Our story to financial freedom

Ramen Pizza. It’s a thing. Well, it was when we had barely any money for a fancy date out!

Our journey to financial freedom has been humbling, difficult, but worth so much more than I ever imagined. I am 24, and living a debt free life. What a freaking dream!

When Derek and I got married we began attending Financial Peace University (FPU).

We wanted to learn to manage our money, and most importantly we wanted to get out of debt. We weren’t in a lot of debt to be honest. We didn’t have six figures in debt, we had about 15 thousand in debt.

But whether you owe someone $200,000 or $15,000, you are still a slave to them. Your money really isn’t yours. If you miss a payment, there’s more interest you have to pay, and probably a fee on top of all that. If you miss enough payments on a car, the bank can repo that nice Buick you bought last year (totally saw this working at the bank!).

Being in debt steals your peace!

At the time of FPU I was working minimum wage, and Derek was barely making above that. It was just the two of us newlyweds. We didn’t budget, our car had recently been stolen and we still needed to make payments on it, student loans on a degrees we never completed, we had obliviously signed up for expensive insurance we couldn’t afford, Christmas was around the corner, and we needed help. Bad!

This was in November 2015. $15,000 in debt with hardly any means to pay.

We are now in November 2018. Today, we are debt free, well on our way to reaching our 6 month emergency fund by the spring of 2019.

So what happened?

We started to budget. We began to take out cash for our expenses. We ate ramen. We said no to Christmas. We negotiated with bill collectors. The stolen car ended up being covered by the insurance. We declined credit card offers, and only bought things we could pay cash for.

It was a slow journey. I have certainly seen much faster progress from other people online with a lot more debt,  but this is our story - and that’s okay. We aren’t racing anyone. We are only trying to be better versions of ourselves as we enter each new day.

So what can you do to reach the financial peace my family now has?

  1. Get connected to an FPU Class

    Go to Dave Ramsey’s website, and search for classes that may be offered in your community. Usually a church will host one, but wherever it may be, get connected to one! The community, and accountability is valuable as you begin this journey. If there aren’t any classes in your community, buy the kit and follow along at home. We can make excuses, or we can take action. The choice is in our hands.

  2. Apply what you learn

    You can listen to Dave Ramsey’s teachings day and night, but if you don’t actually do what you’re learning you will remain in the same spot. Do the budget. Cut up the credit card. Say no to the coffee. Stick to the budget! Do the debt snowball. Get that emergency fund. Don’t just listen, but apply what you’re learning.

  3. Make it a lifestyle

Just because we are debt free doesn’t mean we’re off buying new cars to show off. We live a modest life, we still budget, we still eat ramen occasionally when we didn’t stick to the budget (oopsie!). We still decline credit card offers, we still remain debt free, and don’t waste each paycheck like money in the wind. We live like no one else, so that later we can live like no one else.

So there it is guys, it’s not rocket science nor some fancy formula. We no longer need to do Ramen pizza for dates (though it was fun!). It’s just following the principles that have been proved true to millions in America. We got connected to an FPU class, we applied what we learned, and we have made it a lifestyle.

Let me know what your journey has been like, or if you need help feel free to ask!