The Minimum Payment Option Changed My Life | Advice

Due to over $100,000 in all of my convenient credit accounts – and all of them in default – there was no more credit. More options. I had no more hope and I had nowhere to go. It was in the darkness of fear and despair that I realized what I had done to myself, my husband and my family. Through my remorse and my pain, I turned to God and made this promise: I would pay off all the debt, no matter how long it took or what I had to do, if I could only keep my family and My house.

For the next 10 years, I did just that. I have never worked so hard in my life. Overnight I became a stingy – thrifty beyond the legal limit, I’m sure. I worked every kind of job I could get my hands on. I made a repayment plan. I became a giver and a saver even while deeply in debt. After 10 years and $88,000 paid off, I was restless. It was taking too long. So, as just another way to fundraise, I decided to try my hand at writing a subscription newsletter with the goal of helping others do what we were doing. That was in 1992. It wasn’t an overnight success, but almost. And in the process, I developed a passion for learning everything I could about personal money management.

Here’s an example: My very first step was to make a vow to only buy groceries that I could pay for with cash (no checkbook, no plastic allowed). Wow, that was like throwing a bucket of cold water in my face. I had a new awareness of what things really cost. I had to keep track of what I put in my grocery cart. The next step came quickly: I had to find a way to spend less to buy what we needed so that we could walk away with money in our pockets.


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Elaine R. Knight