Debt Free in 2015

I NEVER thought that it would be possible for us to be out of debt within a decade, let alone less than a year.

My first instinct was to avoid disappointment and just accept it.

Then I started to realize all the ways that our debt (more specifically the $400+ we had to pay back every month) was holding us back from almost every one of our dreams: having more children, building a house, travel.

None of them were possible when everything we had was going to basic expenses and debt! As long as we were only making the minimum payment, we couldn’t move toward any of those bigger, much more meaningful financial goals.

If that’s you too, keep reading. I want you to know that you can be debt free. You can make a big difference in your finances, and fast!

Why Be Debt Free in 2015?

Students loans, credit cards for all, car payments, mortgages, and more, there are so many opportunities to acquire debt in our culture, and so little chance, it seems, to make our way out of it.

Being in debt had become so common place we almost didn’t notice it anymore. It was a way of life.

We wholeheartedly bought into the philosophy that some debt is actually “good debt,” like those low-interest student loans and home mortgages with tax advantages subsidized by the government.

We don’t often hear the benefits of debt free living touted in our culture, so I guess that’s why we never stopped to question what the true cost of those loans were.

It wasn’t until I stumbled across a post about How to Be Debt Free in 2013 that my wheels started turning.

In fact, until the moment I read that post, I didn’t even know being “debt free” was a thing. Why would anyone do that? I wondered. 

Well, the reasons are different for each of us, but, I think if we’re honest, the answer to why we’d want to be debt free is right there in our hearts.

When we free up our income from debt, we have a little left over for living life more abundantly and spending more time with the ones we love.

It might be the difference between affording to be a stay at home mom and going back to work full time. Those few hundred dollars that go to debt could go to “buying” financial security in the form of building an emergency fund or saving for retirement instead.

I’d much rather help fund good causes in my community and around the world than funding the coffers of American Express and Chase.

And hey, let’s not forget the fun stuff too.

In essence, debt is the weight that holds us back from having the life we imagined. The saddest part is that we may even feel our finances are so far gone that we’ve stopped dreaming.

That was exactly how I felt when we were facing down $22,047 in debt with only one small income to pay it back.

Our income was low; our budget was already too tight. Why even bother trying to swim upstream?

If I were to guess, you didn’t acquire your debt by buying gold plated iPhone covers, either. You were probably doing good things like getting an education and making sure your family had good health care when they needed it.

You might have clicked through to this post because Debt Free in 2015 is an inspiring idea, a great new years resolution, but not one that you ever actually considered to be possible for you.

Or maybe you started reading this because the idea of living debt free is somewhat of an idiosyncrasy, like those people who live in 78 square foot houses or do ultra marathons.

Well, now that you’re here, I hope I’ve convinced you that becoming debt free just might be worth it. Now, let me show you that it might actually be possible, too.

Debt Free in 2015. Is it possible?

I can tell you, the change in thinking didn’t come right away for us, believe me! It took months before I even decided that attempting to pay off our debt faster than the minimum required was worth it. 

It seemed we had such a long way to go, and we just didn’t feel like there was any extra in our tight budget to accelerate our debt payback.

But by then our eyes had been opened. We HAD to do something, or we’d be stuck in the same financial mire year after year.

The obvious: nothing would ever change until we did something different.

Once we did get started, we made a plan to pay off our student loan debt in 25 months by taking some money-saving measures. Admittedly, some of these would take some sacrifice to our comfort, and our pride.

Some were simple ways to save money, and others were a little more extreme.

Then something happened. Three months went by, and we paid off that first little loan.

There’s something magical in the getting started; in making a goal, and then seeing real progress that you never dreamed was possible.

We found more ways to save. We got more opportunities to work hard and earn more.

And before we knew it we were out of debt…in just 9 months, all with one low income, 2 little ones, some health issues, and all the real-life struggles many of you face too. (You can read our whole debt free story here.)

Now my only regret is all those months that I wrote off being debt free as something other people do, but not possible for me.

I was so busy wallowing in my own regret of past financial mistakes and how hard we had it living on such a tight budget.

Instead, I could have been using that time and energy to actually make a change!

Your Debt Free Story Starts Today

I don’t know what your particular situation is. Your debt might be $2,000 or $200,000. You might have one low income, or two large ones. What I do know is this.

Every month you continue to make that minimum payment is another opportunity lost to change your financial future.

Will you be telling your own amazing debt free story next year? Or will this be just another year where you let go of the dreams you once had for your family.

Will 2015 be the year you start YOUR journey to be debt free?

Whether you’re just starting to learn about the possibility of being debt free like I was, or you’re already taking steps to reach your goal, be encouraged! Living debt free is possible, and it’s so worth it!

Where are you on your journey to debt free? Share your story in the comments! 



How to Be Debt Free in 2015 - Whether this is the first time you've thought about debt free living, or you've already taken the first steps on your journey to debt free, this series will show you everything you need to know to get started paying back your loans fast and stay inspired to keep on going.

shannon Clark, LIFE & FINANCIAL Coach

As a mom, I know what it's like to feel exhausted, overwhelmed by life, and inadequate to meet my children's needs. But I also know you don't have to stay there.

As an author and coach, I've had the joy of encouraging more than 9.1 million moms to find forward motion with their faith, family, and finances — without the frenzy.

Will you be next?

29 thoughts on “Debt Free in 2015”

  1. I do believe we have too much debt to become debt-free this year, but I am joining your budget challenge because I do want to keep the family on a budget so that we can pay off at least one student loan this year and then stockpile the rest for when my oldest starts Kindergarten in the fall. We are stockpiling because when he starts school, we will have to start driving two cars, thus increasing our gas budget. My hope is that once everything settles down, we’ll be able to put that stockpile towards another student loan!

  2. Our goal for 2015 is to pay off my car loan. We bought a new car in September 2014. It was a fantastic deal on a “demo” model and we just couldn’t pass it up! However, to get the payment that we needed at that time, we had to take out 72-month loan. It’s a HUGE loan for us, but my husband has received a promotion and I’m motivated to stick to a “no-spending” year so that we can pay it off by the end of 2015. Wish us luck!

  3. We have a weird financial set up. I am a stay at home mom& my husband “allots” me a small amount of money every week. This is to cover food, clothes, health expenses etc. when I couldntt make it work,I started using credit. Now I’m in way over my head & I really need this help. My kids are teenagers now…it’s so hardto tell them they can’t have things that are healthy & they’ve Always had. I do odd jobs to make some extra cash,but due to health issues can’t work a steady job.

    • Julie, I’m sorry to hear about your troubles But the first thing you have to do is come clean with your husband and tell him what’s going on, I know it will be hard but keeping it to yourself is harder and then you HAVE to tell your kids NO!. You are setting them up to fail by never telling them no. Work first to pay off your credit cards then as you pay them off CUT them up to avoid wanting to use them. Working together as a family and talking as a family is one of the greatest gift you can give your kids. Keeping you in my prayers, Sandy

  4. I’m in with ya’ll!
    My goal is debt free in 2015. We have a small mortgage taken out to finance a business venture that went sour and a car loan because we hadn’t saved enough to pay cash up front. We also have stupid debt, i.e., credit cards.

    But I’ve already seen God pay off over $5000 of our debt in just the last 3 months while also providing for our daughter to join an equestrian team! HE is amazing and I’m looking forward to what He’s going to do this year.

  5. My husband is self-employed and his income can be sporadic. So far God has enabled me to be home with my kids (9, 8, 4 and 2 yrs) for the past 2 years. Last March my husband had a severe leg accident and it’s been much harder for him to work. My goal is to get him on board with a budget, to build up our emergency fund and possibly pay off one car loan. (We went for several years without any car loans and then both our vehicles died within 18 month of each other :( ). I’m looking forward to seeing what God will do in 2015.

  6. Due to divorce, I needed to sell my house. Unfortunately, we hadn’t been there long enough to build any equity and took a loss. So I had to borrow money from my parents (big hit to my pride there) to cover the difference. I also broke a personal rule and got a credit card “for emergencies.” So I’m starting 2015 owing $4K to my dad (interest free) and $95 to my credit card (will be paid off next paycheck 1/15/15).

  7. We’ve been out of consumer debt for a couple of years now. Our big goal now is to either pay off our house or to have significant funds for buying a new home. We’re a family of 7 in a 900 square. ft. home. Things are getting a little tight ;-)

  8. Our only debt is the mortgage, but my husband’s salary got slashed 40% this year. I’m trying to find a part time job so we can keep homeschooling and looking for every means possible to stretch a dollar.

  9. My husband and I sat down yesterday and committed to each other to work towards getting debt free. I’m not sure that we can pull it off this year, but we are looking at 2016 (which is good considering how much debt we have). We have committed to living off of just his income and putting mine directly towards debt (mine is actually the larger income). I never thought that I would want to be a stay at home mom… until my kids were born. And now I want it more than anything. But unfortunately, due to some terrible financial decisions early in our marriage, that is not possible with the debt that we carry. Our ultimate goal is get our debt paid off so that I can cut down to only working part time or hopefully, not at all! Thanks for all your helpful tips and encouragement!

    • I LOVE to hear that you’re taking those first steps to your goal! Get that pay off date down on paper (even if it’s in 2016 and not 2015) and pin it up on the fridge for motivation. :) I’m so excited for you!

  10. As a family of 8, we managed to obtain a homeloan 5 yrs ago with the hope of including our $60 K personal loans into it, it wasn’t so this year I would love to pay a huge chunk out of the remaining, I figure we have around $30-40 K to go I am hoping to study this year so it will be on One income. EEk

  11. Good Morning Everyone,

    I wanted to share my first success story with you for 2015. I made it a point to begin working towards a debt free life this past Christmas. I began by placing all of our debts on paper and reviewing them daily and coming up with a plan. Thanks to Dave Ramsey and all of the other blogs I have read, I began to tackle the smallest debt first (snowball debt) with its minimum payment and more, if we could afford it. Today, I am proud to report that I have successfully paid off one of the smallest credit card. GO ME!!!!!

    • Congratulations Wanda! That is SO encouraging for me to hear as well as I’m sure so many that are reading this. I love the debt snowball because it is SO inspiring to keep on going once you get that first taste of success. I hope you’ll keep us updated as to your journey to debt free. Way to go!!

      • Thank you so much Shannon!!I will most definite keep you all updated on my debt snowball challenge. “I’m so excited and I just can’t hide it”. lol

  12. My husband and I found out in December that we are expecting our first child completely unplanned I ended up stuck between jobs and pregnant. I’ve started my own freelance writing business as I think its something I would be able to do after the baby arrives and even if we both had job we could never afford the type of childcare I would trust. We or rather I have a large portion of debt equivalent to around 30 or 40 thousand dollars though I’m not sure my Husband and I can pay it all off this year especially with a new little one on the way I am hoping not to increase our debt and to cut out at least enough of it that we can get our credits in a nice place to buy a second used vehicle for cash by this time next year.

  13. Our family has been working on becoming debt free and self-reliant for years. We paid off our credit cards and no longer use them. Last month we paid off our small family cabin that we live in. We are down to one car but don’t want to go back into debt for another car so we are working out a way to cash flow another vehicle for our family. We have two debts left our student loans and our property loan. We hope to add on to our cabin after we get out of debt, but we will be adding on with cash. Of the two remaining debts our property is smaller so that will be our focus for 2015. We have a single income, a large family, and a small income but I believe we can accomplish great things with prayer and determination.

  14. I guess it is part of the bundle so am having a look see. I became debt free in 2011. I live in personal jubilee, the wonderful thing about it is how much more creative I can be with where my money goes. Apart from regular giving, I do surprise giving, lots of anonymous giving and best of all I can give my time.
    Amazingly because of my volunteering I now have employment. Loving it.

  15. We have 3 teenagers…one who is going to college this fall….AHHHHHHHH! She is starting at community college mostly because she is unsure of what she wants to be…AND her grades are not even close to what the college she wants to attend are…SO..she is getting some financial help thru the state and she is working as well…but she is planning on finishing at a 4 year degrees school and her father and I plan on being able to help..We DO have some loan and couple credit cards because of medical issues..sigh…with two more kids behind this one we need to get on a GOOD solid debt reduction plan and a GOOD budget plan.

  16. I am actually fixing to take on debt for the first time through student loans for medical school. Trying to create a budget and payment plan so that when school is over, I can quickly pay of the student loans.

  17. Due to severe illness, I had to move back in with my parents a while back. Both they and I had paid off all of our consumer debts about 10 years ago, leaving only car and mortgage payments. Unfortunately, we’ve all allowed debts to creep back up, some of it unwise spending, some of it medical bills. Although none of our balances are very high, we know where this can go. So we committed to combining our incomes for the time being and focus on paying down our debt. I paid off three accounts just a few minutes ago and will pay two more off next week. Such a good feeling!!! We either cut up or froze all the credit cards. (Literally- we put them in Ziplocks with water and froze them.) Two more credit cards to pay off, then I’m going after the mortgage! :-)

  18. My husband and I have 3 young children. As they grow so does our debt. We both work and just finished my first year at the best paying job I’ve had yet. We are really at the start of this journey and I would say it would be a blessing if we could get at least one of our credit cards payed off by Christmas. Here’s to praying.

  19. Need to pay off a few med bills and some student loans. After that our saved money will be going towards a new house!

  20. I recently went thru a divorce gained nothing financially to help me out. I found myself surviving on credit cards. Now I am wanting so badly to gain my financial freedom so that down the road I can purchase a house rather than rent. Im scared and nervous due to the fact Im on one income and its not a great income. I am praying that this will be a better year and a year to gain some financial freedom.


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