“We’re really doin’ it Harr…” I keep hearing this in my head and picturing Harry and Lloyd from “Dumb and Dumber” riding on a scooter into the sunset.
Only we are getting less dumb and we really are doing it. Early on in our marriage we were just that. Very dumb. We never considered saving, loved stuff, eating out, supplying our musical gear and entertainment habits. So when periods of unemployment happened, a hand surgery, job loss, and other life catastrophes, we said “oh crap!” yet we still piled on the credit cards to pay for groceries, basic bills and keep up the lifestyle we enjoyed.
We began realizing the pain of having to pay for things we didn’t even have anymore. (Because we were forced to sell them for rent or our hefty car payment.) We attended a Financial Learning Experience seminar by Joe Sangl and read his book “I Was Broke, Now I’m Not”. Our eyes were opened. But we needed full time income to get the debt payoff going and snowballing. And we struggled to find jobs and discover where God wanted us for a year and a half.
We have since been blessed with great full time income at our new church home at Barefoot and with my job assisting a team of realtors. We cut way down on eating out and crap food in general, which is better for our physical health. We cut out cable (which we’ve done before for a couple years and didn’t miss it too bad). We are looking for other corners to cut and I am getting some additional income and bonuses. We are working on a REAL budget to stick to. When you get angry enough with the mess you’ve made and the inability to enjoy or buy other things or give more to your church or a good cause, you’ll do something about it.
BUT… We still needed to create MARGIN to undo the mess we made with our finances in order to start planning for a future. Hopefully one that involves a house and kids (which requires some saving) and more electric guitars! We needed to free up some money to not only pay off debt, but to also give more and be better stewards of what God has given us.
As of today, July 6, 2010 we have freed up $425 a month by selling our 2006 Honda Element. Thankfully we didn’t owe more on it than it was worth, and thanks to Jud Kuhn Chevrolet for buying it! It was orange. I will miss that. But I won’t miss the payment. We will enjoy our paid-for 2000 Camry as a one-car family for a while. But we are excited about what God will teach us through it and being on our way to debt freedom. This is a huge step and a huge relief to us. Get ready to see updates, debt payoff coloring sheets, and how we are reaching our financial peace!
“Live now like no one else, so that later you can live like no one else.” ~Dave Ramsey
**If you would like more info on Joe Sangl, reaching debt freedom, financial advice, booking him at your church, or awesome free budgeting tools, go to: http://josephsangl.com