*note: This giveaway is now closed
The day has finally come. After months and months of dreaming of this moment, this long journey is finally over. We are debt free!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! We are avid Dave Ramsey believers and used the program Financial Peace University to be completely debt free. We have been listening to the Dave Ramsey podcast for motivation and one thing that really helped up stay on track was listening to the debt free screams. We dreamed of the day when we could do our own debt free scream. Since we can’t make the trip to Nashville to the Ramsey headquarters for our own debt free scream, we decided to tell our debt free story on the blog by answering the questions that Dave asks. Read on, my friends.
How much money did you pay off?
$33,000, but we cash flowed about $7,000 worth of expenses on top of that
How long did it take you?
19 months 4 days
What was your range of income during that time?
We started out at $37,000 and ended at $92,000. We were on one income at first and then Jessica got a job. Brett’s income went up about a year into the process and that helped. Jessica took a job on night shifts for an increase in pay as well.
What do you guys do for a living?
Brett is a Footwear Developer and Jessica is a Labor and Delivery Nurse
What were the debts on?
Credit Cards, Student Loans, and a repayment for a job contract. We also cash flowed 2 dogs, a vacation to Mexico (oops), a new (aka, craigslist) car, and car repairs during this time as well.
Did you sell anything to get out of debt?
We sold Brett’s motorcycle for $2,000 and were constantly selling random things from the house on craigslist and Facebook with totaled to be a little more than $1,500.
Tell me the story. What happened 19 months ago that made you decide that you could and should get out of debt?
Brett: We got married in November 2014 and my sister gave us the Financial Peace University class for a wedding gift. We signed up for the class at the beginning of the year and started our journey towards freedom. We had no idea what we were getting into, but it was the best thing we could have done for our marriage. We learned to work together, often the hard way, but we ended up being a better team for it.
Jessica: I had grown up listening to Dave Ramsey on the radio with my parents. I received his book, Financial Peace somewhere in between high school and college and adopted some of his principles. I still had credit cards though but thought I was doing better than most because I had a budget and some savings. When I heard what Brett’s sister and her husband accomplished (paid off over $100,000 in debt using Dave Ramsey), I knew Brett and I needed to do the class so we could live like no one else so later we could live like no one else! We saw the freedom that his sister experienced and wanted that too. Plus, Brett and I really needed to work on our financial communication being newly weds.
What was the hardest part?
Brett: The hardest part for me was having to say no to buying new clothes and shoes. I travel to Asia for work frequently and would have liked to buy gifts for people, but it wasn’t in the budget.
Jessica: Oh gosh, what wasn’t hard? I would say seeing all my friends buy houses and new cars while we chose to stay in a less than desirable one bedroom apartment and driving Brett’s 96 honda. Oh and, not being able to buy clothes when I wanted to!
What do you tell people the key to getting out of debt is?
Brett: The key is being a team and communicating. You have to be on the same page and understand where your money is going. Although is is hard, you have to try and be selfless in this process. If you make it about yourself, it can turn your spouse against you. Both of you are sacrificing for the greater goal and you have to be reminded of that daily. We made the budget rule and we could put the blame there if we couldn’t do something we wanted to.
Jessica: Like Brett said, being on the same page as your spouse. Those budget meetings! We didn’t do the greatest job at doing the budget together. Since I am the nerd and Brett is the free spirit, I happily made the budget every month and had Brett approve it. Looking back I think it would have helped us if we did the budget together. It would have prevented a lot of miscommunications that turned into fights. All in all, sticking to a budget is the key. We highly recommend the the every dollar app. Oh and, LEARN TO SAY NO! Do you really need that new pair of jeans?
What is next for you guys?
We are so excited for what is next! We can’t wait to get our emergency fund in place, take a few vacations, FINALLY get a fixer upper and renovate a house. We should probably upgrade Brett’s car soon as well (it is going on 300,000 miles)!!!!!
One of the required steps of financial peace university is that after you finish step 2 (pay off all your debts), you have to give the Financial Peace University membership to someone who could use it. We were given the membership by Brett’s sister as a wedding gift, so now we want to gift someone the program as well. The Financial Peace University membership includes access to a local nine-week class near you, where you’ll learn Dave Ramsey’s seven Baby Steps to create a budget and get out of debt. It also includes 16 weeks of online access to view each lesson as needed. This currently retails at $109 (please note, there is an option for the home study online but this giveaway is for the membership to a local class near you. We strongly recommend attending the class rather than doing it on your own at home, there is power in community! Please visit this link to learn more about the membership kit).
To find someone to give Financial Peace University to, why not do a giveaway on the blog! To enter the giveaway, please click on the link below. The winner will be announced AUGUST 19th at 9 AM MST. I will contact the winner to find out which class is closest to you and will sign that person up.