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Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Debt Free Journey




Well, our family has finally accomplished a goal that we set out for a few years ago, to be debt free, expect our mortgages. We've had a few setbacks, but we finally made it and that is what has made it possible for me to stay at home with Hunter.

Four years ago, looked a lot different than today does. We had two auto loans, a few credit cards, and six student loans between the two of us. I'm going to guess our debt load was 60-70K between all those things. The first thing we paid of were the credit cards and started paying them off every month and never went back to carrying balances on them. Then we tackled the five smaller student loans on by one. We got both our cars paid off at one point and were left with only my one student loan. Then there was are setbacks... we wanted newer vehicles. We did not need them, but we did it anyways :(

I don't fully regret buying Jesse a new truck and me the SUV I had wanted forever. It means that we love our vehicles and we truly do not want or need to trade them in for a very long time. We did finance about half of each of them because we had our other vehicles paid of and we traded them in.

So our next steps were paying off his truck, my SUV, and then, just this week we paid off my final student loan. Woo-hoo! It feels so good to know that everything we own (besides our two houses) are completed paid for and we can live on a lot less income.

Why did we do it? I think the driving force really came after Hunter was born. I wasn't convinced that I wanted to be a stay at home mom, but I did know that I wanted to have that option if I wanted it. I also knew that we Jesse being in the military, we could have to move at anytime, which meant that I would be jobless for at least a period of time. It was more long term planning for the what-ifs.

We still have an emergency fund in savings, which for my sanity I need (can you tell I'm a planner? Even for the unexpected?). I'm so happy that we went down this path. I would never of dreamed that would could live on one income, much less comfortably, but here we are! I feel much more free and less stressed out and am SO blessed to be able to stay at home with Hunter and grow another little baby. I think the key is to stick with it even if you don't make all the "right" decisions along the way, it'll happen eventually!

I love to hear about other people's journey to be debt free, so feel free to share! Or if have any questions, leave me a comment or e-mail me!

9 comments:

  1. Congrats! This is huge! Isn't it amazing how faithful God is in His provisions? It blows my mind!
    We too have an enormous debt from my husband's schooling... like I don't even want to SAY how big it is because it's THAT scary. But we have a plan to pay it off and pay off a house too. We have it mapped out that within the next 10 years, we'll be debt free, including mortgage.
    It's hard and takes soooo much sacrifice, but it's worth having that peace of mind AND knowing that you're not a slave to money. Then, once your debt free, you can really start enjoying life! I can't wait!

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  2. Congrats to you! That is so wonderful and amazing! We are getting better as the years go along but are still not 100% free, a lot better than before though. My car was falling apart so we had to get a new one before we had Sky. :(

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  3. That is so awesome!! Such a big accomplishment!! We're working on breaking down our debt as well... although it might take us a little longer than we'd like.. with baby #2 almost here!! But it's always good to be working on it!

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  4. Oh that is so awesome!! We need to get back on track... we fell off the wagon awhile ago and haven't gotten back on and we REALLY need too! :)

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  5. Yay you!!! Such a big accomplishment!

    I don't know if you've read but we are on the path to becoming debt free too. We are using the Dave Ramsey Financial Peace University and are quickly whittling down our credit card debt. Then will come our one car loan. Then the student loans. It seems so insurmountable sometimes. But I know it will be worth it!

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  6. That is amazing, Stephanie! Congratulations! You & Jesse should be so proud of yourselves!

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  7. CONGRATULATIONS! That's where we're headed! It's so encouraging to hear of others on the same track.

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  8. That is so awesome! It's definitely something you should be proud of.....not many people have as much peace about their finances as you do! I've read one of Dave Ramsey's books before, and I'd really like to try the financial peace university. Soon, hopefully!

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  9. Debt is one of the things that most of us has an issue with. Well, it’s been part of our lives and if not because of debt we won’t be able to study, buy a house, a car and other necessities. It’s good to hear that despite the tough journey you had, you still did not give up, and you found a way to achieve financial freedom. Now that you’re totally free from debt, what you should plan next is the retirement, though I’m sure you’re far from retiring.
    Jaden Allred @ Irving A. Burton Limited

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Jesse is active duty Air Force and is originally from southern Minnesota. He has also managed to become a follower of just about every hobby known to man (which drives his wife crazy!).

Henry was born on July 4, 2007. His hobbies include playing with his squeaker toys, barking a little girls, dock jumping, going to the dog park, and being spoiled rotten by his grandparents.
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