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Sunday, September 21, 2008

One Minor Victory!! (July 25, 2008)

Hooray for minor victories!!


A couple of months ago Richard and I read Dave Ramsey's book 'Total Money Makeover' and decided to take the challenge. It has been very hard creating a budget, and sticking by it, but for the last couple of months we've been really good. We planned ahead for our Colorado trip, and set aside budgeted money for it. The best part of our budgeting for Co was coming home $100 UNDER budget! WOOHOO!

However, that's not the minor victory that we're so excited about. Today Richard and I were able to pay off one of our credit cards, without even touching our checking account OR our savings account! In TWO MONTHS we were able to set aside enough money to pay off one of our cards IN FULL, and the amount was over $1000.00!! How awesome is that!? (That is even after receiving unexpected hospital and medical bills the first two months we started our Total Money Makeover that we paid off immediately totaling close to a thousand dollars! Which again were paid off without touching our checking account or our "emergency fund" savings account! (nor did we use credit.)) We now have only 2 cards left to pay off, and one substantial sized loan.

When we began to read through Dave Ramsey's book, we totaled all of our debt, credit, loans, medical, and anything else we were making monthly payments on, and we figured out that paying the way we were, a little here, a little there, it would take us between 9 and 10 years to pay off all of our debt, and we are only talking about debt that is LESS than $40k!! Not even mentioning that amount of money we would have paid in finance charges, and interest, and fees over that period of time. We were sick to our stomaches after doing the math. Debt is bondage no matter how you look at it. Even the bible mentions debt being bondage. We could literally feel the weight of the bondage we were in, and man was it heavy! Talk about a burden!

After we finished the book, put together our monthly budget, [which is revised every month] and put together our debt snowball list we found great peace and joy! By using Dave Ramsey's plan, we could be 100% DEBT FREE in 3-4 years! We are talking about ZERO DEBT! Not ONE single credit card balance, or car payments, or loan payments! How amazing is that!? What's even better is that at that point we will own ZERO credit cards, so we will never again get into the debt that we were in. Nor will we take out loans, except possibly a mortgage. [but we are planning on saving up enough money, (and investing it wisely) so that we will be able to pay CASH for our house!] =o)

Another exciting thing is that once all of our debt is paid off, within 2-3 years we will have a fully funded emergency fund in liquid cash! For any who are confused as to what I am talking about let me briefly explain. A fully funded emergency fund is enough money in liquid cash to cover any and all living expenses for 6 months in the event of an emergency. And ONLY in the event of an emergency, which is death, illness, sudden unemployment, disability, natural disaster, or any other circumstances beyond ones control. (example: house fire) That means with a fully funded emergency fund aside, we will still be able to live plastic free using only cold hard cash to pay for things!

We're so excited we're giddy right now! Like a couple of little kids on Christmas Eve! Our future is unfolding quite nicely before us, and the sky is the limit! It's so hard to imagine life without debt, but thanks to Dave Ramsey we now can not only imagine, but attain it!

As soon as our debt is paid off, and our emergency fund complete there's a few things we're planning for.
-Being able to support our church and its missionaries better.
-Traveling to Europe, Hawaii, Costa Rica, Israel, Tahiti, Jamaica....
-Renting (or buying ;P) an RV and road tripping across the wonderful United States of America with our children.
-Buying a house. With CASH. =o)
-Getting our tattoos by the guy who did the Picasso tattoo on the GooGoo Dolls frontman.
-Repaying some of the massive legal debt I acquired, which my parents helped me with.
this list could seriously go on for miles upon miles!