When my husband Brad and I got engaged in 2005, we had $70,000 in student loan debt between us. Within a year, we purchased a house (with 2 mortgages) for $150,000, and a used truck for $18,000.
We owed $238,000, and we hadn’t even been married a year.
4 years later, we were in a financial crisis. Brad works full-time for a non-profit, in which his entire salary is based on fundraising. When there were not enough funds, his salary was cut by 50%. I was pregnant with our second child, and was home with our daughter full-time. 6 months later the unthinkable happened; Brad was laid off from his job.
In 6 years of marriage we had never been late or missed payment on any bill. In fact, we had often paid well in advance. We had always tithed, and had never carried a credit-card balance. Our problem was that we had 6 debts to pay every month, and no income with which to pay them.
During this time of crisis, I took on the responsibility of managing our bills for the first time in our marriage. I needed a crash-course in financial literacy. I owe Crystal Paine and Dave Ramsey a debt of gratitude for all that I have learned from them. It was Dave’s concept of the Debt Snowball that enabled us to finally begin eliminating our debts.
In the last 4 years, we have done what seemed impossible:
- We paid off the last $8,000 on our Used Truck.
- We paid off the last $6,500 on Student Loan #1.
- We paid off the last $7,500 Student Loan #2.
- We paid off the last $24,000 on our 2nd Mortgage.
- We refinanced our 1st mortgage.
At this point we only have 2 debts remaining:
- We owe $13,000 on Student Loan #3.
- We owe $106,000 on our 1st Mortgage.
So in almost 8 years of marriage, we have paid off $119,000 in debt!
Here at The Abundant Wife I hope that my stories and suggestions will inspire and encourage you as you work toward financial freedom. I am looking forward to learning from you as we all work together toward being debt-free!