Friday, February 10, 2012


Yeah baby, it's all about FREEDOM!! Hard to believe it, but we are HERE!!!

September 2008:

March 2012:
Zero, ZIP, NONE!!!

Yes, it took us 42 months, but we are finally debt free! The inner nerd in me just noticed that is almost $1000/month going straight to debt. We didn't actually pay it off that way, but if you spread it out on average, that's pretty amazing. Wowza!! And on a more exciting note, it's like we both just got a mid-year raise at work...YES!

As I was online making a payment to my student loan account, I decided to poke around the website a bit and see what kind of interesting data I could find, because let's face it, I'm kind of a nerd when it comes to these things.

I didn't even really pay much attention as I was signing the papers for my student loans, and as I look at my account statement, I am absolutely horrified that I signed on the dotted line for a $16,522.15 chunk of change to be paid back over 178 months (yes, 14yrs!). My last scheduled payment was June 24, 2022, over TEN YEARS from today. What the world was I thinking? Clearly, I wasn't thinking!

We could have probably done this sooner if we had been more aggressive, but we had a lot of "life" catch us up in the past 3.5yrs that we have been working towards this. The 2 big things that have slowed us down:

1. Vehicles
We had a vehicle totaled, the replacement vehicle required 2 transmissions to be replaced, and now we're driving our 3rd minivan. We've paid cash for all vehicles and all vehicle repairs associated with them. That number I dare not add up because it will just depress me.

2. Braces
Nate went in for a routine dental cleaning and we got the "wow, you need to see an orthodontist STAT" conversation. We were super creative in covering the $5500. Some of the money came from my pre-tax flex spending account and we also did a cash payment plan with our orthodontist (interest free for a year). I am so thankful for Dr. Hannapel's office that worked so well with us and made this possible without pushing any of the funky credit plans on us.

Phillipians 4:19 (NIV)
And my God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus.

God has provided for ALL of our needs, in abundance, since we started on this journey in September 2008. We made the very intentional decision to go from being $20 in the plate to giving a full tithe to our church. We made the choice to reduce our income by 10% and put our faith in God that he would provide for everything we needed, which is significantly different than what we want. We have been able to not only support our church, but we've also been able to support other charities and organizations we've felt led to. We've been able to take a couple of small family vacations by being very frugal and planning ahead. Our kids all have plenty of clothes, we are all very well fed, we have a very stable housing situation, and we've both been blessed with full-time employment.

Now that we've met this amazing milestone, we are ready to do so much more! Time to beef up the emergency fund so that when we have that next car disaster, we're ready to buy a reliable vehicle, focusing on contributing to our retirement funds, maybe taking a vacation, maybe going on a missions trip....

I'm ready to start having some fun!