Thursday, June 7, 2012

The Big Announcement.....

Have you ever seen someone drag out their news this long? 
Me either, how annoying.

I will explain why.

Ok are you ready for it?

You sure?

I am sure you are loving the anticipation, doesn't it release some sort of happy hormone when you anticipate? 


Oh, it's anxiety it releases?

I guess that makes sense.

I would really like to thank all the guesses. A few of my favorites:
-I'm getting a mini van. (I wish!)
-Traveling back in time in a Delorean. (If Only, unfortunately it's been done) 
-Moving to St. George. (I love me some sun all year)

But no, you are all wrong.

Without further ado.

Drum Roll Please.....

WE ARE DEBT FREE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

We paid off the last of our student loans on Friday. 
You guys, it has been a long time coming and I can't even begin to describe how amazing it feels. 

When Trevor and I got married we knew we both had some debt. 
(in fact when Trevor asked my Dad for permission to marry me, my dad asked him if he knew what he was getting into? And that I am a debt magnet. I feel that was a bit of an exaggeration, but I guess he has a flare for the dramatics.)

We didn't know how much exactly we were in until about a week after the honeymoon.
We sat down to look up exact numbers and let me tell you, if you want to blast the honeymoon phase away we couldn't have done it better had we had a nuclear bomb.


Excuse me, what??????

Yes that's right, nearly $50,000 in debt. Brand new married, recently graduated, jobless, and $50,000 in debt! 

I will break it down for you:
-over $9,000 in credit card (I just want to say that I have never had a credit card in my life...and I am the debt magnet?)
-$11,000 car payment
-just under $20,000 in student loans
-$10,000 in personal loans from family members.

What in the world were we going to do?

As one of our wedding gifts we had gotten The Total Money Makeover by Dave Ramsey. I was familiar with Dave's name, my parents took his Financial Peace University classes but I really didn't know what it was he taught.

We listened to the book together. And we became greatly encouraged that it wasn't the end of the world. We could handle this.

So we scrimped and saved $1,000 for an emergency fund. 
And onto our debt snowball we began.

It was really tough the first year. 
Mind you, it was 2009, good jobs were hard to come by.
I was working at Ross for $8.00 an hour and Trevor was working at Checker auto parts for $9.00 an hour. 
Believe me, our degree's weren't in retail.
But we luckily had the generosity of my parents for letting us live in their basement for a year.

Trevor sold his beloved truck, his baby, his firstborn. He was devastated, but now there was nothing holding us back.

We worked so hard. Every paycheck we earned we sat down together and discussed where every single dollar was going. 

It expanded our communication. Because we were talking about money it spilled over and we talked more and more about everything in our lives...even feelings.

It united our goals. We both desperately wanted the same thing.

It has taken the unknown out of money managing. We BOTH know exactly what our money is doing.

We had a baby, we took what we learned from the Dave Ramsey strategy and we were able to have her completely payed for before she was even born. 

I was laid off 6 weeks after she was born while on maternity leave. But because of the way we had been living our lives we could easily live on Trevor's income and still pay down debt. It was slower and things were tighter but we were comfortable in our lifestyle, we lived within our means.

Ultimately, it has strengthened our marriage. 

What blessings disguised in $50,000 of debt.

But it took 3 years of being completely focused. 
We had the goal of paying off the last of it by our anniversary (June 6th.) We payed off the last of it June 1st!

I personally feel that debt is the modern day bondage. It is voluntary slavery. We were slaves to our jobs just so we could hand over everything we earned. 

This new freedom is invigorating. 
We feel as though we could go anywhere and no collector or credit card or government agent would know or care. 

We don't owe anyone anything!

I think it's really going to sink in when we get the next paycheck and it stays in our savings. When we get to see our money grow.

However, now that I just told you how awesome we are and how hard we worked I really need to let you know the secret for our finances....

Paying tithing.

Really though. The first thing we did always was to pay our tithing. And I know that those months that were really tight or we found ourselves in some very sticky situations. The math just didn't add up, and yet somehow we always came out unscathed. 

Tithing is a sacrifice, no doubt about it. It's rough giving 10% of your income away. But man oh man, the miracles come rolling in when you do it. 
It is now the easiest thing we do, we have been blessed more than I think we even realize because of tithing.

Ok so I bet you are wondering why it has taken me four days to make this announcement, and why I decided to drag you through it? (It wasn't intentional.)

We were hoping to get on the Dave Ramsey radio show and do our "Debt Free Yell." But we found out there is a long process to it.

(If you don't listen to Dave Ramsey, you should! If you live in Utah his show is on from 7-10pm 105.7 FM. If you don't live in Utah just visit and you can listen on the internet.)

I will explain the process, so when you call Dave you will know.
First you call and leave a message. (we may have left several messages every day.)
Then they call you back if they think they might want to use you on the show. 
They then send you a pre-screening email. (this is where we are now).
If everything goes through and they like your question/story you could be on the show in 7-10 days.

I was hoping when I made the announcement that we were debt free I could tell you we were on the Dave Ramsey show and link it up so you could listen. But obviously, it takes some time.

So, we are crossing our fingers to be on the show, and when we are I will let you know so you can be so excited for us. :)

Thanks everyone for sticking with us. We are beyond ecstatic. Love all around!


  1. okay...that is way more awesome of an announcement than i expected! seriously, that's amazing!! good for you two! i wish we could say the same but it's good to know that it is possible :) thanks for sharing!

  2. Thank you for sharing this! It is an inspiration! I should use it in a church lesson or something!!!!

  3. Way to go!! You two are amazing! I am feeling inspired as well :). I am looking forward to hearing you on Dave Ramsey!

  4. You should blog some of your favorite tips. Like how did you pay for Bridgette before she was born? You could help a lot of people by sharing the high points of what you learned!

  5. What an accomplishment! That has to feel so good!

  6. Congratulations!! That is awesome! Good for you!! It took Wes and I several years to get out of debt as well, but other than our house--which has long since been paid off--we stayed debt free once we reached that point. It is such a good feeling!

    I loved everything you wrote. You certainly took a challenge and turned it into a blessing. What a great example you are!

  7. I am crying this very moment----for joy. You have learned many of the important lessons of life. You put off the natural man and became a true follower of Him who died upon the cross for us. He showed you the way to dicipleship. We sacrifice that we may know the sacrifice and suffering he endured for us. Most of my children and myself need to follow him, as you have done.What a great story of inspiration for everyone to reads or listens to your story..God bless your little family, as you have blessed us.. Dale and Denise

  8. YEAH! So proud of you guys! I am sending a copy of your email to my kids (of which some of them have done the DR program and some still working on it). They will rejoice with you!

    You have always been such a good communicator, and I love your posts!

  9. You guys sure are an inspiration! I am trying to get through school debt free, but it's so hard! Thanks for your inspiration! Dave Ramsey is awesome!!!!

  10. Oh, Happy Day! Congrats, guys! It's awesome to see you meet your goal! And it's also good to know about the process for Dave's show. I'm sure if you had had over 100,000 in debt, you would have been a shoo-in. ;-) Any takers? Just bump that debt up a little more!

  11. Congratulations!!! That is the best feeling ever. You guys are my hero's. Whoo Hoo!

  12. This is..... HUGE! Happy for you!

  13. Congrats! What an awesome example you are to others. That is an amazing feat, especially when everyone is "keeping up the Jones" You guys are being financially smart, and you will be so much better off...forever! Congrats again!

  14. Oh my gosh! I knew the mystery surprise before you revealed it and yet reading your story was even sweeter. We are honored to know your humility and steadfastness while attempting to reach this worthy goal. Warm and loving congrats to you! XOXOXO
    P.S. I agree with anonymous who asked you to share the high points of how you did it, and paid for the baby in advance etc.

  15. It really is important before you say I DO to talk with each other about money and your situation.

  16. k..I am definately glad for you guys BUT your story begs the question...DO YOU OWN A HOME?? It is not so hard to become debt free when you are living for free in someone's basement. Would your story transfer over if say, you were in the throws of paying for a $150,000.00 home (the average price of a home modest home today).