Debt. I don’t know about you, but that word makes me cringe. I don’t like the feeling of owing anyone money. It’s no secret that the military is not paid all that much; unless you’re pretty high ranking or have been in a substantial amount of time, and in those cases the pay has been earned… but for the lower enlisted or service members that haven’t been for very long, it’s more then likely a pay cut has been taken to serve in the United States Armed Forces.
Most Americans have some sort of debt to their names. It’s rare to talk with a person and yourself and/or them be 100% debt free. It’s also rare to talk with someone other then your spouse about your debt without being uncomfortable or feeling like you have to defend why you have debt. Student loans, mortgage(s), credit cards, payday advances and vehicle loans are some of the most common types of debt.
My husband and I are no different then the majority of military couples. When my husband and I got together, we had no idea how much debt the other was in. After dating for a few months and finding out we were pregnant, we decided to get married. When we got married he brought a lot of debt with him that he accumulated from his first marriage. I brought with me a lot of, what I like to refer to as, “stupid teenager debt.” Everyone makes mistakes, we aren’t proud of all the debt we’ve had, and it’s taken about 4 years to get in a place financially where we aren’t so stressed.
When I first started taking over the budgeting and paying off the debt I made sure that all our regular bills were paid before anything (rent, utilities, groceries, and gas for my husband to get to and from work) and then I paid off the lowest debt with what we had left. It was the easiest to just pay off and get out of the way before moving on to the next debt… and trust me when I say there was a lot. My husband thought it would best to hire someone to pay off our debt for us, but I didn’t like that idea. Why would I pay someone to do something that I can do for myself/ourselves for free? Wouldn’t that defeat the purpose of paying off this debt we got ourselves into?
This is the first part of the Becoming Debt Free series. Stay tuned for the next post in the series!