budgeting, homeschooling, marriage

Starting Our Journey To Debt Freedom

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I’ve been debating this post for a couple of weeks now, because it is embarrassing to talk about. This is real, raw, and vulnerable. My anxiety is through the roof as I type this. We are 65,000 in debt. I want to cry and vomit over that number. This number causes us unending stress and numerous arguments about how to handle it. Hopefully the people who read this do not think lesser of us.

We are in our 30s, living with my parents because of this debt and so that I can have the ability to stay home with our youngest instead of having my check go to daycare. We are also able to take the oldest (who lives with his mother) for school breaks. The majority of this debt is student loans and a couple of small credit cards. These loans are for a degree that I am not using. Luckily, Aaron is using his degree. My loan is the largest and I have a tremendous amount of guilt over it. Ugh.

I’ve known about Dave Ramsey for years and have a whole Pinterest board basically dedicated to budgeting/getting out of debt. It’s always been half-assed though. We would try for a month or so, then fall right back into our old habits. This time is different though. We have been following a budget since December, have cancelled several things, and cut back on others. One of our biggest expenses seems to be gas. We own our car (thank god no payment there) thanks to inheriting it, but we live in the boonies and Aaron travels every other weekend to pick up and return NotSoLittleDude. We can’t afford to live closer either, because the COL here is ridiculous and we can’t move because of NotSoLittleDude. Figured I would get those out of the way before I get comments suggesting it.

Basically, we need a bigger shovel as Dave says. Which we are trying to do. This blog is part of that, I’m also a fitness coach with Beachbody and I have recently started studying to become a certified personal trainer. It’s a lot. We homeschool the Wildchild, so we are trying to really utilize our library for several of the books our curriculum uses. We also use Hoopla for audiobooks, renting E-Books we might need.

We have a goal to be out of debt by December of 2020. It is a crazy goal, but the good ones always are. We have started to read Total Money Makeover again as well as utilize our Financial Peace University resources. I follow several Dave Ramsey and budgeting groups on FB to keep myself motivated, use the Every Dollar app, on and on. We are going to get this done!

Some tips that you might find useful on your own journey:

  • After writing your budget go through your bank records for the last month or so, I can guarantee that there are a few random things that you forgot! Write your budget/bill due dates down EVERYWHERE! We use the Every Dollar app, Google Calendar (which is also connected to my phone calendar), a monthly planner, and I have a bullet journal copy of our basic budget outline. This way we can always refer to it.
  • Create a vision board for the life you want to have, without the weight of debt crushing you. Heck, make a few of them. I have one on my phone, and then another larger bulletin board near our computer. Just something else for motivation.
  • Follow the Baby Steps! If you need a refresher on what that is, click the hyperlink.
  • Shop your pantry and freezer before going grocery shopping.

While we are just starting our journey in a more consistent and intense manner, we have learned a lot over the years that will allow us to pull it all together and knock this out. Stay tuned to see where we end up!

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