Keith and I recently did our Debt Free Scream live on the Dave Ramsey show.
Since then, many people have asked for the story behind the story. Here we go!
When Keith and I got married, we brought to our union $191,000 in unsecured debt. We had every kind of debt imaginable…student loans, IRS repayments, car loans, credit cards, personal loans, 401k loans, loans to friends, and more.
We were paying a huge amount of money each month in interest charges.
I could barely breathe. I remember thinking, “Lord, how on earth are we going to get through this??”
We wanted to be debt free, but it seemed so overwhelming. We honestly did not know where to begin. We decided to invest in financial coaching. I say “invest” because the monthly payment amount could easily have gone to a debt.
I cringed when we set it up because there was so little money actually going to debt. I questioned rather it was the right decision. But we saw the value in having fresh eyes on our situation. We believed a financial coach could guide us through our storm to freedom. Financial Freedom.
A year or so into our journey, we discovered Dave Ramsey on the radio. We read “The Total Money Makeover” and realized he laid out a game plan for debt reduction. When we combined the game plan with our financial coaching we began to understand how we could increase the intensity of our journey to financial freedom.
We did not have enough money to purchase the Financial Peace University class materials, so we borrowed the CDs from the library. Our eyes were opened even more and our debt reduction process got “gazelle intense.” The amount of debt we repaid each month increased and we began to get traction on our situation.
Fast forward five years and "WE'RE DEBT FREE!"
It is an amazing feeling to have no payments going out. It has changed how we think about our options and what we can do with our income. We are excited to now save to pay cash for a house.
As we communicate with those around us, many people want to know how we were able to stay on task for five long years. The answer is because we had a bigger "why." It was no longer about the immediate gratification, but was more about having margin in our lives.
What do I mean? Having an emergency fund became more important than a weekend getaway. We shifted our focus to long-term, instead of short-term gratification. We knew the peace of mind from creating margin had become more important than purchases and entertainment.
What about you? Are you debt free? Do you want to be? If you answered "no" to either of those questions, ask yourself "why?" What are you afraid of?
Proverbs 22:7 says "the rich rule over the poor. The borrower is slave to the lender." We are glad to no longer be enslaved to debt and do not plan to ever go back. Join us!
Would love to hear your thoughts. What's your story? Feel free to share below.
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Until next time...be well...be encouraged.