A few months ago I posted this...
"Just about an hour ago, John dropped another bomb on me. He told me was was thinking we should sell his car and go to a single car. It would allow us to pay off a tremendous amount of our debt, and free up monthly funds to spend our money as God would have us spend our money. Again, I nearly fell on the floor when I read his email. I said there is probably no way we can make that work logistically. He said why.......? Umm... Uh.... well, I really didn't have an answer for him. So, tonight we are going to really sit down and talk about having a single car would look like for us and see if we can't make it work!"
Since then a lot has changed! We have sold John's car and now have our one car! It has been awesome! I just wanted to share a little about our financial journey since I am so open about another type of journey we have been going through.
Growing up my mom was a spender. To the max! Us girls were of the school of thought that after we went shopping we would only bring in half of the bags until dad left and then we would bring the the others! To balance out my mom, my dad was a super saver! He would hoard money like no one's business! However, when the car broke down or we had an emergency dad always had the cash stored away to cover us. (literally stored away... like in the ceiling, etc... :) )
When we were going through marriage counseling we talked about how we would spend money together. The bad part if that John and I are very much alike in our spending habits. We are emotional spenders. Happy = new clothes and dinner out. Sad = new clothes and dinner out! ha! It's funny how the two extremes are so much alike!
Any way. Long story, short after our first two years of marriage (Summer of 2009) we had accumulated a large amount of debt. How much?
- $11,000 car loan
- $12,000 John Student loan
- $4,000 Amy Student loan (even though I had a full ride... that's another story!)
- $8,000 credit card debt (Mainly from taxes owed to IRS, ski trip, and a few little here and there items. This number actually went up due to medical bills.)
- Plus we had just bought a new house
- I had also calculated that we had only given 2% of our income to the church that year
Since then (about 20 months) I am happy to report that we have a paid for car and no credit card debt! Also in the past 18 months we have given 10-15% of our income faithfully to the church! Now we are hacking away at the student loans.
To accomplish these things we have only made a few lifestyle changes. We canceled our satellite ($100 per month), sold John's car to pay off the remaining balance of my car ($300 per month loan, and $50 per month saved on insurance), and starting tracking our spending using the Home Budget App. This app allows both John and I to enter our spending and it syncs between our two phones. All of these have allowed us more financial freedom to pay for more important things. For example all of our doctor's fees have been paid for in advance for this pregnancy and we are now saving towards the hospital bill so we can pay cash when we have the baby. Also we are saving towards paying cash for a new "family" car after the first of the year.
Being faithful with our money has eliminated a tremendous amount of stress in my life. I know that I am spending how God wants me to spend! I am no Dave Ramsey, but I think we are off to a pretty good start!