Hi, it’s Lisa from the blog Farmhouse On Boone, where I like to write about food from scratch, natural living and a handmade home. But today I’m gonna talk about something a little bit different. I’m gonna tell you our debt-free story and how we paid off our house in less than five years. Now know this is not a financial blog in any way but it is an important part of our story. It is something that we value. I think it deserves to be talked about. As you all know, I like to live simply and so I think that it fits in with our lifestyle and so I would love to tell you our story. We bought our home, our farmhouse here almost nine years ago. Actually nine years ago this month. We hated the idea of being in debt. So we both grew up kind of knowing that getting a car loan isn’t a smart idea. Just to only buy things that you can afford. We were not comfortable with the idea of taking on basically any debt at all but of course we needed somewhere to live. Debt was kind of the only option other than of course renting a place until we could afford to buy a place. Which I know some financial people would actually recommend but it didn’t seem smart to us because we knew that if we did that we’d have to pay rent every single month and then just be throwing the money away. Know we never see a house as an investment it’s really just an expense. But paying rent is definitely throwing money away, in a way. I can see it working for some situations, and in some situations it’s probably a really smart idea. For us, the market seemed good, it was right after the financial crash and so houses were pretty cheap. And we couldn’t see not taking advantage of that, even if it meant that we’d have to take on a little bit of debt. We went ahead and bought a house but we knew that we wanted to be out of debt in less than five years. We said before we were 30. So we were able to accomplish that and basically here’s how we did it. So the first reason why we were able to pay off our house so quickly is that we bought it right in the first place. So we didn’t buy something that we couldn’t afford. We bought a house that was well under a $100,000. It needed paint in every area. I will link or insert some before pictures. Prepare to be horrified and shocked. We’re talking sponge painted blue cabinets, orange kitchen walls with like a sponge paint pattern. Little flowers drawn around the top. This room was painted like a Mexican restaurant basically. It had halfway up some kind of diamond detail pattern around it. It was covered in blue carpet. So nothing about this house screamed “charmer”. I could see through it to the crown molding and the baseboards which were all painted in crazy colors, none of it white. Every five panel door in this place had a different color in each panel. So this person who lived here before us was very ambitious with her colors. I mean she painted every last surface of this place. Like she painted the tile in the bathroom each a different color with a little detail on it even. I can’t say that that woman didn’t do a great job with her painting, it’s just the color choices I wasn’t necessarily too excited about. It was a fixer upper. All upstairs was blue carpet. The steps going upstairs was blue carpet. Didn’t see any hard when we walked in this house. I think maybe like one room had it exposed. So we didn’t know if it was underneath or what. The outside was in shambles which if you followed along with our front porch renovation you’ve seen the outside before. We left it that way for 8 years. The place didn’t look so great, but it fit the only price tag we could afford at the time which was cheap, cheap cheap. That’s the first part, we bought our house cheap. We didn’t have income that could support a house that was $200,000 even if the banks would have approved us for such a loan. They probably would have. We took what we could afford not as what payment we could afford, but what could we pay off super fast. So what can we get as cheap as possible was our goal. The second thing we did was we did not do any renovations on this place until it was paid off. I painted it and we ripped up some carpet. Cheap. Didn’t spend more than a couple hundred dollars to do those things. We didn’t touch the kitchen. We left the fake wood, laminate countertop, the laminate flooring. We left the bathroom with a lovely calla lily shower insert, fake stained glass window. Super old vanity, Hollywood lights above it. We left all of that until we had this place paid off. We were unwilling to spend any money renovating it until we had cash. Same thing with the front porch. It didn’t look great from the road, and even a year ago our house still looked like that. We did not take on any renovation until we could afford cash. The third thing we did never took on any other debt. We did not buy cars that we couldn’t afford. If all we had in the bank was 3 grand then I was driving a car that was $3,000. Still to this day, even though we do have more money saved up, I still can’t see buying a vehicle much more than that. Same with in our kitchen, we just recently replaced our refrigerator that came with the house. It was probably 30 years old and we finally bought a stainless steel one. But again, we waited until we could actually pay the full amount and buy it. Not with a Lowe’s credit card , well I did use a Lowe’s credit card because it was 5% off, but I paid it off. Okay the fourth thing we did, which I should have mentioned this second actually, is we set a goal. I kind of already talked about this but we knew going in that we were going to pay this place off. It was not like a “someday” or – This debt isn’t happening. We’re gonna pay this thing off as fast as we can. We will do everything we can to pay it off. We will not waste any money until we can. Now, I’m not saying we ate Ramen noodles cause we didn’t. But I’m just meaning we weren’t gonna buy anything extra unnecessarily until we paid it off. Fifth thing is, every time we had extra money we put it on the house. When we got that tax return back at the end of the year, we weren’t thinking vacation or new furniture. In fact I still have the $80 Craigslist couch in my living room right now and two $20 winged back chairs so I don’t know if we’ll ever think furniture. You know into buying more of what I want now as well just because I feel like I have that freedom because we don’t have any debt at all but then, when we got that tax return it went straight on the house. We got the check and I mailed it into the mortgage company. I mention in the blog post as well that we still did vacations but we just would do cheap vacations. So we’d do ones that we could drive to. We did a lot of camping which I’m glad we got that all out of the way before we had four kids because I wouldn’t want to drive and camp now. We went on vacations we had a lot of fun. We packed a lot of food. We packed a tent. And we packed up the car. Lots of packing. We went. We saw the country, but we didn’t spend a lot of money. Cause we couldn’t afford it. What has this allowed us to do? What has debt freedom given us the ability to do? That’s something that’s fun to talk about because why even go for this goal? Why does it matter? You know you could always pay off your house later. You can pay off your student loans later. You can pay off your car later. But what does it allow you to do? Here I am, I’m still pretty young. I’m in my early thirties. Some of you might not think that sounds so young. Some of you might think it sounds really young. I’m able to stay home with my kids on a limited income. I’m able to buy equipment I need for my business. Which I have a pillow shop so I do embroidery and I have a bunch of sewing machines I need for that. I’m able to buy camera equipment for YouTube and my blog. I can do that because I don’t have debt. I have extra money to do that kind of stuff with. We can invest, we can save now for our futures. We buy healthy food. I mean I love to buy organic. I like to buy organic meat, you know I buy a whole cow at a time and that stuff’s expensive. And I have four, almost five kids. So our grocery budget is through the roof. It’s horrible. I buy the vegetables, I buy a lot of stuff organic. I mean I don’t buy everything organic. We spend a ton of money on it and I’m perfectly okay with it because I can invest in my family’s health right now because we have the extra money. So I’ll have that same limited income but I just have so much freedom knowing that we have no bills. Of course we have the bills like electric and water and Internet and all that kind of stuff, but I don’t owe anybody anything. I’m not paying interest. Even with a very modest income with extra comfort money that you can do things like, you know, buy healthy food for the kids. We can even take more expensive vacations now and I don’t even feel bad about it. It’s allowed me to pursue my dreams with this blog, with this channel. I feel that I can invest in things that I need for it and I’m not held back by our debt. I’m really glad that we got it out of the way when we were younger. So when we only had a couple of kids we actually had just had our third child when we became debt free. We had had him the month before. I remember sending in that last check. We had to pay private mortgage insurance, so PMI, until the day we paid our house off because they didn’t apparently trust us with our income to pay the bill. And trust me, that was a good day. I remember that day knowing that we were done, we were out of debt. I’m so glad we got that out of the way. Now we have almost five kids here pretty soon. Life’s getting more and more expensive and I don’t even know if we’d be able to do it now. Very glad we got that out of the way when we were in our mid-twenties. The temptation is still there to buy a bigger, nicer place even though we don’t have the cash to do it. And I have to remind myself the reason why I have so much freedom and I’m able to do these things and that is beacuse of our debt freedom. So should we buy a big ol’ farmhouse out in the country? No. We shouldn’t. Is it still tempting? It is still tempting. But I have to remember that this is why we’re able to live this little life where I can stay home and have my five kids and in relative freedom is because of that. I’m happy that we did that, we did it young. I encourage you to do the same. If you have any comments about this or what-what else have you done to get out of debt? Or do you think we’re crazy? Leave your comments below, of course only nice ones. I don’t want to hear any negative comments. I’ll probably just delete them. Thank you so much for listening to our story. I like the simple life, you know, the simple life that debt freedom affords. So thank you so much for watching. Please be sure to subscribe to my channel for food from scratch, natural living ideas and a handmade home. I do a lot of DIYs, farmhouse decor type stuff here around our home. I would love to see you follow along. Also I’ve linked in the description the link to this post which is on my blog FarmhouseOnBoone.com How we Paid Off Our House in Less Than Five Years- Our Debt Freedom Story. Thank you so much for stopping by the farmhouse.