Our Debt Free Journey: 5 Financial Secrets Why We Got Started

Last Updated by Neiko Johnson on 
August 15, 2021
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In this article, we will share details on our debt free journey.

Have you ever thought to yourself, "I'll buy everything on this credit card and pay it off in full every month"?

Or have you found yourself believing that there is such a thing as a "'good' debt versus 'bad' debt"?

Or even further, have you ever said to yourself, "I'll always have some form of debt"?

You have? Well, you were wrong. But guess what? We were too!

Thankfully, we found a path that has enriched our lives in so many ways and we are ready to share it all with you.

Of the $1.5 trillion dollars of outstanding student debts in the US, $325,000 of it used to be ours. We wiped clean about $240,000 of debt and we hope your story will be similar.

Our hope is that our story inspires you to take action in your own debt-free journey, to reject those crazy-normal myths about debt and wealth, and finally see the light at the end of your debt-free, wealth-building tunnel.

We've put together 5 of our personal reasons that got us started on our debt free journey.

Are you ready? Let's go!

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Here are our 5 reasons why we are dedicated to personal finance:

1. Living our purpose

Above all, our spiritual walk has been a key element during our journey. Our purpose has become even clearer as we have increased our faith in God, started praying together, and paying more attention to what the Bible says.

As stated in Proverbs 22:7 "The rich rule over the poor and the borrower is slave to the lender." Yes, you read that right.

There may be plenty of successful people in the world who do not believe in this approach. However, trying to be successful without God is not an option for us.

We want to get out of debt in order to give more, save more, invest more, and enjoy more. Our purpose is to change our family tree, retire with dignity, and live the life that God wants us to live.

We have worked so hard and as a result we have already seen the fruits of our labor carried out in the lives of those closest to us.

We know that there are many that draw strength and inspiration from us. Consequently, we reflect on our progress as a way of holding ourselves accountable while on our debt-free journey.

2. Investments

Have you ever wondered how the rich keep getting richer? Get rich quick schemes have many believing that taking out debt is the way to invest and get rich, however, the contrary is true.

Most of us want an immediate fulfillment for our money similar to our 9 to 5 jobs when it's payday. Most wealthy people take the 401(k) approach, which may take longer for you to see your return.

This comparison is not literally between a paycheck and a retirement check but is highlighting a difference in mindset.

A wealth mindset understands that investments are a long-term play. You have to free up your income by paying off debt to be able to invest in your future without restriction. Consider this, how much more could you invest if you didn't owe anyone anything?

For us, we have decided that the long-term play was worth the sacrifice of short-term enjoyment. Luke 14:28 says "For which of you, desiring to build a tower, does not first sit down and count the cost, whether he has enough to complete it?"

We decided that investments are worth pursuing after they have been properly planned. The lens that you view investments with should give you the ability to see well into the future.

Our vision is one with investments that we sacrificed for...investments we paid cash for.

3. Leave a legacy

The day we got married it became a mission of ours to build something great for our family.

Living for a purpose that is bigger than you creates a sense of urgency. We both come from middle-class families where our parents worked really hard to provide.

We want to be in a position to give our kids a better life than we had, but that requires being intentional.

Leaving a legacy requires a wealth mindset. A poverty mindset is "what can I get?" and a wealth mindset is "what can I give?".

Building wealth is not only about how much money you have or make. Building wealth comes with a responsibility that is just as great as the reward. Always finding a way to bless someone, family or otherwise, is our definition of leaving a legacy.

Additionally, it includes taking care of the generations after you. We were able to set up our last will in 15 minutes to secure our family and future.

You can start your last will with all of the necessary forms through LegalZoom (our link will take you directly to the last will and testament package)!

Their process was very thorough and guided us in the right direction to finalize our last will. Being intentional and responsible is how you do it the right way.

4. How our debt-free journey empowers us to change lives

James 2:26b tells us that "faith without works is dead". It is our vision to share our God-given knowledge with others.

Most importantly, having this vision requires a complete understanding of where we are going and how we are getting there before we can make an impact.

We took a few steps back, as a result of our sacrifice, but knew it would pay off in the future.

Just like a slingshot, in life, we need to be pulled back before we catapult forward. Our passion is to help others catapult forward into their life of financial freedom.

We want our story to provide clarity on personal finances and help others not make the same mistakes we did. Empowering others so they can pay it forward is our ultimate goal.

5. Retire early as a result of our debt-free journey

The Blue-Collar mentality teaches us to work 30-40 years in delayed gratification until we reach the retirement age.

As a result, this mentality can create complacency and prevent you from doing more.

Being considered blue-collar is not a bad thing, however, if you have ever felt the urge to do more, we are right there with you!

Speak it into existence is not only a saying, but it is also a mindset.

You have to believe what you want to accomplish and go for it.

This approach has given us a laser focus on completing our debt-free journey, which will take us right down the path of early retirement.

Being retired does not mean we plan not to work. We just plan to control when and how often we work.

Work to us does not mean going to a job each morning, it means waking up and building generational wealth.

A great book that we recommend is The Total Money Makeover by Dave Ramsey. This book helped us with setting our foundational principles.

Early retirement is something we all can have, however it requires a mindset that begins with the end in mind.

Gloria Steinem states "Rich people plan for 3 generations ahead, poor people plan for Saturday night." That is to say, we want to live our best life for the future and not just for the moment.

Final words - our debt free journey

In conclusion, if you're at a point in your life where you want a change, the time is now!

You can make a decision to take control of your life and finances to allow yourself to live how you want to live in the future.

There is plenty of time to make a change or continue building what you have already started. Make sure you protect your future by clicking here to start your last will.

Having a solid foundation and being intentional will move you towards your financial goals.

Let's get started!

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Article written by Neiko Johnson
Neiko is a personal finance expert and Co-founder of Secret to Finance. Along with his wife Alexis, they learned how to get out of debt and paid off $400,000 in 4 years.

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