be able to live free of financial strain, make memories as a family, and give generously to those who need it the most.
Are you following a specific plan or method?
Yes, I follow and coach individuals through Dave Ramsey’s baby steps.
What challenges have you faced along the way?
Back in 2014 when we started our journey, we paid off $33k in 18 months. It was a challenge to go against the social norm of buying a house, new car, eating out, or going on vacation. We had to say no a lot to friends and family. We were made fun of, but now ironically, those same people are asking for my help. Shortly after finishing up our consumer debt, we were building our emergency fund of 3-6 months and then life happened. My wife was in and out of the hospital, and in America that is very costly. Fortunately, due to our diligence and previous behaviour, we were able to cash flow that horrendous year and really focus on her health. Now our challenge is to stay disciplined and motivated on this journey.
What are you doing to speed up the progress of your debt free journey?
After running some numbers, my wife and I decided to pay an additional monthly payment on the principal of our house which will shorten the loan by 7 years. Alongside that, any money that is leftover from our budget each month will go into a “discretionary” checking account. This discretionary fund will be reviewed together twice a year and we will decide together how to allocate the funds. Likely a majority of the fund will go towards the house, but if other things come up, we will have the option to use that fund.
When do you plan to become debt free?
Our goal is to be completely debt free by 2030. That will be paying off a $320k loan within 12 years as opposed to 30 years! It is a lofty goal, but if you aim at nothing, you will hit it every time.
I’d like to thank Ray for today’s post. Please make sure to visit his blog at www.thepersonalfinancecoach.org
and on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter at @thepersonalfinancecoach
You can read last week’s post here. If you would like to share your story with Your Debt Diary please leave a comment below with your email address or Instagram and I will get in touch. You can find me on Instagram here.