As I’ve mentioned before, we recently finished Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University. It was exactly the kick in the rear we needed. On the one hand it kills us that we wasted 9 years worth of money by not planning how we wanted to spend it, but on the other hand I am so thankful that we are still so young and are finally getting it figured out! I’m here to say:
We are debt free except our house!!!!
We were able to sell our truck and use the money to pay off our car and then within a few weeks we were able to pay off the little bit of consumer debt we had. Technically, we didn’t follow Dave’s debt snowball because we should have paid off the credit card first, but the point of the snowball is to get some emotional traction and keep you motivated. Not only did we not have long to go, but the car was such an emotional win. We have been talking about getting that car paid off for what feels like forever! I am proud to say with confidence that we will NEVER have another car payment.
If we want/need a new car, we will save up and buy one. We are definitely car people and enjoy the whole new car/fancy car thing. We would often drive through car lots for fun just to check out the newest models. On one hand we were always ‘reasonable’ about the cars we did buy, but let’s be honest. Why on earth is any car worth $15-$20,000 in debt? (more or less) My entire perspective on cars has shifted. I would still love to buy a fast car, but now I have no problem saving up for it. There is no way a car is going to out prioritize other things that I can do with my family. Like the kitchen upgrade we should have been able to do forever ago, but never budgeted in!
It’s also been neat to see God working in our financial transformation. Awhile ago we tried to sell our truck so that we could purchase Damien’s dad’s truck. Not only was the other truck the exact make and model we wanted, but it had/has incredible emotional significance because it was Andy’s. We listed our truck and put a sign in the window and nothing. No one even called us or anything. I think in a lot of ways God was protecting us. We definitely didn’t need Andy’s truck and I don’t think we would have been able to sell it this time around. Without that truck, we had no emotional tie to the vehicle we could sell to pay off the car. I’m thankful it didn’t work out before.
God has been working in much smaller ways, too. When we first started our budget, (It’s a process, but what a rewarding one!) we miscalculated how much money we could spend one of the weeks. We weren’t over budget, but the money we needed wasn’t coming until payday later that week – oops! We found ourselves needing a few groceries and we could have used our little emergency fund no problem until we could plan more efficiently, but God provided. That day Damien earned $10 cash for taking a survey. Who gets $10 from a survey?! It was little and I could say it was insignificant, but it wasn’t.
Not only is it neat to watch God work out the little things, a huge weight is off my shoulders. It’s hard to describe it, but I can breathe easier. This process is teaching us how to have discipline with our finances, but it’s also working on my attitude. Stuff won’t help me feel better. Having a handle on my family’s future does!