I’m Debt-FREEEEEEE!

By
Education & Training with Sell with Soul

I’m often asked how I got into the “real estate training” business – usually by people who’d like to do it too. People who feel they have a message and are passionate about sharing it.

So, Jennifer, how did you make the transition from being a reasonably successful real estate agent to being a Debtreasonably successful real estate trainer and what advice would you give me if I wanted to do it, too?”

Well, truth be told (and I DO tell these people the truth that you’re about to read), I would never advise anyone to do it the way I did. Oh, I can’t say I know of a better way, although I have learned a thing or two along the journey, but unless you want to go hundreds of thousands of dollars into debt (yes, you read that right), find ANOTHER way to make your dream come true other than the path I took!

On that fateful day in April of 2006 when my business partner abruptly called it quits, leaving me high and dry with a real estate company I didn't want to manage by myself, I had $90,000 in the bank, $132,000 in my IRA and no credit card debt. That was the day I took my first step toward becoming a real estate writer and trainer.

Two and a half years later, once the dust had settled and I peered up from the bottom of the hole I’d dug for myself, my bank account was empty, my IRA was worth less than $20,000 and I had (are you sitting down?) well over $100,000 in credit card debt. For the more mathematically-inclined, yes, that means I burned through more than $300,000.

Oops.

I started digging out. I’d like to say I cut up my credit cards, lived on rice and beans and became gazelle-intense (all Dave Ramsey’isms), but that would be a lie. Even after two and a half years away from the monopoly-money paychecks of a successful real estate career, I must confess I still had trouble telling myself no, especially when it came to investing in my business.

But things started to turn around; I made more good choices than bad, and as the Sell with Soul message spread, I gratefully started to enjoy the fruits of my labors.

Last month, I paid off my last debt; a $10,000 personal loan I had to take out when the basement flooded in the house I was trying to sell. That last $10,000 came from the inheritance I received from my mother who died last year (a year ago today, actually; miss you, Mom), and I’m not sure how I feel about that. I wish I could have used her money toward something a little more meaningful than paying for a flooded basement, but oh well.

Anyway, I’m probably not going to call Dave Ramsey’s radio show and scream “I’M DEBT-FREEEEEEE,” so I’ll do it here for my friends. And yeah, it feels goooooood.

 

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Comments 28 New Comment

Ambassador
1,774,615
Nestor & Katerina Gasset
Realtors, Wellington Florida Homes For Sale
International Properties and Investments LLC

Jennifer- I am so Proud of you! You should tell Dave Ramsey your story! It is so liberating to be debt free! We are on our way there. Interestingly, an inheritance may also be what helps us all the way there. But last year, even though we do very well in our businesses, I decided to learn how to do couponing. I cut our food bill down from $1200 a month to less than $400 per month by using coupons. Then what I did was pretend that the food bill was still $1200 a month and took that excess and put it towards Nestor's car payments and paid off his car last year. Now I am doing the same thing with my mercedes. It is almost paid off now. Then we will pay off the credit line, and so one just like Dave says to do. I will tell you, it feels great! 

August 25, 2011 09:28 PM
Rainmaker
427,849
Jennifer Allan-Hagedorn
Author of Sell with Soul
Sell with Soul

Katerina - that's great! I'd love to learn more about this couponing... we never go out to eat, so our grocery bills are crazy, so tell me moooooore!!!!!

August 26, 2011 06:38 AM
Rainmaker
364,097
Lisa Heindel
New Orleans Real Estate Broker
Crescent City Living LLC

I've been working that DR plan for the last year, Jennifer, and we have reduced our debt by about 25% since then.  Still a ways to go before I can join in your debt free scream but I just had to stop and say how happy I am for you!!!!

September 01, 2011 01:29 PM
Rainmaker
885,786
Michael Jacobs
Pasadena Real Estate Representation 818.516.4393
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage

Jennifer, I am a new subscriber to your blog so I just came across this post.   First, congratulations!  Second, do you feel better than you deserve?   

November 03, 2011 01:48 AM
Rainmaker
427,849
Jennifer Allan-Hagedorn
Author of Sell with Soul
Sell with Soul

Indeed I do, Michael... in SO many ways ;-]

November 03, 2011 07:34 AM
Rainmaker
427,849

Jennifer Allan-Hagedorn

Author of Sell with Soul
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