Becoming Debt-Free Millionaires: Part I

Written by on September 19, 2020

Becoming Debt-Free Millionaires: Part I

This is the first installment documenting our journey to becoming debt-free millionaires.  This is a big goal that my husband Mike and I have set for our lives.  In sharing our journey we hope to inspire you to make similar radical change in your life to live in total joy, bliss, and make life everything you’d hoped it would be.

A major part of our success has been leveraging the principles of the Law of Attraction.  Throughout this series, you’ll learn lessons about how you can apply these same principles to transform your life and manifest your deepest desires.

How It All Started

Back in March of this year (2020), the world was spinning with news of the Coronavirus. As much as many of us in the USA had hoped that it wouldn’t make a significant impact on our lives, we all know that’s not what happened.

Mike was working as a Facilities Coordinator for a company in San Diego – a job he didn’t love, but one that paid the bills. I was a full-time entrepreneur (read: trying to figure out how to have a creative business of my own – without really making any money- that would give me the control over my life that I’ve always wanted).

Then, Corona sweeped the USA. Literally overnight, we lost 100% of our income. Like, from $60k per year, to $0. Not an exaggeration. ($60k per year is great, but as many of us know, that’s paycheck-to-paycheck territory for many – and it was for us too).

Now here’s the real kicker – to top it all off, we were about $100k in debt at the time. You can imagine the ensuing panic.

This means that, of the $5000 per month that we were used to, about $3500 of it went to pay down the debt each month. Try surviving on that. We had no choice but to move in with parents – our income was far too laden with monthly bills to manage to have our own place. This was not glamorous.

Starting from -$100k, we knew we had to figure something out, and really fast, or we’d find ourselves in even deeper sh*t than we were already in.

A Little Backstory

Poverty wasn’t really new to us at this point. We were married at 23, and can rattle off the typical newlywed stories about eating ramen and dumpy old cars. But we knew another kind of poverty that creatives know well: the phenomenon of the starving artist.

Mike and I are both classical musicians – him, a trumpet player, and me, a classical singer and pianist. We met in music school. We did our masters degrees together, and even went on to post-grad studies for music together.

When we got married, we struggled financially, as many young newlyweds do. But this struggle continued years into our marriage.

The life of a musician is a tough one, as many are aware. Work on nights, weekends, and holidays, usually far away from family and friends, and for disappointingly measly pay.

After years of struggling together through #musicianlife, it started to affect our marriage. The financial struggle induced an overall pessimistic outlook on our lives together.

 

This was on a winter roadtrip, Christmas of 2017, at our worst. Even though you can’t tell, this was after one of the worst fights we’d ever had.

 

As much as we loved each other and as much as we had in common, we had a hard time seeing past the challenges that lie ahead.

It was all in our heads: “we’ll never be able to afford a house of our own”, “we’ll never be able to have kids”, “we’re going to be poor forever”.

We would fight and fight and fight.

The hopelessness we felt about our financial situation started to seep into our marriage, and it was almost fatal.

It all started to change when we decided to get clear on what was most important in our lives.

As it turns out, we discovered our marriage was at the center of everything that we cared about most.

It was painfully clear that what was hurting us the most was our thoughts. It was our thoughts about our financial reality that started causing problems.

The problem itself (or what we thought was a problem) was really just a projection of what was going through our heads day in and day out.

Law of Attraction lesson: your thoughts create your reality. When we allowed our thoughts to be overtaken by negativity and pessimism, our outward reality started to reflect that. The opposite was also true: when our thoughts focused on positivity, gratitude, and hope, our outward reality reflected it.

 


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How we Racked Up $100k in Debt

Believe it or not, we didn’t manage to rack up $100k in debt until after we made it through our marital rough patch. It was at the end of our one-year stop in Boston.

It actually started the day after my 28th birthday – I was in a rock climbing accident that left me with a dislocated elbow and a severely sprained ankle.  I didn’t think it was going to be such a big deal, but it turns out that sprains and dislocations are WAY more complicated to fix than a broken bone.  I was in for a long-haul recovery process (about 6 months total to feel mostly “normal” again).  But the injuries came with another blow: the ER bill.

 

The night I got home from the hospital after my injury. I was standing entirely on my left leg, with the help of a cane, because my ankle was bruised and swollen to the size of a softball.

 

I’m very lucky to say I was surprised at how low the bill was, but it was still several thousand dollars….several thousand dollars that we didn’t have.  You know how hospitals are – they come after you like a hungry rabid dog chasing after a duck if they don’t get their money. We really had no choice but to pay it with a credit card.

It went downhill from there.

I hate to admit that this started a trend of relying on our credit card for pretty much everything, but that’s what happened.

By the end of spring, Mike and I had decided that we needed drastic change in our lives.

We decided to leave behind our music careers, leave Boston, and return to the West Coast.  We had our sights set on Washington state.

If you’ve ever moved cross-country, you know how expensive it can be.  This was going to be our 3rd big move (in the span of 3 years 😳 ), and again – we had no cash.  You might be wondering why we decided to go in the midst of these financial circumstances.

To put it simply, this was a way of digging ourselves out of rock bottom.  We had to get out of Boston, mainly to save our marriage and set forth on a life trajectory that felt more authentic to what we truly wanted for our lives.  An unfortunate side effect of that was a high cost.  We sold everything we could to come up with some cash but it wasn’t enough to cover everything – the rest went on the card.

Here’s the other piece of the puzzle.  While in Boston, we only had one car – because we only needed one car. But we knew that moving across the country would mean buying a new car.  On top of that, we decided part of our new dream would be to live differently than we ever had before.

This reared its head in the form of buying a new truck and a travel trailer in which we’d live full time.  All-in-all, not a bad plan if you want to stick it out in that kind of living quarters long term.  But we didn’t fully realize what we were getting ourselves into.  The total investment between the truck and the trailer was about $93,000 in loans.  This was the cost of escaping a life that wasn’t right for us.

 

This is an actual Credit Karma report of our debt. This wasn’t at its highest, but close. At worst, our total debt was over $102K.

 

Between the trailer, the truck, my student loans, and the credit card, we claimed a total debt burden in excess of $100K all within the span of 6 months.  Scary – especially on a low income.  Did I mention that we didn’t have jobs when we left Boston to move across the country (again)?

Again, I hate to admit just how much we didn’t realize this was an issue until about a year later.

The Plan

The next year, Mike’s family had a string of family emergencies that took us back to California.  Luckily, we were relatively unattached in Washington – we had jobs as restaurant servers that were easy to leave or transfer, and so we high-tailed it back home to San Diego on a moment’s notice.

When we got there, the reality of this debt hit hard. We still carried about $3500 of monthly debt payments each month, no jobs, and a very high cost of living.  We brought the trailer with us, of course, but we learned it would cost us an additional $1000 at least a month to rent a space at an RV park.  Are you doing the math? $4500 a month in debt/rent expenses, no jobs – whoa.  And that’s $4500 just to keep the banks off our backs.  That’s not food, or gas, or clothes.  SCARY.

This was the big moment when we knew we were in deep sh*t, and that we had to change something.  We created a system for ourselves to take the thoughts in our heads and the desires in our hearts into reality.  That process started with visualizing exactly what we wanted for our future – and we held nothing back.

One of the biggest desires we had was to be debt-free – quite a ways off from where we were, but hey, you gotta start somewhere, right?

We wanted more than to just be debt-free though.  We’d spent so many years being broke and with very limited income, and quite frankly, we were pretty tired of making no money.  So, we decided that becoming millionaires would be a goal of ours too.

 

A vision board we created at the beginning of our life-transformation journey.

 

Before you start laughing, get honest with yourself.  If you’ve struggled with money, like, ever, you know how much it sucks to always be scrambling.  And you know how tiring it gets to always be worrying if there’s enough money in your account to cover the milk & eggs in your supermarket basket.  Honestly, it blows.

We were tired enough of being broke to want change.  And we were brave enough to dream big.  And we still are.  We’re only in Part I of this series here, so obviously the story is still developing. What we knew though, was that we could never make it happen for real if we didn’t have the balls to dream it up first.

It’s not a “money for money’s sake” thing, either.  For us, the dream to become millionaires was rooted around freedom, security, and most importantly, the ability to 1) not be a burden on our families, and 2) be able to live freely enough to invest time and energy into the relationships that were most important to us.

My honest opinion is that far too many creatives convince themselves that there’s something honorable or even glamorous about being poor.  Somehow, being poor means you have integrity (because I guess the only way to make money is to rip people off??).  These are just lies we’ve made up to convince us that there’s some justification for not taking life by the horns and making the change you want to see in your life.  We did that for a good while, and it didn’t land us where we wanted to be.

We decided we could be different.  We could be debt-free, and we could make handsome amounts of money doing what we loved, all while being decent, honest, genuine people.  Wow, what an idea, huh?

Once we got to California, it still took us about a year to get our mental game together enough to really start whacking away at the debt.  We knew we were in for the long haul, but we had our sights set on debt-free millionaire.

Our plan:
Step 1: Become debt-free
Step 2: Become millionaires

Ok, so there’s a little more to it than that, but you get the idea. We’re still working on Step 1, although we’ve made some major progress that I’ll share in Part II.

Stay tuned.

 

Much love 💕,

Katie

 


Want to turn your deepest desires into your reality?

Grab my 6-Step Manifestation Method Guide to dramatically change your life.

 



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