January 22, 2010

Our Reasons for Debt Free

I championed our debt free process after reading about a friend of mines Dave Ramsey experience on Facebook. I looked into Dave Ramsey but decided that if Phil and I wanted to be debt free I wasn't going to waste $100 on taking his Financial Peace University. I felt that there was a much more frugal way to go about becoming debt free. With the magic of the internet and $20 to purchase the Total Money Makeover book we were on our way.

The internet allows you to download several of Dave's worksheets. We started with the "Basic Quickie Budget". The purpose of this form is to show you exactly how much money you need every month in order to survive. This doesn't get into how much you owe on student loans, credit cards or car payments just yet. It is just a simple budget for how much money you need to survive. After that we read the book and got a few great things out of it. The motto of this book is "If you live like no one else, one day you will live like no one else". If you make sacrifices today that most people aren't willing to make, later on you will be able to live as those folks will never be able to. Some of the people Dave has write for this book take that to mean I will be able to retire early and be a millionaire. I don't want to be a millionaire. I am willing to go without cable, have "old" cars, do my own home improvement projects, take my lunch to work everyday in order to pay off my debts so I can do some awesome things with my money. Our journey is a bit different than most of the people starting out in the Financial Peace classes. Lucky for us I have always been frugal and a good steward of my money and neither Phil or I have ever had a credit card. We owe money to the government for our very valuable educations. We don't owe several creditors for new cars, computers, etc. That makes me happy to begin with but nevertheless we owe money and lots of it at high interest rates and I DON'T like it!

I want to be debt free for a few reasons.......
  • There is no speculation: I prefer to spend what I have rather than hope for something to pan out. This philosophy saved us just 4 months into our marriage when I was left without a job. Luckily we had made it so all of our expenses could be paid for out of Phil's paycheck. We didn't have to scramble out a get a credit card to charge daily and monthly expenses too.
  • We still have fun: We have created a budget that we stick to each month that we can live with. We each still have our "fun money". A set amount that we can spend each month without having to ask permission or report to one another. We budget money for going out to eat, for buying clothes and for gifts. If we plan ahead and spend wisely we can still participate in fun outings that occur throughout the month.
  • I want to be a stay at home mom: I made the realization that if I wanted to be a stay at home mom then we had to start saving money so that we can pay for the benefits that aren't provided to those who work in ministry. We can pay for all our current expenses on Phil's paycheck but if I quit my job we lose some gas money reimbursement, cell phone reimbursement and most importantly our health insurance. We are working on paying off loans with HUGE payments each month in hopes that by 2011 we can use that money to put into a bank account for our health insurance fund. We also deposit into our ROTH IRA which we can draw out of at any time. If need be we can draw out to pay for healthcare.
  • We rely on God and are not slaves to debt.
  • It is fun: I really enjoy being able to scratch off debts. A few months ago we paid off my car and it was really fun to take the highlighter to that debt and write in big letters PAID OFF! I enjoy reading blogs of people trying to live frugal like me. I enjoy using my money for the things I need only. I enjoy cutting coupons and finding a good deal. I enjoy cooking at home with my husband! Frugal is Fun!
Those are just a few reasons for why we are doing what we do. I have no desire to be a millionaire. I don't cut corners so that I can brag about it and have lots of money and live in a huge house one day. I cut corners so that I can buy food for our food pantry. So I can participate in the grocery drop at our church. So I can buy new shoes for a family in need. So I can help redecorate a very deserving 8 year olds room. So I can raise my family with one parent at home. So I can be a good steward of my money.

A blogger friend has been guest writing on Erin's $5 Dinners blog with tips of how to get on the debt free wagon. Head on over and check out her latest article by clicking here. You won't regret it!

1 comment:

Veronica King: aka Queen Vee said...

It pays off to be diligent! Student loans are killing us right now, but the good news it that the Dave Ramsey program has allowed to make a plan to pay it over much sooner than I ever expected. It's a lot of work, but totally worth it! I'm so inspired by your food from the pantry - I wish I could grocery shop for my family for $75 a month! =]