Call me skeptical, but when I was given the book From a Millstone to a Milestone: Get Out of Debt in 5-7 Years, Including Mortgage by Applying God’s Principles, I didn’t see how it could possibly make any sense. Just 7 years ago, I took out a 30-year mortgage, and it’s only about halfway paid off. Nonetheless, I read the book.
The money saving ideas mentioned at the beginning of the book were of no use to me. I had already thought of those and many more. But in reading the book, I saw that it talked about all debt: mortgages, credit cards, vehicle payments, etc. That’s why the beginning of the book wasn’t applicable to my situation – my mortgage is my only debt!
Okay, so that got me intrigued. If I’m really abnormal for having a mortgage as my only debt, I wanted to see how the “normal” people lived. Apparently, normal people are swamped with debt – a situation I just couldn’t fathom. If they couldn’t afford things, why did they buy them?
I continued to read the book and realized that although the majority of the information wasn’t applicable to my situation, it was probably applicable to a large percentage of the rest of the population. And even though it wasn’t applicable to my current situation, it was good information to know for the future.
Then, page 123 hit me with the title “Chapter 10: Should I Really Stop Saving Now?”. Surely this guy wasn’t going to recommend not saving money, right? Wrong! Clearly this guy was off his rocker when he wrote this book, right? Wrong again!
On page 125, the author, Bob Marette, shows you in black and white how paying off your debt (while not accruing any new debt) by paying more than the minimum amount owed instead of putting the extra money into savings can actually help you retire with almost 4 times as much money! Although the numbers he uses are just examples, they are examples that caught my attention.
I double checked his calculations, and they were correct. The idea is simple. Instead of saving $XXX per month for retirement, if you put the $XXX per month toward your debt to have it paid off sooner, when your debt is paid off, you put all of the money you were putting toward your debt toward retirement. In the end, you have a larger retirement amount by paying off your debt first. I was amazed.
I finished reading the book, and immediately passed it along to others to read. I bookmarked chapter 10 and said “If you only read one chapter, make it this one!” I got some great feedback from others regarding that book. If you have any debt, I highly recommend you read From a Millstone to a Milestone by Bob Marette. Even if you don’t have any debt, the book could still be beneficial since it suggests many ways to stay out of debt, too.
In the spirit of being budget-savvy, if you can’t afford to buy From a Millstone to a Milestone, just ask your local librarian to order it for you to read!
Article by Randi Millward