My Journey To Living Debt-free
My Journey to Living Debt-Free: The MoneyByRamey.com Story
My 35th birthday is quickly approaching and I gave myself the ultimate gift: living debt-free.
On March 29th 2019, I sold my house for a tidy profit, and in doing so eliminated the pesky and pricey mortgage payment that I was making every month. I also eliminated the need for house insurance, St. Paul property taxes (which are very high), and any maintenance fees that would pop up on the house built in the 1970s.
My personal debt ratio is now .05, with the majority of debt outstanding being tied up in balances owed on credit cards, which I pay off religiously on the due date.
Thus, all of my ‘debt’ I now consider good as it earns me rewards and extends the time that my money is working the markets.
The Dream Come True
Living Debt-Free is truly a dream come true because now I can focus on living more minimalistically. A main focus will be on growing my dividend portfolio, which is quickly approaching a cascading growth momentum.
My goal is now to deploy that capital that I made on the house sale into a combination of dividend producing stocks as well as a reasonably priced condo or townhouse. I could see putting 50-100% down and/or assuming a 15 year mortgage instead of the traditional 30 year mortgage. Be on the lookout for a posting on my experience with home ownership soon.
For now though, I will rent for a little while well focusing on building up my business ventures, active and passive income sources.
Less Stuff = More Time
Personally, I am still in a bit of shock, as the selling of my house marks a combination of a year-and-a-half’s worth of sincere, dedicated effort.
While I enjoyed owning my home and I am appreciative for being blessed with the opportunity to do so, my eyes are wide open to the sunk costs and time lost in managing a property.
During my home ownership, there were ups and there were downs. In fact, there seemed to be plenty of downs as I worked my way towards where I knew I had to be: I had to replace a roof out of my own funds, I quit a job that was no longer serving me with no position lined up, and I began the process of downgrading my life style through selling many of my possessions.
While it was scary at certain points during this process, it was more exciting than anything. And overall it is put me in to the place where I want to be: the place of financial power where “Cash is King”.
How Did I Achieve Living Debt-Free?
First off, I do not think I would be where I am at without having a budgeting process in place.
Via budgeting, I was able to properly plan, allocate, and anticipate the next move in my financial life.
If I needed to make a large purchase, my budget told me if it was possible. If I had an opportunity arise, I could easily anticipate what effect that would have on my overall financial picture.
In fact, I find budgeting so important in my journey towards Financial Freedom that I wrote my first book on the topic.
If you are not operating with some sort of budget or financial gauge, take the time to build and develop a budget today. Creating a budget day and sticking to it is one way I’ve grown towards Financial Freedom.
2. Following the Rules of Money
Money Management is so easy yet so complex. It requires discipline, perseverance, and the ability to delay gratification in order to keep the long game in mind.
I personally have found that for me, following the Rules of Money have been very beneficial.
The basic equation is: Spend Less than You Earn + Maximized Savings = Financial Freedom.
Are you living and practicing the Rules of Money today?
3. Practicing Patience
The journey towards Financial Freedom is not easy. I am decently well off, but I still have a long ways to travel in my journey towards the end goal of having my passive income pay for my lifestyle.
I know it will not happen in one fail swoop – be that tomorrow, or the next day, or the next month; however, with perseverance and patience, the goal is to make daily “money moves” which will help propel me to the Financial Freedom I seek.
It all starts by building up my active income, which I use to invest in passive income ventures. This requires and inordinate amount of patience and long-term planning.
It’s not easy but it is possible!
You Can Live Debt-Free!
So what did I learn along the path towards living debt-free? Is all debt bad and never to be utilized? While I believe that being liquid in cash and avoiding debt is a great lifestyle choice, I do not believe it is always as simple as that.
In fact, I do still have certain amount of debt, it is just now that most of it is in the form of non-interest bearing credit card debt. I also could see myself owning property in the future, however I will approach it with an entirely new mindset. The goal will be to utilize debt in ‘good’ forms only.
When I quit my job in May 2018, I had no idea where I would end up; only a hunch that I was heading in the right direction. I had a decent chunk of savings built up and I had a few dreams: entrepreneurship and Financial Freedom.
In utilizing my savings to build my businesses, I became locked into a hustle mindset, which I am forever grateful. I’m at a point where I never want to see my savings being tapped again. Rather, I want to live through spending wisely (see my new found philosophy of just in time purchasing), and in living debt-free and interest-free whenever possible.
Now I am seeing the benefits pay off. Cash is rolling in. Expenses are few and far between, and the interest is now trending toward massive income instead of an overwhelming expense.
Now that I am on the other side, I see that it is possible for anyone to become debt-free. A place where income far outpaces expenses and interest-expense is non-existent.
Is it easy? By no means. Is it possible? As we say in Minnesota, “You betcha.”
Where do I go from here now that I am living debt-free? I don’t have all the answers yet, but in my estimation the sky is the limit. Time will tell, but the future is surely bright.
Do You Want to Live Debt-Free?
Hello! Where are you at in your Financial Freedom journey? Are you living debt-free yet? Do you have 10, 20, or 50 years to go? I’d like to hear where you are at and how you are doing it. Comment below with your thoughts and insights!
I credit becoming debt-free by learning the budgeting process. Without developing and honing my skills in this area, I know I wouldn’t be where I am at. Only by understanding and managing my money appropriately was I able to build up my savings, dividend portfolio, and now, a debt-free lifestyle.
If you’d like to set up your first budget or get insights that can improve your own process, pick up your copy of Simple Budgeting today.
In this book, I document my own personal budgeting process, including examples straight from my own life! I guarantee this will help you in your own process, or your money back!
I am glad you shared your journey with us 🙂 Really inspiring to others.
I’m 29, I’m a writer and I have no debt. People around me, closer to my age, think I’m so crazy to be living my life this way. We are taking a bit of a different journey than others, but I am predetermined to never have a misuse of credit cards. I got 2 credit cards last year for my future uncertainty. I can continue living with lower expenses and save money. Taking it each step is very important.
Thank you Valentina! It’s always great to hear about another’s story to living debt-free. Wish you the best 🙂 -Ramey
Thank you Matt! I wish you the best too. 🙂