Thursday, January 14, 2010
You might have to click on the pic to see it, but this is a screen shot of the mortgage balance on our home as of January 14th, 2010.... ZERO DOLLARS!! (Just imagine me doing a little happy dance now). Hooray for us!
We started in the summer of 2007, after Andrew was born, with a plan to be debt free as soon as possible. We worked through our ~22k in consumer debt pretty quickly and then targeted our mortgage with every extra cent we had. Since both Curtis and I work full time, we were able to put nearly one full salary toward our debts. We have been eating a lot of beans and rice, cut out extras in our budget like cable and gym memberships and instead enjoyed 'free' activties like the library, thermostat is set to 66 in the winter and 82 in the summer, we dried clothes on the clothesline instead of using the dryer, driving well-used cars, brown-bagging every lunch...
Why did we do this? I (Sandra) have always been thrifty and a good saver, my primary motivation is security--to save for a 'rainy-day'. Curtis' motivation was mostly me at first, then he started to see our future as his biggest motivator. The embarrassing thing to mention is that we --like so many other people in the country now-- had one of those awful Adjustable Rate Mortgages... we got a great rate on our mortgage to start, but we had a huge increase looming over us. It made me mad to see just how little of our house payment was actually going toward paying for the house and knowing that soon it would cost us even more.
The catalyst was when my sister Lindsey loaned us a copy of the Dave Ramsey book "TOTAL MONEY MAKEOVER" just after Andrew was born. It details the steps of getting out of debt and changing attitudes about money--Ramsey calls it "God's and grandma's way of dealing with money". We were also both strongly influenced by God's word on money:
Proverbs 22:7 (English Standard Version)
The rich rules over the poor, and the borrower is the slave of the lender.
Can't be much more clear than that!
So what now? Well, first order of business is a party to celebrate our achievement (and a few other family miles stones such as our 6th wedding anniversary, Andrew's 3rd birthday, my 30th birthday--yikes). We are renting a bounce house, buying lots of fun party food, and inviting everyone we know to come celebrate with us.
We have been so very blessed in our lives to make all of this possible.