08 Apr Debt-free and loving’ it!
On Wednesday, March 31, 2010 we became DEEBT FREEEEE! We made the FINAL payment on our school debt, eliminating the ridiculous $57,500 of debt that we had accrued. It was a 3-year goal completed in 2 years and 10 months! This amazing feat all started with a wedding gift from Dad Hutchens—Financial Peace University. Hesitant at first (since we didn’t need financial advice), we signed up for this Dave Ramsey class all the way in Fort Wayne—an hour long drive every Tuesday night for thirteen weeks!
We soon became intense followers of Dave Ramsey’s “Baby Steps” (see below).
- $1,000 in the bank (It’s Murphy repellent.)
- Pay off all debt using the Debt Snowball (pay off smallest loans first, not just high interest rates).
- (And this is where we are now.) 3-6 months expenses in savings.
- Invest 15% of household income in retirement.
- College funding (for the kiddos!).
- Pay off home early.
- Build wealth (Boom, baby!).
Giving is included in every step.
Listening to Dave’s radio show via podcasts has been integral in keeping us motivated–hearing how other people have paid off hundreds of THOUSANDS of dollars worth of debt in a matter of years–inspirational! And we’ve now joined that group who can scream with the Debt-Free Friday group that WE’RE DEBT FREE!
for me Friday (without me knowing!) and told me that we were going to Tennessee to see Dave and thank him in person. Wow! So we made the 7-hour trek to TN, listened to his radio show live, shared inspiring stories not only with Dave himself but also with at least a dozen other families in the lobby.
As we look back on this journey and think of how impossible it really should be for us to pay off that much with our average income, we truly must attribute it to the provision of the Lord, especially during seven months of unemployment, two cars breaking down, and putting Sarah through half of her masters courses. Our only explanation? God alone.