Kim and I will have been married 13 years on June 10th of the this year. When we married, we brought in to the marriage probably a combined consumer debt of about $24,000. Now that’s not too terribly bad considering I personally know people who have had close to $100,000 in personal debt, much of which is credit card debt. We set out by combining our debt into one card with a lower interest payment and making the minimum payment with an occassional $50 added in there here and there. At that rate, we would have easily paid of our debt by 2030. We later bought a house, bought a new car and had even more debt. But, that is what everybody does right?
One day I was driving around in my car, and I heard a guy named Dave Ramsey on the radio. His show was about money, he had some funny stuff on his show, but this dude was all about something I had not considered too much: Being Debt Free. I was thinking “Is this guy for real? Can people actually do that?” Well, I was hooked and couldn’t stop listening. People would call in to the show, some that were in some huge debt. Then, some would call in and he would let them scream “I”M DEBT FREE!!!!” Wow, I began to say, “I want to be there someday.” Fast forward through many dumb decisions, and by the Grace of God (and I mean that) and paying off some serious debt, we don’t owe anything except for our home.
That’s why we drive older cars…they’re paid for. If they give up the ghost at some point, then we’ll take what we have in our car fund and emergency savings and buy what we can, even if it is a “garage sale car” until we can save up enough for a nicer one. We’re still working on saving up 3 to 6 months savings, but we’re getting there.
If you are in debt and are tired of it, I would highly recommend picking up Dave’s book Total Money Makeover and be sure to check out his website. There are a lot of great resources there, too.
“…. the borrower is servant to the lender.” Proverbs 22:7