Ok, so I feel like patting myself on the back today. I decided to look at my excel spreadsheet of life and add up the debt that’s been paid off. Since 2008 if you include principal paid down on my mortgage and home equity, the total payoff is 65,740!
At this point I almost can’t believe how we’ve gotten here. Lots of blood, sweat, and tears but not as much rice and beans and Dave Ramsey normally advocates. Luckily our dual income added up to a pretty decent amount, and I found that building some luxuries into our budget was a must if we were going to succeed. We cut out cable TV and our home phone. These are must haves for some, but unnecessary waste to us. We then sold one 1 of the 3 (yes, THREE) cars we had at that time and focused on paying off the credit cards first. After the credit cards were gone we moved to T’s student loans and then the one remaining car loan. At this point we had an accident that totaled the very same car (that we had just dropped full coverage on — less than stellar timing) and had to buy a new car. We initially financed the vehicle for 5 years but when I found out I was pregnant I decided I wanted the payment gone. We used our tax refund and some money we had built up in savings to pay off the 11k car within 4 months! After that I stockpiled cash as fast as I could. Every penny I found I threw into savings and used as our baby emergency fund. When G was born in October of 2010, I had enough sick leave, annual leave, and baby emergency fund to last my entire maternity leave. I took 3 months off completely, and then worked a part-time 15 hour schedule for the next 6 months before returning to full-time work. This time was truly priceless and I’m so happy we had gotten ourselves in better shape financially so I could spend that precious time with my precious girl without worrying about bills hanging over our heads.
Back to work full-time we hit my student loan with intensity. After paying it off in full in May of 2012 we could finally say we were (besides mortgages) DEBT FREE. What an awesome feeling but there’s still more to be done. We are trying to build up some savings and get out addition taken care of and from there we plan on paying off the mortgage and home equity early. So that’s our story, WHAT ABOUT YOURS?!