I’ve often said that Debt equals Slavery in another form. Given the current economic climate, I think that this episode is well-timed. The stock market is trembling, Greece is on the ropes, and we have been warned of a housing bubble here in Australia. It is now a good time to act.
Getting out of debt is not as hard as it may seem. All it takes is a plan (aka budget) and the determination and mindset to carry it out.
Now getting out of debt won’t happen overnight or in a few months. It may take a few years or even a decade depending on how deep down the rabbit hole of consumerism you’ve travelled.
But from my own personal experience, it is definitely worth pursuing.
The freedom at the end of the last payment of each debt is amazing.
Caveat: I still have just under two years to pay off a 30 year mortgage, but have no other debt. The mortgage was taken out in 2000, and I drew down on it many times until it ballooned in size until we woke up and got serious about getting out of debt.
We have paid off over $23,000 in credit card debt, as well as a personal loan of $22,000 since October 2006. We just have the mortgage to go and Kim and I are very proud of what we have achieved so far. It just took a budget that we referred back to and updated regularly, and determination to pump any spare funds we had into paying down our debt. It reduces the interest owed due to compounding. Trust me, it works well.
Also, I am not a financial adviser. Please take my experience and tips as food for thought whilst you travel on your own debt reduction journey. A journey that does have a happy ending if you work at it!
If you have any other debt reduction tips, please feel free to leave a comment. The more the merrier!
The major supermarkets also print at the bottom of your docket how much you have saved with them each week buying the specials. I also checked the fuel discount on each docket, and that saving was also added up each month. The “savings” were moved into the mortgage each month. It all adds up and helped towards paying off my mortgage 10 years early.
Im looking forward to that day in just over two years when you post that its done.
Gavin Webber says
Me too Lynda!
Good podcast Gavin.
We are big fans of our offset account. It also acts as a transaction account so all funds reduce interest for as long as possible. We use a credit card as much as we can throuh the month but always pay off in full. Defering the cash outlay for that small time all go to help in a small way.
A good analogy I use when talking about the offset account is that it gives the best risk free return you’ll find for savings and it is tax free. So we can’t see why we would look to invest elsewhere until the mortgage is gone.
Does not stop the bank from calling and saying “you have equity in your home, how would you like to put it to work?”. Pretty short conversation that one.
Luke Shavak says
Hey Gavin.. you’re absolutely right. Debt is slavery. 🙁 A great budget program which I just purchased is called You Need A Budget (or YNAB for short). It’s about $80AUD and is very clever to use – forcing you to give every dollar ‘a job’. What that means is that it helps you allocate every dollar to something and then you work off your budget instead of your bank balance. It’s a great program I recommend for everyone – it’s not nearly as confusing and complex as Quickbooks and those others..