Climbing Back Out

When Andrew and I first got married we made a huge mistake that a lot of couples make, we got in debt.
And not just a little bit, a whole stinkin' lot.
Basically we tried to live the way we had lived under our parents roofs even though we were working hourly college jobs.
It started with student loans to get Andrew through college, which never actually happened.
Then we needed a computer, and a TV, and a wardrobe so out came the credit cards.
But it was all good, you know, cause we were going to be getting hot shot jobs after we graduated from college.
Then we got a huge blessing, we had a chance to move into Andrew's Grandparents totally paid off farm house.
So we decided to rent out our overpriced townhouse.
Once we were in the farm house, we decided it needed to be updated. So we took out a home equity line.
New floors, paint for all the walls, new cabinets.
After that was done we called out the electrician to get a quote to bring it all up to code.
Turns out $30,000 for all new wiring just wasn't in the budget.

Then our renters backed out.
We struggled with different renters for a few years before we just let the house go into foreclosure.
It sucked.

Then Andrew got stuck with some debt that was incurred when he was youth pastor doing camps.

One day God gave us a huge wake up call.
If we didn't have any debt payments, I would be able to stay home and we would have a huge surplus every month.

That day we cut up all our credit cards. Every single one of them.
That was 3 and a half years ago.

If there is an emergency, we have to cash flow it.
If we want to buy something new, we have to save for it.
When we want to go on vacation, it has to be modest.

The only debt we have taken out since that day has been our dream house that was built by a great Christian man for less then half of the retail value.
A huge blessing.

Our main focus is paying off the debt that we managed to rack up in the first four years of our marriage.
Sometimes it really sucks.
Andrew is making two times what he made as a youth pastor, but we decided that we needed to keep living like he didn't so that we could put as much as possible on the debt.
There are times that I want to go out with friends or go buck wild at Target or take extravagant vacations.
And even though that wouldn't kill our budget, it would prolong our debt.

I was whining about wanting new things just the other night so Andrew ran some amortization schedules on our debt.
With his promotion coming up, we are going to be 100%, including the home equity line and the house we live in, in 7 years!

We know that I will need a new car somewhere in there, but we plan on buying used and paying cash for that so it shouldn't put us too far off.

Even though it is going to take us more then twice as long to pay off the debt as it did to rack it up, it is exciting that by the time Josie is 9 we will be out of debt.

I am excited and totally back on the paying off debt bandwagon!


The Henrys said...

I am there with you. With Nathan being a teacher, I must work to make it happen. But, we are getting closer and closer! It always helps me to look at the numbers and make predictions too!

Kameron said...

I got into huge credit card debt during college and took out student loans. I managed to get a loan from a family member (not an option for most, i know) and I got my $10,000 credit card debt paid off in 14 months! I have never felt better. We still have out house, 2 cars and student loans, but with no credit cards it make a lot of difference!

Lani said...

GOOD FOR YOU!!!! You guys should be SOOOO proud of yourselves for handling everything that way. My sister in law could learn a serious lesson from you!!!