Saturday, July 6, 2013

Becoming Debt Free

Isn't it funny how some of the most influential things in our lives come to be?
You meet a young man in a biology class. He thinks your cute and sits next to you. Four and a half years later your married. 
You strike up a conversation with a co-worker about investments, he gives you a book, ( The Total Money Makeover) you read it and 13 months later your debt free.

We needed to make a change. We were going nowhere fast. My husband is an extremely outgoing, passionate person. When he does something, it's 110%.  The book, My Total Money Makeover by Dave Ramsey was exactly what we needed to light a fire under our rumps!

It wasn't that we were bad with money. We were making plenty of it. We just had no direction. We had never really grasped that debt is NOT a tool. Our debt was holding us back. I had been paying double payments on our credit cards and school loans but we weren't making any headway.

Then we made a budget (insert lightbulb). So, thats where all our money was going! No wonder we weren't getting anywhere. We were spending way to much money at the grocery store, going out to eat, gifts, and beyond. Like I said, we had no plan. Im sorry but $1,700 a month at Safeway is not ok for a family of two! I will admit, I felt guilty. I felt I had failed. My loving husband reminded me that we are a team. They are our mistakes and our debts to pay. I am not an island.

We continued to make lists. What items do we really need to live? Not a whole lot. Where could we be more creative with our money and where could we give a little more? One of the first things we did was make a menu. After deciding on a resonable amount a month for groceries, I took on the task of making every dollar stretch. There is an art to planning meals, having leftovers, eating healthy and entertaining on a budget. Soon after reading the book, and making a budget we began Dave Ramsey's online Financial Peace University. Watching the videos and completing the lessons really helped us stay focused and inspired.

Our debt was $72,000. So, for 13 months we stuck to our budget, we didn't do anything unless it was free. Ben worked ALOT ( he's one one the hardest working people I know). I sold my artwork and held down the fort while he worked six days a week. On top of our work load we decided to begin teaching Financial Peace University. It sounds crazy, to take on the task of helping others through their debt free journey, but it was a blessing to share what we had learned.
Our journey wasn't always easy. There were things we wanted to buy, but didn't. We had to learn to be mature and delay pleasure. As Dave says, "live like no one else, so later you can live like no one else". 

This past November we did it! We made the last payment. We followed Dave Ramsey's baby steps, worked hard, paying off $72,000 in 13 months. We've gone on to teach Financial Peace University a second time to people in our community. In May we were able to fly to Tennessee to meet Dave and be interviewed on his radio show. We shared our story did our "debt free scream" and joined the thousands of others who have changed their family tree. 

For more information visit 

No comments:

Post a Comment