My Personal Story to Debt Freedom
Today we have Mesha Griffith from Refilling My Wallet talk about her personal story to debt freedom.
How does one get out of debt? First you need to know her story and how she came into her financial situation.
Mesha and David started out with $50,000 of student loan debt. They were also ready for change from the cold of Columbus, Ohio and headed west to San Diego, California. They fell in love and fell in debt.
They went from $600 for a two bedroom in Columbus to $1300 for a studio apartment in San Diego. Moving to a new city with no connections makes it hard to grow in sales and in skills, it takes time.
Luckily Mesha and David had $20,000 as a reserve to help them sty on their feet while they sorted everything out. That lasted 9 months. They knew the cost of living was going to be much higher, but gas was double, higher taxes, utilities increase, new furniture and much more.
This is where the story changes. Mesha and David have good jobs and receive raises. Inflated income = inflated lifestyle
They move into a 1 bedroom at $1,600 and are still trying to live a great life. This sounds like all of us right? We all want to increase our living condition and continue to live a great life. Mesha said, “If we’d stay put”. That means that when you get a raise you don’t increase your cars, your home, your lifestyle…You save it.
Mesha and David got marries and put that on credit cards and also took out a personal loan. (They paid off their loan within their 1 year anniversary).
Now Mesha and David are at $1800/month for rent and 1/2 a mile from the beach. Together they are making over $100,000 and feeling great.
This is where the story really hits home for me. We all get to a point where we are doing great, and feeling great. But we are not paying off debts, saving, and being strategic with our money. Where does that change come in? That moment where we decide to start saving, or making a change. Well, for Mesha she was tired of paying for brunches and happy hour that were gone years ago, but still on her credit card statement. She found the DFC (Debt Free Community) and decided she needed to make some changes.
They cut their highest cost, their living expenses? How? As newlyweds, they got roommates. Rent was now $1200. They took the extra $600 (keeping the same lifestyle), but threw all $600 towards debt and paid off $12,000 in 6 months.
Things are going great, and they are crushing their debt.
But, as all good stories go, we eventually will find ourselves in pain, or sadness. Mesha lost her job, depression sank in they started to use credit cards again.
Mesha lost touch with her DFC, and was losing hope. At the right time a post came across her phone of a local San Diego DFC member who posted how she paid off $100,000 in debt.
Her debt free love returned and she new she could pay this debt off and be free. They made changes including moving back to Columbus, OH to live with in-laws for a time and paid off another $14,000 in debt. Their car was paid off, a credit card. Things were starting to move again.
Today, Mesha and David are down to $89,000 of debt and working on paying this off for the next couple of years.
We can learn so much from Mesha and David. They have done a lot of great things and fell on hard times. Emergency funds can help in that situation, but one thing Mesha said can really make a difference, “If we would have scaled back we wouldn’t be where we are.” We all collect too much stuff. We keep living above our means and we are trying to be like our neighbors. Instead we need to live different, be different and learn from each other. As we learn from Mesha we can take her strength and courage and use that to help us toward our debt free journey.
That means having a supportive spouse, and others that are working with us. As we do this we can accomplish anything. If you need more help jump on the DFC and gather all of the useful information that is out there and help cheer others along on their journey to debt freedom.