I can’t believe that the day has finally come where I can say “I’M DEBT FREEEEEEEE!!!!!!!!” Officially, as of November 1st, my husband and I are free from any kind of debt, including our mortgage. For the past two and a half years we have been budgeting every extra penny available to throw at the principal of our home.
When we started in June of 2011:
Our completed visual aid: November 2013
I learned that there was no easy answer to becoming debt-free. The answer is not a loan consolidation, an extra credit card, or even making more money (for some people, mo’ money = mo’ problems.)
The following is what my Husband and I learned on this journey to financial freedom:
1. It takes hard work. You don’t just “kind of” decide to become debt free. You either do it or you don’t. We attacked the debt as if someone lit a flame under us. We were very inspired by the phrase that Dave Ramsey uses “Work like no one else, so that later, you can work like no one else.” For us, this meant working overtime like it was going out of style. There would be plenty of times where my husband would have over 100 extra hours on a paycheck. At first, I didn’t have this kind of opportunity for extra work, so I got a second nursing job that paid more and made it happen.
2. You Need A Budget……literally. For me, budgeting always meant restriction, confinement, a straight jacket and arm restraints. I stopped being a Mrs. Complainey pants and tried the darn budget. The budget has brought a new level of communication and intimacy to our marriage. At the end of every month, we sit down and calculate the money earned that month. We then budget every single dollar and how we will spend it the following month. I have noticed that I no longer feel guilty about buying things for myself. I figure that as long as I stay within the terms of the budget that we both decided upon, then I can buy what I want. I can even buy Tommy’s chili cheese fries at midnight if my heart desires ;) Once you get on a budget, you feel like you get a pay raise. We started tracking our spending in all areas and couldn’t believe how much money we were wasting each month on things like dining out or shopping at costco! When we put a limit on it, we had more money for other things. I would love to personally thank Jesse, the dude that invented the budgeting app that we use: YNAB. It was actually fun to use the program and track our net worth along the way. Thanks Jesse the folks at YNAB!
3. I don’t need “things” to be content. I feel like this whole experience has transformed the way I perceive money, time, and happiness. I don’t feel like I NEED anything else in this world to make me feel content. I have realized that I have MORE THAN ENOUGH and some: I have a wonderful husband, a healthy baby on the way, my health, wonderful family and friends, a roof over my head, running water, a job, and a God that loves me. I don’t need things to be happy. For example, I used to go shopping for “fun.” Now, the things I do for “fun” aren’t as costly: running, spending time with my friends and family, beating my husband mercilessly at backgammon, spending time at the beach, playing piano, and writing this blog. When we cut the excess stuff out of our budget, I realized that I didn’t need it to begin with.
Being debt-free is exciting for us because:
Now, I’m working because I want to.
Now, we have greater control over our finances (no big monthly payments.)
Now, we can send our kids to college.
Now, we can retire early.
Now, I no longer associate happiness with material things.
Now, I have more time to do the things I want.
Now, I am no longer a slave to anything.
Today, between 11am-12pm Pacific Time, we will be making our “Debt-free Scream” on air with Dave Ramsey, check it out if you get a chance!
Thanks for stopping by! Have a great day!
I’m just like:
P.s. Mortgage update should be coming tomorrow or the day after
The ER is a dynamic place. You encounter people of different ethnicities, socioeconomic classes and apparently, temperaments. The other day while in triage, a patient’s family member came about one inch from my face. They were angry, and we were busy taking care of a line of people. That’s when they started to escalate. They started yelling, and reaching over the counter with their finger at us. At the time, I wasn’t visibly pregnant, my coworker was, but that didn’t seem to deter this angry bird. It’s funny, in these types of situations there is no time to think, you just act, I guess. I pressed the silent security alarm, paged overhead for staff and security, and within seconds we had backup. Eventually the police came because the family wasn’t deescalating with our resources.
This wasn’t the first time this has happened and probably won’t be the last time. Unfortunately, on a daily basis, staff in the ER are verbally and physically abused by patients and family members alike. A few months ago, Texas passed a bill that treats assaults against emergency personnel as a third degree felony, it used to be a misdemeanor. A third degree felony is punishable by a fine from $0 up to $10,000 and penitentiary time of 2 to 10 years. BRAVO!!! From what I understand, in California, you get a little slap on the wrist compared to a third degree felony (fine up to 1,000 and penitentiary time not exceeding 6 months.) Please correct me if this information is wrong, this is what I found in the California penal code: 241 c.
I love my job, but not when I have to deal with knuckleheads. People need to understand that we are always trying our best. The next time you go to an ER, if there is a line or it looks busy, please note that the staff in the back aren’t playing darts and eating bonbons. They are taking care of sick people, you know: people that can’t breathe, people having a heart attack…..maybe even a stroke, etc. No ER likes a lobby full of sick patients, we want you in a bed asap where we can take care of you. I heard of a true story from a coworker: there was a man that interrupted a resuscitation of a patient in order to ask when someone would see their family member that was a patient (this patient was stable: breathing and perfusing.) Who does that?
True statements I’ve heard from working in the ER:
“When is the doctor coming? I’ve been in the room for 5 minutes!!!”
“I have to work in an hour, can we zip through this whole process in that amount of time?”
“I can’t breathe.” (speaking full and complete sentences with no distress noted whatsoever)
“That person that just got taken back looked like they didn’t have insurance, why were they brought back before me?”
Anyway, I can go on……and on………and on. Please think of me the next time you have to wait at your local ER and try not to be the angry bird that harasses the pregnant ladies
Questions for you: How has your experience been at ER’s? Have you ever encountered people being rude because they had to wait or have you been that person? Any experiences from other nurses or anyone else working in hospitality/customer service?
Quite a few exciting things have gone on in the past couple of weeks. Sorry to leave everyone hanging…..will finish updating later this week on all things car and mortgage.
Being the large, pregnant lady that I currently am has led to a barrage of neverending books, products, clothing and all other things “baby.” I haven’t actually delved into any of these things yet; in fact, I’ve only read one book in the 6 months of my current state of baby-carrying-hood. This book has totally rocked my world. “Bringing up Bebe” was written by Pamela Druckerman, an American who moved to France with her husband.
Druckerman talks about the differences between French parenting and American parenting. Throughout her time in Paris she notices that French toddlers politely sit through 4 course meals at restaurants without making a scene or throwing their food; they EAT the food that’s served in these 4 course meals (no pizza or chicken fingers;) they say hello and goodbye to friends and family (or bonjour and au revoir;) they speak to their babies like they are adults from the moment they are born; and they get their children to sleep through the night an an average of TWO MONTHS!!!! I say, sign me up for this program. I want a polite little “Diego” that will eat anything and sleep through the night right away! My sister-in-law recommended this book to us and we both loved it! Every mother and pregnant lady that I have recommended this book to has devoured it and thoroughly enjoyed it!
Reading this book was rather convicting also because I am guilty of what Druckerman refers to as “narrated play.” Apparently it’s something that we Americans are quite good at. If you go to your local park, “narrated play” sounds a little something like this:
Mom or dad: “You’re going up the stairs. Now you are running across the jungle gym. You’re going down the slide. WHEEEEEEEEEEEEEE. Aren’t you having so much fun Connor?”
French: (cricket, cricket) French parents let their children play on the playground while they watch from the benches and socialize with the other mothers and fathers. Their school of thought is that their child KNOWS they are going down the slide, and if they don’t, they let them figure it out and find their own joy instead of constantly getting and needing verbal reassurance. Something interesting to think about.
Check out Bringing up Bebe
Questions for you: Anyone read this book? Any thoughts from mothers and fathers out there? Would this be applicable to how you raise your children?
This post was not sponsored. These are my own thoughts and opinions.
I cannot believe it’s Halloween already! Time needs to slow down!!!!!
Some jerky turkey hit me and ran a few weeks ago. I was driving the subie, going north on a green light when they ran a red light traveling west-bound, t-boned me, and kept going. Who does that? My passenger side curtain and seat airbags deployed, I spun out, and parked on the side of the road. Absolutely NO damage was done to me or the baby; I had no pain whatsoever upon impact and the days after. I called 911 to get police out so they could file a police report of what happened. The 911 dispatcher asked if I needed emergency medical services and I said no: call me crazy or call me an ER nurse. Diego was kicking me on scene to let me know he was ok, and I had no pain whatsoever….thank the Lord!!!!!
Witnesses were unable to get a license plate on the alleged “black SUV” because everything happened too fast. Luckily, we have car insurance that covers these types of incidences. Unfortunately, we just found out on Monday that they will be totaling our Subaru Forester, after about a month of driving a rental and being in the dark about the prognosis of the subie. This means: we have a few days to purchase another vehicle, and that our mortgage payoff may have to be slightly postponed. There is urgency to purchase a vehicle quickly because the car insurance covers our car rental up until Friday, and both my husband and I have to work Saturday.
There is a small chance that we can both purchase our vehicle and payoff the mortgage on Friday depending on whether or not we get the check from our insurance for our totaled Subie. Bummer. I was going a little nutty on Monday checking out cars on Autotrader when my husband stumbled upon an ad for a used, privately sold, well-maintained, low-mileage Jetta TDI Sportswagen that is less than a mile away from us. We were 99% sold on this car after we took it for a test-drive, this thing gets up to 45 miles per gallon! Way better than the 24mpg I was getting with the Subie. Praying that everything will fall into place by this weekend and that we will have lots of resolution for the car and the mortgage. Will keep you posted
Thanks for stopping by!
Questions for you: Do you or anyone you know drive a Jetta TDI Sportswagen? If so, how do you/they like it? Any other cars that you would recommend that have great MPG and that have ample backseat and trunk space?
It has been so much fun seeing a bunch of our friends getting married in the past couple of months! Luckily, I have been getting away with wearing the same dress to quite a few of them…….4 weddings to be exact! I think it’s perfectly acceptable to recycle the same dress to weddings, especially if they are with entirely groups of people. The only ones that really know are my husband and you guys: my frugal friends. I would say that I got my money’s worth out of my purple peplum dress that I bought from Marshall’s last year My cost per wear is $4, I’m stoked!! I have to officially retire the dress now. It doesn’t fit me anymore since Diego is growing, I’m ok with that
Weddings are so fun! They are the perfect celebration and date night all in one. My friend Jennifer’s wedding was held at a venue so close to our house that we walked there! The wedding seemed to have a Spanish/romantic theme to it, and it was a blast! We danced until about 1130pm (I don’t know about you, but that’s super late for us old-timers.) These two are going to make the cutest little kids, she was a beautiful bride:
That’s water on the rocks for me
Memoirs of a peplum dress…..I will miss you so
P.S. 7 DAYS UNTIL WE ARE TOTALLY DEBT FREE!!!!!!!!!!!!
Thanks for stopping by!