Our Money Master this week is Brian from Debt Discipline. Brian and his wife are on the cusp of paying off $109,001 worth of debt. Their goal is to have their debt paid off by November 2014. Having been in a similar situation, we know how they feel right now and we are excited for them. They can see the finish line.
What we love about the Debt Discipline blog is that it speaks from a voice of someone who has been there and done that. Very often it feels as though financial experts can’t relate to what people who struggle with debt go through and Brian’s blog is the opposite of that.
Particularly interesting is Brian’s ‘Net Worth’ page where he lists the progression of his net worth. We have to admit we’re total personal finance blogger net worth trolls, as we love reading these kinds of updates but we don’t post our own.
1. What’s your story?
My story is about my family and our journey to pay off $109k worth of debt. Prior to 2010 we were your typically family of five, we owned a home, went on vacations, we ate out, and we over spent. We basically had our head in the sand when it came to things related to personal finance. We coasted along like this for many years, not knowing any better. As I got an increase in salary at work we found ways to spend it. If we didn’t have cash for stuff, we coverage shortages with credit cards. We use consolidation loans to help lower payments for a short term fix, but never address the bad behavior and would then increase debt again. In June of 2010 I was out of options and had max credit lines on five different credit cards and had to let the family know we couldn’t afford a family vacation. We had hit rock bottom and needed to make a change. I sought information on personal finances and found Dave Ramsey and my first personal finance blog Punch Debt in The Face. After reading as much information that I could get my hand on, we developed our first budget that month and planned a staycation. We cut up our credit cards and began a debt snowball. It was difficult to deal with the changes at first but became easier as the months rolled on. The end goal of being debt free and having a surplus of $2k per month to build wealth helped keep us motivated. We began to teach our three children about budgets and debt. We wanted to make sure that they don’t make the same mistakes we have or at least have the knowledge to make better choices. Four years into our repayment we have paid off over $100K of our debt and are on track to be debt free this November. It feels amazing to be so close to our goal.
2. What’s your point of view, as a personal finance blogger?
At Debt Discipline, I try and blog about real live experiences that our family deals with on a day to day basis as we make our way paying off debt. Things like debt repayment, building wealth and educating our children on all things related to personal finance. My goal with the blog is to help someone else out there in a similar situation.
3. In one sentence, what’s one piece of sage advice from your personal finance background that you’d like to share with our readers?
Any purchase can be classified into two categories a “want” or a “need”, ask yourself which an item is before you spend any money on it.
Check out Brian’s blog at Debt Discipline. He’s definitely worth a regular read. Consider subscribing to his RSS feed so you never miss a post about Brian and his family of five’s experience with money. Brian can also be found on Facebook, Twitter and Google+.