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I would not be able to have this opportunity without us being debt-free. A few years ago, my husband and I made a plan to be debt-free, except for our mortgage. We had student loans, cars, credit cards, line of credit and that was before the mortgage. Within a few years we got rid of it all. And then the recession came. I can't imagine where we'd be if we wouldn't have paid all those things off before the economy got bad. We already were living frugally so it wasn't hard to keep that up.
If we had debt, I wouldn't be able to be home and write. Dreams just don't capture themselves, you have to take out your butterfly net and go get them.