What Would You Give Up … to Be Debt-Free?


ThinkstockPhotos-533649083When it comes to debt, you’d think that most people would do whatever it takes to get out of the red.

Yet according to a 2013 poll from Credit Karma and Harris Interactive, 72% of people report that, if given a choice, they’d rather hold onto debt than gain weight.

In fact, 43% of those polled agreed with this statement: “How much I weigh is more important than how much debt I have.”

We were curious to see if those results would still hold up, so we asked people from across the country about what they’d sacrifice for one year if, at the end, they’d be totally debt-free.

From sweets and social media to cars and comic books, here’s what financial freedom is worth to them.

To Be Debt-Free, I’d Give Up … My Weekends

“My husband and I currently have $72,000 of mortgage, student loan and medical debt—and I’m working around the clock to knock that number down.

During the week I’m a fitness instructor, in addition to caring for my 3-year-old daughter. On Saturdays and Sundays I work at a restaurant to bring in more cash.

My hope is that this situation will be temporary—but I’d gladly continue working seven days a week for a full year if it means I’d be debt-free by the end of it!

At that point I’d go back to enjoying my weekends again—I’d love to go camping again—because the quality time I’d spend with my husband and daughter would be fuller and far less stressful.”

—Jessie Grider, 25, a fitness instructor in Red Wing, Minn.

RELATED: My Wacky (but Profitable) Weekend Side Job: 4 Fun Ways People Bring in Extra Cash

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  • jads

    I understand your addiction to Diet Coke! I felt the same way about soda for years and could not go a day without an ice cold soda! Then, I became pregnant with my daughter and gave it up for the health of my unborn baby. Once she was born, I discovered I no longer liked the taste – it tastes like syrup to me. It’s been 18 years now and I still do not drink soda. So my suggestion – give it up for several months and you will get over your love for it. Good luck!

  • Tammara Payne Tiffany

    We rented out the house that we couldn’t sell 35 minutes from where we need to be, to purchase an office building and home on the same property. (22 steps to work for both of us) Gave up the nice house for a foreclosed on property that needs a lot of work. Then we cut the satellite to the minimum, and have a vehicle with 240,000 miles on it. We budget for “going out” and have cash accounts. We are paying down the new property so that we can become debt free as quickly as humanly possible. Unfortunately things happen and we just had to borrow a bit to purchase a (used) vehicle in better shape, but we have a budget for it, and a timeline.

  • http://www.rllorayes.com rodolfo lorayes

    I will give up weekly playing golf to lessen my credit card debt.

  • Michelley

    It is nice to see input from people not living on the east or west coast. I can relate to these people from smaller towns as their salaries are probably not going to be over $60,000 unless they have a combined household income of such.

  • Reggi

    I would give up the TV’s in my home and the ability to watch any movies for a whole year … Even in theaters!!!