Well, I thought you’d like to know that how my goals are progressing for the year so far. We hit a MAJOR milestone in our our Total Money Makeover last week, we PAID OFF OUR CAR! Yup, that’s right, three weeks a head of when we wanted to. I made the last payment on Wednesday February 6 2013 and that is the LAST car payment I will ever make.
I need to tell you a little bit about the journey that we’ve been on in our financial lives because it really has been amazing. In the fall of 2011 I went back to work after my maternity leave, and as many of you know working full time and having kids puts one big fat expense on the family budget – Daycare. Daycare is our single largest expense in a month, in fact it’s more than our mortgage payment every month (yeah we live in a cheap house thank God!). Pay day would come and go and after all the bills were paid there was very little money left for anything extra. We have always tried to pay cash for the luxuries of life that we enjoy from time to time and haven’t carried a credit card balance for years. Our debt had not grown for a long time but we had some as we were young, broke, and naive when we got married. Apparently it’s hard to live on $9000/year in Canada. In fact at this time last year I would say we were probably pretty financially normal in comparison to everyone else out there. What we were learning though was that SUCKS!
One day last January I was googling potty training and I came across a blog that included a host of potty training information but also a post about the family having paid off almost $60,000 in a three year period by following Dave Ramsey’s plan. I finished reading the post, found the book on Amazon and told the Hubby we were doing this. After listening to my (poor) explanation he quickly got on board. When the book arrived I read it in a weekend, and here we are a year later DEBT FREE! The next step, save up 3-6 months expenses in an emergency fund.
So how much have we paid off this year? Well the car alone was $11,781.00 and we also paid an additional roughly $10,000 on various “emergencies” (like the washing machine upstairs flooding the bathroom downstairs) in cash, and took a 2 week trip that turned into a 3 week trip home to Ontario for E’s birthday this fall. So yes, do the math, we paid cash for roughly $22,000 in necessary expenses including the debt plus went on holidays. Our annual income you ask? Well for 2012 it’s in the $55,000-70,000 range. Pretty average for a family with two incomes in the area we live in.
The even more amazing thing about this whole journey is the impact that it has had on our personal lives. The growth in our marriage has been phenomenal. It’s amazing how much better everything else runs when there is good communication about the money in the house and where it’s all going. We’ve struggled, and we’ve still disagreed from time to time about what the priorities are, but we’ve also communicated much more clearly about what we want (financially and otherwise) and set plans in action to achieve it while supporting each other. We have both set ourselves personally and relationally on paths of personal growth for 2013 that I don’t think we would have even considered if not for the Total Money Makeover that has happened in our lives, SO check it out it will change your life.