This month we paid off the last of our student loans. I had one and my husband had one. His was paid off last month. We have worked for a little over a decade to this step. We started off in not much debt- but got ourselves in a pickle when hubby got laid off from Caterpillar- at that point we were raking in the dough and spending like there is no tomorrow. It is hard to admit, but we were stupid. We spent money because we had it, and didn’t think about saving or emergencies. We were slowly headed into a downward spiral- credit cards were our best friend. It took a lot of time to get out of the hole we had dug. He got laid off- then I had a car wreck- then we moved back in with his parents. The house we were living in was falling apart and he was driving about an hour to work every day- it was costing A LOT in fuel. When I finally got my settlement from my wreck- we started working on paying off debt. I realized there could be no tomorrow- I could have died. I understand you can not take money with you when you go- but it sure is nice to have it when you need it for an emergency. I guess you could say the car wreck was my epiphany.
With my settlement, we started to slowly pay off our debt- I bought my husband a truck- I bought myself my dream truck (which by the way I still have- the transmission went out- so it is on the list to save to fix it- priorities)- we paid off about half of our debt- and we bought the hubby a Harley. He loves to ride and it saves him a bunch in fuel- plus it is something we both enjoy- but that story is for another day. During that time- I found out I was pregnant with the youngest- surprise! That led to a little more dent- hubby was not making a lot of money, but was making enough for us to live week to week. We still borrowed money from his parents when something happened. Thank God that they were able to help us when we needed it- but I am thankful we are now in a place where we don’t really need to borrow.
I started working in the rat race a year and a half ago with the hopes to pay off more debt- and save enough to buy a home. I have always been a little frugal- but started to do a lot more to try to save. Needless to say- we did pay off some more debt- and saved enough for a down payment and to buy the house. We had been looking for over a year. It has been a rough five and a half years- but we are finally at the point where we are not struggling and debt is no longer an issue. The only thing that we will have in debt right now is our mortgage, and I do overpay it every month. I can say Dave Ramsey’s system helped change my view. We do still have A LOT to work on- but as Dave Ramsey says- Baby Steps. I am just ecstatic that the only thing we have now that is technically under loan or owed is the mortgage. We are on a 15 year mortgage- and I keep thinking of ways to knock some time off to be where we do not owe anyone.
I will be checking credit reports soon- just to make sure there is nothing on there owed- and to make sure that there is nothing that slipped through the cracks. We worked hard over the course of the almost six years- and now it is about building some savings and getting to where we are completely debt free. I do things a little backwards. If you have any questions about how we got there- how I budget- or how to help- I would be glad to answer them. Being in debt is hard on the mind- and you feel like you will never get out- it is possible. I can stand up and testify to that!