Getting out of debt has been a huge focus for us over the past few years. With debt freedom in our sights this year, I thought it might be helpful to share some of our journey. I hope it will encourage you, wherever you are financially! Read part one here.
Mike and I faithfully worked our way through the home study version of FPU during the fall of 2011. If you’ve taken the course, you know that some of Ramsey’s ideas challenge conventional wisdom. Since money is such a personal topic, grappling with these ideas can be emotional and challenging.
We took his advice to try writing a budget on paper for the first few months. As in, literal paper and pencil. I had used Mint.com to budget since before we got married, but it served as a record of our overspending more than anything. The simplicity of writing numbers in pencil on a piece of binder paper helped, mostly because it was different from what I’d been doing.
Paying last month’s credit card balance with this month’s money had become confusing. I didn’t like feeling behind, and we had carried a balance for the first time ever that fall when moving expenses caught up with us.
Dave Ramsey is famous for crusading against credit card companies, even calling credit cards “the financial cigarette” of this generation.
We decided to cancel our card (which we used for everything, for the perks), opting for simplicity instead. It took us until the end of the year to transfer everything and catch up our payments.