My chains are gone…I’ve been set free.

My chains are gone…I’ve been set free – those words are part of the chorus of a newer version of the song Amazing Grace. And technically, it’s referring to the way Jesus’ death set all believers free from their sin (which is super meaningful to me too).

But you know what, it’s exactly how I’m feeling right now.

This morning, February 21st, 2012, I made the final payment on my $64,000 credit card debt.

If you’ve known me for awhile, you know it’s been a long hard journey. There were times I struggled to make the payment, and it nearly tore my marriage apart. (You can read about that here.)

If this is the first time you’ve come across my site, I’ll fill you in quickly…

After having 3 kids in 4 years, I was lost. A mom, to be sure, but still not sure of where I was going, or where I even wanted to go. I was bored. I was lonely, and I was tired of living on a strict budget (3 kids eat A LOT).

I was a substitute teacher for awhile – but it was draining. Kids missed me and wouldn’t let me out of their sight when we all got home. The house was never clean, meals were a chore, and I was spent in more ways than one.

To end the monotony I started mystery shopping. I loved it. It got me out of the house, and let me spend money. The problem? I would only have a set amount to spend – and I never, ever abided by it. I would submit my receipts, knowing I would only be reimbursed for the set amount. I figured with the money I was being paid for the shops on top of the allotment would cover it.

It didn’t.

And I didn’t stop spending.

It made me feel alive. It made me feel like I had awesome “stuff.” But in the end, it made me feel empty.

And when I realized that it was really piling up, I started to panic. And I spent more.

When I finally stopped, I was $64,000 deep in credit card debt, spread across 5 cards.

My husband had no idea – and I wanted it to stay that way until it was paid off. I worked, and worked, and worked – for what he thought was peanuts. He was annoyed at how much I was working.

I had it paid down to $48,000 when he found out. It wasn’t pretty.

And it wasn’t easy – but we worked it out. And I kept working.

And, while I am super proud of myself, I have to give all the credit to God. He got me through this in so many ways.

He set me free, and he paid my debt. (The sin one AND the actual one).

So, now that the debt is gone, it’s time to unveil my newest project.

If you saw my interview over at Lifebyme.com, I briefly mentioned that once the debt is paid off that I want to travel.

But I don’t just want to travel. I want to see the world.

You can follow that journey here

And I’d love to hear your debt stories. Come on, leave a comment – tell me I’m not the only one…

53 Responses to My chains are gone…I’ve been set free.

  1. Are you kidding me? Already? Great job Amanda! I am sooooo way freaking proud of you!

  2. Really!!!???!!!! How amazing for you!!!!!!!! You are amazing!

  3. Wow! That really IS amazing! How long did it take you and how did you do it??

  4. Wow Amanda! I just love reading your blogs/posts. You are an amazing person! GREAT JOB!! You deserve some Girl Scout cookies for this…LOL!

  5. That is truely an accomplishment to be proud of!!!!!

  6. That is awesome! Here’s to lots and lot of travelling!

  7. Amanda, I’m so happy for you! It is such a freeing feeling to finally be free from the chains of debt. I remember how I felt last year when I wrote that last check. :-)

    Time to celebrate! I’m so glad that our husbands stuck with with us throughout the process of cleaning up our shit. (That was such a scary thing to talk to him about. :-( I know I was terrified. )

    Lots of hugs {{{HUGS}}} to you!

  8. Amber McCue says:

    Congrats!! This is amazing!!

  9. jill says:

    AH! NICE!!! Can I ask how long this took you to pay off? I only got to a position over the summer to where I can finally start to pay off my debt. I’ve paid off about 10% of my originally $55,000 debt in 9months. I want so badly for this to be paid off fast that I put so much to my cards this last pay check, that I left myself about $50 for 1 week (for food, everything!). I’m happy and somewhat comfortable in general still, but nothing will beat the day the debt is gone! Can’t wait till I’m where you are today!

    • amanda says:

      It’s been about 3.5 years since I went hardcore on the debt, meaning paying off as much as I could AND not adding to it at all.

      It’s awesome that you’ve already knocked 10% off. That’s something to be proud of!

  10. Emelie Rota says:

    CONGRATS – something worth shouting out for sure!

  11. Jen Saunders says:

    Woohoo! This is a perfect time to toot your own horn! Congrats!

  12. Jen Saunders says:

    Just read the post – super inspiring!

  13. Cris Gladly says:

    WOOOOOOO freakin’ HOOOOOO!!!!! That is so awesome. What a HUGE accomplishment!! So proud of you and in awe of your story. What a success story to give people hope that they can free themselves from the burden as well. :) Yay! Cheers to new adventures!!!

  14. Adam Beasley says:

    that’s outstanding Amanda and Jeremy! contrats!

  15. wow- what an inspiration you are! God is good!

  16. Randi Pierce says:

    That friggin rocks : )

  17. SWEET!! That’s awesome! Congrats! I bet that’s a BIG sigh of relief :)

  18. You should be screaming this from the rooftops! What an amazing accomplishment!!!!!!!

  19. Amanda Arthur Krill…I am so amazed by you! I’m so proud of you! What an amazing accomplishment! You are inspiring to so many! God bless you all and may he continue to speak through you and work through you!

  20. Congratulations. You have accomplished an amazing feat in a short time. God has indeed blessed you all!

  21. That’s awesome! So what are you going to do with all your money not going to cc payments now?

  22. Dan Malcolm says:

    TOOT, TOOT AWAY…ALL THE WAY TO THE BANK!!!
    : )

  23. AGHHHH!!!! CONGRATULATIONS!!!! SOOOOO EXCITING!!!! xxxx

  24. Linda says:

    Ok so God is working on me Big right now i did not know of your site or your story , you can call me s-l-o-w. I am so very proud of you and will be following your story. there is more to tell you but not for all to read. Love you girlfriend and thank God for your website and story. Sure glad you happened to come into my life~ <3

  25. Scott Powers says:

    Wow Amanda, awesome!! I would love to collaborate and share your story even more, it’s so inspirational and also such a common problem. My best to you on your own next chapter!

  26. amanda says:

    Thanks everyone so much for your comments. You have no idea how freeing this all was – both the debt being gone, and just talking about it.

    I really don’t regret a single dime that I spent, because it has opened so many doors, and caused a ton of good.

  27. Huge congrats, Amanda! Such an inspiration. My debt was for different reasons (business) & I’ve been living lean for a long time. But I’ve reached a tipping point now and can’t wait to see what’s on the other side, once I really start kicking ass on paying stuff down.

  28. You’re not the only one!

    Congratulations, you are a true inspiration and leader. I’m walking the path to debt-freedom.

    Enjoy your adventures!

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