I’ve seen a similar question asked on a couple of different forums I’ve visited. How far would you go to get out of debt?

For instance. Would you:

  • Take a second job?
  • Cut out all vacations?
  • Sell something of importance, such as a family heirloom?
  • Sell your house to move to a smaller, less expensive place?
  • Take your kids out of private school?

I’ve been pondering this question for a few days. How far would I go?

For me, it comes down to family relationships. I believe it’s possible to be very frugal without hurting anyone in the family. However, I do believe frugality can be taken too far. My goal is always to pay off our debt as quickly as possible, without damaging family relationships in the meanwhile.

We had, and still have, debt that will take several years to pay off. We paid off the credit cards, but we’re still working on student loans, and as of last year we have a mortgage.

Since it’s going to be several years before our debt is paid off, I’m not about to tell my children that they can’t participate in extra curricular activities. They are only young once, and I want them to experience a variety of things. While I limit the number of things they can be involved in at once, I do allow them to participate.

We also took a vacation this year. We don’t take one every year, but every once in a while the stress level gets to the point where we have to get away for a bit. So we saved and paid cash for our vacation. Cash that probably could have gone toward paying off debt, but was well spent (I believe) on some needed R&R.

Now that we’re back from vacation, it’s time to get “gazelle” about repaying our debt again. To do this, we’ll continue to cut back the budget. I’ll continue to blog for extra income. We’ll continue furnishing our house with stuff we find on Craigslist, rather than buying new, perfectly matched stuff. And I don’t feel deprived at all. I know what my family’s limits are, and I make sure we never cross them…even though we may teeter on the brink sometimes.

So how far would you go to pay off debt? Have you done anything radical?