You either do or you don't.
When it comes to getting your money under control, that statement pretty much sums it up. It certainly did for Malori Fuchs, a 25-year-old resident of Dallas and member of My Total Money Makeover.
"After I read The Total Money Makeover, I thought I really could do it if I try," said Malori, who works in the education department of the Dallas Symphony. "My fiancé, Mark, who has been so encouraging, said there's no such thing as ‘try.' You either do or you don't."
So she got to doing. And with more than $100,000 of debt staring her down, she had a lot of doing to do.
"When I started out after college, I had $115,000 to $120,000 in debt. I just paid off my car, so I'm down to about $98,000," she says. "May 31 is when I paid off my credit card, then I paid off the smaller federal student loan.
"Like Dave says, it really motivated me to keep going. I heard people say that you will always have debt, and I thought that it doesn't have to be that way. If you tell yourself you'll always have debt, you always will. You have to put your mind to it.
"Once you do, everything will change," she said.
A lot of change is in store for Malori and Mark in 2012. Their wedding is less than a year away. Until then, Malori is getting as much extra work as she can to pay down her debt while Mark, a 25-year-old first lieutenant in the Army, is deployed to Afghanistan.
"I did my first budget in June 2011, and I feel like I've found money just from knowing where my money is going. I've become so much more aware of how blessed I am through budgeting. Every day and week, I realize so many good things are happening in my life," she says.
She admits that now that she has found a way to win with money, it is frustrating to take the slow and steady route to debt freedom. "The hardest part is knowing that it can't be done right now. You set a goal and feel like a failure if you're not there yet. I take a long time to make a decision, but once I do that, I want to get there right now."
But odds are, that momentum will find its way to the young couple. Relocating is likely due to Mark's profession, so Malori says that if she can find another job like the one she has now, and with their combined incomes after the wedding, they might be able to pay 15 years of debt in only five or six years. "That would be awesome," Malori says.
That only happens when you make a commitment and follow through. So why not get started on your own journey? Our free Getting Started Guide will help you know exactly what to do and how to do it. Budgeting, cutting your spending, getting on the same page with your spouse—it's all there. Subscribe today.
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