Shortly after I got my first grown-up job eight years ago with the same company I’m with now, my coworker, Jennifer told me a story about a middle-age doctor who was a customer at the bank for which she previously worked. The story was that one day he walked in and paid everything off. The end. That was the story.
This occurrence was worthy of retelling so many years later?! I admit, at 20 years old, I was in absolute awe. I remember thinking, “Wow, how nice it must be to earn a doctor’s salary and be able to pay everything off one day.”
I was one of those people! One of those people that now, when I talk of paying off my house, say to me, “Wow, it must be nice!”
Fast forward eight years, and we’re 11 months away from having this mythical, story-worthy experience.
[Edit: We did it; we’re 100% debt free! Check out my very last mortgage post here.]
January was wonderful! Christmas bonuses and overtime made for our BIGGEST month yet.
As a refresher of how we are accomplishing this – we are only living on my income and our standard monthly mortgage payment comes from it. My husband’s income goes straight to the mortgage.
This past month has also been…intriguing. I set a goal for this year to read at least one book per month, and this month, I read The Millionaire Fastlane by MJ DeMarco. It has thrown several arrows at my nice, shimmery box of “I’ve got it all figured out.” He criticizes the Dave Ramsey path to financial freedom as the Slowlane to wealth, a trade of time for money and a gamble of hoping you will be healthy enough (or even alive) to enjoy wealth at 60.
My mindset evolves with every book I read, and that is a good thing. However, one view that has not changed is that becoming 100% debt free is the first step to building wealth. I’m not sure about you, but when getting on the interstate, I start in the slow lane 100% of the time before getting into the fast lane, even if for a very short amount of time.
Everyone classifies debt differently and has unique views regarding credit cards, retirement plans, credit scores, or even if it is a wise choice to pay off their home early. There are a ton of experts out there, and if you Google “personal finance,” you will discover a handful of different methods and outlooks within the first few minutes. As for me, I unwaveringly agree with Dave’s plan for becoming debt free and having a good financial foundation on which to build wealth.
Now, I am not a financial expert. I am not Dave or Suze. When it comes down to it, I cannot speak to you about the student loan crisis, because I never took one out. I cannot speak to you about your thousands of dollars in credit card debt, because the largest balance I ever had was $200 when I was 18. I cannot speak to you about the safe, efficient SUV you went in $30,000 of debt for when you had a baby, because I have never had either of the two. Nor can I speak to you about medical debt, because I am fortunate in having great health and health insurance up to this point.
But I can speak to you about changing your mindset and setting goals. I can speak to you about rising above society’s expectations/limits. I can speak to you about flipping the switch in a single second when it FINALLY hits you that there has to be more to this life, and you FINALLY discover that it is not possible until you achieve financial freedom. I can speak to you about how it feels watching your debt lower, your net worth rise and your escape from the imprisonment of the rat race come closer and closer.
Our financial snapshot for this month is below. Keep in mind that we are not actively contributing to our Roth IRA or our daughter’s college fund.
Continue reading/watching/listening/observing and allow your worldview to change! Brainwash yourself with financial information so that you don’t have the time to listen to the mediocrity that is our society!
A few of the podcasts I’ve listened to this past month:
Come back next month to check in along My Quest for (Financial) Freedom!