How I got out of debt, and will stay debt free forever
In my younger years I liked listening to the radio as I proudly drove around town with my buddies checking out the bikini clad babes on the beach. We’d roll down the windows, crank up the tunes and cruise the dunes. Pumping hard rock through the radio speakers at an ear splitting volume got a fair number of those fine beauties in the car with us too! Upon arriving home in the late afternoon, windows rolled down and the car stereo blaring the latest tunes at an ear splitting volume while dad was tinkering in the garage, he’d always greet my arrival with the same comment: “Turn that shit-kicking music down!” His generation grew up in the Big Band era. People and things change over time. Or do they? After serving my country overseas for my entire 20 year career, I retired and returned to my hometown to find work and raise my own family. Dear old dad had it right. When my son turned 16 and we upgraded his driver’s license from a learner’s permit, I let him drive the car to school. That afternoon I heard him coming a block away with some Snoop-Dog rappin’ type of gibberish blaring full blast throughout the neighborhood. Without thinking, as he pulled into the driveway I hollered the first thing that came to mind: “TURN THAT RAP CRAP DOWN!”. Oh the memories. After military life my new job was a 30 mile drive each way. This was just over two decades ago, and I needed something calming on that long drive home. The tunes of my day were hard to find. Country music was depressing with its wife leaving and dog dying themes, and that rap crap stuff is just that. Crap. News talk was (and still is) nothing but bad news which invoked feelings of depression. It makes one contemplate crossing the centerline on the interstate as the oncoming semi approaches. My impression of truckers is that of country boy rednecks who love that music. With my luck, his wife just left, the dog died and his desire to swerve out of my way is severely diminished. News Talk radio is so depressing. Listening to it on those long drives occasionally brings about those thoughts of “what if?”. So I made efforts to avoid those stations while pressing the radio scan button looking for my musical era on the long drive home. About three weeks into this job, it happened. Scanning through the radio stations at 70 miles an hour I hit one where the first words I heard was a group of people screaming at the top of their lungs, “Weeeeee’re Debt Freeeeeeee!” You have my attention. Definitely nothing depressing about that. I’ll listen to this commercial and see what the newest get rich scheme is these days. There’s only two ways to really get rich quick – print it or steal it. But the potential retirement plan tends to be a deterrent. I was bought back to reality by the blaring horns of the oncoming 18-wheeler monstrosity heading my way, and quickly got back in my lane. So did he, thank God. Hope he pats the dog and kisses the wife for me when he gets home. I’m thinking this commercial is one of those 30 minute infomercials like on late night TV. A few more minutes, and I knew it wasn’t. But this “Dave” guy wasn’t promoting the latest get rich quick scheme. Instead, he’s telling listeners how to keep more of the money they already have – and he’s telling them for free! Arriving home, I sat in the driveway for another 45 minutes until the end of the program. I really like this Dave Ramsey guy! Heck, I realized that one of the things he’d suggested for saving money was something I could put in practice right away. Upon entering the house through the garage door, my wife greeted me with “You’re late and supper’s cold.” The perplexed look on her face when I responded with “Where’s the calculator?” was priceless. I couldn’t wait to get to work the next day, and it wasn’t because I liked the job either. By the end of that first year on the new job I had grown to like it, and Dave had really made a difference in our lives; the best next door neighbor anyone could ask for. When bringing that paycheck home in the white envelope and cashing it, I am no longer hauling it back out the door in wheelbarrows. When the day comes for me to depart this earth, I’m ready. So is my family thanks to Dave. Dear old dad has always been and will always be my hero. Dave Ramsey is my idol. When you depart this earth it will of course, be shocking to your family. It’s just something which, no matter how prepared you or your family is, they’re never fully ready for it. It’s always bad. But when that day does come, it takes about 3 days for the mortician to prepare your corpse for the funeral, and it’s generally the day after that you get put in the ground. Add another 10 days until your survivors get the official death certificate from the state office of vital statistics. They can’t file for the life insurance without it. Count on yet another 10 days before the settlement check arrives. Meanwhile, those credit card bills you leave behind? They keep coming. The one or two that were due during the turmoil following your passing are late by the time the insurance settlement check arrives. That’s a definite ding on your credit report that will remain there for 7 years after you’re gone. Bye-bye perfect credit. Now that the contact cement is dry, if you still insist on slapping that label on and declaring me a liar, remember this………………
How I got out of debt, and will stay debt free forever
Debts are dangerous as they are highly addictive. You have to have a strong grasp of your own finances with a high level of discipline if you feel that you are almost falling into an irreversible state of borrowing more than you can afford. You would usually start off with a small amount then gradually drift into a much larger debt. The sense of having access to ready money is what usually draws you to more and more debts.