No. of Recommendations: 160
None. Nada. Zero. Nothing.

No consumer debt (aka all we have left is mortgage debt).

What a long, long road its been.

Shortly before I came here we owed about $285,000 in consumer debt. At its height about $168,000 in credit card debt, a car loan and a loan we took out to buy some land (not secured by the land so considered consumer debt).

In October 2005, we decided to get out of debt. From that poin,t we quit adding to our debt. However, we couldn't get traction. It is hard to get traction when you have to make minimum payments on that kind of debt.

Finally, the next summer we sold our house, used some of the proceeds to get a head start on paying off the credit card debt and I posted here on July 23, 2006 mostly to keep my motivation up.

http://boards.fool.com/Message.asp?mid=24378489&sort=who...

I got punted around pretty good in that thread. Periodically I go back and read it and am sort of amazed that I didn't just leave then.

But I didn't.

In the early months much of the discussion was whether we just continue our plan to build (on the land we had bought) or whether to buy an existing house.

http://boards.fool.com/Message.asp?mid=24592319&sort=who...

http://boards.fool.com/Message.asp?mid=24706730&sort=who...

At some point we finally decided to buy the house that we live in now:

http://boards.fool.com/Message.asp?mid=24738708&sort=who...

Later, I reflected on the kind of thinking that had contributed to us going so deeply into debt:

http://boards.fool.com/Message.asp?mid=25092973&sort=who...

With things going relatively well, I bought a gaming computer and posted about it -- getting very little flack for the extravagance:

http://boards.fool.com/Message.asp?mid=25227743&sort=who...

Then we sold the land (for a profit!) and used the proceeds to pay off debt including our car loan:

http://boards.fool.com/Message.asp?mid=25264938&sort=who...

Probably the bottom of the whole experience, the roughest time was this thread 2 years ago. I was sort of innocently happy when I was writing it that DH was really on board to make a plan going forward. I felt really blindsided when suddenly the extravagance of the gaming computer was revisited. This was the point at which I almost gave up:

http://boards.fool.com/Message.asp?mid=26676815&sort=who...

But I stuck with it. We did certain things that slowed down the payoff, most notably maxing out retirement contributions in 2008 and then creating a larger irregular expense fund:

http://boards.fool.com/Message.asp?mid=27746461&sort=who...


As we got close to the end, I reflected on the decisions I had made. Some great, some middling, some not so great.

http://boards.fool.com/Message.asp?mid=27805738&sort=who...

And, then, last month we were close, so close:

http://boards.fool.com/Message.asp?mid=28088594&sort=who...

And now? It is done, done, done.

I actually posted the payment a couple of days ago but it is taking time to sink in that we don't any money to anyone except for this house. It is all sort of anticlimactic. Part of that is because recently I've been looking ahead and past this.

When I first started posting I mentioned that getting out of debt was my new hobby and someone was concerned that this might indicate my determination might not be very long lasting. Well, thankfully, it was a hobby that I stayed with. And, now, I have a new one which is preparing for retirement (which appears like it might be possible much sooner than I would have thought 3 years ago).

Anyway....despite the bumps along the way and those here who just don't like me...I really do appreciate the support and help I've received over the last 3 1/2 years. It has meant a lot to me.
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