Just before August 2010 our family embarked on a debt free journey. We had listened to The Total Money Makeover by Dave Ramsey and decided it was time for us to go at it full force. We had been steadily paying off debt, well, ever since we were married, but it seemed like it would never end! Dave Ramsey's plan seemed to make a lot of sense for us and gave us the hope that maybe we wouldn't be in debt for the next 10 years!
At the time we started our Total Money Makeover (or Debt Diet as we call it), we had just under $38, 000 in student loans left to pay off. We'd already paid off quite a bit (some where around $17,000 in student loans) and both cars (near $12,000), but felt like it was taking forever to get from under all of it. Now, we are plugging away at that number and in less then a year we are officially in the single digits!
A lot of this blog is dedicated to marking the grounds we've made on this journey. You can check back under the label of 'Debt' to read all about our bumps and progress along the way or you can click here to start from the beginning.
One of the biggest changes we've made in our lifestyle is to live on a cash only budget. At first is was rough, but we got the hang of it and came up with a great system for setting up our budget every paycheck. Since switching to the cash budget, our biggest change came in the area of groceries. If you'd like to read all about how I brought our family's grocery budget to $150/month you can start here, then I answered more questions the following day. To keep up with my grocery budget and tips to cut costs at the store, start by clicking on 'Grocery' under labels, or check this out--there is a lot there, so be sure to read the older posts too!
If you are trying to find your way out from under a pile of debt--regardless of how you got there--be encouraged that there is hope! I hope that our story is encouraging to you and helps you find your way to financial freedom too. Be sure to keep me posted on your stories and triumphs! I love to hear how others are doing, gather ideas from you and maybe even share bits of your story on here so others can be encouraged along their journey too!
A debt story is an honest story. It's about facing the facts, your mistakes, your bad habits and then facing the fact that you're the only one that can fix it. Then, you're the one that will ultimately benefit from the process and the rewards at the end. It's freeing to be honest and when we all start telling the truth about our debt and how awful it can make our lives, then we can truly start changing it!
We're working on being able to share a new truth: we are debt free. Come along for the ride! Pick up where ever you're at, be honest with yourself and get to work. We are looking forward to celebrating your new debt-free truth with you too!