Showing posts with label Debt. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Debt. Show all posts

Thursday, April 30, 2015


If you've read this blog at all, then you know that Joel and I have been working to pay off our debt. When we started almost 4 years ago we had close to $100,000 in debt!!! Well just this past month we paid off EVERYTHING!

We paid off my car in February. Can I just tell you she drives so much better now that she doesn't have a payment. Yes, she's small for our growing family, but both car seats fit! And I brought both of my babies home from the hospital in it.

Then just this month we paid off the last student loan!

loan payoff

When I made that final payment it was so surreal. This has been a goal for so long and anytime we talked about finances, the question was always how can we pay this off faster. I think it will really set in next month when we don't have to make the payments.

Now on to Baby Step 3... a fully funded emergency fund.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Who finances furniture?!?!

So good news! Joel and I paid off another debt! Sadly, this was not part of our original debt snowball, this was debt we added on later. We paid off our wonderful living room furniture, who finances furniture??? Well, we did! And let me tell you, our couches suddenly got a whole lot more comfortable!

crazy line to success

Our road to success is not finished, but it has looked a lot like that second picture. Seriously, we are in the home stretch!
Less than $10K left to go!! So close I can taste it! In case you need a reminder we started with over $100K in debt! So we have paid off 90%!!!

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Smart Money Smart Kids

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If you have read this blog anytime at all, then you know that Joel and I are huge fans of Dave Ramsey. We have been following his baby steps and are almost debt free! You can read more about our whole debt journey here.

This past Thursday, Dave and his daughter Rachel were in town for a book signing. They co-wrote a new book called "Smart Money Smart Kids". It is all about "raising the next generation to win with money". You can check it out here.

barnes and noble book signing

I talked Joel into coming with me and we ended up being 12 in line! We got our book signed and our FPU certificate signed. But that's not even the best part.

smart money smart kids

At each of the book signing they have been giving away $2,000 toward a college scholarship fund! Joel and I both entered to win and wouldn't you know... JOEL WON!!

barnes and noble book signing

We got to be 'interviewed' by Dave right there in Barnes and Noble and then we had our picture taken with Dave and Rachel!

scholarship winner

Y'all we have not started a college fund for Landry yet. We are still on baby step 2. So winning this is HUGE HUGE! When we got to the car and the realization of what just happened hit me I cried. This is as if we had put away $1000 per year of Landry's life. This is not the gift of $2000, it is so much more. We are going to invest this over the next 16 years and by the time Landry heads to college this money will have grown to much much more.

Dave and Rachel,
I doubt you read my little blog, but if you do "Thank you from the bottom of our hearts"!
Joel, Carissa, and Landry

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Only One More To Go

We paid off another student loan!!! It's been along time coming, so I can't even begin to tell you how excited I am! This means we have 1 more student loan to pay off and then our car is next! We finally hit our stride again and our goal is to be completely debt free (except for the house) in 12 months!

debt snowball pay off

I also have a little confession to make. We have been working Dave Ramsey's Baby Steps, but we have made some mistakes along the way. There have been times when we were going strong paying things off and sticking to our budget, but there have been other times that we bought things we didn't need (right then) and gotten into more debt. I say that because this month we also paid off a mattress that we financed. It wasn't part of our original debt and we got 36 month no interest when we bought it. However, this month we also paid it off 2 years early.

I want this confession to encourage you if you are on the journey to be debt free. It is a journey, and sometimes you slip back into your old habits and get a little off track. But that doesn't mean you stop!

Monday, October 28, 2013

Debt Update

So I realize it has been awhile since I updated the blog about our debt. Honestly, life has gotten in the way a little bit. We had to put Landry in school, so we are not able to put as much towards debt as we had been. We also stopped budgeting for a while... I know. We just lost our intensity because it was taking us so long to do.

Well today I am happy to report that we are under $20,000!!!!!! I know what some of you are thinking... "Boy you guys have a long way to go", but if you only knew where we started. By the end of the year all of the student loans will be gone and our focus will be on the car!

Hopefully, this time next year we will take a trip to Dave's studio to do our debt free scream!

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

New and Improved

What do you think of the NEW AND IMPROVED blog? (I am still working on the about us, our debt story, and our projects sections, so check back soon)

It's time to tell you all about a new adventure I have started...

I have been reading a blog called Dollars and Roses. This couple started out on the adventure to make money while blogging a few years ago. They have been very open and honest about their journey and how they have made it successful. They have lots and I mean lots of helpful tips.

Each month Dollars and Roses post their monthly financial statement. This got me thinking... I have a blog, I love writing about my family, could I make money at this too?

If you've read here long, then you know that my dream job would be staying home with our sweet boy! However, right now we are trying to pay off debt... We have made a lot of progress you can read about it here, here, here and here (and a few other locations). We have been going through the Dave Ramsey baby steps. If you listen to Dave at all, you hear him talk all the time about picking up an extra job to help you pay the debt quicker. Well folks, this is my extra job!

Dave Ramsey FPU

You see, I started this blog almost 4 years ago with the intention of keeping our family updated on our life. I soon learned about this awesome online community where people help people and pray for each other and love on each other. I love being a part of this community! And reading all of your stories! Joel sometimes has to ask me if the person I am talking about is a real friend or a blog friend because I talk about you all like we know each other and really we've never met.

Since this is such a great community, I thought I would ask for your help.

  • Would you please become an official google follower? I would be forever grateful! (I will be doing a giveaway soon for all my google followers)
  • Will you go to my facebook page and like it. You can click the button at the top or here.
  • If you like a post tell your friends or pin it on Pinterest (I now have a button at the bottom of each post.)
  • If you have a blog and are interested in doing a button swap I would love to hear from you! Leave me a comment and we can work out the details!
  • Last, if you have any advice or helpful hints, I would love to hear them!
Thanks for all of your support! I will keep you all updated on my progress and post about new things that I learn!

Thursday, March 21, 2013

2 in one month

If you remember when we started this journey we had over $95K in debt to pay off. You can read about it here. Well, as of this week we are down to just over $23K!! Ya'll we have paid off more than $70,000 in debt!!!!!!!! 

And today we paid off another student loan!! (Thanks to a tax refund and having a baby.)

10 down, 3 to go!

We are so close I can taste it, but we have our 3 biggest to go...

Monday, March 18, 2013

Another one down

Last week Joel and I paid off another student loan!!!

debt snowball

9 down, 4 to go!!

Saturday, December 29, 2012

One loan at a time

Well, Joel and I have been slowly but surely paying off all of our debt. The process is taking us longer than we would have liked... but we aren't giving up. We have been following the Dave Ramsey plan and paying off loans from smallest to largest. With one exception... Joel's car. Back in March we traded down (you can read about it here). Because it was an auto loan for such a small amount the interest rate was pretty high, so we decided to pay it off next.

Well, WE DID!! We paid off Joel's car this month. Seriously, it feels to good!

I should be back in February with another loan paid off.

We also had another huge blessing! I mean HUGE!! An anonymous donor paid off all of Joel's loans! I cried when I found out, it is just more blessing than I can handle. So now the debt snowball is really rolling!

Our goal is to be debt free (except for the house) at the end of the year. We are putting Landry is a MDO program 3 days a week though, so it might take a little bit longer. So be looking for lots of debt payoff post in 2013!

8 down, 5 to go!

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Another one bites the dust!

We paid off another student loan!!And we paid it off two months early I might add! Sometimes I feel like we are never going to get out of debt, but then we pay off a loan and the snowball keeps moving. For those of you out there trying to pay off debt, stick with it! You can do it!

In another note, I cannot tell you how faithful God is! It continues to amaze me. Every time I feel like our budget is being squeezed and I think we are never going to be able to do this, He ALWAYS comes through. I feel like our money is growing and multiplying. I want so badly to be able to explain (since I am a financial analyst and all), but I swear I can't. Our God is so good!

3 down, 10 to go

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Our New Ride

I call him Dave. As in this is our Dave Ramsey car. We traded down and in the process eliminated about $8,000 in debt. He's not new, luxurious, or expensive, but he gets the job done and will help us pay off our debt faster!

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

It's Addicting!

We paid off another student loan!! Buying a house slowed us down a little, but we are back on track!! We are hoping to get at least one more paid off before the baby comes! It feels SOOOOO good to pay it off! It makes me want to keep going!!

2 down, 11 to go

Friday, July 22, 2011

SUYL - Marriage Advice

Today on Kelly's Korner is Show Us Your Life and the topic is Marriage Advice. I thought I'd take a minute to share my best piece of advice. It is something Joel and I are working on currently.

My advice is to live DEBT FREE!! The number one reason for divorce is finances. It is hard for two people to agree on how to spend money especially when you have been raised two different ways.

  • Early on in your marriage decide on a budget and stick to it! 
  • Don't allow just one person to be in charge, you both need to add your input.
  • Don't hide purchases from each other
Keep each other accountable, but always be understanding and forgiving.

I highly recommend all engaged and newly couples to take Financial Peace University. It has helped us TONS, and I can't wait to be debt free! December 2015 (maybe even sooner)!! Good Luck, please let me know if you have any questions, I would be more than happy to answer them.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Gettin' Creative

So today I decide to bring out my creative side. A friend of mine made one of these and posted it on their fridge. I loved it so much I made one for us! I can't wait to fill it all in!

I can't wait to complete color in the whole thing and be DEBT FREE!!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Prayer Request

As some of you have read in my past blog post Joel and I are trying to pay off our debt! Well, we have had a little set back. Joel was let go from Aldi on Friday. However, Joel has two job interviews today. One of them is with a commercial real estate company and the other is with the number one recruiter in Dallas. Hopefully, something will come up soon.

So far I haven't really been stressed out. I have actually had a peace about me. That can only be explain by God. I know His hand is in the middle of this trial and He is going to pull us through.

On a side note I am totally LOVING my time with Joel in the evenings! Tonight our puppy was soooooooooo adorable! He was cuddling on the couch with me all night. At one point he was just laying there with his nose in the couch. We couldn't figure it out... oh well it cute!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

How selfish am I?

Ok, how selfish am I? I really really want to buy a house. But the truth of the matter is that until Joel gets a better job and we pay off more debt we can't afford one. So I have been depressed all day long, isn't that ridiculous!?!? I even got mad at Joel, as if he is not doing everything in his power to remedy the situation. I have been sad about it all day long. Finally, I remembered a song that I heard on the radio a few months ago.  I literally listened to it on repeat about 10 times.

Joel and I are just a couple knelt before the cross praying for God's will for our lives. I know that God has a plan for our lives, and while I might not understand it right now He is going to reward our patience with a house better than I could have imagined. I can't wait to see what He has in store.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Celebrating the small victories

Today is payday... you know what that means??? We paid off one of my student loans! It was the smallest loan I had, but we have been trying to pay it off since I graduated! I can tell the debt snowball is finally rolling!

1 down... 12 to go

(the next one should be paid off in about 6 months)

Monday, April 11, 2011

Dave Ramsey's Baby Steps

In recent post I have talked about  Financial Peace University offer by Dave Ramsey. I thought I would share a little bit about it with those of you who might not be familiar. It feels good to have a plan and if you don't have one then this is a good one to follow.

Baby Step 1: Get an emergency fund of $1,000

Baby Step 2: Debt Snowball/Pay off all debt

Baby Step 3: 3-6 month of living expenses saved

Baby Step 4: Invest 15% of income into savings Roth IRA and other pre-tax retirement accounts

Baby Step 5: College fund for your kids

Baby Step 6: Pay off your house early

Baby Step 7: Build wealth and give

If you want more info on any of these steps you can find it here.

I am really excited about step 7. One of my spiritual gifts is giving, but right now with the amount of debt we have it is very difficult to give. I think that is what I am most looking forward to when we get out of debt!

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Well, we finally did it

As most of you read here, Joel and I have alot of debt. Well this week we canceled our cable and decided to get Netflix.

I know this doesn't sound like that big of deal, but for us it is. So far it hasn't been that bad though.We are trying to weed out luxuries and only live off of the essentials. Cable was one of those luxuries we gave up. 

Our cable/internet bill was $105.00 a month. We dropped cable and changed internet carriers. So now we pay $60 for internet plus $10 for Netflix. Bring our new total down to $70 a month (with taxes and fees). A total saving of $35 a month!! You might be thinking 'that's not very much', but it will allow us to pay off our debt a month sooner.

We are still looking for other ways to save money. We would love to hear your ideas!

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Confessions Part 2


I know most people have it, but Joel and I have ALOT of it... I am so ashamed to admit this, but I am going to... between the two of us we currently have $90,000 in debt!! I know when I saw it written out and all added up I almost had a heart attack. The good news is when we started out that number was closer to $95,000 or $100,000.

Now before you judge, let me explain a little bit about this debt. First, none of it credit card debt! Secondly, we paid for our own private school tuition. We were 18 when we started, so student loans were the only way we could pay for it. Plus our thoughts at the time were when we graduate we can pay it off pretty quickly cause we will both have good jobs. Last, we bought two new cars at the same time. Looking back now that was not a good idea, but we have learned our lesson.

When we graduated from college neither Joel nor I had a job. So we moved to Florida and lived with his family while we looked. After 6 months of not finding anything we moved to Dallas and lived with my family. I found a job in retail after one week, but it was not enough for us to live on our own or pay our debts back. So sadly we went into deferment. Basically, that means we didn't have to make payments, but they would still charge us interest. After being here for 4 month Joel and I both got jobs at Aldi, they had great benefit and decent pay. In July, I got my full time job (which I love). Only then were we able to move out of my parents house and begin paying down debt.

We have take Financial Peace University through Dave Ramsey (highly recommend if you haven't taken it!). We have our envelopes and we diligently try every day to be careful with our money. However, with the mountain of debt we have built up it seem never ending. At this point I just want to speed up the process. So if you have any ideas of how I can earn extra money I would love them! I really want to know, a little extra money can knock months off our time line.

As of right now our debt free date is DECEMBER 2015 I can't wait! I wanted to write this for my own selfish reasons... one I need ideas on how to earn extra money and two I need encouragement. I need to hear from people who have done this before. I know we can do this, but it's just going to be awhile and I would like to have kids and a house before the end of 2015.

Can't wait to hear your ideas... please feel free to share any insights you have. I will keep you updated as we pay things off.