The rich rule over the poor, and the borrower is slave of the lender.
My DH and I are trying to get out of debt. It’s been a humbling journey so far. And a lot harder than I wanted to believe. My Mom introduced us to Dave Ramsey and the idea of being debt free after we purchased our first new car (go figure) in Spring 2008. Up until then I always viewed debt as a tool, as I think most of society does. I was also working in commercial banking, loan payments, amortization schedules, libor vs prime rates were in my everyday vocabulary. And after all you need a credit score to buy a car, or a house, all those big-ticket items that most young couples want for themselves. It’s pretty hard to get a credit score without that
wonderful plastic card. DH and I never had a lot of credit card debt, not by many standards anyways. I don’t remember how much exactly, but we had less than 10k for sure. Our real debt problem is the remainder of that car note, and the dreaded student loans. Anyone else waiting for the student loan bubble to pop? With the students loans and our car note we still have about 30,000 dollars in debt. (YIKES!)
What we’ve paid off since 2008:
1. HOM Furniture (around 2500)
2. Orchard Bank CC (600 or so)
3. WaMu/Chase (2000)
4. BofA (2000)
5. My Student Loan (3000)
What we have left:
1. Car Note (7000)
2. DH Student Loan 1
3. DH Student Loan 2
4. DH Student Loan 3
Dave Ramsey has this saying. “Live like no one else so you can live like no one else.” It’s an odd saying. It confused me at first. But it’s really quite simple. Live like no one else (get out of debt, stay out of debt) so you can live like no one else (live without debt, GIVE without debt). How many times do you pass the offering bowl without putting anything in it because you cannot afford another penny let a lone the common 10% to give to God? How often do you throw away the requests for donations to the Lupus Foundation, or the Children’s Hospital? How often do you turn away the Girl Scout down the street…. wait… ok maybe we don’t turn down the girl scout. What I’m saying is, I do, ALL THE TIME. Because we have this mountain of debt looming over our shoulders. We’re living pay check to pay check and barely even managing that. We are SLAVES to the creditor. I don’t want to be that way. I want to be able to tithe appropriately. I want to be able to give to the Zoo foundation. I want to be able to send my kids to college if that’s the path they choose. DH and I still need to practice discipline. Sometimes it’s harder than other times. But even though I was laid off in 2009, I can proudly say that we have not used a credit card (obviously, they’re paid off) since Summer of 08. And it feels great. Oh and by the way, even though we lost our townhouse, we did not have to pay ridiculous amounts of security deposits because our credit didn’t end up being that bad since we paid those credit cards off.
So how am I helping the cause as a stay at home Mom and homemaker? For one, if DH needs to stay late or picks up a second job I don’t complain. It gets hard being the sole provider for my babes for weeks at a time but I know DH is working hard. I babysit, this covers the car payment and a little more. I plan a menu and grocery shop to a list. This keeps costs down and eating out to a minimum. I also try my best not to overspend in other areas, and I also ask before making a less than needed purchase. Most of all I’m DH’s cheerleader. I help him to see the light of the tunnel and give him timelines.