Introduction to The Journey We’re On {Becoming Debt Free}

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This is the first post of The Journey We’re On {Becoming Debt Free} series. To see all posts in this series click here.  

In January of 2012, Clint and I found out that we were pregnant. We were ecstatic! Our original plan was to get pregnant around June or so, but God had other plans for us I suppose. Since we were planning to get pregnant, we were putting a little money aside in preparation, but not much. So with my excitement, came anxiety.

We started putting aside another $300-$400 each month, which was to pay medical bills and buy all the baby things we would need. Eventually, we needed more than we were saving, so we put a little on credit cards. When we decided to transfer our care to a midwife at the very end of the pregnancy though, we had to pay her immediately, so that also went on a credit card. Then, as we added a new member to our family, we had also added several thousands in credit card debt.

But let me back up a little. When I did finally decide that I did want to have children and Clint and I decided that getting pregnant during the Summer of 2012 was a good time, we also discussed me being a SAHM (Stay At Home Mom). If I was going to have children, I wanted to be home with them to raise them myself. I know not everyone thinks that way, and of course, I’m not knocking anyone for the way they do things… but that’s what we wanted.

Once we got the surprise positive on the pregnancy test, I stopped dreaming about being a SAHM and started looking into an affordable childcare option. I mean, we have car payments and a mortgage to pay and my salary helps pay them.

At the end of 2012, when Lucas was a few months old, Clint got tired of hearing me complain about being a WOHM (Work Out of Home Mom) asked me what it would really take for me to stay home. I started researching and making spreadsheets like crazy and really cracking down on our budget. Our budgeting software, You Need A Budget (YNAB) was extremely helpful for this! Click on this link for a $6 discount on the YNAB software.

It was during this time, that I found Dave Ramsey. After researching Dave Ramsey’s steps a little, I read his book [amazon-product text=”The Total Money Makeover” type=”text”]1595555277[/amazon-product], which I absolutely recommend.

[amazon-product align=”center” alink=”0000FF” bordercolor=”000000″ height=”240″]1595555277[/amazon-product]This is when I had my epiphany: I was never going to be a SAHM with all of the medical bills, credit card debt and car loans we had accumulated. Clint wasn’t sold on it at first, but has definitely come around. We’re not super strict DR (Dave Ramsey) followers but we do apply several of his principals and terminology to what we do.

Since January of 2013, we have sold a car, bought an older car, sold half of our furniture, bought cheaper furniture, and sold off almost every single thing in our house that is not used on a regular basis and paid off a large chunk of debt!

paidoff

Over the next several weeks, in this series, I am going to share (in detail) exactly what we’ve done financially and how we’ve accomplished it. Since we aren’t yet debt-free, I will also post a ‘progress report’ at the beginning of each month showing you what kind of progress we made for the month prior. If you don’t want to miss then, be sure to Subscribe and they will be delivered straight to your Inbox!

Paying off our debt is extremely important to us so I hope you’ll join us in our journey to become debt-free (and a SAHM, for me).

Go ahead and order your copy of [amazon-product text=”The Total Money Makeover” type=”text”]1595555277[/amazon-product], and meet me back here next week for a recap of January 2013.Yes, I am going to be as transparent as possible and include our actual debt numbers, not fictitious numbers. Any questions for me before we get started?

 

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19 thoughts on “Introduction to The Journey We’re On {Becoming Debt Free}

  1. First..congrats on the newest member of the family. God always gives us blessings when we need them at just that time. I had my last son at age 44…talk about a surprise but a very good surprise.
    I really like how you had a plan, implemented it and are sticking to it. Thank you for the info on saving and paying off debts….very informative….very informative indeed. ^_^

    Smiles,
    Regi

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    • Sara

      Thanks for stopping by Regi! He has definitely been a blessing! I hope you’ll check back each week for my month by month breakdown of our Debt Free Journey!

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  2. Candi

    Yes, I dream of being debt free, I was a few years ago, then I got really in debt, when the money was good. Now, this month, I have paid off all my credit cards after 5 years. I did however have a few bills, that I started this summer, when I needed glasses and dental work, So the bills are are a tad. I am on a strict budget, but would like to have those bills paid off. I am also starting to save which I couldn’t do before. I am excited to hear how much you paid off in a short time. Stopping by from Sits.

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    • Sara

      Yes, it definitely is not easy Candi, especially when things like medical procedures mainly for us. I hope you’ll be back each week to be a part of our journey. 🙂

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  3. I L-O-V-E Dave Ramsey. His teaching helped my husband and I to get out of debt. I haven’t used a credit card in years and the feeling of freedom that you experience from debt-free living is indescribable. Happy SITSShareFest and keep your foot on the gas peddle.

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    • Sara

      Can’t wait to get where you are Sarah! Thanks for the encouragement, I hope you’ll be with me each week as I share our progress. Encouragement and accountability are a huge part of our journey. Thanks for stopping by!

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  5. Hi Sara! I’m glad I found your blog! We are also on a debt-free journey after reading Dave Ramsey. We had over $130K in student loans from law school. My husband graduated last year. In March we got serious about paying it off before we save for a house. We have paid over $35K so far, but we still have over $100K to go. We’re planning to do it in 3 years, which is super fast, considering we are making less than $40K right now. We also cloth diaper and it has saved us lots!

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    • Sara

      Wow that is great Stephanie!! I just read through some of your blog and I love it. I would love to compare some notes, I’ll shoot you an email later. 😉

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  7. Woohoo for working towards debt freedom! And congrats on little one 🙂
    I do have a question, though I’m not sure if you’ll be able to answer it. We have very little furniture, as we left a lot of stuff when we moved cross country. Our groceries are cut down as much as possible with a blog to maintain. We don’t go out to eat, we conserve water and electricity, we haven’t bought clothes in two years…but we still have no extra cash at the end of a budgeting session to put towards debt. The car we’re driving was a free gift (more like a “we don’t want this piece of junk anymore” shove-off) from friends so we don’t have a car to sell either.
    With everything at the bare minimum as it is, how on earth are we going to get out of student debt?

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    • Sara

      Thank you Dani! Dave Ramsey would say you don’t have a debt problem but an income problem. I don’t know your exact situation, but if you are already being minimal in the spending of money, you have to do more earning money. I couldn’t tell if you work out of the home from your blog, which is awesome by the way, but I personally would start there. Live like no one else right now, so you can live like no one else later. Otherwise, you may be paying on student loan debt for the next 20-30 years. I hope that helps 🙂

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  8. Abby

    Looking forward to reading more about this! Congrats on all your hard work! It certainly is worth all the work and thrift to not have debt hanging over your head!

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    • Sara

      Great, thank you Abby! I have posted through February now and plan to post another month each Wednesday until I’m caught up. I hope you’ll be back 🙂

      Like

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