Our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy have changed.

By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to the new Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.

4 of 9
BACKNEXT
Brandon Loveridge
Brandon Loveridge
Brandon Loveridge, 29, with his wife, Heather.
Location: Winder, Ga.
Profession: Accountant
Tip: Start a debt snowball.

I am optimistic because: "My wife and I are optimistic about the future for two great reasons.First, we decided in June 2007 to start living a debt-free lifestyle. We read "Dave Ramsey's Total Money Makeover," and since then we have been on a mission to completely eradicate debt from our lives.

By March 2009, we will have paid off $27,000 in auto, student and personal loans. We'll then get to start paying ourselves every month for an emergency fund, vehicles, etc.

Second, shortly after we decided to live debt-free, we decided to live on one income. My wife, Heather, is a writer/editor, and she does work on a contract basis. Her paychecks sometimes bounce when her small-business employers run into cash flow problems.

Right after we made that decision, I lost my job as senior accountant at a motor-sports company. However, I was blessed to find another accounting job that paid 30% more and offered a generous year-end bonus. With this move, my wife's income became completely discretionary. We've used it to pay cash for vacations to Florida, furniture and new wood floors.

We see the current economic climate as an opportunity for people to reassess the dangers of debt and to reevaluate the necessity of saving and living within a budget.

We're saving aggressively, but we still get to enjoy some things. We bought some horses and are saving to obtain some property for them. We'll send our sons Carson, 4, and Blake, 8 months, to private school, which is nice.

For folks with a pile of debt, make a budget based on what you actually make. Live on that. Then start the debt snowball: begin with the smallest and pay as much as you can. Even if it's a tiny debt, there's a psychological benefit to paying it off completely. Focus on discipline and delayed gratification."

NEXT: Sharon Wilson
Last updated June 15 2009: 10:22 AM ET
Email | Print | Share  |  RSS
 
google my aol my msn my yahoo! netvibes
Paste this link into your favorite RSS desktop reader
See all CNNMoney.com RSS FEEDS (close)
More Galleries
A look at Sears through the years Now Sears has officially said its business has an uncertain future, here's a look at photographs that documents the store's rich history. More
Coolest hotel bars for business travelers in 2017 CNNMoney asked a high-end concierge service for routine business travelers what hotel bars they'd recommend in 4 major U.S. cities. Here are the best spots. More
Top credit cards for business travelers 2017 Just like a pair of pants, there's no 'one size fits all' when it comes to the best credit cards for travelers. More

Special Offer