Friday, February 08, 2013

Debt Free Friday

I listen to Dave Ramsey on and off and for the most part I really enjoy his Friday show - Debt Free Friday - where people get to call in and brag that they are debt free finally.

Before I knew who Dave was I started working on my debt in a manner very similar to his debt snowball.  Once I was introduced to him (not literally) I started going harder at everything.

This was three years ago give or take.

Today I was going through the last remaining debt that I have and looking at how I am going to pay it off and when I'm going to pay it off.
I had previously believed that I needed to get my bonus check in order to make that last payment.

Today, however, I found that I had enough money in my accounts to make that last payment.

I just hit submit to pay off my student loan which was the last Debt (other than the Mortgage) that I had.

Three years ago when I decided I could not take it any more I had MORE money going out every month than my Income was.
I looked at the amount of interest that I was paying out every month.  The amount of money that I was wasting every month and I decided that I really needed to make a change before I was stuck in a life of poverty and living paycheck to paycheck forever.

So, it's truly fitting that today - Debt Free Friday - I finally paid off that last piece of strangling debt.




  1. Congrats! I know how you feel. But you know my story.

    Now it's time to run up some credit cards. Go shitballs crazy.


    1. I just told my best friend and the lady that tonight we are celebrating and I'll bring my credit card :)

      I feel AMAZING.

      I just went outside and screamed!

  2. You should feel amazing and damn proud. And, the discipline is easier to maintain than weight loss. Saving can now kick in. I wish I'd had that discipline at your age. Not complaining but it could have been nicer. Now the compounding can move in your direction instead of toward the creditors.

    1. Yeah.
      I wish I was smart enough to do this at a younger age as well.
      The fact that my retirement savings is as low as it is was another wake-up call as to me NEEDING to do this with my life.

      Today is a great day!

  3. Congrats. That takes alot of willpower. Something I will never be able to do.

    1. Yes - a TON of willpower.
      The past few years have sucked because of some of the sacrifices I made to get here but now I've got a bit of freedom that most don't.

  4. Nice work, sir.

    When I graduated law school back in '98, I spent two years clerking for a judge in D.C.. Judicial clerks got (get) paid sh*t. So, for two years, I was spending more than I was making (particularly given the costs of living in DC). My credit card debt just kept growing (and I was too embarrassed to even tell anyone). It's a sh*tty feeling working hard, yet falling farther and farther into debt. But, it certainly feels great when you can work yourself out of it!

    Congrats again!


    1. Pete -
      When I first moved to Vegas, about two months in I got forced into a position at work where my pay got cut significantly.

      for 9 months to a year I was putting a bill or two per month onto a credit card because I didn't have any other choice....
      That Credit Card ended up being the downfall of me in the long term...
      So, I know how you felt.

      However - at 36 years old I am happy I can make this post.

  5. Congrats grrouchie, Its an awesome feeling being debt free. I know how you feel i was in debt to my eyeballs at one time, never again. I have been debt free for a few years now.

    1. Your words of encouragement over the past couple of years have helped.

      Thanks for the kind words during my struggles!

  6. Congrats on the debt freedom! Great work, you should be very proud.

    I used to lose sleep at night worrying about how I was going to pay off my credit card debts. Those feelings are pretty universal and I'm glad they were a long time ago.

    I started listening to Dave Ramsey when his show was on the radio of a rental car I was using in Oklahoma 2003. Interestingly I now work less than a mile from where his office is in Tennessee. I sometimes drive by it on my way to the Burger King that is right next door to his place.

    I agree with a great deal of what Mr. Ramsey says, but disagree very much about other things, like how you should give 10% of your income to the church no matter what. That's bad advice, period.

    The last straw for me was when I saw a tweet from him condemning people who were using the Sandy Hook tragedy as a tool to promote their gun control agenda.

    I asked him if he would also condemn those who were using it to promote their prayer in school agenda?

    And he blocked me on twitter.

    1. Yeah - Overall I'm a big Dave Ramsey fan - though there are things that really don't fit me personally.

      I understand that he is a Christian and his beliefs come out in his teachings a lot. However, to each their own.
      I like to give back to the community in other ways. I'm not a big church guy and as such I'll never give money to them.
      However, I like to help those in need. Toys for Tots and other similar programs during the holidays - those are more my style and leave me with a better feeling of satisfaction!

      Next time he comes to Vegas I'll have the money saved up to go just because I'd like to see him live once for the experience.

      Thanks for checking in!

  7. Wow! That's truly wonderful. Good for you!

  8. Nice job becoming debt free. Now put most of that payment money into savings so you can keep yourself out of debt. You're moving in a good direction.

    I also have been snowballing payments for the last several years. Was debt free for a month last year then bought a SUV on my 6.9% interest line of credit. I should have that car paid off in a few months. Then I can start putting the large amount per month I have been putting towards the line of credit into savings, to buy the next car outright, and build up a good savings to Take Over The World.

    1. I've got some plans and I just have to figure out the where's and what's first.
      I've got two vacations that I am taking with the lady this year and I promised myself that I'd buy something I really want when I finally hit this point (now I just have to find something I really want).

      But - One of my next goals is 6 months living expenses saved in an account for a "just in case."
      Much like you, My next car I plan on paying in cash. This one is still getting me places and should last for a few more years so I'm going to get it painted this year and just pretend it's new.

      It's amazing the doors that open up when you no longer have to worry about debt, truly amazing.

  9. As you probably already know, one of the biggest mistakes people can make after paying off their debt is to close accounts. Just remember to keep them open and carry a zero balance as to keep your strong credit score.

    Congrats, a great accomplishment!


    1. This is correct.
      Most people don't realize that two of the factors towards a good credit score are.....
      At least two open credit cards
      Average Length of time your credit cards have been open.

      Closing them lowers that average significantly sometimes.

  10. Congrats, Serge, that is awesome, just awesome.

    Now you have enough of a bankroll for poker!

    Oh, and don't forget the machines!


    1. Yes, I will have Separte bankrolls for


  11. Good work. Rice and beans, beans and rice. I listen to Dave Ramsey if I'm driving around when he's on, and his is the only financial advice show that has made sense to me, because it's the only one that is founded on solid principles. And I don't mean the "walk with the prince of peace" stuff--I mean gaining and keeping control of your life by being in control of your money, which means not owing money to anybody. Other radio advisers are so casual about taking out car loans, student loans, etc. Yes, it's the way most people run their lives, but that doesn't mean it's smart or sound.

    But I think Dave would make an exception in your case and agree with Tony that taking out a 10K loan to gamble with is your best strategy at this point. :-)

    1. Ahh Yes - the $10k Gambling Loan.
      I've heard Dave preach about this on his radio show as the ONLY acceptable reason to go back into debt after paying it all off.

  12. i cannot understand how being out of debt is a good thing, since ive never have a credit card (just my prepaid debit cards and boa debit card). credit cards make ur life so much easier and nicer. it allows u to build up a rating, and rent any apt u wish, etc. not only that, u never have to worry about not being able to pay a bill, because u can always be able to borrow it instead. without them most people would not be able to survive, and the only way ive survived is by keeping a few thousand roll at all times. this is why im scared shitless because im down to the last $1500 of it and dont know where to turn. and yet i still have bills, the largest being my weekly rent. If i could borrow a large sum of money (borrowing a small sum really does no good at all) then id be set for life to have enough cash in reserve to generate about $700-1400 a week for life, and my life would continously get better. see im smart enough to invest it properly. this is why people should help me with money, but not the bums out on the street getting drunk and high. To have the ability to borrow all that money which would greatly increase ones quality of life and not use it, makes no sense at all. i think most rich people just dont want to face the fact that i could average $100-200 a day at poker if i had the bankroll to do it but they couldnt

    1. Tony,
      Please tell me what this magical figure of yours is that you wish you could have so that you could constantly generate $700-$1400 per week for life?

      I don't think you quite understand the strangling effect that debt can have on someone or why I've gotten so many favorable responses from this post.

      Debt is the rake of life man (Whatever, I know Ed Norton's opinion on this subject).
      Debt is what causes you from getting where you want to be as fast as you think you should get there.

    2. With say $4000 I can generate $500 a week. With $10000 I can ganerate $700 1000 a week. With $20000 I could make $1500 to $2000 a week for life in commerce or foxwoods. So because it increases my income so significantly I see borrowing as well worth it. What ur call

    3. Ing debt im calling credit. Damn blig cut me off midsentence

    4. But where is your proof for any of this?
      You have no substantial records or evidence that any of this is possible?

      Also, how many hours are you putting in and what games?
      You cannot be playing 1/2 or 1/3 to be considering even coming close to making $1000 per week.
      This is 100% pure speculation based on no empirical evidence whatsoever.
      You have been over $15,000 before. With $15,000, based on your theory above, you could double your bankroll in 2 months and be sitting at over $30,000.

      In fact, Just stopping at your $2,000 upper end listed above.
      If I had $15,000 Right Now.
      In one year I'd have $99,000
      I would have made $84,000 In one single year playing, I assume, nothing but 1/2 and 1/3 No Limit Texas Holdem.

      Do you see how ridiculous this sounds?

    5. Tony is completely delusional about money and how it works.

      He is also completely delusional about his own profitability non

      Tony, you have $1300 net worth because of your own actions. No one is going to lend you money because you dont have the assets or income to pay it back!

  13. Congrats on getting yourself out of your hole. You carefully mapped out doing it and succeeded! I am sure life will seem much better without this hanging over your head Splurge a bit and celebrate!

    1. I'm going to buy myself something pretty....
      Totally meant Manly, I'm going to buy Power Tools and shit, yeah... that's the ticket.

      I'll Splurge but not a whole lot. I'm still not where I want to be but this was a very important and big Step #2 (The 1st was having a small emergency fund in the bank). So, On To step 3.

      My bigger splurges will come later this year when I'm taking the lady and child to Disney (land/world/universe/whatever) and planning on taking them on a few day trip to Pennsylvania as well.
      So, now that the debt is gone I can freely save for those and not have to worry about anything.


  14. Congratulations, man. It ain't easy.

    As others have said, do keep a few credit cards. Everybody laughs at you when you go to cut your lines with an expired library card. Trust me. Hard to believe, but cokeheads can be real assholes sometimes.


    1. Ain't nothing in life worthwhile been easy man.
      Da man keeps us down and holds our heads under water so that we are a slave to the credit cards.
      And when the going gets tough?
      That's right - the tough go shopping.
      and we put it on Credit.
      and we make minimum payments.
      and we pay more in interest than our purchase was worth.
      and we wonder why in the hell can't we have nice things man.
      *wipes nose and snorts*
      *shakes head violently*
      The fucking man, man.

  15. Congratulations. I can't wait until my school loans are gone. But, hopefully that will change in the next couple of years.

    I would have to disagree with some people who say keep the credit cards. I don't have any, nor do I think they are a good idea. They don't help with staying debt free, nor do they help people manage their money better. Keeping them will only tempt you and you could fall into the debt trap again. Doing as you are - saving money for "just in case" is the best way to go. That's how my parents lived and they were never in debt. That's probably where I got my old fashioned ideas from. ;)

    1. I'm not getting rid of my credit cards and will use them at least once a year to keep them active as I aim to achieve an 800+ credit score lol.

      I've gone one card that will remain "active" with me and it's an rewards card....
      I put my gas and amazon purchases on it and then immediately pay them off when I get home.

      This earns me discounts on and makes me happy....
      but, to each their own.
      Credit can be used if it's used responsibly and I've had my irresponsible years.