Debt free!!

I wrote started writing about our Financial Peace University journey. It was something we half-heartedly started with little expectations. Our only hope was to walk away having learned something. Our class ended about two months ago and we walked away with more than just something. A couple of weeks after our class was over, we paid off  the last of our debt! In about four months we paid off a little over $20,000!

We walked away debt free! We walked away with a new outlook on life! We walked away with an intensity to move to the next step! For us, at that point, the next step was paying off our debt. Our old way of thinking would have been to pay off that debt two months earlier when we saw the end in sight. Instead, we created our monthly budget and knew that we would finish it off the following month. It was hard to not get overly excited and spend the money that first month. But, the budget taught us that we didn’t have that money to spend. It needed to be spent on other things.

It’s still a struggle to sit down and plan out the monthly budget. The first constraint is always finding the time to both sit down and work on it. We like to work on it together so there’s accountability for both and we’re both a part of the process. We’ve found that having one person work on it and the other review just doesn’t work out for us. The second constraint is finding the motivation and energy to work on it. When we do have time to sit down together, the last thing we want to do is work on the budget.

What we need to work on…
Creating a better process for creating the budget. Instead of picking a day around the beginning of the month, we need to work on it during a weekly budget meeting. Second item: start doing a weekly budget meeting!

Cash only?
A concept that we learned {but didn’t follow…shhhh} was going to cash only. No more credit cards. We followed the no credit cards concept. We shredded and pulled them out of our wallets. We struggled with the idea of carrying so much cash on ourselves or in our house. After a recent vacation when our debit card number was stolen from a Chilli’s in the Houston airport {BAM! Internet wrath!}, cash is starting to sound a lot better! {Since this happened to us, I’ve talked to countless people who have gotten their numbers taken. Disgusting! I’ve also recently heard of others who have been to the Chilli’s and had this happen. I hope these people get caught!} We didn’t switch to cash like most of our class did, but we did keep track of the debit card spend.

What we need to work on…
Moving a little closer to the cash only concept. We’re both into the idea a little more and understand the concepts behind it. We’re both less likely to part with dollar bills than slide our card {that apparently anyone can copy}.

Next up on our baby steps list is to save a 3-6 month emergency fund. Our goal is the six month fund and we are both excited to get that item knocked off the list. Now that we don’t have a car payment each month, we hope to have this task done around Christmas time. We’re also able to reevaluate the cash flow and determine if the extra house payments we’ve been making are appropriate. The class taught us to pay off a mortgage loan in 15 years. If our house is paid off when my son is 16, well, that would be awesome!

If you’re considering taking the Dave Ramsey Financial Peace University class, I highly recommend it. If we stop following the steps, we still walk away debt free! For that, I am thankful that we took the class!  

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4 thoughts on “Debt free!!

  1. That is so awesome! We did FPU 3 years ago. We’re still working on our debt snowball, but we also do things out of order. My husband is in a commission only business (mortgages) so we have to a large emergency fund for months when he doesn’t have any income. We had/have a lot of debt, so it is a slow process, but we have made progress. He was laid off in 2008 for a few months and we didn’t have to use credit cards at all because we were prepared.
    We try to do cash only, but we’ve been very lax about doing it the last several months and it shows in our spending habits. We definitely are more mindful when we are using cash rather than the debit card. I don’t worry about keeping cash at home because no one really knows about it.
    Good luck fine tuning your plan!

    1. Nicole,
      Thanks for your comments! I love to hear about other people’s experiences. I’m so happy to hear that the emergency fund worked in your favor. That is SO awesome! The jump to cash only feels like such a big leap. I don’t understand why it feels so much scarier than using a debt card/checking account. I think society is too engraved in my brain!

  2. Sara P

    Woohoo Legers!! That is AWESOME. You guys really rocked it!! Many congrats!

    We look forward to tackling debt starting this fall as hubby will be employed full-time and we’ll be able to plan a little better!

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