Our debt free journey started in 2007. Tim had listended to Dave Ramsey on the radio for years. We had never really used a lot of credit, but we still had sizable debts - school loan, car, 2nd mortgate, legal fees. We thought all these things were normal. With one child already competing with my home business for my attention, Tim was urging me to consider putting it all on hold for a few years to focu on our kid(s). I didn't think it was possible, so I started to put the numbes on paper. I was sure it would prove that it couldn't be done, and he was sure it would prove it was feasible.
In September of 2007 we started tracking every penny we spent. Tim talked more and more about Dave Ramsey and shared a couple of his books with me. I still wasn't convinced, but figured it couldn't hurt to budget a little. After a few months we had all the kinks worked out and started moving full steam ahead. We bought the Financial Peace University Audio System and spent 1 Sunday a week listening to the series.
We did what we could to keep our expenses to a minimun - shopped insurance, cut grocery costs, drastically reduced our eating out, etc.. During this time we also found out that we were expecting our second child, which made us even more determined to get rid of this debt. I continued to work and throw my income (along with any other money we could find) at our debt with gazelle intensity. Tim's new job was getting better with each passing month and we quickly started to see progress.
The snowball really started working for us and with each little debt we crossed off we got more and more determined to be debt free. In June 2009 we paid our last payment to my school loan. Before FPU, our goal was to have it paid off before the kids were in college. After FPU, we were determined to have it paid before the kids started school. We were thrilled to hit that goal almost 2 years before we anticipated. In 21 months we had paid off almost $85,000 in debt.
Our success was actually much greater than that, though. We also managed to cash flow close to $10,000 in home repairs, car repairs, necessities, etc. Our communication as a couple has improved more than we could ever imagine. By September we had our 3-6 month emergency fund in place and were in a position we never imagined. By November I had stopped taking new clients and officially started my new full-time job as a stay-at-home mom in January 2010. During this time, we've also discovered a renewed faith and have become active members of our church.
We are now actively working on Baby Steps #4, #5, and #6 - investing, saving for our kid's college fund, and paying extra on our house. We're both anxious to get to Baby Step #7 as we feeled overwhelmingly called to give back to others. With this plan, we know we will be there soon.