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“How I Got Out of Debt” Interview with Deacon Hayes**
Welcome to the second edition of the “How I Got Out of Debt” blog series. In this series I will introduce you to individuals who have been in debt. And, had the determination to do whatever it took to get rid of it in the hopes of inspiring you to do the same.
Meet Deacon Hayes
Today I would like to introduce you Deacon Hayes. Deacon runs a website called Well Kept Wallet, a personal finance site for “Financial Wisdom for Life”. Read on to find out how Deacon and his wife got rid of $52,000 of debt in 18 months.
How Deacon Hayes Got Out of Debt
Tell us a little bit about yourself.
My name is Deacon Hayes and I am a serial entrepreneur. I am married to my awesome wife Kim who is a high school social studies teacher. We currently have one son named Finn and we are expecting a daughter the first part of next year.
How much debt were you in and at what moment did you realize you were in big trouble financially?
Right after we got married, we sat down to assess our finances and realized that together we had $52,000 in consumer debt. That seemed like a huge number to tackle and we realized that if we paid only the minimum payments that we would be in debt for a very long time.
What made you decide to finally dig your way out of debt?
When we saw the numbers, we realized very quickly that we did not want to spend our married lives struggling with debt. We started researching “how to pay off debt” on the Internet, reading personal finance books and made a plan to get the debt paid off as quickly as possible.
How long did it take you to rid yourselves of your debt?
We paid off all $52,000 in debt in just eighteen months.
What are the things you did in your debt free journey that you feel were the most helpful?
I got a second job delivering pizzas at night, Kim and I went through the house and sold LOTS of stuff; our gaming system, Kim’s designer clothes and accessories, etc. We did anything that we could to earn some extra cash so that we could demolish our debt. We also sold our two newer cars and used the cash we gained from the sale of the cars to buy two older, reliable used cars.
What was the hardest things you had to deal with throughout the process?
Working a second job was tough because it limited the amount of time Kim and I had to spend together. However, since we were both on the same page it made it easier to do, knowing that it would only be for a season. Also, we ended up selling our nice cars and a lot of our stuff which was difficult because in a way it felt like we were going backwards in terms of success.
How did you stay motivated to keep going through your debt free journey?
We just kept focusing on the dwindling debt numbers and how much better our life would be after we were debt free. Also, we love to travel and we knew that if we achieved our goal, we could reward ourselves with an international vacation when the debt was gone. Once we paid it all off, we were able to save up the money and paid cash for a trip to Singapore, Hong Kong and Indonesia.
What tools did you use to help you throughout the process?
We decided to use Dave Ramsey’s Baby Steps to get our finances on track. The first thing we did was save up $1000 in a Starter Emergency Fund. Then we used the Debt Snowball method to list our debts smallest to largest and attacked the smallest debt with every extra dollar we got.
Once that was done, we went on to the next debt. This was huge for us because we got small victories really quick which gave us the momentum we needed to keep going with our plan to pay it all off in 18 months!
What is your number one tip you have for others who are in debt and wanting to be free of it?
Make a plan, do what needs to be done and get it done. Write your goals down and map out a specific plan to achieve them. Debt causes major stress on individuals, marriages and families. It’s just not worth it to keep using debt to fund your lifestyle. We realized this and it encouraged us to stick to our budget when times got tough.
How does it feel to be debt free and how has it changed your life?
Being debt free is awesome. Paying off our debt allowed me to quit my job so I could start my own businesses. I now run a successful, income-producing blog, a co-working space as well as an SEO company. I couldn’t have taken that leap if we still had our $52k in consumer debt.
It has also had an amazing impact on our marriage. Now that the debt is gone, we have the money to enjoy life together and we have a LOT less stress in life. This makes all the hard work and sacrifice that we made well worth it.
This is truly inspiring!! Read more of Deacon’s story here!
Read more inspiring debt free journeys
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