I've gotten several emails asking how we started the process of getting out of debt so I thought I would recap a bit of our journey.
About a year ago, I checked out The Total Money Makeover from the local library. I read the whole book in less than 24 hours, started listening to the Dave Ramsey Podcast and our journey started. Bryan and I went through Financial Peace University when we were engaged. And honestly, because that's what this is all about, right? We were SO bored and had to force ourselves to go to the classes. But we were much younger and I didn't personally have any debt, and since we weren't married we didn't have combined finances... we were naive and had no idea how much student loans and things were looming and all that to say, I don't think we got a whole lot out of it.... but I think now that we are older and actually know where we stand financially it makes a lot more sense and we've considered taking the class again just to keep momentum.
We've been digging ourselves, slowly at times, out of student loan debt our whole marriage. We had a BIG hole, and we are finally seeing the light at the end of the tunnel, student loans won't be looming over us in just a few more short months, and that amazes me.
So to get started, I would read the Total Money Makeover. Start by building that $1000 savings account, and then start your debt snowball, listing your debts smallest to largest and paying off the smallest ones first. I have a printout of our debt snowball that I update every month. I also really enjoy the podcast, I like to listen to it while I am working around the house or in the car. Dave tells me how stupid we are with money daily... and it reminds me why we are working so hard to get out.
The budget is key. We've gone to a cash envelope system. Groceries, Gas, Entertainment, Eating Out, and "blow" money are all in envelopes for us each month that I fill every two weeks when Bryan get's paid. Instead of carrying around envelopes I paperclip my money by category with different colored paperclips and a little sticky note, they fit in my wallet better this way. Rachel Cruze (Dave's daughter) just came out with a new wallet and clip system that I am putting on my Christmas list too. So cute and functional! Bryan operates solely on cash and a gas card I refill for him every two weeks. It's taken us several budgets and "tries" to get it right... and now going into our third month on this budget it's finally set at about the right amounts.
I think in total since we started last year we've paid off close to $20k. We kind of hit a soft reset two months ago after taking like 6 months off and are working hard at the last little bit while saving to have this baby. And then we'll work on paying off our house.
I wrote this post when we first started about ways I cut down our budget that you can check out too!
AND I have something else exciting to share! My friends at Dave Ramsey want to give one of my readers a copy of Rachel Cruze's new book Love Your Life, Not Theirs! You can enter today through Wednesday and I'll announce the winner on my blog next week! I LOVED this book, I actually listened to the audio version on one of my drives to see Lucy in Little Rock and I think you'll really enjoy it too! You can enter via the Rafflecopter below!
a Rafflecopter giveaway