The Great Recession (2007-2009) caused higher levels of unemployment, plummeting real estate values and a lot of people to feel uneasy about their financial situation. Many parts of the United States were hit hard during this financial crisis, especially my home town of metro Detroit.
Today, I talk with Christin McKamey, a fellow metro Detroiter and the blogger behind Veggie Chick. We discuss how the Great Recession affected her and her husband Robert financially and emotionally. At one point, Christin found herself in nearly six-figures of debt with no job prospects. Her drive to improve her financial situation helped her to eliminate her debt and eventually become mortgage-free.
We chat about her and her husband’s financial past and upbringing, how she earned extra money to get rid of her debt and what they will do with their money now that they are mortgage-free.
One fall night in 2010, my wife Nicole and I were watching the Suze Orman Show. (Yes, I used to DVR it). There was this fun segment where someone would call in and Suze would analyze that person’s financial health and give them a grade. It was called How Am I Doing?
One term that we kept seeing over and over again on this segment was “Net Worth”. Since we were personal finance newbies, we had no idea what this meant. Nicole and I were making a combined annual income of $130,000 so we figured our net worth must be HUGE.
After the show was over, we decided to see how rich we really were. There was no doubt in our mind that we’d be better off than most of the jokers that call in to the show and get an “F” grade from Suze!
We walked upstairs and started to write down all of our numbers on a big whiteboard. By separating our “assets” (what we owned) and our liabilities (what we owed) into two big columns, we started to discover that we weren’t rich.
During late 2013 while I was traveling out-of-town for work, my wife Nicole found our “forever house”.
This home had everything she was looking for including an attached garage, open floor plan, updated kitchen, walk-in closet and a big backyard on a half-acre lot. She told me that this was THE ONE and as soon as I got home from out-of-town, I had to see it.
My wife has excellent taste and the majority of the time we are in sync. I wasn’t worried about liking it. I was worried about getting a BIG MORTGAGE to pay for it!
Honestly, I had been burned before. My first home purchase was a disaster.
I bought more home than I could afford in 2004 and when the housing market tanked in metro Detroit around 2009, I owed more on the house than it was worth. I did not want to be in that position again.
Surprisingly, when I got a look at the house Nicole found, I loved it too. It felt like home instantaneously. Even the neighbors were perfect.
We decided to go for it.
BUT… I had a few rules that we discussed to ensure we would pay off our mortgage in 5 years:
For this month’s Mortgage Freedom series, we’re talking with the McCoy Family! They partnered together to pay off their mortgage early.
In the 3 years that I’ve been doing my podcast, I’ve never interviewed both parents and kids together! That’s what we’re going to do today.
J’Neal, Jeremy, Jensen and Miller McCoy are from Nixa, Missouri. J’Neal works at the local technical community college and Jeremy is an Assistant Principal at the local high school. And Jensen and Miller are currently working their way through 6th and 4th grade.
So you’re ready to pay off your mortgage?! Congratulations!
There are some important hoops you have to jump through to make this momentous occasion official. After all that hard work in paying your monster loan, let’s make sure you cross all your “T’s” and dot your “I’s”.
On our Mortgage Freedom Series today, we’re going to interview a couple that paid off their mortgage in less than 3 years and is now one step closer to financial independence because of it. Julien and Kiersten Saunders are my guests today and they are the creators of Rich and Regular, a hot new personal finance media brand that is growing in popularity because of its honest, informative and relevant approach to money.
Julien and Kiersten’s story and advice have been featured in big publications like the New York Times, MarketWatch and Forbes. And when they’re not talking about money, they’re traveling the world and raising their son in Atlanta.
On our Mortgage Freedom series today we’re going to introduce someone who paid off their mortgage through house hacking. What is house hacking you might ask? Well, we’re going to learn more about that today.
Steven Donovan is our guest today. Steven is a money coach and his financial advice and his inspirational story have been featured in GO Banking Rates, Bigger Pockets, and Rockstar Finance.
On our Mortgage Freedom series today, we’re going to interview someone who eliminated their mortgage on a single middle-class income in less than 8 years.
Jessi Fearon is a wife, mother to three little ones and during their nap time, she’s a financial coach. Her inspiring story of complete debt freedom has been featured in The Huffington Post, Nerd Wallet and BuzzFeed. When Jessi’s not crushing her debt and motivating others to do the same, she’s singing Garth Brooks songs and spending time with her family.