Meet Brad Chaffee from Enemy of Debt

Today Brad Chaffee from Enemy of Debt and I are exchanging question and answer posts. Brad eliminated $26K worth of debt in 18 months and is determined to never be in debt ever again!ย  Wow, that is fantastic!

After you read Brad’s answers here, go over to his site and read my answers. And while youโ€™re at Brad’s site, take a look around and subscribe to his blog!

Brad, is your spouse a spender or a saver?

My wife is definitely a saver but even she would admit that there are some spender tendencies deep within.
Do you prefer to work for someone or be self employed? Why?

I definitely prefer to be self-employed, and am working very hard to reach that goal. I hope to be launching EOD Financial Coaching in May of this year after becoming certified as a financial counselor. ๐Ÿ™‚

Do you buy your own books or use the library? Why?

A combination of both really. The truth is I am a book fanatic. I dream of having my own custom library in my house with lots and lots of valuable books to fill my custom-built wooden bookshelves. I love picking up books at the Goodwill for under a dollar!
Prefer to rent or own your own home? Why?

Well, that question is a bit tricky for me. I prefer to own a home, but only when mortgage debt is not involved. We currently have a house, but are trying to sell it so we can be completely debt free. Once we do this, there will be no more loans in our life, not even for our next house which we plan to pay 100% down.

I think that owning a home is great, but I would rather that home be a gift instead of a burden which is what I think a house that is mortgaged is. I personally like the feeling of knowing that if everything were to absolutely go wrong and fall apart, I would have a paid for house to call home.

Do you consider a mortgage to be “okay” debt? Why or why not?

I do not place mortgage debt in the same category as say credit cards, student loans, or car loans, so I would qualify it as “okay” debt if I must. Buying a house is a major purchase, and lots of people feel it is impossible, or would take them forever, to buy a home using 100% cash down.

With that said, I hope to encourage more and more people to avoid getting a mortgage, but if they must, to get a 15 year fixed-rate mortgage, and leave everything else alone.

Would you ever lease an automobile on a long term contract?

I would NEVER lease an automobile. In fact, I would rather go into debt by taking on a car loan than leasing. Leasing has to be the most expensive way to have a automobile.

I prefer buying used vehicles that have already taken the plunge in depreciation. I will never buy another new car again, and certainly would not lease one. ๐Ÿ™‚

Do you own pets? Do you feel they are a justifiable expense?

We own two pets, Gizmo (Mo-Mo) and Daisy (Daisybug). They are great dogs but I would be lying if I said they weren’t GIANT walking expenses. haha! I do in fact love animals and having dogs, while costly, are worth it to us.As far as being able to justify it, I would say that that really should be determined by one’s financial situation. I do know people who have pets but shouldn’t, but for everyone else I think it is a game of balance. If having a pet makes someone happy, AND they can afford it, I say go for it. Having pets is an experience that is unique and I certainly gain a lot by having our little dogs in our life.
Would you ever consider living in a manufactured home?

I have considered it before when we were in the market to buy a new house. The consideration didn’t last long though as I strongly believe that it is like buying a trailer. I have nothing against trailers, or people who live in them, but financially speaking, it is no different than going out and buying a brand new car. They depreciate at an alarming rate.

Why did you start your blog?

I started Enemy of Debt when I found that I had an intense burning desire to help people become debt free and experience a new way of life that will give them the hope and freedom to enable a better quality of life. I enjoy being able to help people with projects such as my “Manage Your Money” challenge coming this March.

Do you ever feel guilty when you buy things that you can probably live without?

My guilt comes into play long before the purchase is ever made usually. I have talked myself out of buying so many things. I tend to at times find myself salivating over certain electronics and toys, but for the most part I stay on course. I would LOVE to have a PS3 and have talked myself out of getting one many times. I love video games, and sold my XBOX 360, along with my beloved big screen tv, when we were getting out of debt. That decision has been extremely helpful in helping me realize the difference between needs and wants. I still want stuff, like anyone else, but the time has to be right for whatever that something might be.
Does your employer have a 401K that you contribute to?

Well, I just recently quit my job, to become a stay at home dad/work at home dad, as well as to pursue my dream of starting my financial counseling business. BUT when I was working I did contribute to the company 401k up to the match.

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