“WE’RE DEBT FREEEEEE!!!!”
Have you ever listened to Dave Ramsey and the callers that do their ‘debt free scream’ on the show?
Six years ago, my husband and I screamed “we’re debt free” within the confines of our own home after tackling our debt head on. ((You can learn more of our first round with debt, here.)
At that point we were planning a trip to the Tennessee as a family to visit Financial Peace Plaza to celebrate our hard work and paying off $43,000 in debt.
But our celebration quickly soured when we learned that our unborn child was diagnosed with bilateral renal agenesis and deemed incompatible with life. (You can read David’s story here.)
The first time around
We first became debt free back in 2013, one would thought that we would have learned our lesson the first time.
We made one of those mistakes that Dave Ramsey warns his listeners about. He has said that a traumatic event such as death will often trigger a person/family to make an unwise decision, and not to make any major decision during that first year afterwards.
Instead of us properly grieving and allowing time to heal our wounds, we reacted in our grief by making a too big of a life decision: we bought a house!
After the death of our son, we also lost my husband’s mother, we sold our old house and bought a new one, and then accumulated home improvement debts (to the tune of $63,000 ).
We regretted going into the second time and it ate at us every.single.day. since we made those mistakes again.
Sick and Tired
We lived with that debt for a few years before we did anything about it. We were just surviving, consumed by grief and guilt. It was a mess.
However, through much prayer, patience, and dedication on each other’s parts; we tackled the debt.
This time was different. We felt more confident. We were more determined.
So after being sick and tired of the debt, we made the vow to never do this again! We stuck to our guns and dug our heels in, and got to work.
However, this time we were all the wiser because we learned not to make big decisions in the wake of grief. Below are the top ten eight guidelines that we stuck to and helped us pay off $63,000 a second time.
Top eight guidelines for getting out of debt
Develop self-control: Learn what impulse buying is and how to control it.
Keep a budget and stick to it. Hold each other accountable and encourage each other to stick to the budget. Dave Ramsey offers come helpful tips here on how to develop a monthly budget.
Learn how to communicate as a couple on the topic of money. If you can communicate on money, then you can do anything.
Maintain financial fidelity in marriage. There should be 100% honesty in marriage, this includes money and how it is spent. No purchases should be hidden from the other spouse.
Don’t be the Joneses. If you are living a life of comparison and coveting what everybody else has, you will never be content. Usually if somebody appears to have it all, they are either broke or have paid for it in cash. 78% of American’s live paycheck to paycheck, this includes the Joneses. Stop living in comparison. Make your dream become a reality!
Know that patience pays off and good things do come to those who wait.
Keep a joint account as a married couple. There should be no such thing as “his or her’s” in a marriage.
“A couple cannot be one if they separate their lives by separating their finances…. No viable marriage can survive a “his or her” relationship for long, because it is totally contrary to God’s plan”. (Crown Ministries)
If you are debt free, I would love to hear from you and hear your story.