Stories & Blog

I had $ 110,000 of credit card debt, but I'm debt-free today. Here's how.

Dale Maloney | November 18, 2021

Lynn and I were married in 2002, after both losing our spouses to cancer several years before. We blended families and expenses. Lynn had been very frugal and lived a debt-free life, and I had NOT.

I had brought into our marriage (without Lynn’s knowledge) over $110,000 of credit card debt. It was not long before the financial situation became a relationship situation.

Lynn said, “I don’t live like this and I won’t live like this!”

I committed to resolving it. I went from driving a new custom made 911 Porsche Carrera Cabriolet 4 to driving Lynn’s 1997 Toyota Corolla for the next 9 years.

As I began working on my immense credit card debt in my own way, I would make some progress and then be met with life’s challenges.

In 2008, I reluctantly began attending Financial Peace University at the Vineyard with Lynn. Having been in corporate America my entire career, and having an MBA, I doubted I would learn much!

We had made some progress by not getting further into debt but really had not made a major dent in paying down my credit card debt.

Lynn suggested that we try following the FPU Baby Steps and program.

Of course, I felt I could improve on it, and made it my version. I loved spreadsheets, and I had developed a multi-column and multi-page spreadsheet that gave Lynn headaches and ended with every money communication being non-productive. NOT improving our finances and certainly not our relationship.

Finally, Lynn said, “Can’t we just do it Dave’s way?” And as a slow learner, I conceded, and we began.

Funny thing is, IT WORKED! And made our relationship much better and our money talks productive.

From late 2008 through 2012 I attacked my debt. I literally sold so much stuff and used every available dollar to pay off all debt.

January 2012, we became debt-free including our house! During this time, because of the planning of doing it Dave’s way, when met with multiple job losses due to downsizing, acquisition, and restructuring, we were prepared and did not miss a beat!

Because of our planning and learning to live the best life we can, we have been able to be retired now for over 4 years and live within our means without ever having to touch our retirement savings.

Understand it is never too late, we did not seriously start this program until I was 59!

We so strongly believe in this program, we have sponsored our five children (young adults and spouses), friends, and others who have been in need.

Not having to worry about the challenges of our finances which was an all-consuming job in the past, we have found new and more ways to love God, serve God, love others, and serve others. And that is why we are co-leading this next class!

Learn More About FPU

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