Dan and I started this debt-free journey a little over a year ago. We decided enough was enough and to start managing our money with intention and responsibility. We were tired of paying our debtors and then having nothing left to show of our hard work.
So we found a program- the teachings of Dave Ramsey. You may have heard of him, if not, I recommend taking some time to read his stuff or listen to his podcast. It is eye opening and sometimes it is hard to listen, as a lot of his teachings are not very popular! For one, we live in a society where using credit is as normal as Trump becoming President.
I grew up poor. My dad has never had a credit card, but I did witness him making payment plans with local businesses when making large purchases. Then again, he never had a mortgage payment or rent to pay- as we lived with my grandparents. Therefore, I had NO IDEA on how to manage money much less understand the value.
When I received my first credit card, at the ripe ol’ age of 20, it was like leaving me alone in a room with chocolate covered penises! 🙂 Okay, I’m trying too hard, but you get the picture. I spent money I didn’t have. The idea of getting stuff instantly and paying later was (insert glowing light from the sky). On top of that I took out an enormous amount of Student Loans!
When the wedding bells rang in 2014 and Avery came to join the party- we spent money we did not have so that I could stay home with her for the first year of her life. Although that was a cherished and yet dark time in my life, it is a regret I hold. Don’t worry, I’m talking about it with my therapist, and I’m sure I will forgive myself eventually.
So here I sit and write about this journey for a couple of reasons:
- 1. Accountability
- 2. I am going to start a new venture in becoming a Financial Coach.
This journey for Dan and I may have started in 2018, but I have been learning about finances for most of my adult life. You may not know this, but I actually have a Bachelor’s in Accounting. Thank you Sallie Mae for the expensive piece of paper- now let’s make it work!
Teaching is my passion and I do love teaching Literature and Writing to young kids, and now I want to take my passion of teaching and coach other families to empower them on their finances.
So here is quick look at our Journey of 2018:
- Total Debt (not including the house) $160,755.
- Paid off $21, 264!
During this time we ran into what we call “Murphy,” as in Murphy’s Law- if it can’t happen it will.
- Our car needed a new transmission.
- Our dishwasher broke and leaked leaving water damage to our kitchen cabinets.
- We needed new tires for our car.
- Our dryer decided to quit on us too, we replaced that.
- We had to pay for some medical procedures- Sleep study and Scopes- both over $500.
- We bought Kevin a car.
EVEN WITH ALL THIS- we did not use any credit AND we still paid off 13% of our debt! To us that is a big deal!
2019 has not been nice to us either. Unfortunately, Dan lost his job, and our water heater was having the case of, the fear of being left out, so it also died on us.
With all that said, we keep moving forward. It may seem daunting to believe that it is possible to live debt free, and even more so to pay it off. Our goal is to pay off all $140,000 in four years. Isn’t that better than 10 years or FOREVER!? We think so.
If you are interested in more details on HOW we are doing this, stay tuned. My next post will do just that!