Our Debt Free Journey
When we got married, over 10 years ago now, the only debt we had was our student loans. For our 10th anniversary, all we wanted was to have just those loans and our house left to pay off. In between, we managed to rack up and then pay off thousands of dollars in credit card and car debt.
At the peak, we had close to $20,000 in credit card debt. Today, we have none.
Part of what we want to do with this blog is be transparent. We consolidated $11,000 of that credit card debt into a second mortgage several years ago. We had paid off about $2000 of that when we sold our old house so the remaining $9000 in former CC debt was rolled into our new house – moving the former CC debt from one house to the other.
That said, we paid off over $9,000 in credit card debt plus another $4000 on Matt’s car and about $14,000 on our minivan. We also bought and paid for 4 more cars in that time.
We tried several times to get traction and pay off all of our debt but never could get anywhere with it. Then in June 2005, we were introduced to Dave Ramsey and Financial Peace University.
Our church had started doing small groups that January and several friends had taken the class. They urged us to do so as well [thanks, Jeff and Kristin!]. Some other friends of ours were going to take the course and we wanted to spend more time with them so we decided to do so as well.
June is a tough time for us financially and that year especially so. I teach at a community college and don’t get paid in June. We had just added our third daughter to our family five weeks earlier. We dug down and came up with the $96 or so needed to take the course.
That was, by far, the best financial decision we have ever made.
Through the next 13 weeks, we watched Dave as he walked us through the Baby Steps and beyond.
Since then, we have either paid off or cash flowed over $30,000 in debt and expenses. We finished our last commercial debt in early Oct. 2007 when we paid off the car [that was about 5 months after our anniversary, but a number of unexpected expenses kept that from happening sooner].
Come back soon as we’ll blog about those Baby Steps and how we’re working to get debt free!