Thursday, March 31, 2011
How We Are Getting Out of Debt: Part 2
If you are just joining us you can read Part 1 posted on 01/21/2011. Needless to say I was shocked, humbled and very grateful for my Dad’s gratitude. My parents are very hard working individuals and have spent their whole lives working to build up what they now have, and truly want to bless their children with what they can. Within a few months my dad had my car paid off and we were just down to one car loan (Alan’s car which was only purchased a few months before we got married so we had a few years left on it) and our school loans. Since we had paid off so much of our other debt by this time we had started to pad our savings account a little more heavily in case of emergency, and felt that now it was time to concentrate our efforts on getting his car paid off as early as possible. We figured out that once we knocked of his car payment, we would be able to live completely and totally off of what I made with my salary and would no longer have to chip away at any money saved up, or use any financial aid from his school that wasn’t to pay just for classes and books. Well I’m proud to say that we took some aggressive steps and a little bit of chance by taking a good chunk out of “savings” and we paid his car off yesterday! That would be 3 ½ years early!!! I didn’t even think it was possible, but with very hard work and perseverance, we have eliminated all of our debt with the exception of school loans, which will realistically take us a much longer time to pay off, especially since Alan graduated in May but is now going back for two more years for a second Bachelor’s degree. We are very grateful to be at this point and know that we could not have gotten here without letting God lead our lives, having faith and being able to make sacrifices. For the past couple of years we have had to say no to a lot of things. While we had friends going on vacations and buying things that we also would like to have, we’ve had to sit back and watch and not to able to participate in those things that we would enjoy. But I’m so grateful to have to go through these times so early on in our marriage. We have learned to have something that many people nowadays don’t seem to have, and that is contentment. We can find enjoyment in spending time at home, enjoying a cup of coffee (not bought from Starbucks, but made at home) and reading a book or renting a movie and staying home instead of paying $20 to go to the movie theatre. We haven’t taken a vacation since our honeymoon (unless you count when we go to California to visit my parents), and we hardly ever go out to eat, and when we do it’s usually with gift cards we got for Christmas. But we have learned that these things are not what’s important, and not being able to do them often makes them all the more enjoyable the few times we are able to indulge a little. We’ve learned to look at our lives and see all of the abundant blessings God has bestowed on us, instead of looking around at what we don’t have. And because of that we have become one of the few people nowadays who do not complain about their finances, but embrace the little we have and know how truly blessed we are. When it comes time to start a family and buy a house we will feel confidant knowing we learned the lessons we’ll need to be successful now instead of learning them the hard way when those times come. I do not mean to sound haughty or boastful in the above comments. Please know that we have only been able to come to this point by the grace of God and not because of our own knowledge, strength, or efforts. God has provided us with all of the resources we have and He is the one teaching us how to be responsible in the management of those resources. If you have a story of how you’ve been able to manage debt or change your family’s situation that could be inspiring to others, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org so that it may be shared and be a blessing to others. Be blessed!