>Aaron and I have been taking a class through our church called Financial Peace University by Dave Ramsey. You can check out the hyperlink for more info, but basically this is a Christian financial advisor that is all for getting rid of any and all debt and only living on cash. There’s an envelope system, a detailed budget for every month and a “debt snowball” worksheet. Once you’ve paid off one card or debt, you roll that minimum payment over to another card or debt, and eventually you’re using all of your monthy payment amounts to pay off debt pretty quickly. He also has a plan for retirement savings and college savings for our children (we want three).
I’d like to keep everyone updated because this is HUGE for us. We have about $60,000 worth of debt right now, and that’s about how much we’re bringing in per year. We’ve been barely able to pay monthly payments since my loans have ended their grace periods. We owe my parents thousands of dollars – basically they took out loans in their name and I’ve been paying on them for the last four years. We want to get out of debt so that we don’t have to just “get by”. We want to be good stewards of God’s provision and blessing in our lives.
We’ve been so blessed by our church family with our trip to Honduras and Aaron’s car getting paid off almost a year ago. We just received a good amount back from the IRS because we purposely claimed zero with no exemptions. It was hard at the time to not have that extra income, but now we’re thankful since Aaron’s been laid off.
So, this is a snapshot of what we’ve paid off so far:
MY CAR! A 1997 Toyota Camry I bought with loan money two years ago with my parents cosigning. We paid the balance of $1,876. We also just dropped $715 yesterday at Sears Auto (which comes highly recommended) to get new struts. A month and a half ago, my parents unexpectedly paid for $500 of repairs, including belts and bearings and alignment…
BP GAS CARD! I’ve had this account for probably no more than a year or so but I’ve used it these past six months a lot when we haven’t had extra money for gas. My daily commute to work is 30 miles one way so I use about two gallons of gas everyday, plus any other driving I do going to Washington for church or Pekin to do laundry for free at my parents’, Aaron’s parents’ or Scott and Anessa’s. So we just paid a balance of $251!
Praise God for people like Dave Ramsey and our church for this class – I have to say though that this can’t be done without major commitment. “You’re not hardcore, unless you live hardcore…”
We can’t wait to pay off all our debt. Even with Aaron’s new job starting soon (pray and cross your fingers! more info soon) we should be able to pay off this debt in less than five years. We’re hoping to pay it off before we have children, so don’t be hoping for grandbabies, nieces/nephews, second cousins, etc. any time soon! 🙂
I know this sounds extreme, but once you change your thinking about money, it all comes together.
Feel free to leave comments, questions or suggestions!