We’re in The Oregonian!

The Oregonian Newspaper

Our Q&A with Kelly House appeared in today’s print version of The Oregonian newspaper. Here’s a link to the online story, some interesting reader reactions.

Although our situation isn’t/wasn’t necessarily typical in the details, carrying around a large burden of debt is unfortunately VERY much the norm.

We welcome you to click around this site’s archives to find out more about what the journey looked like for us, and hope that you will find some inspiration for your own life and situation. We’re cheerleaders for the freedom that comes from being debt-free.

4 thoughts on “We’re in The Oregonian!

  1. Kim

    Hey guys, congrats on reaching your big goal. We’re also an early-30’s Portland couple that has eliminated debt except we’re using the money we’ve saved ($70K) to travel the world (we leave in May). We completely relate to the big and small sacrifices it takes to become debt free and live the way YOU want to live. Three cheers.

    1. rachel Post author

      Hi Kim! Thanks for connecting. Sounds like you are on a life-changing adventure and I will look forward to keeping up with you through your blog. Any plans to come back to Portland anytime soon? We should compare notes.

  2. Angela

    Wow! What a fabulous story!! Congratulations on achieving such a remarkable goal. Thank you for inspiring me to live a simple life– it is a beautiful way to be. As a current graduate student, it makes me cringe knowing how my debt is accumulating left and right. I hate that I am owing money to someone, not a good feeling. I hope that when I have more income, I can stick to a plan and make headway in paying off my debt. I may not be able to pay off the debt as quickly but I can sure live simply. :)

    So glad The Oregonian featured your amazing story! Just what I needed to hear!!

  3. Howard Herman

    Dear Rachel and Ali,

    Congratulations! It’s so nice to hear a story of people successfully moving to the “other side,” it is like swimming upstream on several levels, and I commend you. It requires vision, intention, determination, and perseverance, and most of society is geared toward encouraging you to move in the opposite direction.
    We are by and large creatures of habit, much of what we do (and that certainly includes our spending and saving patterns) is guided by what we are used to doing, what is comfortable, and what society in general and our peers and family in particular are doing. It takes awareness and drive to break out of these patterns, and I am truly impressed when I see this happen (it is, as you know, all too rare…).
    We have been out of debt for years, and I thought I might give you the benefit of our years (we’re old enough to be your parents, but I only really feel it when we’re remodeling houses, which is just about daily…I’m a retired letter carrier, although I don’t feel retired…)!
    I haven’t read your blog in it’s entirety, but I do like Dave Ramsey. There are other good resources out there, of course. I like listening to Ray Lucia (Buckets of Money) on Business Talk Radio (KBNP, Business Talk Radio, 1410AM) in the morning. I like Clark Howard, of course. The library, as you know, is a fantastic resource, one of my favorites. Even though we don’t have to, I still like shopping the ads and clipping coupons. We’ll split meals a lot of the time (e.g., at Chipotle, we can split a burrito and leave satiated). When you live frugally (on a relative basis, anyway) you tend to develop a heightened appreciation for much of what other people take for granted. A special dessert, a night at the movies, a meal out, etc.
    Once you have your basic needs met (a solid roof over your heads, the ability to provide yourselves with decent meals, reliable transportation, at least basic health insurance, getting the college fund started, etc, and you have your emergency fund in place, you can think about investing disposable income as well as buying a home, if you are so motivated. We have bought and sold a number of houses, and built two (acting as our own general contractors). If you are thinking of buying a house, I cannot strongly enough stress the importance of location. If a house seems like a great deal but it’s in a less than desirable area, I personally would wait for a better option. You can change a house, it’s tougher to change a whole neighborhood. Also, I would take the time to learn the difference between a cosmetic fixer-upper and a total gut, and see where your own personal tolerance and skill levels lie, as remodeling can test to best of relationships…On the upside, there are more resources and more information for the competent and willing DIY’er than ever, which is a good thing!
    As far as investing, I would use a “full service/discount” brokerage, e.g., Fidelity or TD Ameritrade or one like that. They both have excellent research tools, and their trading fees are quite reasonable. If you don’t want stocks but want more immediate diversification, they both have access to most all of the mutual funds and, what I like even better, ETF’s available (ETF’s are like mutual funds, but they trade like stocks.) If you feel the need to consult a “professional” regarding your investments, I would suggest a fee-only planner, first checking out their credentials, standing in the community, and references. But considering your accomplishments to date, I’m probably not telling you anything you don’t already know.
    Anyway, good luck, keep up the great work, and thanks for sharing the journey…I appreciate it!

    P.S. Don’t forget to plant a Victory Garden…there’s nothing like growing your own, and picking a fresh tomato from your own plant, even if it’s a Patio Tomato in a planter…Priceless!


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