Personal Finance Story: One Year “Debt is Gone” Anniversary


Well, if you've been reading here the past three years you know that our financial goals have always been to get out of debt. And, that first year of blogging, I thought we'd be out by the end of 2008. That didn't happen.

Andon did have to have surgery and those expenses set us back so our goal didn't happen. Honestly, I thought we'd be out of debt in 2009, but a *want* stopped that (I do, however, love our new hardwood floors that were paid for with cash. Of course that cash could have gone to paying off debt).

In February, 2010, I shared that we were debt free. We still have our mortgage, but we have no more consumer credit card debt! Those two houses that were essentially still with us in some way, are gone. The chain of living the life from 10 years ago is gone.

Maybe you don't have debt like we did. Maybe you want to just save more. Maybe you are inspired to give more. I'm here to tell you that a little $0.25 coupon can make it possible for you! They all add up.  Sure, it can be overwhelming at times but it's the little sacrifices that in the end are reflected in a HUGE outcome!

Looking back, our family really didn't sacrifice that much. We weren't “gazelle intense” but we were intense enough for our liking. Maybe that's why it took us 2 years to do it all.  After I read Dave Ramsey's book, Total Money Makeover, I was even more inspired and informed to make a plan. Sure, we had a budget, but when we really sat down and looked at the entire picture with everything on the table, the budget became a true plan of action. Without that plan to review, revise and return to we would never have been able to achieve any level of financial success.

For us, getting out of debt is a partial completion to Baby Step #3. We still have some student loans, some other financial commitments (and goals) and those are up next. However, they aren't the priority especially since we're still saving to replace Paul's jacked up car :). I personally believe making baby steps within your baby steps is important for motivation!

I'm sure you are interested in knowing how much debt we had. Honestly, I don't know a completely accurate number. Since I use Microsoft Money, I have tracked all expenses from our primary bank account using the software. It produces neat little reports and charts.

I started using Money in July, 2005 and still use the software. That pie chart above is the result of our debt repayment. One of those bigger slices is our debt repayment :) Make your own guess. Either way you slice it, it's a LOT!

I hope that encourages you. It's possible!

Future posts on our personal finance story will be my personal experience and thoughts on budgeting and tips to reduce debt. While I'm not an expert, I know how to get rid of it! Even one year later, I'm still relishing in the fact that I can officially type out of debt and refer to our family!

It's pretty sweet!

Personal Finance Story Related Posts

{1} Love and Marriage
{2} Jobs and Education
{3} Baby and Job Loss
{4} Graduation = Promotion and Relocation
{5} New Job, New City, New Home
{6} Transition and Loss
{7} Stretching and Earning Income
{8} News – Good and Sad
{9} A New Game
{10} Focusing on Debt
{11} Why Us?

by Savings Lifestyle: Andrea on February 15, 2011

5 Comments

  • Angela - February 15, 2011 @ 4:08 pm
    1

    Congrats! This is sooo inspiring & I just shared with my Facebook followers. Like you, this is a goal my hubby & I have. We’ve recently been able to make some positive progress, and I hope to be where you are in a year or two (barring any unforeseen setbacks).

    Thanks for sharing your story, Andrea. ;)

  • Freebies - February 15, 2011 @ 5:01 pm
    2

    Andrea-

    Congrats, I so understand where you are at- we still are in the same place, paying off debt from the loss of your businesses and a home remodel we could not afford. We are not “gazelle intense” either. I would lean that way but the hubby leans the other so there has to be compromise.

    We should have our debt paid off in around 2 years and for the amount of debt we have that is actually a very good goal.

    I look forward to 2013 when we are feeling as good as you are now!!

    -jen

  • Dawn Marie - February 15, 2011 @ 5:05 pm
    3

    I just started following your blog after someone sent me to your facebook page. My hubby and I are attending our next to last Financial Peace class tonight. We started in November. SO far we’ve funded our Emergency Fund and paid off 3 credit cards. We have one credit card left and both of us have school loans to tend to but we are feeling so much better our finances. I was a full time teacher until 4 yrs ago when I decided to stay home with my 2 boys. Well the 2 boys turned into 3 during the 3 years I stayed home. I just went back to work part time at the boys’ preschool this year. So our finances got all out of whack with no income for 3 years. We have learned to “live like no one else” even before Dave Ramsey told us to. Once we started down the Financial Peace road we realized we didn’t “want” what everyone else had because along with that “stuff” came lots of debt which in turn causes soooooo many more issues. Our marriage is better and our kids are learning the value of a dollar. I’m so happy to see someone else working soooo hard at paying off debt and doing what is right. Kudos to you and your family.

  • Judy D. - February 16, 2011 @ 11:14 am
    4

    Congrats to you! We started our debt snowball this year, hoping 2011 will find us debt free in the end.

    I am so glad to have met you. You have encouraged me so much in our endeavor.

  • Maegen - February 16, 2011 @ 5:48 pm
    5

    We’ve been consumer debt free three different times in our 14 year marriage.
    The last time we paid off our credit cards I wanted to make sure it was the Last time, so I read Dave Ramsey and got serious about our budgeting.
    I’m pleased to say we’ve stayed debt free, apart from our mortgage, although building our savings is still a challenge.
    I’d definitely encourage folks to give Dave a try. I resisted for a long time because I didn’t think I was a “self-help,” kind of girl, but I found his advice very helpful.
    Congrats again!

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