Tuesday, September 09, 2008

"Debt is normal! Be weird!"

I'm not sure if there's anyone reading here who doesn't know that Troy and I are in the process of following Dave Ramsey's method for getting out of debt. But we are.

Anyway, I've been keeping a journal of sorts on my fairly pathetic MySpace page about our debt reduction journey and I decided that I'm really tired of trying to keep three different threads going - one homeschooling journal, one personal journal, and one debt reduction journal. So I'm going to start writing about it here.

I know.

I can hear you jumping up and down now, foaming at the mouth with excitement.
Stop it.
You're making me dizzy.

Really, though, it's more than just me rambling about how much money we're paying toward debt and spouting off Dave-ism's - "Live like no one else so later you can live like no one else!". This past year has been, for me, an amazing testamint to placing ourselves in God's hands and telling Him that we are tired of being ourselves and we want to be His. And we have seen Him work in amazing ways in truely amazing timing.

But I feel like, to really share the journey with you, I need to go back and share from the beginning. So, over the next few days I'm going to copy and paste the journal entries from my MySpace page so that you can see a little of where we came from because, frankly, it was a really, really dark pit and if one person who reads here or lurks here is helped by reading about our debt struggles, then that makes me happy.

So here's the first entry, dated September 16, 2007, and titled "A Journey":

"We are getting ready to start what will hopefully be a life-changing journey.
Here's some background:I pay the bills in our house. This is, undoubtedly, the least favorite part of my job as a SAHM. Believe it or not, I hate paying bills more than I hate cleaning the bathroom...and I REALLY hate cleaning the bathroom! I mean, that job is GROSS! But, I found that I dreaded sitting down with my checkbook and my stack of bills. My stomach would clench as I logged into online banking, hoping beyond hope that everything had cleared without bouncing. I often pictured our finances as a house of cards, waiting for the slightest breath to cause it to tumble. We had no savings whatsoever...no rainy day fund, no college fund for The Kids, no retirement, nada. (Wait, I take that back...I recently signed up for Keep the Change at our bank which, through a process that I'm not going to go into detail here (heck, you're probably already bored enough as it is! Thanks for sticking with me even this far!), puts little bits of change into our savings account. The main reason I signed up for this feature was so that it would cover overdrafts.) Anyway, God forbid Troy should lose his job.
A couple of days after I had decided to talk to Troy about what we could do to start digging our way out, he came to me and said, "I've been listening to this guy named Dave Ramsey on the radio! He's a financial guy and every Friday people are calling his radio show and shouting 'I'm debt free!' and his advice is great!" So we poked around online at his website and, long story short (I know, I know, you're saying, "Longer than THIS?!?" I'm winding down, I promise.) we signed up for his Financial Peace University, a 13-week class designed to teach us how to manage money, get out of debt and plan for the future.
We are on our way to becoming debt free.
I want to keep track of our progress here so that I can look back and see how far we've come. I will warn you, I'm probably going to post information about how much debt we owe, how much we're saving, how we're doing with paying the debt off, and this will probably be sprinkled with lots of information that we're learning in our class and in our books and have a heavy dose of boring stuff about what we're doing to cut corners and stuff like that. I'm sure I'll be quoting lots of tidbits from Dave's books, because, frankly, he is a genuis. (I know, at this point you're wondering if I've joined some sort of cult. I've not, I promise!)But, my hope is that by writing all of that stuff down here, maybe someone else will be inspired. Or, heck, I might even make your day! You being able to look at our situation and think to yourself, "Whew! We're doing so much better financially than they are!" So, I hope you'll stick with me here, even if it's just to laugh at me!
As difficult as this is going to be, I'm so excited to be on this road. I simply can't wait until that Friday, some day in the future, when we'll be able to call Dave's radio show and shout, "WE'RE DEBT FREE!!!"
And, hey, thanks for reading this far."


OH, and by the way, I just re-organized the catagories that I blog under, adding one titled "Debt is Normal, Be Weird!" where all of my debt-related posts will go. All of the posts I made about work will be there, too, so if you want to read about some really weird people and get a laugh or two, check them out. I realize that this might be so snore-inducing to so many people, but I'm so passionate about it and I want to share it!
Side note: when I was making the new catagory, I wrote "Debt is Normal, Be Weird" in the post options and then ended up with two new catagories: "Debt is Normal" and "Be Weird"...because it creates a new catagory for each thing separated by a comma! I got a laugh out of that!

1 comment:

Terri said...

I'm glad you'll be posting this. Our spending is out of control and I would love to find a way to keep it in check, maybe even allow me to stay home and be the at home Mom that I want to be.