Before Ryan and I got married, finances were something we spent a lot of time talking about. Having both been divorced, we each racked up credit card debt replacing all the things we ‘lost in the war’. We also both bought foreclosed homes, which were great bargains, but needed work. More debt. Neither of us liked debt and since we were both familiar with Dave Ramsey, we looked into starting the Total Money Makeover.
As soon as we said our vows, we began Total Money Makeover. Getting used to each other’s budgeting and spending styles was hard at first. Ryan was a bachelor with a great job making great money and was used to financial flexibility. I was a single mom living on a shoe string budget and used to accounting for every penny.
Giving up control was REALLY hard for me. Much harder than tightening the purse strings was for him. But every month, we sat down and did a budget together. And every month we got a little more on the same page.
We’re a little over a year into Total Money Makeover and so far, we have paid off thousands in credit card debt, paid off my car, and owe less than $3,000 on Ryan’s car. The most exciting part is that we are on track to be completely debt free, including the house in 5 1/2 years.
Our changes have also changed Sophie’s life. We started her on Financial Peace Jr. when she was 4 and let me tell you, she’s tighter with her money than we are. She earns a commission by doing jobs around the house, and when she wants a toy, she saves up and buys it with her own money. Sophie has learned that her money goes a lot further when she buys second-hand toys, so she is becoming quite the little yard sale queen. The best part is the pride she feels when she buys something with her own money. (She bought Jessie herself.)
I love the direction our finances and our lives are headed in and I love that my babies will be 10 and 5 when we are completely out of debt. Who cares if it seems crazy to some of our friends. It’s like Dave always says, “you’ve got to live like no one else so that some day, you can live like no one else!”