So what is this huge announcement and big news all about??? Well…….today we paid off the rest of the balance on our house!!! We are now 100% debt free…no mortgage payments, no student loan payments, and no car payments. We own our home completely outright at the ages of 35 and 33 and it is a surreal feeling right now!!! We planned this on Monday so it has been difficult to contain our excitement all week, but we can now share the news!
Five years ago we made a plan and stuck to it….now we can say after lots of hard work and sacrifice we are finally debt free!! In those five years we paid off a total of $220,000….a $30,000 student loan, a $3,000 car loan, and a $187,000 mortgage. It was slow going at first but every extra dollar we had we threw at our debt. After a while, we started seeing the benefits of having lower payments and being able to throw more and more money at our loans every month. Once we got rid of one payment we were able to attack another one. We left our house as the last debt to tackle and that was by far the hardest and longest (that’s what she said), but all we had to do was continue to budget every month and stick with it. Also, during this five year journey we were able to pay cash for my master’s degree, which was around $30,000, and cash flow the start of my business at the same time!
It doesn’t take millions of dollars and a trust fund to accomplish this either. In 2010 when we first started our plan our household income was only around $40,000 and in 2011 we tripled it to $120,000 and then in 2012 it grew to over $130,000. Over these five years we made about $500,000 and $220,000, almost half, went to paying off debt. Looking at our increase of income over the years made us realize that having this goal pushed us and motivated us. When you know the total amount of debt you owe and have to pay off, you realize that your net worth should be higher and that you deserve more. You work harder, you ask for more money, you freelance on the side, you do everything in your power to make that extra payment. Seeing the numbers go down every month in our budget helped us stay on track and when we saw it working we just kept going. It took lots of discipline and sacrificing our social lives and vacations at times, but five years of that is worth the freedom we now have for the rest of our lives. We now only need $1,000 a month to survive and have the opportunity to do whatever we want because our bills are no longer keeping us trapped.
These last five years have felt like running a marathon where the last few miles are definitely the most challenging and you almost want to give up but we have finally crossed the finish line! We want to thank all of you for putting up with us and our constant budget/finance talk and having to turn down your invites because we had to save money. I am looking forward to relaxing and enjoying our money now instead of it going towards payments. We have also contacted the Dave Ramsey show to start planning a trip to his studio in Tennessee for our debt free scream sometime in October. I will keep you all updated when and if that happens so you can listen or watch us on his show. We will get to share our story to a nationwide audience and finally scream ” WE ARE DEBT FREE!!!” to the world.