Our Journey Out of Debt [part 1]

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Last week I did an online version of a “Dave Ramsey” debt free scream. If you have no idea what I’m talking about go visit this site and listen to one of the archived podcasts (you’ll hear more debt free screams if the show is from a Friday).

Over the next few weeks I’d like to share our story with you. I hope our journey will inspire and entertain whether you feel burdened by your own debt and need hope or are currently enjoying the freedom of living debt free.

Let’s start at the beginning from my perspective. I’ll let Adam share his background next week.

1988– Born into a stable family in one of the wealthiest countries in the world. Great opportunity awaits.
1995– 7 years old. Extra chores turn into nickels, dimes, and quarters. Biggest expense: Icees from EZ Mart.
1999– Land my first job. Role: mother’s helper making $4/hr. 11 years old. Biggest expense: Music on CDs.
2000– 12 years old and can babysit by myself. Learn quickly the power of referrals. Biggest expense: More CDs.
2004– 16 years old and driving. Clients LOVE this. More work than I can accept. Biggest expense: eating out.
2006- To college…out of state. No more babysitting. Get a tutoring gig with my sister. Biggest expense: food {that’s right-I spent more on food than rent}
2007- Take out my first student loan. Take on two more jobs. Working 30-40 hours a week on top of school. Biggest expense: food
2008- Drop down to 2 jobs. Take on more debt. Where is all my money going? Biggest expenses: Rent, food, and baby clothes for the new nephew.
2010- Married. College graduate. 30K in student loans. Secure full time job. Biggest expense: Student Loans or rent depending on cash flow that month.
2011-2012- Continue living like college students and send all extra money to creditors. Biggest expense: Student loans.
2013- February 1. Last student loan payment making us officially debt free.

Some of the things I did right in my younger years:
1.) No car loan.
2.) Worked…a lot. Did well and went above expectations.
3.) Built relationships that became a natural network of mentors.

What I wish I had done:
1.) Saved for college. I started working when I was 11 and had almost no savings when I started my first semester of college.
2.) Learned to budget as a teenager. I knew not to spend more money than I made, but I didn’t track my spending or have long term savings.
3.) Made financial goals. I know now that having something to work toward keeps me motivated and on track.

Check back next Monday for part 2 of this series. 

If you have any questions about our journey out of debt or specific requests for details you’d like me to include in this series feel free to leave a comment or email me at my.homemaking.experiment [at] gmail [dot] com. 


7 Comments on “Our Journey Out of Debt [part 1]”

  1. Miranda says:

    This is such a great and inspiring story. We also are working hard and hope to be at this place in a year. Way to go, YOU GUYS did it!

  2. The Poppa says:

    Love you kiddo! Glad you guys made it! And still driving the Breeze turned into an Escort! Cars have been an adventure!

    • Christy says:

      Cars have definitely been an adventure, but it has been so worth it to not have a car payment! We’re hoping next year to replace the Escort so pray for us that it lasts that long! Right now we could actually sell it for the same amount you and I bought it for three years ago, but we have some other financial goals we want to hit before we replace the car. Love you! Thanks for everything you do.

  3. Interesting break-down. I’m looking forward to all installments 🙂

  4. […] *If you missed part one of this series you can read it here.  […]

  5. […] you read the first two parts in this series (here and here) then you now have a sense for where Adam and I came from. We were both raised by parents […]

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