I know that seems like a small amount of debt to most people. According to nerdwallet Americans carry an average debt of $137,063, including their mortgage. That is crazy to me.
I hate debt. We haven’t owed for anything since we paid off my husband’s truck back in 2010. My father in law also blessed us by paying off our house that year and we have made the effort to live debt free ever since. If we want something we do the research and we save. We keep a savings for any big expenses and we don’t touch it. Until now.
The reason for our debt.
Land is our kryptonite. Especially land that butts up to our house. In 2013 the house next to us burnt down. We cleaned out our savings to buy the land before it even hit the market. We didn’t want any more neighbors and definitely not the people who were looking at it. That brought it up to 1.3 acres. Or around about. Our original tract is just under an acre and shaped like a big L. Long and narrow, we never made use of all of it because the tract made no sense. The 2nd tract we bought didn’t help matters because now it’s shaped even crazier. With tracts 3 and 4 our property is now more squared off and we can put up a fence.
Eventually. When we get done paying for it. ($30,000 in debt!!!) It more than doubles our acreage and makes our lots make sense. And I finally have an excuse to get goats! I can’t wait!
Seriously, I’ve always adored goats.
Goals for the Land
My long term goal would be just to have it. When the kids are grown they will have the option of building their own homes on it. Land is also one of the few things that we can’t make more of. Which translates to a good long term investment. (Prov. 13:22) In case the Monsters grow up and decide they can’t stand me and wouldn’t live with in a thousand miles of me. That’s a gross exaggeration but you get the point. Any way you go it’s not a bad idea to buy it.
The Plan to get out of debt.
We did make sure the payment agreement is with in our budget. We also made a plan for “just in case”. I can’t stand to owe. The Bible has a lot to say about debt and very little of it is good. Prov. 22:7 says that the borrower becomes the lender’s slave. Not somewhere I want to be.
There are only 2 ways to get out of debt.
Save more money.
Save more money by cutting costs and living more simply. We’ve been very pro active with living on less than our monthly income. Simple lifestyle changes can save a lot and keep your money in your pocket. Turn your water heater down. Turn off the lights when you leave a room. Cut your cable bill. Seriously, why do you even have cable? With Netflix, Hulu, and Youtube there are much cheaper options out there. You can get more extreme to save even more, it all depends on what you’re willing to do. Some more ideas would be:
I have been exploring ways to earn more income for awhile now. Currently I am selling on ebay, writing this blog, and selling chickens. Periodically I’ll update y’all on those efforts with income posts. So far there’s not a whole lot of shaking going on. But I am optimistic. I have also looked into selling on Etsy but don’t know how much time I can commit to making things to sell. Some more ideas:
Does making more money make people happier? I doubt it. I’ve never been a millionaire, but I have known a couple. They were just like everyone else, with the exception of more expensive tastes. Some of the happiest people I’ve known have been completely broke. I think it’s more about mind set than material things or money. It may be “nicer” to drown your sorrows in Bali with a margarita (or what ever people in Bali drink) than sitting on a park bench. But you still have sorrows. They (I’m going to figure out who “they” are one day) say the “perfect” income is $70,000 a year. Any less and you may struggle to pay your bills and have added stress. If you make more and you’re still miserable then your problem is not necessarily money. My husband and I have different mind sets about money. To him more is better. To me enough is enough. That can make for some interesting budgeting!
Where does your mind set fall? How do you save or make more? Any ideas how to get out or stay out of debt? Let me know in the comments!