Thursday, February 18, 2016


Ok - I know I've posted a lot this week on facebook, and I have started my new lovely Craftymaxine page, but I just MUST share this with you.

As I mentioned before - we started our journey to being debt-free in December.  We have seriously been ridiculous about watching every single penny in this household.  We signed up on everydollar ,  had budget committee meetings, sold a ton of stuff on facebook, and ate a lot of leftovers.  Dave Ramsey always says, "beans and rice, rice and beans, baby."  For us it more looked like PB&J, ramen and grilled cheese LOL!!

So - to share "the program" for those of you who aren't familiar.  Dave Ramsey has a financial process call the "baby steps."

1 - save a beginner $1000 emergency fund
2 - list your debts smallest to largest - then pay off the smallest one and "snowball" from there
3 - save 3 to 6 months worth of expenses in a full-on emergency fund (building off the initial $1000)
4 - put away 15% of your income into retirement
5 - save for kids college
6 - pay off mortgage (yep you read that right)
7 - continue to build wealth and give generously

We also listen to the Dave Ramsey show just about every day.  Both Brian and I feel that we could field 90% of the questions on that show by now.  Although it seems as though the same questions get asked...there's just something about surrounding yourself with things that push you toward your goal rather than take your attention away from it.  If you have ever listened - they do this "debt-free scream" segment on the show.  Various people come to the studio or call in to tell their story of becoming debt-free.  (Debt-free generally means that you have paid all debt except for your home.)

Brian and my story is a bit all over the place, If I had to guess - this is how I think our debt-free scream would look if Dave Ramsey were to let us do a debt-free scream in his studio.

***Usually at the beginning Ramsey asks how much the person/couple made at the beginning and at the end, how much they paid off, and how long it took...***

Amount paid off: 15K
3 months
Dual income

Ramsey - "So what happened a few months ago that made you want to be debt-free?"
B & R - We just got tired of making the money we make...and not really having anything to show for it.  We were pretty good at paying off our CC every month, but still our savings account was pretty low and we felt a little like we were in a hamster wheel.  Every year that tax statement would come and we'd be pretty surprised at how much came in VS how much we had.

Ramsey - "What would you say the secret to becoming debt free is?"
B:  "Not spending money."  "It's also about being content and being thankful for what God has provided us."  "There were times I'd just need to walk away from my phone or not go into certain stores, because it would just breed discontentment."
R:  "Both parties need to be on the same page...I mean...literally the same WORD on that page. Both need to be fighting for every penny to go toward debt - no deviation.  Another important thing to this is that when both are on board - one can help the other one come off the ledge.  Even in this short period of "gazelle intensity" there were some rough moments where one of us would get very frustrated.

Ramsey: "What was the biggest budget fight you guys had?"
R: "To get on a budget."
B: "Convincing me to stay on a budget."

Ramsey: "Now that you are at the top of the mountain, looking down, would you say this journey was harder or easier than you thought it was going to be when you started?"
B: "WAY HARDER, It sucked." he would continue, "It was like someone had a dollar on a string and every time I thought we were about to grab it, it would get pulled out of reach again."
R: "It was harder - I always listen to these debt-free screams on the show and I really just wanted to be THERE.  It was frustrating knowing that we had made poor choices and knowing that we did this to ourselves.  I could honestly have cereal for dinner every night if it was JUST me, but it wasn't just me, it was Brian and our two kids that were making sacrifices as well.  That was the hardest part, knowing that everyone, kids included, was affected by our mistakes with money.

Ramsey: "What was the hardest part of this journey?"
R: Not having the option of buying things right now.  It's very difficult to get used to waiting until the cash comes in before buying what you want/need to buy.  In December it was SO HARD to not buy Christmas gifts when I found something I liked!!  Christmas shopping was bittersweet.  It was fun to try and figure out a less expensive 'thoughtful' gift, but really hard to pass up something I knew someone would like because it was over budget.
B: Not sure...hmm...I would say the whole process sucked.  The biggest thing is that we didn't buy Christmas gifts for each other - and I really miss doing that. (we haven't in a while to save money).  It was hard limiting generosity at Christmas time.

Ramsey: So - there is a couple in their 30's with two kids out there in debt - what would you say to them, now that you know what you know?"
B: "Follow the plan." "You don't know better."  "It's not worth the points (credit card points)."
R: "So true!!" "It's so hard to humble yourself and just trust the plan."  "Admittedly I LOVE points!!" LOL.  "I would say if you are staring down a pile of debt and are afraid of "depriving your kids" - take a step back.  there's just SO many more ways you can show you love your kids outside of spending money on stuff.  Claire and I made cookies, played play-doh, cut, glued, and colored, made hideous pasta necklaces, and had play dates with friends.  None of which cost us extra money.  We need to stop equating spending money on our kids with loving them.  I STILL struggle with this, but it's SO so true.  YOU CAN do it and you absolutely will change your kids lives for the better.  We are only in baby step 3 now, but I have faith that we are in on something BIG!

Ramsey: Well done guys - very well guys - that's awesome!  Here we go - get ready guys - Brian and Rachael in Palatine, making a certain amount of $$, paying of Fifteen thousand dollars in just 3 months - let's hear it.....count-it-down...your debt-free SCREAM....



Ramsey: "haahahahaa - I love it I love it I love it!!!"


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