Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Free at last!

Dear friends, we are proud to announce that we are debt free.

Finally!

It's reason to celebrate...with a pinata!

Celebrate being debt free with a Dora the Explorer pinata!

We paid off our last student loan at the end of December 2012 and we are floating on Cloud Nine.

When we got married 4 years ago, one of my good friends and former mission companions gifted us The Total Money Makeover by Dave Ramsey on CD. We didn't listen to it right away. In fact, I think I finally popped it in to my computer a whole year after we received it.

Read it!

I listened to it and got so excited--this was new and simple! it blew my mind. When I was younger, I wasn't really taught about financial stuff.  I knew how to work hard, but I didn't know that I could work hard then SAVE enough money to buy something outright. The only thing I knew was that I could put it on a credit card.

So in college, I racked up a lot of debt. Credit card debt, student loan debt, car debt, random debt--I had it! When we got married, I had to tell Lee I had this whole lot of debt. And between the two of us, we had over $80,000 worth of debt (yes, most of it was mine and most of it was school debt!).

Lee agreed to go with me to Financial Peace University (FPU), a series of 9 lessons, where you learn the Baby Steps and beyond. I think Lee was a little hesitant at first since he hadn't listened to the CDs, but then he got into it as we went each week.

We graduated FPU and we were committed and for the next couple years, we "lived like no else, so later we could live like no one else." We always paid our tithes and offerings first and aggressively paid our debts and bills next.

And now we have no debt. Nada. Nil. Zip!

Kicking for joy--we're out of debt!

We entered a contest recently through Zion's Bank telling about our experience and we won the regional contest and $100.00 (which immediately went in our emergency fund)! This was our essay:

When we got married four years ago, I was ashamed that I was a financial idiot and brought credit card and student loan debt to our new life. We were beginning with a dark cloud over us. Fortunately, we received the Total Money Makeover for a wedding gift--turned out to be the best gift we got! We graduated FPU, living like no one else. At the end of this month (usually known for spending), we will pay off our last loan and will be debt free! Not having that dark cloud will be the best anniversary and Christmas gift.

Okay, so we are only done with Baby Step #2, but that was the step that seemed the most insurmountable. Now it's all easy sailing from now on, right?!?  I'm sure that will not be the case, but it honestly seems so much easier already.

If you are struggling with debt, you need to check out the Financial Peace University and/or the Total Money Makeover--it will change your family history!


7 comments:

  1. BIG shout out to you both! I absolutely LOVE Dave Ramsey...I seriously think he is a genius. He keeps things very simple and doable. And WAY TO GO for being debt free! Are you going to call in on Friday and do your debt-free scream? As soon as we get our house paid off, we're calling in and screaming at the top of our lungs! So, so proud of you guys!

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    1. We need to do the debt scream on Friday! I can't wait till you get your house paid off! THAT will be an awesome day!

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  2. Congrats!!! So awesome! We are working on Step 2 right now and it's nice to hear these success stories! Wahoo!

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    1. You can do it, Natalie! We're cheering you on!

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  3. Praise GOD!! Dave Ramsey is AWESOME! What a wonderful feeling to be debt free. Have a fabulous time and enjoy the moment! We have a LOT of school debt too...SIGH thanks for the inspiration.

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  4. That is a real accomplishment! Congratulations!!!

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