Operation: Get Out of Debt
If you’re anything like us, you were raised that there are certain topics not appropriate to discuss publicly- money being one of them. But we want to challenge that mindset. We want to share our journey in hopes of encouraging others to make the same decision we did. After all, if it weren’t for other people sharing their journey with us, we wouldn’t be where we are today.
While we were dating, we spent years spending money carelessly, maxing out numerous credit cards, and never saying no. Boy, was it fun! Ironically, we would listen to Dave Ramsey on long car rides to our next vacation destinations, fancy dinners, and weekend shopping sprees. Can I be real with you? I would actually get frustrated when Joseph wanted to listen to that “ridiculous podcast.” Who was Dave Ramsey anyways and why was he telling me how to spend my money? This went on for years until one day, it clicked.
June 17, 2017: We had been married just under a year when we decided to change the trajectory of our life and get on the same page about what kind of future we wanted. We started Operation Get Out of Debt - $140,185.60 of debt to be exact (not including our home).
We strictly followed the 7 Baby Steps and before we knew it, we completed Baby Step 1 and were on our way to freedom! It took time to get used to paying for everything in cash consistently; gas, groceries, fast food, etc. Who does that anymore? It is so much easier to swipe a plastic card, which is why it is so dangerously easy to get into debt.
Here are a few things you should know:
It is not a quick fix.
It is not easy.
It means doing without.
It will allow you to do more things in the future.
It will bring you closer to your spouse.
It will change your perception of what “wealthy” really looks like.
June 17, 2019: $82,482.18 in debt = PAID OFF in 24 months
That’s 12 credit cards and 1 personal loan - no longer weight on our shoulders.
One of the biggest lessons we have learned is that being able to afford a monthly payment for something is not considered wealth, but is in fact the opposite. We had to get used to the idea of having *extra* money a month available to put towards our debt and being okay with that. It sounds simple, but the first time you send $2,000 to debt instead of going on a vacation you will feel the sting. And again the next month, and many months that follow. The good news is your perception of that will change and it will become exciting to pay things off because that means you are one step closer to freedom. Small wins are important to keep your momentum going (more about that in Baby Step 2)!
Here is the truth… we have had weak moments and you will too, but the important thing is that you get back on track, focus on the end-goal, and surround yourself with people who support your mission for your family. I promise, it’s worth it.
“If you will live like no one else, later you can live like no one else.” - Dave Ramsey