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Story 181 for We Did It
"Dave Ramsey Was Here"
Original story submitted by DebM
on April 4, 2011
Gender: female
on April 4, 2011
"Dave Ramsey Was Here"
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Me and my dog on our first ever completely-paid-for-in-cash vacation this past summer to the Outer Banks in NC
Me and my dog on our first ever completely-paid-for-in-cash vacation this past summer to the Outer Banks in NC
I first "discovered" Dave in January 2008 after getting fed up with the cycle I was in of maxing out my credit cards and then paying them off with my bonus check every year. It was insanely stressful to live that way and I was ready to change.
I started with FPU at home and doing everything myself. It started with cutting up my credit cards and putting together a budget. It was really hard at first, but the longer I kept myself on track, the easier it became. Over the past 3 years I’ve now paid off $68,000 in debt in addition to fixing/renovating parts of my current home (all paid for with cash, of course!)
Just a few months ago I received the news that my company will be relocating me to San Francisco this June. As you can imagine, this is an exciting but also stressful time…especially as a single female. There are so many moving parts to coordinate, things to do, and logistics to arrange that I sometimes wonder how it will all come together.
But in the midst of all the craziness, not a day has gone by that I haven’t stopped and thanked God for dropping Dave in my path 3 years ago. I can’t even imagine how much more difficult this would be if I wasn’t nearly debt free (and will be completely when my house sells), living on less than I make, with enough of an emergency fund to cover a down payment on a new home…with some to spare!
When I first started this journey, I remember telling a friend of mine that I felt as though God was getting me prepped for the next chapter of my life, although I had no idea what that might be. Now it would seem that next chapter may be about to begin...and I love that I’ll be entering into it with financial peace!
Thanks Dave!
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Story 182 for We Did It
Dave Ramsey - Debt Sherpa
Original story submitted by Randy
on March 21, 2011
Gender: male
on March 21, 2011
Dave Ramsey - Debt Sherpa
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Randy & Brenda summit the mountain of debt
Randy & Brenda summit the mountain of debt
March 21, 2011, following 65 months of intense snowball rolling, my wife Brenda and I wrote our final check to the credit union, thrust our flag atop the mountain and claimed our spot beside those who have achieved the Total Money Make Over status of DEBT FREE!
We started our journey with $253,621 of debt including two car loans, a mortgage and a home equity line of credit for a home remodeling project. Beginning on October 1, 2005, we had calculated a payoff schedule of 84 months. We started by selling some things and scraped a little extra money out of our paychecks and the auto loans were paid off in the first 10 months, allowing an extra $725/mo toward the home equity line of credit. Brenda was blessed with a bonus of stock options from her employer and 30 months into our debt snowball, much to our amazement we had knocked off all but the mortgage. It was simply astonishing to us, how; after starting on a budget and sticking with the payment schedule, extra money just seemed to constantly show up in our lives.
We made mistakes along the journey (Dave said we would) and at times seemed to be pushing our debt snowball uphill. In the end, we landed exactly where Dave predicted: a couple of thousand dollars in cash for emergencies, driving 5 and 8 year old cars (that we own), zero credit card debt, zero student loans, zero mortgage payments, money saved for our two son’s college education and money and investments in the bank. I believe it was John Maxwell who said the three phases in life are: learn, earn and return. We are now ready for the “return” phase.
Dave Ramsey, you are the breath before the phrase Debt Free, without which we would still be in debt to our creditors. Instead, we are forever indebted to you and your thoughtful insight and program. May God Bless you in the way you have blessed our family.
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Story 183 for We Did It
Gratitude!
Original story submitted by Kimberly
on March 21, 2011
Gender: female
on March 21, 2011
Gratitude!
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A smile of gratitude!
A smile of gratitude!
My dad sent me Financial Peace University about ten years ago, during the summer of 2001, when I found myself single again after sadly divorcing a man, surprisingly, with an addiction/double life, and surviving as a first year teacher, simultaneously. I studied the FPU videos all summer and had a very large learning curve, since I did not even know how to fill out a check after leaving home in MI for college in CA. I lived pay check to pay check the first three years because of the divorce, finishing my MAT in 2004 and earning a new teacher income. Overall, I have moved 13 times in 15 years (six being re-locations), experienced three lay-offs in teaching with seven different teaching jobs in ten years, paid off my car ($18,000), and paid off my undergraduate and graduate degree loans ($45,000). Also, I have been tithing since 1996, when I first learned about it ($45,000). God has been faithful to provide for me with my cooperation, hard work, tough choices, and sacrifice. My teacher's salary has remained relatively the same this past decade, although I was still able to send in my last school loan payment this past Dec., 2010 and it feels amazing. Thank you, Dave, for being a financial leader, supporter, a brother in Christ to me and an example of someone I can trust, since my husband chose a different path, which left me to pick up the pieces of my life. I have grown through the pain and overcome in many areas with God's strength, recovery, and loving friends and family. God is a God of restoration and the only missing piece remaining is the gift of a loving and godly husband :) I praise God for what you do, Dave! You were born for such a time as this! I hope my life has impact for God's Kingdom too!
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Story 184 for We Did It
Finally get to write my "Dear Dave" Letter
Original story submitted by Elizabeth
on March 18, 2011
Gender: female
on March 18, 2011
Finally get to write my "Dear Dave" Letter
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Looking out on a bright future.
Looking out on a bright future.
Dear Dave-
I just want to thank you so much for your life changing book. My husband and I are both 32 and we have three kids ages 2, 5, and 7. While I am the first to admit we haven't been perfect, today we reached a very big goal for us. At 8:54 am today, our family became officially debt free except for our home. I was grinning from ear to ear today in the bank as I walked right past all of the loan offices to the teller's station. (Walking past those loan offices I couldn't help but whisper to myself "never again"). I was so giddy from paying off my student loan that I had to go right back into the bank after I left because I forgot to get cash out for gas! The teller thought it was really funny and had to laugh at me. My excitement was contagious.
My husband and I have been on this journey for at least three to four years. When we were first married we had student loan debt totaling somewhere around $45,000 combined. We eventually added on a truck and van loan bringing our debt to somewhere around $65,000. We thought we were being "smart" with our money by not buying anything we could not afford the monthly payments for. We were REALLY hard workers, just mis-guided ones. We just assumed everyone HAD to have loans to live. It wasn't until I stumbled across your book one day that I began to realize differently. You opened up this family's eyes to a new way of life. That was around the beginning of 2008. Thanks to you, three years later, here we sit without a single loan payment. It was REALLY hard sometimes. We still have pink stained carpets in our home, a 20 year old blue plaid couch we got from my parents, and dining room chairs with many of the slats broken out of the backs of them.(The hazards of being involved with college kids and having them over to your home). For our 10th anniversary, we treated ourselves to Applebees rather than the "standard" vacation everyone talks about. We joke that we splurged by getting dessert.
Looking back at all of these sacrifices, I realize just how glad I am that we made them. I will admit that there were times that looking at that ugly couch was depressing but I now realize more than ever that it's not about the couch, it's about who is sitting on it. Our family and friends. We have been so blessed by the Lord and He has given us the strength to push through up to the end. My husband and I have tried to be open and honest with our kids about our money and are beginning to teach the oldest two about the wonderful world of cash only. Thanks again Dave for all that you do. I hope you get to read this today. You changed our lives by lighting a fire in us. Now on to Babystep 3!!!
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Story 185 for We Did It
The Debt Monster is Dead Dave!
Original story submitted by Bob & Joanne
on March 8, 2011
Gender: male
on March 8, 2011
The Debt Monster is Dead Dave!
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Dateline: 3-4-11: Sad news today from the world of our personal finance, the debt monster that resided in our home finally blackened out and is now gone. Pictured above, it had been battling an ongoing struggle with maintaining its girth, sometimes being a manageable nuisance, sometimes being an overbearing beast intent on our servitude. About 18 months ago, we grew sad of its wearying influences and the messy blood red ink stains it left about, and knew that we needed to take the situation into our own hands. We finally decided that the only way we could help it move on was to feed it a steady diet of gazelle intensity and end its miserable existence. At times it was tough going…..I think it knew what we were doing…… and despite the typical curve balls it was still able to muster up, in the end, it knew, that its time, had come.
We’re not really sure what the future will bring. I’m sure at times we will miss its enticing offers of limited time low aprs and low minimum payment plans, but for all concerned, this was how it had to end. And in the end, it came down to the final ritual: one last statement, one last check from the gazelles, one last postage stamp, and one last trip to the postal blue box for final delivery. The temporary suffering had ended. Pizza and Chinese food, who, heretofore had been banished by the monster, immediately broke through the rice and bean barrier walls that had seen us through the darker days, and provided a tasty repast at the luncheon that followed.
On the brighter side, about a year ago someone gifted us a replacement knowing that our monster was soon to be leaving. It was simply called ‘the baby emergency fund’, and at first we were unsure what to make of it, but we’ve liked having this around. We are now feeding it the same gazelle that blackened off our monster and are amazed at the difference between the two. It’s a quick grower, shaded a deep green, and according to the directions, it should be at full strength by June of this year. We did opt for a name change however, in keeping with the joy it has brought us so far, we decided on ‘Snow Fund’, because ‘it’s no fun’ to be without one.
For those of you who are still caring for some of the debt monster’s siblings, do it and yourselves a favor. Feed it some gazelle and put it out of its misery. Get yourself a baby emergency fund also. It really is a lot of fun to have around, grows really fast, and we hear it makes an excellent Murphy repellent.
Bob, Joanne, Mason & Effie from Croydon, Pa.
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Story 186 for We Did It
Freedom
Original story submitted by Baseball2
on March 7, 2011
Gender: male
on March 7, 2011
Freedom
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My wife and I have been debt free now for 3 months and we love every minute of it. We started off 100k in debt when we got married in June 2009, all from student loans. As of Jan 2011 we are debt free and saving for our first home. Living in her parents basement rent free really helped, but so did all the principals I learned in Dave's class.
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Story 187 for We Did It
Getting There Slowly
Original story submitted by Krissy
on March 1, 2011
Gender: female
on March 1, 2011
Getting There Slowly
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I am 27 years old and have accumulated quite a bit of debt going to college and getting student loans and credit cards just to make it by. I do not make a lot of money but I work with what I have. I still live at home because of my debt right now, it's not bad because its just me and my mother but two women living together can be frustrating at times. I am determined to change the cycle of not having enough freedom with money in my family. Just a couple weeks ago one of my credit card companies sent a letter saying that they will be putting a $49 yearly fee on my card and if I decline they will close my account. Well I politely called them and said you can close it because all its doing is getting me more into debt anyway. So that is one monkey off my back I just have to continue to make my monthly payments as usual. I have a total of three cards but only one is open as of now with a limit of $1500. The other cards were over $3000, so I'm making progress.
A big milestone that I have accomplished on yesterday was making the last payment of $702.89 on my 2000 Mercury cougar. One of the tellers at the bank said so when are you getting a new one I said not until I can pay cash for it. I am very proud of myself. I have a long way to go but I am determined to stay focused this time. Thanks to everyone that post stories on here and to Dave for putting all this together. It really is my daily inspiration on this thing called debt!!
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Story 188 for We Did It
Finally a Breath
Original story submitted by Fallon
on February 26, 2011
Gender: female
on February 26, 2011
Finally a Breath
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Our Babies First Christmas
Our Babies First Christmas
My husband and I are a young couple that didn't really understand the severity of debt until we merged together in marriage! Ahh! We had about 20k in debt when we first got married and after a year of marriage we got pregnant and decided to move to Tennessee. I was so sick during the pregnancy I couldn't work so we had to survive off one income. We have never made much money and with one income it seemed like the debt was never ending and there was no stop to the spending! Finally our friends who had done the Financial Peace class gave us all of their materials cd's workbooks and information on the Dave Ramsey method. Keep in mind we were so dirt poor they had to loan us those since we couldn't afford to take the class ourselves, pathetic I know! After reading that we were able to take a step back and realize our situation we knew it was going to be a LONG road since I was not working and we were a young family about to have a baby with one income. We sacrificed for three years! It was one of the hardest things I have ever done. We sold our favorite couch, tv, my husbands drumset he grew up playing, my husbands classic 1968 firebird he restored :( clothes any penny was a penny put towards debt. My husband worked seven days a week sometimes to get overtime. We moved four times in the last three years in order to get better jobs and better living situations to help us get of debt. We stayed in my parents TINY little guest house for a year while I was just DREAMING of the day we would finally be able to settle down and lay down roots for our family. Finally after three years of sacrifices, tears, and struggle we are saving up to purchase our first home! If we can do it and we are only in our twenties you can too! Don't delay and get started today! Dave Ramsey you saved our life and helped us create a better future for our daughter!With the financial position we now in I am able to stay home with our baby and be the momma I always dreamed of being. Thank you Dave and thank you God!
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Story 189 for We Did It
More Kids, Less Debt
Original story submitted by Jarrod
on February 25, 2011
Gender: male
on February 25, 2011
More Kids, Less Debt
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My wife and I married in May 2007, but it wasn't until the end of that summer that we really looked at our financial situation--mainly because we got pregnant two-months after our wedding and realized we needed to get serious about our finances.
Fortunately, we received three copies of "Total Money Makeover" for wedding gifts and figured this might be good to read--and so we did.
Here was our situation: neither of us had credit card debt (our parents scared us about that growing up!), but we had student loans and a car to payoff. And since we're both working for a non-profit organization, our combined salaries were comparable to public school teachers.
So, we followed the baby steps: tightened our budget to the bare minimum needs, put $1,000 away for an emergency fund, and then started the debt snowball.
Two years later, we not only celebrated a couple of the loans being paid off, but we also found out we were pregnant again. However, since we'd been able to live off of less than what we thought we needed when we got married, and we had so much momentum with the debt snowball now, we were confident that the debt-free finish line was still in sight.
So, we continued to attack our debt, putting anything extra towards it that we could. Just a few months after our second child was born, we officially became debt free--victory!
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Story 190 for We Did It
God is SO GOOD!!!
Original story submitted by Eric
on February 23, 2011
Gender: male
on February 23, 2011
God is SO GOOD!!!
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Our "debt free" family!
Our "debt free" family!
After going through bankruptcy once in 2003, my wife and I vowed never to have to go through such an ordeal again. But, as of Dec. 2008, we found ourselves getting closer to falling into the same rut with medical bills (at the time I didn't have health insurance) and credit card debt. We had heard of Dave Ramsey and saw a class that one of the local churches was holding and decided we had to do something drastic or we were going to end up in the same situation as before. By the grace of God and Mr. Ramsey's teaching, we pulled up our bootstraps and dug into our debt with "gazelle intensity".
In the mean time, I had joined the US Army Reserves. I didn't realize at the time of talking to the recruiter that there was a sign on bonus. I joined to serve my country, not for any money the government had to offer. I had been to Iraq as a civilian contractor previously but felt that the thanks I got was unjustified without owning up to my duty as an American. Needless to say, the bonus money had given us a good jump on our debt. I have to say though, it was all in God's time that we received this bonus money. If it had been anytime before we received it, we would have squandered it. At the time we received the bonus, we were able to make offers with all the credit card companies. The only things we had left to pay off were medical bills. With our tax return this year we have been able to pay off our last debt as of 2/22/2011!
I am a paramedic and a registered nurse working in a small city of approx 3000 people. I also am a laypreacher for the church I serve in. My family and I love to serve the Lord and feel that we can now serve better without the weight of debt holding us down. We have tithed faithfully even before going through FPU and God has honored that. Also, I do not want to be found robbing God as he has said in Malachi 3:8-9.
I have told many people with whom I work with, as well as worship with, about this program and how it has changed our lives. We owe Dave Ramsey and FPU a debt of gratitude as he has blessed our family. God has certainly blessed Mr. Ramsey with the talent of teaching. May God bless you and make you a blessing as you have blessed our family.
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