We have officially paid off 100,000 dollars in debt! We are down to our final 8,500 dollars. We have 2500 on a credit card and 6000 on a student loan. It seems unbelievable. Each year of the debt free journey has been totally different. Looking forward it seemed like the two and half years would drag out and feel super slow. Looking back, it seems like wow, this happened so fast! We have been in our apartment for a little over two years and it will be time to move on soon. This has been a life altering journey.
People ask us, what has this been like? What did you have to give up?
The last two and a half years have looked like:
A ton of overtime
Sticking to the weekly budget meetings
Sticking to the budget
Ninety five percent of our meals being cooked at home
My husband has worked so much overtime, like 25-35 hours of overtime most weeks. He has sacrificed so much of his time fueling this mission. I have been in charge of budgeting and finding deals for all of our food and household expenses (laundry soap, cleaning supplies, hygiene products, school supplies, school clothes, etc.) I am responsible for prepping our lunches for the week and cooking most of the dinners. This has been a life altering journey.
We have said NO to so many outings and dinners with friends. We have said NO to ALL weekend getaways and vacations. No brunching, no yolo-ing. You have to say NO. We have said NO to shopping outside of necessity shopping. I can’t even tell you what iphone is out right now. I had to buy some new work clothes in March of 2019. I out grew mine and could not put it off any longer. Believe me, I tried. We have been fortunate enough to have a few birthday dinners at nice restaurants. We have celebrated a few debt chopping milestones with a nice dinner as well. Each time we would get another 25,000 dollars paid off, we celebrated with a really good dinner. Those few, little treats have been extremely valuable to us.
We have had so much support from our family, friends and co-workers. I have had so many amazing women come alongside me during this process. It has truly been amazing. They have bought me lunch,cooked us a meal, brought me a coffee, had late afternoon espressos, given me gifts, put antifreeze in our camper, gave me books and a lot of words of wisdom. I am so grateful for all of these women. I have so many great women in my life and I am blessed. Let me tell you, I am really blessed. These women in my tribe are the absolute best. This has been a life altering journey.
Leaning into our faith has been the biggest transformation in this process. Three years ago, we really learned how to lean into God and his grace. I can’t even put a number on the amount of times God has shown up. There has been job loss, only to turn into a tremendous job gain. There have been unexpected checks that have shown up in our mail box. Checks have shown up that we had no clue were coming and for no reason. There have been unexpected bonuses. Our camper sold for our asking price. There have been people that have come to walk with us and push us up, not down. Our church is amazing. We were not affected by COVID. We came out ahead during COVID!!! God has been so faithful and so good. This has been a life altering journey.
Our debt snowball is almost complete. We are almost to step three. I can’t believe it is almost over!!! Finally, Freedom is in our very near future! Short term pain for long term gain! This truly has been a life altering journey!
No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.