Saturday, March 22, 2014

Financial Peace

One of the hardest decisions of Adam and my's marriage was the decision for me to go back to school. I say this because it meant that we would be joining the thousands of individuals with student loans.

I was extremely lucky in that my dad paid for my first degree. But after graduating and realizing that the degree I had, in the field of construction wasn't what I wanted to do long term considering I wanted to be able to stay home with our future kids as much as possible, I had to choose another career path. It also didn't help that the construction industry was starting to fail and Adam and I made the decision for both of us to not be in the same field. 

Unfortunately I made the decision to go to Marian University, which is private school. I came out of my second degree in less that 3 years (2.5) but with more debt than I really care to comprehend. My student loan payments were more than our mortgage. And we have a fairly decent sized house! It was sickening to think about how much money we were paying each and every month on loans. 

In July we decided to refinance our house. We've lived here for 5 years, and we make an extra payment a year so we had a decent amount of money in our equity. So we paid down a significant amount (but hardly a dent) and saved ourselves $400 a month...but that didn't even cut my payments in half (I told you it was outrageous!)

Having two kids Adam and I are tired of living for Sallie Mae. We want to take vacations, fix up our house and be able to enjoy life instead of living paycheck to paycheck. I know we aren't the only ones who feel this way and I have heard over and over about Dave Ramsey, so we decided to start his class.  We started Dave Ramsey's Financial Peace University in January. 

As I'm writing this we are about half way through and Adam and I have learned so much and I feel like we are both finally on the same page. We cut up our credit cards and are both sticking to our budget. We are communicating in a much more positive way and I truly have nothing but good things to say about everything. I love this class and what it is doing for us! 

Through this class I feel like I've gained some more control. For so long, most of our marriage to be exact, I've felt like we were buckled down by bills. When I went back to school my salary was cut in 1/4. So Adam had to get a second job to help make up the difference. Then once I graduated we had a baby and new expenses came, then my student loans kicked in and every month we were struggling to make ends meet. But I finally feel like we have a plan. One that we both agree on. One that we both contributed to. Adam and I very much have a marriage built on team work. We are a team in every sense of the word. I don't do things behind his back and vice versa. Every expense big or small is discussed, even down to a meal out. 

Some may think this is extreme, even Mr. Ramsey himself but it works for us. We do this because we aren't really using the cash system that he has set out, instead we talk about the little expenses and then decide where we are at together. So it works. Neither of us feel deprived and I feel like we've made some good headway with our bills. 

Our goal it to be credit card debt free by June. We are getting close so I'm hopeful that we can get there. Either way I'm happy with the choice of starting FPU and I hope that we can get to our goals sooner rather than later so that I can go part time and enjoy my babies while they are young and still love me. 

I have to say that my favorite part of FPU is the debt snowball. We put in all our debt and if we stick to it and don't make extra payments or anything then we will be debt free...HOUSE 2023! Now that's something to celebrate!! Go us!

No comments:

Post a Comment