*the biggest happy dance*
Friend, we did it. WE ARE DEBT FREEEE!!! AHH!! As of July 13, 2019 we have paid every last penny (and then some, thanks interest) of our $65,865.64 of debt in 9.5 months. (285 days to be exact, but who’s counting? LOL!)
Before we get into how this feels now, the numbers and details, let us rewind back to 9.5 months ago and let you peek into the window of our lives.
*cue dramatic 90’s sitcom dream-bubble rewind transition*
Coming home from work, we’d be tired. We’d felt like we worked the whole day, week, month, for so little to show for it. We felt confused about where our money was going. It looked, on paper, like we were doing well. But in reality–it was moments filled with frustration, anxiety, fear, and hopelessness.
“Shouldn’t we have more money than this?”
“How do we STILL have so much left in student loans?”
“Where is our money going?”
“Why can’t we afford to buy this or do that?”
“I can’t believe we still need our credit cards, I thought we had enough?”
We remember one moment in particular.
We were having an argument about money and Taylor asked Jake to open up his statements so we could track our spending. In that moment he felt himself freeze. His stomach fell out his butt, his heart squeezed, and his throat closed up. The stories of “not being a good, providing husband” were running through his mind.
Taylor was trying to control her frustration at facing the same money situation over and over. Thinking to herself, “How is this happening over and over? How has this not changed yet? Aren’t we doing things right?? What am I doing wrong?” Her palms were sweaty, her pulse could be felt in her head, and she was biting her tongue–hard–to not say something she’d regret in anger. Something HAD to change.
Not so fun, right?
Can you picture yourself there, too?
*cue dramatic 90’s sitcom dream bubble transition to the present*
We have never been happier. We’re happy with each other first–and our finances second.
Listen, we never expected this financial journey to change our marriage, ourselves, the way it did. But HOLY MOSES are we glad it did.
Jake is the most confident he’s ever been, Taylor feels the safest financially she’s ever felt. But, most importantly, our trust, our bond, our affection, our own personal growth has improved SO MUCH. Thank you to the money gods for that. We had a pretty great marriage before, we truly were teammates. But now? It’s a whole other level of awesome.
Okay — you get it. THIS IS AMAZING. WE ARE SO HAPPY TO BE DEBT FREE! We can’t even fully describe the weight we didn’t know we were holding being lifted off our shoulders. It’s unlike anything we’ve felt before.
BUT–Being debt free itself was pretty anti-climactic.
The money came in on Saturday, July 13th and we transferred it out to the final dollars of debt. That’s it. There wasn’t any confetti or air horns. There was no banner that fell from our office in our apartment. No audience roar. Just us sitting at the laptop reading out the $0.00 balance on our spreadsheet and feeling our hearts race.
We called Taylor’s mom (who’s been there every step of the journey) and shared an “air – five” over facetime. We went to a movie (with a gift card of course!) and celebrated by ordering pizza that night. (If you know us well, this isn’t a surprise!) Finally, we called Taylor’s dad that night to celebrate and share another “air – five” on facetime because it was his birthday, too! That made it extra special.
It was our own quiet, life-altering, moment. It’s not like we expected a parade, but it was definitely weird. This huge milestone we waited so long for ended with this quiet walk past it, together.
It feels like we can finally take the deep breath we’ve been waiting for.
It’s like peace and safety and joy all in one, y’know?
Anywho–we’ll get to more celebrating and thanking YOU soon but let’s get to the numbers, shall we?
If you’ve been following along our journey, you’ll know that we initially expected to be debt free by December 2020. That date kept creeping closer and closer. We thought we’d be debt free by the end of the month, but we did our halfway financial meeting and realized we had enough to be debt free in that moment!
This month went incredibly well. Jake got a promotion! He’s starting at the end of the month and can’t wait. With our side hustles we pulled in an extra $900 at that point and it helped us push forward. We also get paid in the middle of the month and those paychecks came a couple of days early which tipped us over into debt free status!
Here’s the nitty gritty numbers:
Our Debt Starting Balance: $65,865.64
Our Debt Starting Balance From June: $4,525.54
Our Debt Payment For July: $4,525.54
Our Debt Ending Balance From July: $0.00
That means we’ve completely paid off our debt of $65,865.64.
(The number we actually paid, including interest was $69,341.32. SAY WHAT? Almost $70K — thanks interest.)
Okay, fo’real — We’re not crying, you’re crying.
That means we’ve paid off both our credit cards, ALL of Taylor’s student loans, ALL of Jake’s student loans, our personal loan AND ALL of our home loan!! We. Are. Debt. Free. (Besides our mortgage)
That’s it. This stage of our journey is done! If you’ve been following how this all started, you’ll know we’ve officially graduated from Dave Ramsey’s baby step 2 (becoming debt free except the mortgage) to baby step 3 (building out a full emergency fund)!
And the best part…We still have paychecks coming in this month. And they are ALL OURS. We don’t have to pay back a single person. We get to keep everything we make. WHAT EVEN IS THAT??
Remember the rewind back to 9.5 months ago when we wondered where all our money went? Let us tell you:
It was going to debt and mindless spending/giving.
How much was going to that you ask?
About $6K a month. *Excuse us while we hold back our nausea*
We are embarrassed to admit that. And we’re also SO HAPPY because now that money is freed up. That money is a blessing we get to use intentionally for our goals. And yes, that includes giving too. HOW FREAKIN’ COOL IS THAT??
As we’re sure you’ve gathered by now — this feels pretty stinkin’ badass. And we’ve got a couple more things to share with you:
- If this journey has inspired your own, if you’ve joined us in a webinar or two, if you’ve started your own financial journey too — KEEP GOING. You’ve totally got this. We know how hard this journey is and we are walking right beside you. If we can help ya in any way, we’ve got your back.
- THANK YOU. Friend, hear us: We are so grateful for you. Your support, your comments, messages, and cheering has meant so much to us every month when we sit down to do our budget. Every moment we were thinking if this even mattered. Every time we thought that “everyone has debt, why are we doing this?”. We are so grateful for you! YOU have made such a difference in this journey for us and we appreciate you so hard.
Okie Dokie, there you have it. Our FINAL debt free update concluding our journey as of JULY 13, 2019. (AHHH!! Mark that in history or something!)
So you might be asking, “What now? What’s next?”
Oooooh boy, do we have plans.
Let us share them with ya.
Here’s what’s next for us:
- We are hoping to do our “Debt Free Scream” on Dave Ramsey’s Radio show in October and continuing on to a road trip through a few states in the US as a vacation! (Paying cash of course!)
- We are building up our emergency fund to a full 6 months of our expenses. (About $25K, this will take us about 4-5 months)
- We are saving for Christmas already (hello — it comes at the same time every year and we wanna spoil our fam!)
- We need a second vehicle and have plans to save for that by the end of August for Jake’s new job. (Yes, it’s just gonna be a beater and yes, we are paying cash for it!)
- We also have a trip to Mexico that Taylor won on Instagram (yeah, that actually happens! LOL!) coming up in January 2020 that we are saving for flights and a few extra nights in Cabo. (Again, cash only!)
- Then, finally, paying off our house early and start investing in our retirement and real estate! WOO! (Baby steps 4, 5, 6!)
It’s like our lives can finally kick into gear again. We paused so many things this 9.5 months to change our lives forever. We sacrificed and said “no” more times than we can count. We had to shift our mindsets and deepest beliefs to make this happen. And it was WORTH EVERY SECOND. We are never going back. We’re never going into debt again. And it feels SO GOOD.
THANK YOU FOR BEING A PART OF THIS MAGIC WITH US!!!! We are sending you the biggest hugs! Will you celebrate with us in the comments? We’ll be there waiting for you!
If you want to see how we started and how we’re doing this, head here. We have our Debt Free Webinar Replay available here for short while if you’d like us to walk you through the details of our plan and our Budget Webinar Replay here if you wanna dive even further.
And as always, if you have any questions, just give us a holler! We’re more than happy to share what we’re doing so you can achieve this goal, too.
Can we ask a favour? Can you share with us what you’d like to see from us next? (Workshops, webinars, more financial updates or how to’s?) We want to keep the happy money train rolling!
See you in the comments!