Note: This blog or blog post is not in any way connected to Dave Ramsey or Financial Peace University other than being written by a student of Financial Peace classes. This blog is not being reimbursed for this testimony.
Living with debt is sheer nincompoopery (the bad kind, not the funny kind), and believing there is no way around living in debt is sheer nincompoopery (still the bad kind).
My husband and I actually started the journey to becoming debt free two years ago. We were both on the verge of turning 50 and started to look forward to retirement. We needed to dump our debt. The first year, we tried some conventional ideas: paying off the card with the highest interest rate first, making a stricter budget, reduce spending, etc. However, we just weren’t getting anywhere. We didn’t make a dent in our debt.
Feeling a discouraged, some of our friends and family told us about Finacial Peace University, a system not only for getting out of debt but to also live debt free. We signed up, paid the minimal fee, and started the classes. It was a bumpy year. A very bumpy year. It taught us more than we had anticipated about debt, finances, and teamwork. That is why I am adamant that living in debt is sheer nincompoopery.
Living in debt is sheer nincompoopery, and believing you have to live in debt is sheer nincompoopery.
We paid down over 20% of our debt last year, and with renewed focus and motivation, we are ready to be debt free by the end of 2017.
From Whence We Came
This time last year, we were looking at a debt of over $230, 000 (including two mortgages). Without our mortgages, our debt was a little over $50,000. Ouch. Just ouch.
After making a slew of mistakes, false starts, and restarts, we buckled down, made some hard choices, and finished the year with a total debt (including one mortgage) of a tad over $200,000. Without the mortgage, our debt is a smidge over $40,000. Better, but still ouch.
A $10,000 difference in our non-mortgage debt doesn’t seem very substantial; however, when we did pay off is taken into account, it does turn out to be a pretty good start.
We moved across the country in 2008, leaving us with two mortgages on two houses in two different states. By following the steps we learned in Financial Peace, we were able to pay off the mortgage on our first house effectively moving that from the debt column to the revenue column. On top of that, we were able to pay down our unsecured debt.
It doesn’t look like much, but it puts us in a good position for the start of 2017.
Debt Free by the End of 2017
Starting today and continuing every other Thursday in 2017, I will be journaling our road to renewing our financial lives. Some posts will highlight memories of last year’s journey, and some posts will run concurrent to this year’s journey. It is one way for us to stay accountable and at the same time encourage others.This is how we started:
If last year taught us anything, it taught us that walking this road is not easy, so blogging is one way for us to stay accountable and at the same time encourage others
This is how we started.
- We enrolled and attended a Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University class near us.
- We went to the class every week without exception.
- We did all of the homework no matter how brutal or exhausting, and it is brutal and exhausting.
My husband and I do not regret starting down the path of debt-free living. We do regret allowing ourselves to fall into debt in the first place. We both turned 50 in 2016 and are more determined than ever to cut out all debt.
If you are facing retirement, come along on this journey with us. If you are newly married, learn from our mistakes and don’t fall for the debt trap (there’s a reason why it sounds like “death trap”). As Dave Ramsey’s says, “Live like no one else, so you can live like no one else.”
No matter if you are young and single, married and set to retire, or somewhere in between, come along with us on this journey. The more the merrier!
Who’s with us?