Sunday, March 17, 2013

Our Debt Free Anniversary

I love this sweater. This sweater represents financial freedom to me. Let me explain....

In 2004 I had a lot of consumer debt, around $30,000. I starting dating Matt, my husband, and attended a budgeting class he was facilitating. I did not want to tell him how much debt I had...he was too cute:)

I finally told him and started budgeting. After we got married and had a joint budget I thought it was really boring. I like surprises and budgeting did not provide any surprises. Everything was perfectly planned out-blah.

The day that got me hooked on budgeting was the day I bought this sweater.

That morning, I put on a black sweater I had purchased it at a yard sale. However, soon after I arrived at work, I realized there was a huge hole in the armpit. Sometimes you can hide those kind of things or just try to not raise your arms all day:) There was no hiding this hole. I do not know how I missed it when I was getting dressed, but I did.

I needed a sweater and fast. So, I went to the mall. I saw the blue sweater in the picture above and wanted it so bad. But, it was around $40. I thought, "There is no way I am spending $40 on a sweater." I looked at other sweaters, but kept thinking about this one.

Then, I remembered I had money in my clothing account. I could buy that $40 sweater and feel no guilt because I am supposed to spend my clothing account! That was when I started liking the fact that we were living on a budget.

Within the first three years of marriage we paid off $28,000 in consumer debt, paid off our home ($72,000) and put away $20,000 for emergencies. A $120,000 turn around.

March 17, 2008 is the day we sent our final payment in to pay off our home making us officially Debt Free. So, on the day of green, we celebrate our accomplishment. It was a lot of hard work but it is totally worth it now.

We followed Dave Ramsey's 7 Baby Steps. The final step is Build Wealth and Give. So, we are doing a giveaway! If you share the link to this post on your Facebook page you will be entered to win one of the following prize packages:

1. Dave Ramsey's Envelope System, Total Money Makeover book, goal thermometers and 2 letter openers

2. Dave Ramsey's game Act Your Wage, goal thermometers and 2 letter openers

3. Paid tuition to Financial Peace University (If you are currently taking a class or have taken the class before, we will reimburse you for the cost of your kit up to $100.) Plus, goal thermometers and 1 letter opener.

Giveaway ends on Friday, March 22, 2013 at midnight PST. The winners will be announced Saturday, March 23, 2013.

Here are some links to get you to your Debt Free Anniversary:
Dave Ramsey's Quick-Start Budget
Dave Ramsey's Monthly Cash Flow Plan
Dave Ramsey's Irregular Income Budget
Dave Ramsey's New Guide to Budgeting

Someone once said, "It's so funny how lucky hard working people are."


  1. Misty,
    I love that you posted this! Jesse and I are debt-free as well (including our house) so it's so fun to see a peer in this same place! I love your story and picture you as more of the "free spirit" in the relationship so it is an even better story because of that! Way to go, both of you, and thanks for sharing this good stuff with others! Glad to hear you all are doing well!

    1. That is so exciting Sarah! Congrats to you and Jesse! You are so right-I am the free spirit. I even found a goal sheet from when I was selling books with a goal of being debt free by the time I graduated college. However, I did not listen to some of the advice I got back then. When I went through the Dave Ramsey course, some of it sounded familiar and I was kicking myself for not listening when I was in my early 20s! But, better late than never. I'm so thankful I met my husband and he got me going on the budgeting "straight and narrow"!

  2. Congratulations to you for your financial freedom! Boy, could John use a little Dave Ramsey love. I have the books, I've begun the program and stopped because my other half (the income-earning half) wasn't on-board. I hope to be there someday, but until then I'll just keep trying. :)

  3. What a great idea, Misty! My husband and I are debt free, too, although we still have a home mortgage. It's a great feeling!

  4. What a great giveaway! And I always love hearing you guys celebrate your debt free anniversary. What an achievement!

  5. I love Dave Ramsey, we are eyeballs deep into step 2! Congrats on paying everything off, that is amazing, Happy Anniversary!

    1. Thank you! Step 2 is the hardest, but YOU CAN DO IT! I'll be praying for you and your family during this exciting yet exhausting time:)

  6. Sometimes, simple things like buying a sweater will teach you how to spend your money wisely. Isn't it great that you finally acquired the idea of living on a budget through this experience? I hope that others who will read your post will get the idea too. :) I'm also reading David Ramsey books, by the way. I've learned a lot of things in order to beat debt and live a satisfying life at the same time.

  7. Living under a budget is really hard, especially if you're used to living lavishly. Reading money-saving books will help out a lot in times like this. Being frugal is hard, but having thousands and thousands worth of loans to pay is even harder. Being under debt before made me think a lot about my expenditures, and some of it were really unnecessary.