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  1. #21
    Join Date
    Dec. 20, 2003
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    Hillsborough, NC
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    1,364

    Default secure and in control

    That's what pops into my head. I will be paying off my mortgage at the end of the year, after eeking out the last little bit of the mortgage interest deduction (the amount has gotten so small that I'm not likely to benefit from it going forward). I always pay off my credit card in full, and I paid cash for my car last year (I bought new but I intend to be driving it for 10+ years). For me not having debt allows me to live below my means and still pay board on two horses. Once the mortgage is paid off, I'll have extra cash to put away or to cover unexpected expenses (veterinary care, house maintenance & repair, etc.). It helps that I'm a bit of a homebody. Other than going to the Atlanta Olympics and going to Rolex a time or two, I've never been a big traveler.
    Only one cat - must not be totally crazy yet!



  2. #22
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    Jul. 4, 2008
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    The Great Northwest!
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by vacation1 View Post
    Luck has something to do with it.
    I disagree. We are "debt free" too and we have had out share of "back luck" (aka life happens?). For example two freak horse accidents resulting in large vet bills, and totaling two vehicles in the last three years neither of which was our fault, and medical bills.

    It's not luck that we had money in savings to help us through these costs. And it's not luck that we cut a few corners during times of financial stress to help us through them. I've had my share of life setbacks, but it hasn't stopped me from doing some basic financial planning and working hard to not $.

    I will say though, hopefully this time next year we will have a mortgage on our first home. And I'm thrilled to be able to responsibly claim that debt.
    Foaling Around www.facebook.com/foalingaround
    Custom Equestrian Items and Bath Products


    3 members found this post helpful.

  3. #23
    Join Date
    May. 12, 2000
    Location
    NE TN, USA
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    6,201

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by vacation1 View Post
    Luck has something to do with it.
    Most "luck" is manufactured by the one affected.

    "Losers contribute to good luck what winners know to be the results of hard work and discipline."
    “There are two ways to conquer and enslave a nation. One is by the sword. The other is by debt.”
    John Adams


    2 members found this post helpful.

  4. #24
    Join Date
    Feb. 28, 2006
    Location
    The rocky part of KY
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    9,301

    Default

    Well, to be truthful I thought I would be rid of bill paying but the taxes and HO insurance and water and electric and communications are all still there. Boo hoo.

    I have greater discretion with my income though. I can now pay all the bills whenever they come due, not have to pay the mortgage with this check and the child care with the next check. I can fritter away a little, stash a little. but as far as having new cars and all the nice stuff and the vacations, no way, I just don't have the income for that and most people I know either put in tons of overtime or carried a balance on the credit card. Carrying a balance is for emergencies only IMO. I use the thing all the time but haven't carried a balance for maybe 20 years. I don't like giving my money away, same reason we paid enough down on the house in the first place to avoid PMI.
    Courageous Weenie Eventer Wannabe
    Incredible Invisible



  5. #25
    Join Date
    Sep. 29, 2009
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    2,576

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by vacation1 View Post
    Luck has something to do with it.
    ha ha.

    LUCK has zero to do with having NO DEBT.

    Luck is winning a lottery, and all things were paid off. Luck is somebody giving you $ with no strings attached - ever. Luck is loosing weight each day and eating 5,000 10,000 calories a day. Luck isn't going out and spending above and your means. IOW buying a $35k car on a $10k salary is living out of your means. Buying and living in a $500k house on a $50k salary. Etc.

    We saved and saved and paid our mortgage off in early 09. It was a long time to save a huge lump sum amount of money to pay it off. But we did it.

    Luck. No. Hard work. Yes. We had a goal, and we worked for it.

    We have a cc we pay of each, and EVERY month.


    2 members found this post helpful.

  6. #26
    Join Date
    Jul. 31, 2007
    Posts
    15,185

    Default

    Given the cost of things like medical bills-- some catastrophic diseases or injuries costing more to treat than an average American will make in his entire working life, how can you not think about luck?
    The armchair saddler
    Politically Pro-Cat


    5 members found this post helpful.

  7. #27
    Join Date
    Jan. 23, 2000
    Location
    Virginia
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    7,905

    Default

    I think that luck plays into it to an extent. People are lucky to not have a major illness, a major accident, or layoffs at a company that they worked hard at. BUT - a lack of debt cannot be chalked up entirely to luck. It's also about strategic planning and budgeting and not living outside of your means. Luck is not an excuse not to plan.

    FWIW, I don't have any debt. It was partially luck and partially being fiscally responsible.
    ---
    They're small hearts.


    2 members found this post helpful.

  8. #28
    Join Date
    Oct. 21, 2003
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    8,675

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Trixie View Post
    I think that luck plays into it to an extent. People are lucky to not have a major illness, a major accident, or layoffs at a company that they worked hard at. BUT - a lack of debt cannot be chalked up entirely to luck. It's also about strategic planning and budgeting and not living outside of your means. Luck is not an excuse not to plan.

    FWIW, I don't have any debt. It was partially luck and partially being fiscally responsible.
    There are a million and one ways luck factors into it. Luck is having parents that pay for you to live at home until college, to pay for college, to give you your first down payment on your house, buy your first car, pay for your wedding.

    Or being in the right place at the right time (like graduating at the perfect time from college, and working in the Bay Area in the late 1990s for a company that happened to go public).

    Most of the people I know that are debt free and younger than 60 years old had most if not all of those things happen for them early in their life.


    1 members found this post helpful.

  9. #29
    Join Date
    Jan. 23, 2000
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    Virginia
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    Default

    Interesting. I know quite a few people that did not come from an advantaged background whatsoever and were still able to be debt free in their twenties. It's certainly not the same path for everyone, of course. It is obviously not entirely luck.
    ---
    They're small hearts.


    1 members found this post helpful.

  10. #30
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    Oct. 21, 2003
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Trixie View Post
    Interesting. I know quite a few people that did not come from an advantaged background whatsoever and were still able to be debt free in their twenties. It's certainly not the same path for everyone, of course. It is obviously not entirely luck.
    And they own a home in an area where the average home price is several hundred thousand dollars?

    I suppose I should also say debt free and actually own a home, a decent car, have a college degree.

    One of my closest friends is debt free. She also sleeps on her mother's couch and has a truck she paid a few hundred dollars for, and is unemployed.

    If I were renting a one bedroom apartment, I'd be 100% debt free too...
    But I think it's short sighted to not see how many people that are "successful" typically did benefit from a combination of luck and opportunity.


    2 members found this post helpful.

  11. #31
    Join Date
    Dec. 10, 2004
    Location
    Canada
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Perfect Pony View Post
    And they own a home in an area where the average home price is several hundred thousand dollars?

    I suppose I should also say debt free and actually own a home, a decent car, have a college degree.

    One of my closest friends is debt free. She also sleeps on her mother's couch and has a truck she paid a few hundred dollars for, and is unemployed.

    If I were renting a one bedroom apartment, I'd be 100% debt free too...
    But I think it's short sighted to not see how many people that are "successful" typically did benefit from a combination of luck and opportunity.

    I don't know why that's so hard for you to grasp. Are you saying that everyone on here who is proclaiming to be debt free (my husband and I are, aside from our mortgage which despite just getting will be paid off in 5 years) must live on their parents couches, not have any schooling beyond high school and drive beaters?

    It's called financial planning, budgeting and living within your means and working your ass off to get there.


    5 members found this post helpful.

  12. #32
    Join Date
    Oct. 29, 2000
    Location
    Southern Pines, N.C.
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    11,473

    Default

    I am 100% debt free. Farm, car, debit card (no credit cards) etc all paid for. I agree with the above poters who said "peace of mind", but the one annoying thing about being debt free is that I have a terrible credit rating.

    Yes, folks, if you ave no outstanding loans you do not exist according to the credit companies. Right now my credit rating is in the low 600's, because I do not have enough credit. So I can't get credit because I have no credit.

    When I owed $15,000 on my credit cards and had a big mortgage on my house, my credit rating was in the mid 700's beause I paid everything off promptly.

    I made the mistake of consolidating my credit card debt into one credit card with 3% interest rate. I then canceled those 6 cards with no balance due. When I had paid off that last card, I canceled it, too.

    BAD mistake. I got turned down for a Sears card. And my Home Depot card has a limit of $100/month. I spend about 6x of that at HD every month, using my debit card.

    Sounds crazy to me. But live and learn. As some of you become debt free, do NOT cancel your cards. They are what make you a good credit risk
    "I used to have money, now I have horses."


    1 members found this post helpful.

  13. #33
    Join Date
    Dec. 10, 2004
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    Canada
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    Default

    My husband is debt free, aside from our mortgage and he has a terrible credit score and refuses to get a CC. I have one, so we use my credit for everything.



  14. #34
    Join Date
    Jan. 23, 2000
    Location
    Virginia
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    Default

    It's called financial planning, budgeting and living within your means and working your ass off to get there.
    This. Perfectpony, I don't get why it's so hard for you to understand, either. It's not freaking rocket science.

    I would also like to point out that the question was not "Do they live PerfectPony's ideal lifestyle and have several hundred thousand in assets that are completely paid for" but "Debt free: what does that feel like?"

    There are a lot of ways to get there.

    If you need an example, I'll give you the former Mr. Trixie. He worked his behind off and earned enough to pay for a house (not fancy), his car, and his education in cash, as well as a large chunk of his father's extensive medical expenses (from a lifetime of alcoholism - believe me, there was no inherited "luck"). That was in his early thirties.

    It is, in fact, completely possible to live responsibly and build assets without wracking up a ton of debt. It is even possible to do it without familial help. It is not necessarily easy or a "traditional" path. You also don't have to own a "several hundred thousand dollar home" to not have debt. (But, um? We're from the DC area. It costs more here than a lot of other places.)

    FWIW, Lordhelpus, I had a similar issue. I had to get and start using a credit card - even carried a very small balance for a little bit - in order to build credit. Completely annoying, since I prefer just paying cash for most things and rarely make outlays that I want financed.
    ---
    They're small hearts.


    1 members found this post helpful.

  15. #35
    Join Date
    Jan. 23, 2000
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    Virginia
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    Default

    If I were renting a one bedroom apartment, I'd be 100% debt free too...
    But I think it's short sighted to not see how many people that are "successful" typically did benefit from a combination of luck and opportunity.
    Also, if you were still responding to me, did you completely miss the part where I said "luck plays into it to an extent"? Are you trying to say that you think it's ALL luck and no hard work and planning?
    ---
    They're small hearts.



  16. #36
    Join Date
    Jul. 31, 2007
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    15,185

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Jazzy Lady View Post
    I don't know why that's so hard for you to grasp. Are you saying that everyone on here who is proclaiming to be debt free (my husband and I are, aside from our mortgage which despite just getting will be paid off in 5 years) must live on their parents couches, not have any schooling beyond high school and drive beaters?

    It's called financial planning, budgeting and living within your means and working your ass off to get there.
    No, but it's very different to end your college career with a tad left over in your trust fund or breaking even and starting $20K in debt.

    Since a college degree is still the ticket of admission to most fields that will offer a career rather than a series of jobs, just what would you tell the young whippersnapper who will pay far more for that basic set of "working papers" than you or I did?

    Don't dish out snarky to Perfect Pony with the question about "What she can't grasp" about your point of view, unless you are willing to answer the same question about the fact that the generation born after 1975 will be poorer than the preceding one by just about any metric you'd want to use?

    They could apply themselves with all the smarts, vim and vigor as their predecessors and is unlikely to generate the same wealth. Judging their efforts by the results would be patently unfair.
    The armchair saddler
    Politically Pro-Cat


    4 members found this post helpful.

  17. #37
    Join Date
    Dec. 10, 2004
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    Canada
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    Default

    MVP - I wasn't being snarky. I was asking a question. She seemed to not realize that there are people out of debt that weren't handed everything. Just because someone is debt free does not mean that they have had it easy. Most people I know who have little to no debt have actually had things pretty hard, and the ones that look like they have it all together have piles of debt to make their life look easy and perfect.

    Being debt free can't happen overnight unless you win the lottery. It's a lifestyle change and sacrifices have to be made, but it's possible to do it, even on a small salary.

    And yes, it may mean that you have to take on extra jobs, have less free time, work longer hours and do stuff that you don't really want to do, but it is possible. Yes, it may seem more difficult today, but is it really?

    Mortgage rates are lower than they've ever been. Compare that to the past where people were paying 20% and up interest. Yet, a lot of them are debt free.

    You can buy a brand new car for 0% financing. That's a relatively new thing. It's still better to pay cash or buy used rather than finance, but at least the interest isn't killing you.

    Just two examples, but if you plan wisely, spend wisely and save, it is possible. it will take longer for some than for others, and schooling, jobs, life choices, etc all make a difference in the time it takes, but it doesn't mean that you have to come from an affluent family in order to do so.

    I feel compelled to ad that I am only 28.



  18. #38
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    Sep. 29, 2009
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    2,576

    Default

    I will not get into sob story details, but Luck, did not help us pay off our debt. My husband and I have not lived any prince or princess life - that is for sure.

    We worked HARD, watched our pennies. We didn't spend out of our means.

    Don't buy what you can not pay for in cash.

    Feels such a great relief to have everything paid off. We do not want to EVER go back into debt again. Both of us started with nothing, worked hard, and now we have it all - no debt.

    My two sisters lived the parental doting princess lives. No such LUCK with me. I am the middle child. Husband is also a middle child, and he lived no princely life either.

    Peace of mind. Debt free. Although we have money in the bank, you won't be seeing me buying a $25k or more horse. MY LUCK it would get off the trailer and break it's leg, or something worse - like years and years of NQR mystery problems. Nope, I stick to lesser priced horses.


    2 members found this post helpful.

  19. #39
    Join Date
    Feb. 22, 2000
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    passepartout
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Jazzy Lady View Post
    Yes, it may seem more difficult today, but is it really?
    Yes, it is.

    In the 1970s, you could work a part-time (10-15 hours) job at minimum wage and, with those earning, pay for a year of classes at a public college/university. Today, it would require a full-time job. Given the realities of working full-time and going to school full-time (not to mention the reality of needing a degree to advance past minimum-wage work), this often forces individuals to take on student debt.

    College costs have skyrocketed since that era. So have housing costs. They now represent a much greater percentage of income.

    In August, the Pew Research Center put out a rather gloomy report on the shrinking middle class.

    While it's easy to scold people for not living within their means, let's not forget that millions of Americans were victimized by various forms of fraud perpetrated by banks and financial entities that operated -- and continue to operate -- as Teflon casinos.


    5 members found this post helpful.

  20. #40
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    Jul. 5, 2007
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    Beside Myself ~ Western NY
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by TikiSoo View Post
    And I agree with the earlier post at how some people just waste money on unnecessary stuff. I don't have any hand held electronics and don't really care, they add nothing to my lifestyle. I dropped cable last Feb and don't even miss the crappy shows. NEVER had a mani/pedicure or facial-I look just fine.
    I often think abou the amount of money I "waste" on unnecessary stuff, and I'm sure I'm pretty low on the curve... when I don't go to the gym enough to justify my membership, or if we don't call family enough to justify the cell phone... the Ancestry.com...the Netflix...the Sirius XM... the occasional Starbucks.

    The trendy American lifestyle makes you think you need all this stuff that ends up costing you hundreds of dollars a year. If not thousands. Back in the 70s-80s we didn't "need" this stuff. We didn't have any idea what we were missing out on either.

    I mean, I wouldn't even consider going away for the weekend anymore without a smartphone, an updated Garmin, and satellite radio. Because dang, what would happen if I had to check my emails, ask directions to a restaurant, or station surf?


    2 members found this post helpful.

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