{ MASTERPOST } Everything You Need to Know about How to Pay off Debt

You’ve passed the trials. You’ve fought hard and won your place among the champions. At long last, it is time to be inducted into the Secret Society. Which secret society, you ask? It’s a secret.

As you take your place among the robed and hooded figures in this subterranean chamber, you know not what to expect. They are lit only by the flames of an ancient fire.

One by one, the hooded figures raise their arms to the stalactites above and intone:

Let us pay off debt, brothers and sisters!

Elmo amid the flames, presumably chanting "pay off debt."

Darling readers, debt fucking happens. Having debt doesn’t mean you’re a bad person, nor that you’re lazy or stupid. But it is something you’ll have to work hard to get past. So here is our collected advice on the subject of how to pay off debt.

Go forth and conquer, for you are soon to be debt-free!

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Yeah, it's stupid to try to time the market.

Hurricane Debt Weakens to Tropical Storm Debt, but Experts Warn It’s Still Debt

It’s been over a year since the last time I gave an update on the state of my own debt. Since we’re always dispensing our opinions from our seat on the divine acropolis at the crest of Mount Olympus, we like to be transparent about our own situations. So let’s check in!

As we’ve chronicled, Piggy and I paid off our student loans ahead of time. And we don’t have credit card debt, unless it’s part of a nefarious-but-prudent scheme to harvest points. When talking about my financial sitch, I love to describe myself as “debt free, except for my mortgage!”

Which, when you think about it, is kinda weird? Like describing a milkshake as “dairy free, except for the milk!” The milk is not a small or trivial part of a milkshake. It is eponymous! It’s basically the point of the thing!

And the mortgage is a big debt. The average American family has $16,000 in credit card debt (yikes). An average student’s educational loan debt is $34,000 (double yikes). But the median home price blows both those numbers out of the water at $227,000.

For most people, a house is the most expensive thing they’ll ever buy, and the largest source of debt. It’s the milk in the milkshake.

And if you were about to jump to the comments to erroneously claim that ice cream is the point of a milkshake, hold ya fakkin’ hahses, khed. I live in New England. Our milkshakes do not have ice cream. If there’s ice cream in it, it’s called a frappe.

I can’t tell you why. I don’t make the rules, I just abide by them.

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