Debt Testimonials – Al Hernandez Looks to the Ant

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photo by NeilsPhotography

Today I received an email from Al Hernandez – a fellow debt fighter and frequent reader of DFA – I figured many of you would love reading about his story so here it is…

“Go to the ant, thou sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise”  ~ Proverbs 6:6

Al has been a debt freedom fighter for 8 years now and has finally reached financial freedom.  Like I always say – it is awesome to read testimonies from people who have been living frugally for years and have already reached the sweet land of debt freedom.  I gained a lot of encouragement from Al’s story and I know you will too.


Al Hernandez’s Debt Free Testimonial

Dear Matt:

I’d just like to say (write?) thanks to you for your efforts to help people like me live a more frugal life.  8 years ago I was technically bankrupt.  I had over $56,000 in debt and $2,000 in the bank.  I had no retirement account.  Changes were needed.

  • I got a better job.
  • I cut up the credit cards (all of them).
  • I used Quicken’s debt reduction calculator and started paying off my highest-interest debts and paid extra on each payment.  When one debt was paid, I added the money to the next debt payment.  The payments just kept getting bigger and bigger, and the amount I owed kept getting smaller and smaller.
  • I re-financed my mortgage to half the interest and a 7 year note (yeah, I was pushing it).
  • I kept my old car and drove it until it had over 250,000 miles.  Then I bought a good, solid, USED car.
  • Most importantly, I examined every aspect of my life to figure out ways to save money and pay off debt.

It’s now 8 years later and I have paid off every debt, paid off my mortgage, my car is paid for, and I have over $25,000 in the bank. If I add my retirement accounts, and conservatively value my 3 bedroom house at $50,000, I have a net worth of close to $250,000, and ZERO debts!

So, am I going to the Bahamas?
Are you kidding?  Heck, no!!!

I’m going to continue being frugal, save more money for retirement, and let everyone keep thinking that I’m a pauper.   Who cares!   I know that I’ll be doing well when I retire while the “Jones’s” might still be struggling.

Being the Ant is better than being the Grasshopper, I can tell you that from personal experience!  The peace of mind of being debt free is wonderful.   And… I get to help out my relatives when I can (and they really need help, not just “want” something).  I also get to donate to charities and help out in other ways.

Being solvent is wonderful!  It’s a good life.   Thanks for your help.

Al Hernandez

What About You?

What are you waiting for?  If Al can do it… you can do it!  All you have to do is find the resolve.  Now roll up your sleeves, get motivated, and get ready to destroy some debt!

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1 John DeFlumeri Jr

God Blessed You, you did everything right!

And set an example that others Can Follow.

2 Mrs. White

This is an encouraging post! I hope you can share more like this.

Mrs. White

3 Matt Jabs

Thank you Mrs. White…

I will share as many testimonies as I receive! I love them too… so encouraging.

4 Credit Card Chaser

Great testimonial and many people do not realize this but there are actually more references in the Bible to money than there are to many other “more spiritual” sounding topics. The way that someone handles money says a lot about the person and their values.

5 Matt Jabs

Exactly right… there are more references to money in the bible than ANY other topic. Dealing with our money is a very spiritual matter.

6 David@DINKS Finance

I love reading about success stories like Als. I am just getting out of college and I will have a VERY hefty student loan to pay off. If I want to be intentional about it I will have to be VERY frugal and very creative with savings/investing/etc.

congrats on your success Al!

7 Matt Jabs

I do too David. I hope to get more of these types of stories in the future and will ALWAYS post them – as long as the submitter agrees to it.

I have student loans too… yeah they will take awhile, but remember – “a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step!

8 Dave - LifeExcursion

More than the AWESOME accomplishment that Al did, this post shows that ANY situation can be turned into a positive. It may take longer than we hope, but it can be done.

Great job Al!!


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