Tuesday, January 11, 2011

We're Debt Freeeeeeee!!

David and I are proud to announce that WE'RE DEBT FREEEEEEEEEEEEEEE (if you listen to the Dave Ramsey show, then I'm sure you are saying it in your head... freedom). Our journey to living debt free started 14 months ago when I found Dave Ramsey on an AM radio station on the way home one day.  I like people talking to me on the radio and I was looking for anything that wasn't political or sports related and found Dave talking about money. I have been addicted ever since. I was sick and tired of being sick and tired. David and I were both working and could make all our monthly payments, but we had nothing to show at the end of the month. We'd maybe have $200 extra to put into savings. We did what most everyone our age was doing, we both got car loans after school and we deserved all this new stuff we put on credit (or so we thought). I purchased Dave Ramsey's Total Money Makeover book and the rest was history. I was gazelle intense and ready to get started. David was hesitant at first and just went along with it. He calls me Accounts Payable and Accounts Receivable because I tell our money where to go before the month has even started thanks to our written budget. I also passed the book on to my sister and word spread and we got my brother on board as well. I am the final member to join our sibling pact to being debt free! Congrats to everyone!
After we went to the Total Money Live event in Atlanta back in October, it finally clicked with David. He was on board before, but he was fully on board and telling all his friends and family after we got back. I couldn't have asked for a better reaction. I decided to tell all the details in hopes to inspire some of you out there.

What was our debt? We had a few credit cards, 2 car loans, and both our student loans. Yes, we consider student loans debt. Although we wouldn't be here today at our current jobs without them and I'm glad for that, they still are debt and we wanted to get rid of them. The only thing debt doesn't include is the mortgage.

How much did we pay off? Hold on to your pants, we have paid off approximately $45,000 in just 14 months! I know to some that seems impossible, and I would have never thought it was possible for us. It was obviously our income that helped that, but we also sold everything and anything we could find that we didn't need. David even sold his scuba diving gear to help towards our goal.

What was the last thing we paid off? My student loan! Payment came out yesterday. I have never saved up that much money at one time. Crazy to see it in the account for that brief moment before it was taken out.

What was the hardest part? 14 months is a long time to stay focused and keep motivated about seeing the big picture. We had some set backs during the year. Molly needed surgery and diminished our baby emergency fund so we spent time building that up. We also had car troubles where we both needed work done so we had to put things on hold a few times. Life happens and we were just so glad we didn't have to put anything back on a credit card to pay for any of that. We also did not take a big vacation this past year. We visited family in NY, FL and TX to save money, but sometimes it takes sacrifice and we really didn't miss it.

What was the easiest part? I loved the budget part. You start out with your income, then your expenses and make your ending number 0 at the end of the month. You tell your budget to spend X on groceries, X on clothes for the month and X on entertainment. I knew that I had $50 a month to buy clothes so I didn't' feel guilty about going out and buying a few things. David usually let me spend his too, what a good husband.

What's next? We will keep following the baby steps and build up our 3-6 month emergency fund, step up our retirement savings, start buying things with cash and start working towards paying off our house in full. We will also start saving for future cars so we can pay cash and never take out a loan again! We put buying really anything on hold so we have a small list of things that we need to upgrade/replace but just lived with it during this whole process. A few things on the list are a new computer for me, I've had mine for over 7 years now and its seen its better days, and we are going to be remodeling a few rooms in our house. More on that later! Pin It


the girl in the red shoes said...

Congrats! Such a great feeling to be debt free!

leah said...

YEAH!!! Congratulations you guys, $45,000 is unbelievable!!

Lacey said...

CONGRATULATIONS! I'm so proud of yall, that's awesome!

Jen S said...

Congrats, Jen & David!

Chris said...

Congrats!!! And thanks for passing the info along to us as well and welcome to the club! DEBBBBTTTTT FREEEEEEEEE....I just grabbed someone's debt free call and edited it down to just the yell so you can add it to your blog! :o)

Mock family said...

WELCOME TO THE CLUB!! BEST ONE TO BE IN. I remember when you would say you don't have any money to put in savings.... now look at ya :) Great job guys- to be in your upper 20's and debt free is fantastic and a huge accomplishment. Keep up the good work!

ps. great dave ramsey interviewing...you're ready for your phone call!

Ginny said...

Very proud of you Jen & David, Michelle & James and Marla & Chris - DEBT FREE !! Where did you kids come from?

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