Wait!! Before you get too impressed, I do have to preface that we still have a mortgage. But according to Dave, you can call yourself debt free if you have no other outstanding payments on loans or credit cards. And as of 3/9/09, when we made our last payment on the remaining balance of Rob’s loan for his Master’s Degree, we were able to share the exciting news of being in this category!!
The quest for this debt-free title started three and a half years ago when we went through Dave Ramsey’s “Financial Peace University”, a 13 week course at our church back in San Antonio. We had been hearing nothing but praise about this class and wanted to see what all the fuss was about. If the class truly could live up to its name, we knew that having a “financial peace” would be of huge benefit to our single-income family of five. And even though we never considered our spending outrageous (we didn’t have credit card payments) and the debt from vehicle and student loans we did have was fairly acceptable (at least in our perspective), we believed there was probably something we could do better in our money management. And if this class could really and truly help create a working budget (we had already tried and failed many times in the past with other approaches), it was worth a shot to try it out.
You can safely conclude what our opinions are now on this class and on Dave Ramsey!! It wasn’t an easy process to get where we are today; a TON of changes in our spending was needed to be able to pay off more than $55,000 in 3 1/2 years. But we did it and believe others can too!!! I know we raised a few eyebrows and possible concerns with our spending habits as friends and families saw the “luxuries” we were doing without. However, I always felt like our life was comfortable (we weren’t suffering) as we just slowly adapted to living under a lower (much much lower) standard of living than we were used to. And now, even though our “debt” is gone, we will still continue to apply all that we learned in ways to spend money more wisely. Dave does stress that one main result of being out of debt is the ability to give more freely. And, even better, he encourages that you teach that principle to your children at as early an age as possible. What a different financial state we would be in now if we had this perspective on spending/saving/giving early on in life. Insert a big regretful sigh!!! But better late than never, right?
Anyways, as you can see, we are super excited about what this class enabled us to do!!! And we think that everyone (in debt or not) can profit greatly from Dave Ramsey’s material. I know that I do have apologizes to offer out there to friends and family; for probably speaking too much, too often on all this money/debt/budget stuff. I just knew how much we were benefitting (I mean tremendously benefitting!!) from the money management tools we had received, and it was almost impossible to keep that news to myself.
So thank you Dave Ramsey! We will raise our glasses high, in your honor, when we celebrate this feat at Fogo de Chão on Saturday : )