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Question of the Week- What Are You Willing to Sacrifice?

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This is our Sunday series where we all respond to reader questions. If you want to submit a question, please go to this post.

Question of the Week

 What are you willing to give up, or not willing to give up, to get out of debt?  For example-not willing to give up the gym because health is critical: willing to give up current home to live in a small space and save money.  posted by Juhli

Stephannie

I feel like we have already made a lot of changes and none of them have caused a decline in our quality of life.  For the last year my girls did not participate in dance or cheerleading (which they’ve both done since they were three) and while they miss it and will go back at some point, it was kind of a nice respite from how crazy our weekday evenings used to be.  They currently only participate in sports that are offered locally for free and that keeps them happy and us busy enough to stay out of trouble!  I also think my going back to work full time has been a huge sacrifice because I can’t be nearly as involved with my girls’ school activities as I used to be. This has been a big adjustment for me but even more so for them.  I think it’s safe to say that we are pretty much willing to do anything short term to get out of debt as quickly as possible.  The long term goal will be to stay out of debt.

Jim

Basically I am willing to sacrifice any superficial thing to get out of debt.  We have already gotten rid of cable and our cell phones.  Starting last month we cut back on eating out, with the intentions of only eating out once a month.    As for not willing to give up… Well I think you all know that answer. I have very strong feelings about my self employment. I know in the deepest parts of my body, that I can make this entrepreneurship work. I know that eventually with what I am doing, I will be better off. And I also know that if I did take on a job, that I would let this dream die in me. Which eventually will do devastating things to me.

Hope

I will not give up opening our home to children in need. That was easy. Pretty much everything else is up for negotiation.  And every day I’m looking for new ways to make money, save money and cut costs.  I’m certainly not perfect and it is a daily battle for me, and I do mean daily, but I am committed – all in.

Ashley

I’m trying to be open to sacrifices both big and small. In terms of “big,” Chris and I have decided to forego our annual Christmas trip back to Texas so we can save money (it will be our first Christmas in the 7 years we’ve lived out-of-state that we won’t be returning for the holiday). We had also originally been planning another trip this Spring. Chris has family in Seattle and I’ve never been to the area. Chris hates flying (read = scared terrified), so we were planning to drive, spend some time, then take our time driving down the California coast line to get back to Arizona – take a couple weeks for the full trip. Obviously that’s out the window. In terms of “small” sacrifices, I’ve been making all kinds of things homemade or DIY instead of buying, we’re trying to cut down how often we eat out, and I’m trying to generally “make do” with what we have instead of buying new things (first thing that comes to mind is a swim suit for summer, though this applies to more than just clothes). In terms of “not willing to do,” one thing I do not want to change is our residence. We pay $1055/month for rent in a reasonable (small 1 story) home in a safe area. In the past we have lived MUCH more cheaply (rent for only $595). But to do so, we were living in the extreme “hood” (in a really rough area). That was all fine and good when it was just me and husband but now that we have children I really value living in a nicer, more family-oriented neighborhood. I’m sure there’s some compromises – places “in between” where we currently live and where we used to live….but at this point I’m not really interested in looking elsewhere. We moved here last August so we haven’t even been here a year, we love it here, and I do not want to uproot us again at this point. I’m not saying this will NEVER be a possibility, but currently it is not an idea I want to entertain.

Question of the Week – Tackling Debt

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This is our Sunday series where we all respond to reader questions. If you want to submit a question, please go to this post.

Question of the Week

 Are you planning to tackle debt in an “all-out” kind of style or more of a “slow and steady wins the race” pace? – Jocelyn

Stephannie

Our plan is to sacrifice as much as we can stand to pay it off as quickly as possible. Life gets in the way sometimes but we just want that burden gone. 

Jim

To be honest, I am a little in the middle.  I am throwing the majority of our income, setting up our emergency fund and on debt.  But at the same time, there is a lifestyle that I have grown to love.  Being home when my children wake up, when they go to bed, and everything in between I simply love and for the most part am probably not going to change.  But as my income grows from all my ventures from home, more money will be thrown toward debt.

Hope

I did not even have to think about this one…I’m all in! I am so anxious to be out of debt and free up some of my income that every dime is thought and re-thought before it’s spent.  I have spreadsheets upon spreadsheets exploring different scenarios.  Granted, I have to balance my “all in” with four kids and their lives too, but I am pedal to the metal…all in!

Ashley

Is it cheating to say both? To be fair, we’ve been paying down our debt for over a year now, but it’s definitely been at more of a “slow and steady” pace. Starting in January of this year we really got gazelle intense. I am SOOOO committed to eradicating our credit card debt. I am trying to tackle it with absolute dedication (examining all opportunities to cut costs, increase income, etc.). Our goal date for being credit card debt-free is March 2015 (one year after starting blogging here at BAD), but if I have it my way we’ll be finished by the end of 2014. But our credit card debt makes a relatively small proportion of our overall debt (which also includes a car loan, license fees, medical debt, and student loans). I see us staying focused and intense on paying off the car and license fees (and will continue blogging during this time). But If I am 100% honest, I feel much less urgency about the medical debt (which is interest-free) and student loans (which is NOT interest-free). Everyone I know with student loans basically finances it over the course of a mortgage:  15-30 years!!! I don’t want to be in debt that long, but the numbers are so huge and daunting, I would be lying if I said I am certain we can remain gazelle intense until its gone!!! I guess I haven’t fully decided regarding our pace of debt-repayment for these debts (medical & student loans). I’m hoping that as we continue along the journey, each additional “win” will help build momentum and make the process feel easier and more comfortable as it simply becomes our way of life. But if anyone would like to share a success story or tips for staying motivated, please leave comments! I find success-stories particularly compelling and would love any and all tips on staying motivated for the long-haul!

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