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Five Words That Sum Up Our Debt Payoff Success


I look at my debt ticker on the right hand side a few times a day. I still can’t believe where it is today. Over $17,000 of our credit card debt is gone. It may sound a little sappy, but I am a sappy gal sometimes. When I really start thinking of how far we’ve come, I can’t help but get teary-eyed.

I owe our success so far to five simple words:

Spend Less Than You Earn

Sure, there are many “keys” to financial success that you will hear, but I really believe those five words sum it all up. Even if you make $1,000,000 a year you will still get into trouble if you spend more than you earn. It’s a very basic principle and one that is very simple when you think about it.

Prior to starting this blog, we had no concept of spending less than we earned. We were in the mindset that it was okay to purchase things on credit because we will pay it off later. I shake my head at some of the spending that comes to mind. If only we had grasped the concept of spending less than we earned way back when. But the past is the past and life is about learning from your mistakes.

Now that we embrace the concept of spending less than we earn and practice it, we have made a huge dent in our debt. It will also help us pay it all off. It can’t stop there, though. Even after the debt is paid off, we will still spend less than we earn and build up a substantial amount in our savings and build a nest egg so we can live comfortably in retirement.

That’s not all! There is the next generation to think about. Although I haven’t brought it up yet, my son will definitely know the concept of spending less than you earn by the time he leaves the nest. He may choose to not apply that concept (and learn it the hard way like we have), but I am going to do my best to make sure he understands it.

Oh, and I’ll show him this blog and he can see how much debt you can get into if you don’t practice the concept! 😉


  • Reply Ryan Healy |

    It is simple, isn’t it?

    What I find interesting is why people end up spending more than they earn. I was reading one of Larry Burkett’s books a couple weeks ago.

    He pointed out debt is sometimes caused by premature consumption–wanting nice things before you can afford them. But other times it’s the desire to get rich quick. I found most of my debt was caused by the latter reason.

    Anyway, just found your blog and I’ve enjoyed reading so far. Thanks.

  • Reply Patrick |

    Great advice. 🙂

    Here is another quick thought: These same 5 words sum up the path to wealth.

    Just wait for the day that you pay off your debt and are able to invest the same amount of money every month. Add in the effects of compound interest, and you will be surprised at how quickly it grows. Just like watching your total debt decrease, watching your total assets increase is quite fun! 😉

  • Reply Cynthia |

    I agree whole-heartedly with everything you said. Since I just “got a grip” in June my paid off amount is way less than yours but it’s growing and right now I’m pretty sappy about that too. Finally I feel like we’re on the right track.

  • Reply wealthy_1 |

    That is so true…spend less than you earn. I’m just starting to really get a handle on my finances. I write down every penny that I spend now. It’s amazing the difference that makes. For the first time I’m going to be posting my numbers on my blog. That is very, very powerful.

    Congratulations on you success to date, and I wish you continued success as you work your way toward financial freedom!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Reply Maria |

    You should be very proud of yourselves for how far you and your family have come.

    You are truly an inspiration to all of us Tricia!

  • Reply little_earth |

    I’ve always spent more than I’ve earned. And everytime I get a pay increase I think, now I will be on track things won’t be so hard! But the end result is that I continue to spend more than I earn and I’m back in the same boat. Like did I really need to buy a new vehicle just because I had a full time job now? Not really, but at least I feel safer when I drive now…

  • Reply Steven |

    I have always loved this quote:

    “There is no dignity quite so impressive, and no independence quite so important, as living within your means.”

    – Herbert Hoover

  • Reply Self-improvement Advice |

    Before I’m a spender and I don’t care if I spent more than my monthly salary until I noticed that I’m only fooling myself doing this extravagance. Lots of money I wasted that time but now realize that spending too much won’t bring any good to me.
    Right now I learned to save.


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