"...the borrower is slave to the lender." Proverbs 22:7
In October of 2007, I had a defining moment. I'm sure my sweet friend, Sarah C, did not know the impact of her book suggestion at the time - or maybe she did! I remember quite clearly the Wednesday we were at a playgroup together. As we stood next to the snack table, watching our little ones run around and be silly, I mentioned to her that I was frustrated with our budget. I shared with her how things felt so tight all the time since we lived on one income, a teacher's salary of all things!
And being the walking library that she is (always having just the right book for me at any given moment) she asked, "Would you like to borrow a book that Chris and I have found to be helpful?"
Well, I'm not exactly a reader...I sure love to start books that intrigue me, but I always end up putting them down and forgetting to finish them. But I told her, "Sure, I'd love some help!" and the next time she saw me, she handed over The Total Money Makeover by Dave Ramsey. It looked interesting, and I told Josh that maybe this is something we should read together. Boy, I never imagined how gung-ho he would be about it! :o) We read that book from cover to cover together. I would read a few chapters, then he would read a few chapters, then we would discuss it. This is something we had never, ever done before!
In the spring of 2008, when we received our tax refund, we paid off our van. This left us with ZERO car payments (the Malibu was already paid off), and that's an awesome feeling! We were committed to NEVER using our credit card again, even though we had a balance on it (small compared to the other people we read about, maybe not so small to us - $1800) we knew that we would put more towards the card, and put our next tax refund towards it to pay it off.
I'm happy to report that I'm writing a check today to pay off DISCOVER!
We also have money left to put a small chunk towards paying off the down of our house - something Dave Ramsey frowns upon (borrowing the down) but we didn't know him back when we bought our home! :o)
Did I mention that we took the class Financial Peace University? This is an amazing 12-week study that goes into more detail than the book. We completed it last fall (Sept - Nov 08), and it was nice having a couple that we knew there with us (Chris and Sarah). I'm hoping to have them over for dinner sometime soon for the ceremonial cutting of the credit card!
This has been an interesting journey for us. Though I wish I would have known Dave Ramsey about 8 years ago (when we first got married) I'm glad we didn't wait any longer to revise our thinking. I just love listening to Dave on the radio, and I can quote him word-for-word:
"This is the Dave Ramsey Show...where debt is dumb, cash is king, and the paid off home mortgage has taken the place of the BMW as the status symbol of choice!"
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