JSs Story Robbing Peter to pay Paul

Throughout Financial Literacy Month, the blog will give voice to consumers who have overcome financial challenges. Through their own words, these consumers will tell you about what it was like to be in and repay unmanageable debt. They will also share inspiring words about the many ways their lives have changed as a result of their debt repayment efforts.

Following is a story from J.S. of Kansas City.

Living from paycheck to paycheck and robbing Peter to pay Paul is not living…it is merely existing, and nothing more. There is little joy in life when you are consumed with debt. Several years ago we had a tremendous amount of debt, some from educating our children, but most from poor decisions with credit. Being deeply in debt & struggling to make ends meet from week to week made each day more stressful than the last; and sleeping was something that was often difficult.

One day in complete desperation I contacted MMI; it turned out to be one of the very best decisions I have ever made. Getting out of debt has allowed us to enjoy life. We are debt free and it feels fantastic! No more dreading the end of the month. We no longer have to balance the checkbook before we buy groceries or schedule car repairs…the money is there, because we are out of debt. We have a savings account AND we each have investments. All of these things make sleeping much easier.

When we go shopping we pay cash, and having no debt allows us to buy whatever we need, whenever we need it. Credit cards are a thing of the past and we don’t miss them. Entering our bills into the system forced us to realize exactly how much of our hard earned money was being wasted every single month on interest charges alone. We quickly learned that Peter and Paul were getting wealthy from OUR money, when WE should be getting wealthy from OUR money. Soon we began to see our debt melting away. We enjoyed watching our creditors being paid off. We enjoyed rolling the money once used for paying Peter into the amount of money we were paying Paul; it helped us pay off the debt even faster than projected, and before we knew it we had an extra $700 every month, free and clear, all ours, because the debt was gone. Peter and Paul were no longer in the picture and we were well on our way to happily ever after. We are now experiencing all the joy that life has to offer, and life is good!

-J.S., Kansas City

Check back often for more stories about real people who have overcome the burden of debt.  And don't forget to visit our Financial Literacy Month section for a wealth of information about improving your own financial situation.

Kim McGrigg is the former Manager of Community and Media Relations for MMI.

  • The Consumer Federation of America (CFA) is an association of nonprofit consumer organizations that was established in 1968 to advance the consumer interest through research, advocacy, and education. Today, nearly 300 of these groups participate in the federation and govern it through their representatives on the organization's Board of Directors.

  • Since 2007, the Homeownership Preservation Foundation (HPF) has served as a trusted, neutral source of information for more than eight million homeowners. They are partnered with, and endorsed by, numerous major government agencies, including the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the Department of the Treasury.

  • The mission of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) is to create strong, sustainable, inclusive communities and quality affordable homes for all. HUD works to strengthen the housing market in order to bolster the economy and protect consumers; meet the need for quality affordable rental homes; utilize housing as a platform for improving quality of life; and build inclusive and sustainable communities free from discrimination.

  • The Council on Accreditation (COA) is an international, independent, nonprofit, human service accrediting organization. Their mission is to partner with human service organizations worldwide to improve service delivery outcomes by developing, applying, and promoting accreditation standards.

  • The National Foundation for Credit Counseling® (NFCC®), founded in 1951, is the nation’s largest and longest-serving nonprofit financial counseling organization. The NFCC’s mission is to promote the national agenda for financially responsible behavior, and build capacity for its members to deliver the highest-quality financial education and counseling services.