We cannot stop listening to Dave Ramsey. We download his podcasts and listen to him in the car, we turn on the Chromecast and watch him on the TV. We listen to him in bed before we go to sleep. Whenever we have downtime we are listening to Dave. The kids are begging for music but its good for them, haha. We just have to take turns with the radio but hopefully they learn something about money, even if by accident. Although, they keep using money terms such as asking if and when we will be debt free, and asking about loans and financing. So it really is teaching them weather they like it or not 🙂 They also keep asking when we are going on the radio to do our debt free scream, the debt free scream is one of Daves schticks where people celebrate being debt free by screaming it on the radio. Wasn’t really planning on that but I’m starting to almost feel like we have to for them. So I guess we will see what happens lol.
We have accomplished baby step 1 and have our $1000 in the emergency fund and we are onto step 2. Which we should have done by May of 2017. I can hardly wait. We just recently paid off the hubs car and have moved onto our van. Then onto our last EVER credit card. We owe close to $7000. We should have both those paid off around April or May. Hopefully April because we are hoping to take the kids to Florida in April. (I know, I know not something Dave would approve of but we want to do something while the kids are little) I think we may be able to get everything paid off if we truly be as tight as possible. Plus we will have some tax money we can throw at something also. We just added on some new debt a couple months ago, braces. We will take care of that in a matter of a month though.
Step 3 getting our 3-6 months expenses into the savings will take about 5 months. We will try to get maybe 12 thousand in there. We make more than that in 3-6 months, but we don’t need the full amount he makes in order to live without pay for that long. So around $12,000 should be enough to cover all our expenses in order to keep going if an emergency occurred.
Then we will start putting money into retirement and college funds and we will just have our house payment.
Paying off that house will take about 18 months as long as everything keeps going the way it’s going. I plan to start working more once Samantha starts kindergarten, that will also speed things up. For now I will do what I can working part time and odd cleaning jobs and things until then.
We are extremely motivated to live debt free. We have never once in our adult life been debt free. I applied for a credit card as soon as I turned 18, because I was told by everyone it would help build my credit. Well getting married at 18 and living on an Airman’s salary and not knowing much about finances landed us in a mess. Using our credit card for groceries and other really stupid things we just had to have. After 11 years of marriage and 3 kids we are tired of making so much money but not having any extra money to actually have fun with. We NEED to get rid of the payments. When we look at the amount of money coming in each month and seeing how much goes out towards cars and other payments, it just makes me sick. My husband works too hard, we got mad and decided enough is enough. We are going to keep that money he makes and never again borrow money from the bank.
Motivation and sacrifice have been key for us. Once we paid off our smallest payment (windows) and felt that feeling of a small victory we were fired up. Not to the extent we needed to get to though. We had a plan but not a great one. We wanted to put all the extra money at they end of the pay period on the next card but we kept being a few hundred bucks short of where we should have been. It was getting frustrating. We were making progress, but not as quickly as I was hoping. So the husband started to listen to Dave Ramsey and I think thats when he really got on board. With BOTH of us really sitting down together and figuring out our budget we started making some serious headway. It feels like I can almost see the light at the end of a very long and dark tunnel. We are not there yet but, I know its getting close. I have never felt the feeling of not having any payments and I can feel the excitement in my heart when I think about what that must feel like.
“Live like no one else, so later you can live like no one else” Dave Ramsey always says. Its totally true, you really have to buckle down and do the hard work. You can’t go out to eat every weekend, and you have to say no to doing things you would normally do. It is kind of liberating though when you think about the money you saved by staying home or doing something else that doesn’t cost any money. You have to have the willpower and determination to stick it out so you can feel the reward in the end. It’s so tempting to give in here and there, but in then end you won’t have as much of the reward if you had stuck to the plan.
We accidentally miscalculated and overpaid one of our payments. At first we panicked for a moment, but then we decided it was probably a good thing. We had to watch every little thing we did for about a week and a half until payday. I only spent about $40 on groceries during that time. Making food from what I had, only buying essentials like milk and bread. We tried not to go anywhere and use gas. When we did we took Sean’s car for better gas mileage. We didn’t, or rather, couldn’t eat out a single time. It was actually a very good test for us. I am glad it happened now that it’s over. It made us save more money then we initially would have.
We need to endure some pain now to feel the pleasure later. We still have a bit of a road ahead of us, but hearing all the stories that people share on the Dave Ramsey show really inspires us to keep going. If they can do it so can we. I recommend anyone who wants to be debt free to read his books and listen to his show. I can see and feel that it is really going to work for us. You have to want it bad enough to put in the work though. And I know we do! I cant wait to be able to share our complete debt free story.