Saturday, April 30, 2011

Debt Free Friday!

Since this blog is mainly for record of mine and Adam's life together... I must document this monumental day!  Well... the day was officially 2 weeks ago, on my birthday April 15 when we officially became DEBT FREE (except for our home!)

Adam and I were fortunate enough when we got married to be debt free.  No school loans, paid for cars, no credit card debt etc. Shortly after we were married, we had to buy a car, Adam decided to go back to school,we got a credit card (BAD IDEA) and we moved to Fayetteville and bought a home.  None of that is terrible... but it did put us in debt.  It also didn't help that we had no idea what we were doing with our money. We made a decent living and actually managed to save some money- but not enough. We also never really talked about WHO would be the main money person and as a result just made some poor money choices.

There's the icky truth... I can tell it because we are FREE! It started when we moved to Fayetteville a year and a half ago and found a church that was teaching Dave Ramsey's "Financial Peace University."  It was life changing for us. Dave is a real estate guru that has been in debt and learned to dig himself out. He has devoted his life to helping people get out of debt and build wealth. The course met one night a week for 13 weeks.  Before we "graduated" from FPU we paid off the car we had bought that we planned on paying off over the next 5 years. Man, let me tell you how good that felt!  I cannot imagine ever having a car payment again! That was just the momentum we needed to really get going. 

Fast forward a year later, we have paid off $30,000 worth of debt and are now DEBT FREE except for out home. The majority of that was grad school loans we took out for Adam to go back to school.  Today's norm is to take out all the money that you need and spend a lifetime paying it off and wasting thousands of dollars on interest.  Dave taught us about this terrible myth and how we were only cheating ourselves.  It definitely took some sacrifice... we did not go on some vacations we had wanted to, held off on furnishing our new home like we wanted, and significantly reduced our eating out, shopping, and gifting funds.  We did our best to dump every ounce of extra income into paying off our debt. 

Dave's motto is "Live like no one else, so later you can LIVE like no one else." This basically means that if you go against the "norm" of today's society and don't just run out and buy what you want- only buy what you save for and have CASH... that later, you can truly enjoy the fruits of your labor.  I can honestly say that this was hard, but not near as hard as I thought.  Once we made a budget and re-evaluating our goals, we really got into it.  It became like a game to us almost to pay off the debt as quick as possible so that we could do some fun things with our money.

I highly recommend Dave Ramsey's program.  It doesn't matter what stage of life you are in or how much debt you have. Even if you are in far more debt than we were or have none at all, the wealth- building information is something everyone can benefit from.
"We're Debt Free!!!!!!!"

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