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Friday, April 30, 2010

Debt-Free Journey

Michael, the boys, and I just got back from Mijo’s to celebrate our DEBT-FREE DAY!!!  We are out of all debt except for the house, and it feels SOOO good!  We drove around a little bit on the way home to get the kids to fall asleep, and we talked about all the changes in our lives in the past six months.  This is our little timeline:

September - Michael succeeded in convincing me to try for a third baby.  His two hard-hitting points were a) we would make things a little easier by not co-sleeping after 4 or 5 months and by giving the occasional bottle, and b) having a relationship with a daughter is way different than sons and very special in a different way.  

October - We decided to get Levi out of our room, so we rearranged the house.  We reestablished occupancy in the master bedroom and moved both the boys and the bunk-bed into the front room.  After a fresh coat of paint for both rooms, everyone was happy.  We also decided to make our room more romantic in order to feel like a married couple and not just parents.  So we redecorated the room and remodeled the bathroom, going way into debt over it.  Prior to this we only had student-loan debt (and the house), but we justified the debt since it was a 0% credit card.  

November - The remodel was complete, but we over-drafted our checking account for the first time in our marriage.  Michael was freaking out over this and started looking into new budgeting software.  

December - We used out 0% credit card to get us out of the mess we created.  Oh, and we got iPhones.  :-/

January - Michael went on a spiritual retreat and read Financial Peace by Dave Ramsey cover to cover.  We also started implementing the new budgeting software that Michael bought called YNAB (You Need A Budget).  

February - Michael was geared up about FP, but I just thought it was another of his perfectionism things and I didn’t want to support that.  At his request I did, however, take over the finances this month.  This was so that I could get an idea for where our money goes, what maintaining it entailed, and so that I could offer educated advice when we made financial decisions together.  At the same time, I was reading Dare to Discipline by James Dobson and getting my mind blown!  Michael read it, too, and our parenting confidence SKYROCKETED!!!  

March - Michael succeeded in convincing me to go to Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University, even though I really didn’t think we’d get much out of it.  After we watched the introductory lesson (you know you want to watch it!) at home online, I was totally on board.  We continued slimming down our budget, saving and selling whatever we could.  

April - We made our final debt payment (student loans) hopefully ever!  We were paying toward our debt the whole time, but the last four months we got way intense about it.  It was totally worth all the effort, too.  Now we’re on to baby step #3!

Today Michael and I recounted all of the silly (let's just say it...stupid) financial decisions we have made since turning 18.  There were A LOT!!!  If we had the benefit of hindsight, then we would have done a lot of things differently.  But, as my mother-in-law says, "It is what it is."  Indeed...


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  2. I found your blog through a friend's, and I just want to say CONGRATS on being DEBT FREE!!! We're leaders of a FPU class in South Texas and it's just great to hear others that found Dave Ramsey's program and persevered.

  3. Jason and Michelle, awesome! Thanks for reading. I'm going to add your blog to my google reader. :) Good luck on your own journey to financial peace!!


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