How to Get Out of Debt: One Blogger’s Inspiring Story


For several years, I have watched in awe as my friend Cherie tackled her family’s monstrous debt with determination, grace, and a healthy dose of extreme frugality. She was the inspiration behind my post on debt free bloggers. I watched, with tears in my eyes, as she and her husband made their final consumer debt payment just last month.

Now that they are completely debt free — having paid off even the daunting student loans — I wanted to share more of their story. The Lowe family has paid off over $127K in consumer debt, including credit cards, car loans, medical bills, and student loans. They didn’t sell anything or inherit in anyway.

It was all done the old-fashioned way — saving wherever possible and taking on more work to increase payments to their creditors. I asked Cherie to share a few more details, along with a few tips for those of us inspired to walk in her (debt free) footsteps.

Here are 8 steps to paying off debts:

  • Read The Total Money Makeover 1 of 8
    Read The Total Money Makeover
    Every single debt free family that I interviewed earlier this year said the same thing. Dave Ramsey, Dave Ramsey, Dave Ramsey. His debt snowball plan and no nonsense advice has inspired many on their journey to financial freedom.
    Buy It
    More Budget Saving Books at Inexpensively
  • Track Your Spending 2 of 8
    Track Your Spending
    Spend some time tracking receipts and bills so you know exactly where your money goes every month. Cherie says, too often, money goes in and out each month without a thought to how you could better use it to pay off debt.
    Read more at The Queen of Free
    Photo Credit: Flickr
  • Set a Budget 3 of 8
    Set a Budget
    Sit down and create a monthly budget, so you'll know what money comes in and goes out on a regular basis. "You must, must, must spend less than you make." Way less, if you really want to tackle your debts.
    7 Steps to a Better Budget
  • Adjust Your Budget 4 of 8
    Adjust Your Budget
    To keep a good handle on your finances, you'll have to keep going back to the budget. Cherie recommends budgeting again every few months, to make adjustments for seasonal changes, price increases, and budget mistakes.
    The Secret to a Successful Budget
    Photo Credit: Flickr
  • Live Differently 5 of 8
    Live Differently
    "To pay off debt, you have to be a little crazy." Cherie fully admits her family has been way crazy, as they worked counter culture to pay off their debts. That means skipping things others take for granted (Her husband hasn't eaten at a restaurant in several years!), to free up money for your debt repayment plan.
    Read more at The Queen of Free
  • Protect Your Marriage 6 of 8
    Protect Your Marriage
    Money issues are rough on a relationship! If you are going into this with a partner, be partners. Work together, communicate often, and find ways to show your love without spending money. Cherie and Brian are proof that when you team up to conquer your debts, nothing can stop you.
    Read more at The Queen of Free
  • Tighten Your Belt 7 of 8
    Tighten Your Belt
    Once you have a good picture of your budget, see what you can cut out of it. Find ways to reduce or eliminate expenses, to have extra money to pay towards your debt snowball. Dig deep, scale back your lifestyle, and watch your debts shrink.
    How to Save $3500 in 2012
    Photo Credit: Senior Living
  • Marathon, Not a Sprint 8 of 8
    Marathon, Not a Sprint
    To be completely debt free, you'll have to be in it for the long haul. You didn't get in this mess in a day, and it's going to take awhile to dig yourself out. The Lowes spent nearly 4 years paying off $127,482.30 in consumer debt. That's 4 years of hard work and sacrifice, but they have the rest of their lives to enjoy the results.
    Read more at The Queen of Free
    Photo Credit: Flickr

You can hear more of the Lowe’s story on Thursday, when they will be live on the Dave Ramsey Show in Nashville! Be sure to follow Cherie on Twitter, Pinterest, Facebook, and The Queen of Free. You can find her husband, Brian, on Facebook and at The King of Free.

More tips from The Queen of Free:
Four Ways to Save Money While Doing Your Laundry
Shop at Aldi and SAVE
Five Quick Ways to Save on Your Grocery Bill {WITHOUT Coupons}

Follow Heather on Twitter, Pinterest, and her blogs.



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