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How it feels to finally be Debt Free!

May 25, 2010

a bumper sticker I dig

I’ll have to take you back to the beginning in 2008 when my mom encouraged made a deal with Jeremiah and I that if we took Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University for 12 weeks that she and my dad would help pay for Jeremiah’s seminary education. We knew she was serious and who wouldn’t take up that kind of offer? So, we enrolled in the class at a local church with $45,000 in Debt– credit cards, student loans, 2 car payments, and more. During our first class, we found out that our debt surprisingly lined up with the average American’s debt.

Throughout each week, Dave Ramsey’s principles blew our mind. We started to see where we had been foolish and honestly hadn’t been living by God’s word in the area of finances. We started with the lowest amount of debt first and worked our way up. We cut up our credit cards (scary but it felt great!), Put $1,000 in our emergency fund as Dave says to do and starting building our savings. Most importantly, we got on a budget/spending plan. Even though we failed at it at times (and still do), we had a target to shoot for and we finally had control of our finances, rather than our finances controlling us.

We ate out less, didn’t really buy clothes, had a grocery limit, sold stuff, held garage sells, sold a car, didn’t buy unnecessary stuff and before we knew it, we were chipping away at our debt incredibly fast. We even had a baby and didn’t go into debt doing it because we saved, saved, saved!

Now two years later, we are proud to say that we are DEBT FREE!

The feeling is surreal still because for so long we weren’t truly free in that area and it impacted our marriage. But now we are and it’s our desire to encourage others out there who feel like it’s impossible. So many people encouraged us along the way and most importantly, God gave us the grace we needed to persevere and follow his plan.

I wrote a few posts a while back about our journey here and here and here and several more under the Finance category on this blog if you’d like to check those out.

While we’ve actually been debt free for about 3 months now, I can say that managing finances will always be a battle and we will never arrive, but I’m so thankful that our eyes have been opened and that above all, we are learning to better steward what we’ve been given because all that we have is a gift from God in the first place.

Thank you for sharing in our joy today!

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9 Comments leave one →
  1. May 25, 2010 8:34 am

    I’m so proud of you guys!! That’s a huge feat!! Congrats!
    Ashleigh & Brendon

  2. May 25, 2010 11:41 am

    Hey Sam, I was your nextdoor neighbor freshman year in college (I roomed with Liz David) and I stumbled across your blog several months ago. I just read your last post and I wanted to say CONGRATULATIONS! It is such a difficult goal to reach and I am so proud that you did!

    Question- do you guys use any specific websites to help you with your budgeting and such, or do you use the Dave Ramsey spreadsheet?

    Again, congrats!!!!

    -Amy

  3. May 25, 2010 11:48 am

    Way to go, Samantha! I hope to be where you’re at later this year. It’s definitely an inspiration to read and hear about folks who have succeeded with hard work and patience.

  4. May 25, 2010 1:21 pm

    Thank you guys! Amy, of course I remember you! Thanks so much for letting me know how you found me and for the congrats. It’s funny how you stumbled upon my blog. I’m excited to check out your blog and what you are up to.

    We just use Quicken software for our Mac primarily. We used Dave’s spreadsheet at the beginning. We’ve used Mint.com as well (which is a great tool). Jeremiah mainly handles the organization of it all (I’m still growing in that area!) and has really stuck to Quicken πŸ™‚

    Andy- I know you guys can do it! Good for you striving towards it. Awesome.

  5. May 25, 2010 1:36 pm

    Congratulations!!!! Never read Dave Ramsey’s book but need to! We’re debt free minus our house and school loans. We really would like to pay off the school loans in the near future. We’re pretty good about sticking to a budget but need to take it up a notch, I think, to manage paying off the loans. You’re an inspiration for sure, that’s an amazing sum to pay off in 2 yearS!

  6. May 25, 2010 1:56 pm

    Congratulations! We have never done that program but have heard about it. We only have my student loan but it’s time to get serious about it. thanks for the nudge. πŸ™‚

  7. May 27, 2010 1:30 pm

    Danielle- I recommend anything written by Dave but definitely the course since it allows you to discuss what you learn from the video- break out into small groups, etc. I think we benefited more from it than reading the book. That is great that you only have that debt. You can definitely get it paid off. Way to go for you guys. Thanks for the encouragement!

    Charity- glad to give a nudge πŸ™‚ You can do it!

  8. June 8, 2010 10:00 am

    Congratulations! Debt-free is a great feeling πŸ™‚

    We’re $1596 away from being able to celebrate only having our house left to pay off (about $100K on that), so we’ll be joining you in celebrating soon enough, I think.

    Very happy for you guys!

  9. June 24, 2010 5:04 pm

    Wow. Way to go! We recently took FPU and were so encouraged. We had quite a bit of credit card debt and felt overwhelmed just with that, but hearing testimonies like yours helped us so much. We’re on our way to paying it off, and we are so thankful. And we’re on the same page financially for the first time in our 15 year marriage. PTL!

    Great to have you in the HCB network. I look forward to keeping up with you in cyberspace!

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