On this day, two years ago, my husband and I became debt-free!!! We got Cachet, the debt-free dog, and then had Vivienne, our debt free baby! Yep, we cash-flowed our child. For those who don’t know, that means we didn’t go into debt to have our baby, because I have great insurance and because we paid cash we got a hefty discount.
I am trying to make this a thing, like birthday, anniversary or other important milestone, because it is. So Happy Debt Free Day to us! Play along with me, will you?
Why is being debt-free so great? Well, for starters, we owe no money to anyone.
We do have to pay rent and utilities, AND that is it. We no longer owe student loans, store credit cards or medical bills. We had this on our fridge to help motivate us.
Lane Bryant- Gone
New York and Company- Gone
Royal Prestige- Gone (that was a very stupid mistake we made with money when we were first engaged and goopy eyed and thinking we needed amazing cookware, in order to cook, never mind that it took us 3 years to pay it off)
Chase VISA- Ugh, lots of stupid, including some Manolo Blahniks I just HAD to have.
Student Loans- GONE (my husband is especially proud of that one!)
Smoky- My 2007 Toyota Carolla – Paid off October 2014
Vlad- Jeremy’s 2009 Chevy Impala- Paid off November 2015- LAST DEBT!
Take a second and breathe that in, if you have payments, that you pay each month on student loans or your car loan or your credit cards, think about what you could do with that money if you had it as your own instead of promised to creditors every month on the 15th, or 18th or 30th or whatever your billing cycle is at the time. Think of how much you could save for retirement (it’s coming faster than you think) or to pay cash for a vacation that doesn’t follow you home. Or five other things I am not talking about here, but are in your heart because it’s YOUR dream, not mine.
Maybe you don’t have a lot of debt, a couple of thousand or so, but if you are like most people (that was us too) you live paycheck to paycheck and if a 1000.00 emergency came up you wouldn’t have it, you would have to put it on a credit card. That emergency could be a hospital stay or a dental emergency or a flat tire or a dead battery (all of which happened to us while we were working to get out of debt) and we kept having to refill our emergency fund each time.
Well, Jeremy and I decided back in 2012 to take a class about how to handle money. Believe me when I tell you, it changed our lives.
How? We got organized, we started doing a budget and figuring out where all our money was going. Believe it or not, once we looked up and saw that we were spending almost 300.00 a month on fast food and “inconvenience’ store stops for coffee and Monster and breakfast. Mine was more about Starbucks, I had to have that Caramel Macchiato and then a bagel and it’s kind of amazing how fast that stuff added up. If you do the math that is 3600.00 a year that we were just “wasting” on things that we were not even aware of until we were.
So we both went to work, I should say, went out and got extra jobs since we were both instilled with an incredible work ethic way before we ever met each other. It has to be said, I have never met a man who works as hard as mine did and does.
In this case, I had a little more free time than he did so I had three jobs, he had two and we saw a lot less of each other as we both worked to eliminate the debt that was shackling us. We didn’t mind because we knew it would be temporary and it was. I mean in the grand scheme of things, it was.
We got serious in November 2012 and finished in November 2015. 11/16/2015 to be precise.
We did a lot of sacrificing to get there, and it was worth it and it is still worth it.
Is our life stress-free because we are debt-free ? Hardly, but it definitely makes it better.
We may fight about things, but money isn’t one of them. That is an incredible blessing and I am grateful every day for it.
Here are a few pictures from the radio show where we did our debt free scream.
Here is the youtube for those who are interested-
We went to Nashville, and went on the Dave Ramsey show and screamed to the world that we were debt free. Why? Well for starters, it was the goal I wanted when we started this journey, it got me up out of bed on days I did NOT WANT to go to my second and third job. So it was very important to me to do it, then it became more about being accountable to say we ARE NEVER GOING INTO DEBT AGAIN.
According to Google, The Dave Ramsey Show surpasses 13 million weekly listeners on more than 585 radio stations and a variety of digital platforms. That is a whole lot of people to be accountable to, I can only hope to one day have that kind of readership, but baby steps, baby steps!
So besides bragging about our family’s big accomplishment, what is the point of this post? Well, the bragging is part of it, but more than anything, I really want to say, you can do this too, if you want to. If you want to know more, ask us. If not, that works too.
Think about it….