April 11, 2012.
My wife and I had spent the better part of two years attacking our debts. After going through Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University with a group of close friends in the Navy, we set about the business of organizing our debt snowball and pursuing the peace of mind debt freedom would surely bring.
The thought of being out of debt was daunting and seemingly unreachable. We didn’t know for sure what it would mean for our daily lives or our money goals, but we had heard plenty of testimony from those who had paid off their debt that this was the single best thing we could do for our family’s financial future.
Needless to say, the expectations were high.
Then came April 11, 2012. I called Nelnet (my student loan servicer) to make our closing payment on my loan. I requested a letter be sent to me in the mail confirming that the account was closed, and it was done. All told, since our marriage began my wife and I had successfully paid off over $60,000 in debt.
The expectations of how liberating that moment was for our family don’t even come close to the reality. Life is so much better than we could have imagined since we ditched the debt.
We are not money-rich (yet). We don’t have a seven-figure net worth, but we are free. Through our decisions to-date (getting out of debt being the biggest), we are able to choose to take a vacation if we’d like and pay cash. We can fly across the country to visit family without using a credit card. If our car breaks down? We pay cash and fix it. Our last car was purchased used from one of our friends in cash. All of the money we were spending toward debt payments is now used to build revolving savings accounts for our next car, vacation, or home repairs. The rest goes to retirement and college savings for our daughter. The balance has shifted in our favor financially, and I absolutely attribute that to getting out of debt.
Will it be hard? Yes. Will it be worth it? Hell yes.
Don’t waste anymore time. If you feel like we felt years ago, like the walls were closing in on you every month financially, like you were suffocating and couldn’t see a light at the end of the tunnel, create a debt elimination plan today – on paper, written down. Talk to you team – your spouse, partner, friend, about what this means in terms of sacrifice and temporary spending holds. Imagine together what life will be like when you don’t owe someone else you’re hard-earned cash.
If you have questions about how we made decisions along our journey, or want help starting yours, email: firstname.lastname@example.org today.
Ready – set – GO.