In Part I, I shared our desire to jump on the Dave Ramsey train and get out of debt. What we’ve discovered on this ride is HOW MUCH BETTER LIFE IS when you don’t have to worry about money! So I want to uncover a few of these hidden blessings so you can buy YOUR ticket to financial peace (go to www.daveramsey.com to get started).
In our first year on Dave’s plan, we paid off $27,500 in debt. Being a TINK couple (Two Incomes, No Kids), it was easy once we got the snowball rolling! The second year’s success was not measured so much in dollars, but in peace. Let me explain.
Toward the end of the first year on Dave’s plan, something shifted inside of me. I found a peace in knowing there was going to be an end to any financial strain we felt previously. Dave calls it a security gland inside each female partner in a marriage, and when finances are under control, the security gland relaxes. When my security gland relaxed, I finally realized that we could afford to have a baby. I didn’t want to bring a child into the world without being adequately (read: financially) prepared, so it had never been an option before we got on Dave’s plan. With our finances under control, I wasn’t afraid any more (yes, just like Kevin on Home Alone!).
As we fought off the cheetah, our gazelle-like intensity grew. Guitardude and I were talking about living on one paycheck. As a matter of fact, at the start of the second year on Dave’s plan, we began living on one paycheck and throwing the other paycheck (remember, we were TINK still) at our debts. It felt so good to know that if one of us lost our job or chose to quit, we could survive! I started talking about the possibility of quitting my job and staying home if we were to have a baby (which was a lifelong desire of mine!). God was opening doors for us one at a time, preparing us for parenthood.
And then the miracle of life found us. God had tapped us on the shoulders and asked us to be parents. As Dave recommends, we pressed “pause” on the snowball, only paying minimums, while we created a pile of money designated specifically to pay off hospital bills and doctor bills once baby arrives and both mom and baby come home healthy. We called it the Baby Fund.
Because we knew it was possible to live on one income, and we felt strongly about me being home with P&J (Pride & Joy), I got to quit my job! It was the day I had long been waiting for – I was so nervous telling my principal that I wasn’t coming back the next year. I got to watch from a unique perspective during the transition period of finding a replacement for Guitardude since he would be taking over my job.
Once we made it official that I was staying home next year, our gazelle-intensity increased! Guitardude’s job was to go to work and bring home a paycheck; my job as Homemaker/Chief Operations Officer/Head Chef/Mom-to-Be was to figure out how to live on as little as possible while we waited for P&J to arrive. We started making our own detergents and lotions. We got going on the eMeals program, saving us literally HUNDREDS of dollars at the grocery store each month. We called an ELP (Endorsed Local Provider – see Dave’s website) and changed our health and home/auto insurance plans to get lower premiums. We called another ELP and refinanced our house to get a lower mortgage payment. We denied ourselves the things we wanted to buy so that we could build a bigger stack of cash in the Baby Fund.
Let me share this awesome story:
When the receptionist walked us through the bill at my OB’s office, she tentatively mentioned the option of a payment plan since the cost was several hundred dollars. After one look at each other, we pulled out the checkbook and just wrote a check using the money from the Baby Fund! Same story when we pre-paid the hospital for baby girl’s arrival. That’s right – she is technically PAID FOR! And she’s not even here yet!!
Could it really be this easy, you ask? The simple answer is YES. God WANTS you to have good things. All you have to do is ask! He has given us the wisdom to navigate this financial course, which has provided us with so many unspeakable joys that we thought we could never have as our own. We can face the future (More children? Another degree? Move to a bigger house?) with certainty because our finances don’t hold us back.
I pray that He will bless you exceedingly abundantly more than you could have ever imagined as you begin or continue your path to (financial) peace.