Big Steps for the Bradleys
Step 6: Take big steps to grow your income.
The only way Lisa and Steven are going to be able to dig themselves out of debt is by earning more money. By taking on additional jobs, the Bradleys increase their monthly income by about $3,000. Lisa is tutoring and substitute teaching, as well as increasing her hours at her current job. Steven is bringing in extra cash, too, as a DJ on the weekends and by mowing lawns.
Instead of dealing with costly repairs, the Bradleys discover they can accomplish the goals set forth in Step 6 by selling some of their assets. With the help of Crossroads Ford in Raleigh, North Carolina, LendingTree.com and RoadLoans.com, Lisa and Steven sell their BMW and SUV and purchase a new Ford Explorer—a decision that will save them $400 a month on car payments.
Lisa says she's excited about more than just the savings. "I feel like this is one of the first big decisions Steve and I have really made together and been on the same page," she says.
Steve says he's also noticed positive changes in their relationship. "Lisa is being very considerate now," says Steve. "It's almost surprising that she's so concerned about the bills and money now. I'm in shock because she's actually doing this!"
Extra income = $33,000
Extra income after taxes = $24,000
Invest 1/2 annually = $12,000
30 years at 8% = $1.5 million
A stronger marriage and a bright future in savings give the Bradleys a lot to smile about. "I think we had lost each other by focusing so much on the money and the stress of the money, and it's like we've come back to each other now," says Lisa.
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