Monday, July 8, 2013

Goodbyeee debt.

This is a story about us, our money, and a HUGE reality check.

Literally just a few days after we got back from our honeymoon, we sat down at our dinner table with an Iron Man notebook, pen in hand...and all of our student loan paperwork in front of us. We didn't want to talk about it, but it was time. Time to talk about that awful, dreaded D word. Debt.

We'd both taken Dave Ramsey's Financial Peace University, TWICE in the last year...and were waiting until after we got married (since we had that whole wedding-thing to pay for) to implement it in our lives for real.

We took a deep breath, and whipped out the calculator.
I just knew how much debt we had.....

or so I thought. We put it down to the PENNY, and the outstanding balance I saw in front of us made me nearly sick to my stomach. I was angry. So angry that I wanted to scream. It was in that moment we decided not to let our debt consume us forever, and that we also would NOT spend 15 years paying these off.
We set a tough goal... 2 years. In two years we want to pay off EVERYTHING we owe. It's a lot of money...but I know we can do this.

So what does this mean? BABY STEPS! Following A REAL budget. Like...a zero balanced budget, with pen and paper. If I don't tell my money where to go, it would tell ME where it was going (trust me, if I had a dollar for every Chickfila run I've ever made...I'd be rich). We took a step back and started first thing in June, looking at how much extra money we had at the end of each week that we NORMALLY would've spent...it was amazing and disgusting at the same time.

Part of Dave Ramsey is using cash, for everything. So, we did just that. It's called the "envelope system". Luckily, I've never owned a credit card in my life...so I never had the fun time of slicing them up with an oversized pair of scissors...but Caleb did. When we got engaged, he cut his up like an overgrown fern and quickly paid his off.


We give ourselves a small "play fund", and we also have a grocery fund, a gas fund, and a tithe fund.

Speaking of groceries...Caleb introduced me to Aldi  last month. HOLY COW. You're missing out if you haven't been yet. Everything is cheap...like dirt cheap. I am addicted.


Baby step 1) Save $1,000 up for your emergency fund. Your emergencies won't seem quite as bad when you're prepared for them, trust me. Oh, you mean I have the $500+ for that dreadful car repair?! Awesome!

Baby step 2) -- what we are currently working on. Paying off ALL our debt with DR's "debt snowball"...we'll be stuck on this one for a while, but we're at least working on it!

Caleb and I are getting intense about this, like gazelle intense (watch that, seriously!)! In the weirdest way, it gets me so pumped.

So what are we doing to pay off so much debt in so little time?
-We currently have the most basic internet plan possible.
-Eating pb&j's for lunch/dinner more often than we'd like.
-We plan to start car pooling to work to save gas.
-We have no cable, thanks Hulu!
-Caleb's working OT at work
-I'm picking up extra photography jobs where I can.

Somehow, its sickeningly fun getting free lunches at work, scoring a free sample, finding a new way to lower our monthly expenses, etc. Not spending money on ourselves is a huge money saver as well. We both pack lunch nearly every day...and what keeps me going? I know this isn't forever, its only temporary.

Proverbs 22:7; The rich rule over the poor, the borrow is slave to the lender.

Dave's main line; Live like no one else now, so you can LIVE (and give) like no one else later. I can't imagine when I have wealth and am able to rock someone's world with my giving. That has to be the greatest gift of all. To HELP people.

I know...I'm a total nerd and you all had no idea. But seriously--this stuff will CHANGE YOUR LIFE. Take my word for it. Think about if you saved all the $$ you spent at Target, Starbucks, or your favorite clothing store...just how much $$ you'd really have, and how little debt you'd have left to pay off.

I'm so excited to post about our progress...along with these posts, I plan on doing a "Cheap Date" series. You won't want to miss it ;)

Staaay tuuuned.

31 comments:

  1. Way to go! That's awesome you've made a plan and are sticking to it. Not many people can. Love the date night ideas :) Can't wait to hear em! Hope you had a happy 4th!

    xo

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  2. We're definitely in a similar setting- student loans are such a nightmare!

    Having no cable is such an easy way to save money- we do the same thing with Hulu and Netflix and it's great! Can't wait for some cheap date ideas :)

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  3. This is so exciting for y'all. I can feel your excited through this whole post. Y'all WILL do it and I can't wait to celebrate with you once you do. Ill be your cheerleader from Texas. :)

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  4. sounds like you've been hanging around Sallie and Perkins. Seriously I'm a spender but an even bigger saver this will be one of the hardest hurdles for Brandon and me because we look at it differently. We have hulu but I signed up for the netflix free trial and we will be canceling hulu at the end of the month, because netflix seems much better. Brandon made the comment its only $7 but that $7 we don't need to spend! can't wait to follow y'all on this journey

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  5. I love this! Chris and I are really about to start budgeting like yall. We are fortunate to not have student loans, but we have two car loans as well as now a house! All acceptable debt (along with student loans) per Dave Ramsey i'm aware :) But I love it! I am hoping in 2 years we will have NO debt but our home!! Once we close, we are going to get strict quick!! Can't wait to read on your progress!!!

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  6. Way To Go!!! Dave is the master-- Jordan and I did the envelope system for a few years while he was in grad school and I was working to keep us from going into debt and it totally worked. We still live very simply... old *paid off* cars, a modest house, no cable, just to name a few. I kinda like to think that we are good stewards of the money God has entrusted us with and for that I am thankful.

    It's worth it! (and it is kinda fun getting stuff for free!)

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  7. I had over 60k in student loans and I paid it off in less than 5 years. YOU CAN DO IT!!!!! :)

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  8. I love this. My fiancé and I are going to start the envelop system this weekend. prety nervous about it but I can't wait!

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  9. i love dave ramsey! he really knows what's up. sounds like you are on the right track!

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  10. I was looking at how much I owe for student loans just last week and it really got my butt in gear to pay them off! This post is definitely inspiring and I'm going to go back and read it when I need help!! You guys are rock stars too - you'll totally get it all paid :)

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  11. DR changed my life too! FPU is such an incredible tool for marraiges. When you are on the same page with the same goals working the same plan your marraige is unstoppable!

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  12. This sounds like a great idea! Can't wait to hear your cheap date ideas. I definitely need to cut up that credit card of mine and pull myself out of the hole I'm in.

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  13. Proud of you and Caleb. You can do it. And if you need a good butt-kicking, just let me and Marie know! :)

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  14. Dave Ramsey is seriously the best and he's actually really funny at the same time. This is so exciting and I know you guys will do great! My husband and I live by his motto about living and giving like no one else and he is constantly reminding me of this when I just want to go and buy an obscene amount of things at TJ Maxx. Keep up the posts too because I know people will love hearing about this stuff..I know I do! :)

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  15. Writing it all on paper is one of the hardest steps - once you master that, you are WELL on your way. Congrats to getting a jump on it early. Plus, cheap date nights take creativity and that makes everything more fun!!!

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  16. I think this is GREAT! And so proud of you both for starting early on and tackling it! I so need to jump on this bandwagon...I have always sucked at budgets, but the only debt we do have is our house and one vehicle that will be paid off in October!! Can't wait to follow your joureny & for the cheap date night!! :)

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  17. I need to learn more about how to better budget my money. It's so true...I can't even imagine how much money I spend at Chick Fil A. I really like the envelope idea and using cash for everything. We just got rid of cable, so that cut a huge chunk from our bill. My main thing is groceries...we spend so much at the grocery store...but coupons make me dizzy...I need to be better about that!

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  18. Amen sister! We're on the same track as yall. We both attended school basically on loans...so we're working on paying it off as fast as we can. We have a lot! So we're more likely to pay it off in 6 years, still hard but better than 15 or 20!

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  19. I commend you so much!! You can do it!! Hey, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches can be tasty!
    I need to get a hold of my spending...if the people at Starbucks know your name, you know you've got to cut back haha. Good luck -- and keep posting on your progress...I'm sure being obligated to post about it will give you motivation to stay on track too :)

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  20. Good job following Dave's principles! My husband and I read "The Total Money Makeover" and completed FPU together before we were married - it is SO important to be on the same page regarding your money with your spouse! Best of luck to you both, and being debt free is incredibly liberating - trust me! Keep it up, so you can live like no one else!

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  21. We have an Aldi near us too, it's nice how cheap everything is there! Looking forward to your cheap date series!

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  22. Planning and paying for this wedding has definitely been a HUGE eye opener about how much money we spend on silly little things that add up way too quickly. You and Caleb are doing things right! Love it.

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  23. this is awesome!! I am about 5 months from graduating college and not dating anyone, but when the time comes I really want to be able to enter the marriage with as little debt as possible! My parents have done the envelope system and are obsessed! Do you have any good book recommendations? I would love to get a head start on this whole debt thing! And I know my spending habits and addiction to starbucks is not helping!

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  24. So true and so good! love the words keep it up!

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  25. Good for you, girl!!! I can't wait until Nate's done with seminary so we can pay off our loans. We're paying for his schooling out of pocket right now so there's not a whole bunch extra to pay anything more than the minimum payments on our undergrad loans.

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  26. You can do it! Seriously I've seen it happen. The little stuff totally adds up, and soon it will be adding up in your bank account instead!

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  27. I'm seriously soooo proud of you and your sista for doing this and actually sticking to it! I have really enjoyed reading y'alls posts about this. It really makes me think about how much we actually spend when we could be knocking out bills & credit cards left and right.

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  28. I'm so proud of y'all! This is awesome! This is probably a crazy question, but do you still try to save more than the $1000 while paying off debt?

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  29. I listen to Dave Ramsey's radio show everyday in the car line when I pick up my munchkins from school. So much to learn from him. We talk about finances to our kiddos too. Start 'em young.
    Cortne

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  30. This is so inspiring! Seriously.. Amazing! :)

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  31. Awesome job! My husband and I have had a pretty strict budget for a while now. You might be interested in checking out my budget binder post. I know a lot of people do stuff online (like mint.com), but I love keep it all in my binder. http://www.theladyokieblog.com/2013/01/the-amazing-2013-budget-binder.html. Good luck paying off your debt!

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Thanks for your comments, I read and respond to every single one of them! :) Excited to get to know you!