Let me preface by saying that God works everything out for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose (Romans 8:28). This was evident when he put the works of Michael Hyatt and Dave Ramsey in our path just as we approached a crossroads.
When Guitardude and I had been married almost 5 years, we took stock of our life. Where had we been? What kinds of major accomplishments were we working toward? What kind of legacy would we leave if we were to leave this Earth?
The answers to those questions were unsatisfying, at best.
So we decided to start doing something about our legacy, and we began with our money. At that time, Guitardude and I both worked as band directors at the same school (there may be a post on husbands and wives working together later!). Two salaries, two people and no kids should have meant that we had money coming out our ears, right?! Wrong.
We felt like we could never take trips or do anything “extracurricular.” We felt like there was never any money left at the end of the month. After we paid all of our bills, there just wasn’t enough to “live life to the fullest.”
So over that Christmas Break, we started the Dave Ramsey Financial Peace University home edition. We watched the DVDs and went through the workbook, and started doing a monthly budget. The first one we did was MIND-BOGGLING! We couldn’t believe how much $ we had wasted at the dollar stores and eating out. The first month we were on Dave’s plan, we felt like we got a raise!
At that time, we had *gulp!* 3 or 4 credit cards and 2 car payments. This seems like a normal, average, American family situation. But remember, we were broke all the time! When we figured out how much excess we really had (by doing our monthly budget), we almost immediately paid off one credit card. Shortly after that, we got the next one knocked out. Gradually, the “snowball” got rolling and we were hooked! We even had a HUGE garage sale and sold $1000 worth of stuff – I couldn’t even tell you what the stuff was, that’s how much we DIDN’T need it!
Since we worked at the same school, we didn’t need two vehicles, so we sold the truck, saving on car payments, fuel, and insurance.
In summary (for now), we paid off $27,500 in debt our first year on the Dave Ramsey program! All credit cards were DESTROYED, the debt gone, and the car was PAID OFF! Did we celebrate? You bet (on a budget, of course)!
Stay tuned for Part II.