With the click of this button....
When Andy and I got married in March 2011, we had a total of about $86,000 in debt. That was a combination of my college student loans, a car loan, and credit card debt. We completed the Jim Sammon's Financial Freedom Seminar a few months after marriage and made a vow to get out of debt and stay out of debt.
This was a big task, as it meant we were going to forgo getting a mortgage, car loans, and basically using borrowed money at all ever again. We would use cash to buy future needs, but first we had to get out of the enormous amount of debt we had.
It has not been fun. It really has been frustrating to see all our hard-earned money go straight into a black hole of debt. But we have remained faithful to our vow and have prayed for God's help and provision through this. (you can read more about our debt-free journey in posts under the post directory tab at the top of this page)
And let me tell you, we have really seen God provide for us through this time. Our getting out of debt so quickly is a testament to His faithfulness and help.
You all may remember in April I wrote a post about our 6 month debt attrition. At that time we had a little over $12,000 left in debt and we realized it would take us another whole year to get out of debt at the pace we were going, especially since I was not working anymore. We were discouraged by that and decided that we would buckle down, stop all frivolous and extra spending, and try to really attack the remainder of our debt in 6 months.
We prayed, and there were times we didn't think we would make it, but we did! In fact, God provided amazingly for us. We still had a little ways to go in the debt, but were really really hoping to have it finished by the end of October (the end of our 6 months). We prayed about it, and out of the blue my husband got a promotion at work that came with an extra bonus that was literally the exact amount we needed to finish off the debt. If that isn't God working, providing, and answering prayers, I don't know what is!
So this morning, I was able to push that button, paying off the last of our debt. We are now indebted monetarily to nobody on this planet. We can now use all that money we have been putting towards debt to build our future and provide for our children and our community. It is such an overwhelmingly awesome feeling, I almost don't know what to do with myself!
The last 3 years have really been a time of learning for me. Learning how to budget, how to thrift, how to live frugally. I was semi-frugal before, but I was the typical "lose your money in pennies" kind of woman. As in, I would buy a new nail polish here and a new shirt there. At the end of the month I would realize I had spent quite a bit of money on little extras that were unnecessary.
While we are looking forward to loosening the reigns on ourselves a little, I honestly can't imagine going back to how we were 3 years ago, when we had no plans and no budgeting skills. Now we know we can accomplish so much if we control the little spending.
So what is next for us? We have big plans in the works, and are praying again for God's provision and guidance as we move into the next phase, which is building for our future and no just paying for our past. I'll be writing more about that soon.
Now I need to go do a quick "got out of debt!" happy dance