A Debt Story – Let’s rewind to 2013. I was a single man, learning to live on my own in a modest apartment in beautiful Northern California. I had a fast, sporty car. I had a decent job. My credit score was a 714. I really had it all figured out, didn’t I? Nope! Truth was, I had no control over my money at all! I had zero idea how fast my credit card was rising or falling each month. Personally, I didn’t want to look at it because I was scared to, and always surprised when I saw the credit card balance.
Shortly thereafter I had two amazing things happen to me. First, I met a beautiful woman who I now call my Fiancé. And second, someone I knew led me to my Dave Ramsey journey. I was at work, and this person (who happens to be a client of mine) told me I needed to check out Dave Ramsey. So, out of curiosity, I pulled up YouTube and started watching a few videos. “This guy is talking to me.” I instantly thought to myself. I left work and drove straight home. I gave my girlfriend a quick kiss, fired up the home computer, opened up the internet browser, and back to YouTube I went. I didn’t move from the computer chair for hours. I watched video after video. I looked for reading material and became fully engulfed in what would soon be my new life style. I called my girlfriend over to the computer and told her that I wanted to make some serious changes with our spending habits. I wanted to start budgeting and seeing how much we could save so that we could both tackle our debt. She was instantly on board!
We created a planned spending spreadsheet on excel that night. We both were shocked to find extra money. We probably saw, at a quick and rough budget, at least $1,200 we “should” be able to find to tackle our debts. We had a combined total of $32,000 in consumer debt: 2 car loans, and about $10,000 in credit cards. At this point we had separate finances. We talked about the budget a lot, but her money was her money, and my money was my money. Remember, we’re boyfriend and girlfriend at this time. 11 months later, Alma, my Fiancé, runs past the finish line of becoming debt FREE!!!! I’m just a little behind her but I was anxious to become debt free. She and I teamed up on my last remaining debt, and 13 months from the very beginning I ran past that checkered flag to Freedom of all debts.
We’ve since combined our finances as an engaged couple, which may be against some financial planner’s advice, including Dave Ramsey, but we feel completely comfortable with this choice. After becoming debt free we quickly saved up and bought a beautiful 2012 Honda Civic with only 15,000 miles on it – with CASH! We continue to enjoy the free things in life. We’re just as disciplined as we were during the journey of tackling our debts. Our goals in life continue to grow and expand as the options for us have opened up so much more than we could ever have imagined possible. We live in a small studio apartment. We keep things simple. I’d like to consider our lifestyle somewhat minimalist. These choices allow us to live on 49% of our combined income, leaving the other 51% to save for the future. If you’re considering becoming a “Frugal Fox”, and haven’t fully committed yourself yet, I urge you to not wait any longer. Don’t make excuses! DO IT! It’ll change your lives forever for the better.
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