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Thursday, January 24, 2013

We're Debt Free!

I want to start out by saying that since we've been married we've never been debt free. Ryan brought a student loan into our marriage, then shortly after we were married we got our first credit card which eventually led to 3 more. Then we took out a huge loan to pay for Ryan's flight school which he never finished before we ran out of money. When we remodeled our condo we got a Home Depot loan and a Home Depot credit card. After our car got stolen for the 2nd time we bought a car by taking out a car loan. By this time it was 2010 and we had about $40,000 of debt. That Spring I saw a post for a free Dave Ramsey Financial Peace University class. I dragged Ryan along and once the lesson was over we forked over the money to register for the rest of the classes. Looking back it's one of the best investments we've ever made. We went to class each week for 13 weeks. On the credit card lesson we brought all our credit cards and cut them up. During class we completed Baby Step 1 which is a $1000 emergency fund and started on Baby Step 2, debt snowball. Our first payment towards our debt snowball was on July 1, 2010. We had 7 debts to pay off. We started with the smallest one and with each small victory we really thought "we can do this!" In 6 months we paid off 3 debts about $4000. In 2011 we only paid off one debt $2182 , because we stopped our debt snowball in February. Ryan started school so we saved every penny for that and cash flowed it. Last year we paid the last $33,000 off. One in February, one in March, and the last payment to finish it off on Oct 18, 2012.

It took us 27 months. At times it seemed like it would never end and we'd be scrimping and saving forever and never be free. During that time we sold as much as we could to help it go faster. The motorcycle, a game system, a laptop. Our goal was to be debt free before the baby came and if we played our cards right, before Halloween. In August we realized we were not going to hit our goal so Ryan suggested selling our car. This was an idea I had thought of, but Ryan loved that car so much I knew he wouldn't want to part with it. It surprised me when he said it, but I was so proud of him. At this point I knew he just wanted to be done with the debt. If we sold the car it would give us a huge jump start and with his bonus we'd be debt free in a matter of weeks. We were so fortunate that our friend Mario loved our car and had actually been looking to buy one. He called Ryan the day after we decided to sell and asked him if he would sell it to him. We'd never even mentioned it to him. We told him yes and as soon as we found a car it was his. I was super nervous to buy a car in NM so we had my dad on the hunt for us. He test drove a few before pulling the trigger. We drove to UT Labor Day weekend and payed cash for the car. 6 weeks later we were debt free.

I love Dave Ramsey and highly recommend Financial Peace University. It goes over every aspect of finances from credit to insurance to mortgages. We learned so much and are definitely at peace. There's a new version now and it's only 9 weeks instead of 13. Our instructor, Brenda, was great and if you live in the Salt Lake area I'll tell you to go to her. Click here for more info. We will be done with Baby Step 3 next month and are excited for what the future holds. It feels good to be prepared and have a plan for our future.


Taylor Family said...

That's a huge accomplishment, definitely something to be proud of! So happy for you guys!

Lindsay said...

Wow, how amazing. How wonderful! What a great feeling! My husband's student loans are just about to hit us and that would be awesome to figure a way to kill them off sooner than later. So cool! Congrats!!!

Ann said...

That is awesome! We've never done Financial Peace University, but everything we've heard about it we've already been doing. People don't get how much debt controls you! I now love peoples responses to how we handel money, having a cash budget etc thinking we are so weird. But hey it works! Keep up the good work! Such an amazing accomplishment!

Lizzy Hortin said...

Congrats! That is so huge and so awesome!


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