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Story 181 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 182 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 183 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 184 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 185 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 186 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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Story 187 for We Did It
Were Debt Free in 2011
Original story submitted by Bridge
on February 9, 2011
Gender: female
on February 9, 2011
Were Debt Free in 2011
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Sat, Feb 5th 2011 was an emotional day for us and our 3 small kids. We finally paid off $63,500 in 29 months. We were a single income family who was ready to get off our butts and get it done. After being a stay at home mom for 7 years, I got a job at night so my husband could stay home and watch the kids. We sold stuff at our "because Dave said so garage sales" and put every extra penny we had to our debt snowball. All our friends who thought we were "weird" back then are now coming to us and asking for help. My husband teaches FPU, has become a financial counselor at church and has gone back to school to get his finance degree. Thanks Dave for all your inspiration and changing our family tree. To hear the conversations that our kids have with adults about being in debt is quite amusing. We are on top of the world!!!!!!
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Story 188 for We Did It
One Down
Original story submitted by Carnigirl
on February 9, 2011
Gender: female
on February 9, 2011
One Down
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Our reason for wanting to be Weird!
Our reason for wanting to be Weird!
I bought TMMO in 2008 and started with the zero based budget. My husband and I had really got into the grove of things when he received orders for D.C. So in November of 2009 we made the move and ever since then our money has been out of control. We let the move and the new arrival to our family justify the out of control spending, until now. We are back on the budget starting February first and a few days ago paid off our first credit card. It was a low limit card but man does it feel great to know we are back on track. Last week I started a new job and we are gazelle intense about living like no one else. Thank you Dave for becoming such a huge part of changing our family tree. Can't wait to be in your studio shouting that WE are DEBT FREE!
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Story 189 for We Did It
Heart Change
Original story submitted by Beth
on January 28, 2011
Gender: female
on January 28, 2011
Heart Change
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Our family
Our family
I recently went to Target and came out with exactly the two (unexciting) items for which I went in. I don’t know about you, but that’s a pretty big deal for me! I love Target. Proximity to Target has always been one of my biggest ‘must-haves’ whenever we’ve chosen a new place to live. When I’m having a bit of a down day, I pick myself up and go to Target. Target is my happy place. In my pre-Dave Ramsey days I would go to Target and aimlessly spend money just because it was fun. You get it right? We all have our vices. Target has always been one of mine. Imagine how proud I was to just go in, get an ink cartridge and a baby birthday present and leave. It was a victory. A victory over my heart. Dave calls it behavior change, but I’m calling it a heart change.
It’s great to be ‘gazelle‘ for a while to get out of debt, but if my heart doesn’t change, if I continue to to long for the day when I can go to Target and mindlessly blow $175 for the fun of it again, what’s the point? I have always lacked the ability to say no to myself when it came to buying small things that I really don’t need. I’m really good at justifying little fun $20 items that add up quickly. Back when we were spending on credit cards, it was always, “Well we’re already racking up all this debt just to survive, so what’s another $20?” More recently, my justification sounds like, “Well this is a really good deal so it’s ok to break the budget, we always have a little bit left over between checks so it’s ok,” or, “This is a ‘Miscellaneous’ item. It is… Really!” Or the best one, “Beth Dreyer Photography (my business) wants to buy this for me.” That one really irks my husband.
All of my recent excuses can get me by because they all involve spending money in cash or on a debit card. But I don’t want to just get by! I want to move forward! Just because I have the money doesn’t mean I have to spend it. The Baby Steps state that after you get out of debt (and we’re getting really close!), you then focus your financial energy towards stashing up a 3-6 month emergency fund. Then if like us you haven’t yet purchased a home, you save up a sizable down payment and buy a house with a 15 year loan (although he really encourages people to save up and pay cash for a home!). After that you begin to invest 15% of your income for retirement. This may be obvious but it me hard – that doesn’t stop until you retire. Then once you’re doing that you start saving for your kids’ college. Then focus on paying off your home early. Then and only then (when you’re ready to give your kids a cash-funded college education and your house is paid off) do you get to relax. Until then you’re supposed to be living on considerably less than you make – oh and saving up and paying cash for all your cars. With the amount of money we’re making right now, there’s not a whole lot of room in there for aimless Target spending.
Now I’m not in any way shape or form saying that if you’re not on Dave’s plan you’re wrong or bad or irresponsible, I’m just telling you what we’ve decided for ourselves. We are in this for the long haul and we believe that they day will come when we will be overwhelmingly thankful to ourselves for saying no to Target.
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Story 190 for We Did It
GOOD THINGS HAPPEN TO GOOD PEOPLE
Original story submitted by whitka
on January 23, 2011
Gender: female
on January 23, 2011
GOOD THINGS HAPPEN TO GOOD PEOPLE
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Friends forever
Friends forever
I am a 58 year old RN who never knew how to manage money. I lost my job in California (blessing), so I moved to Raleigh NC to be close to my best friend and her family. The day after I arrived I got a job at a local hospital. One year ago, I admitted to my friend that I was in financial crisis, and I did not know how to get out from under my 30,000 + debt. In less than one year my dear friend took over my finances and today I am debt free. We did this together and she taught me along the way. So you really can teach OLD DOGS NEW TRICKS. Thank you Dave Ramsey for being OUR inspiration.... I am DEBT FREE!!!
KAY
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