In this day and age, having debt is more common than having a car. If you’re living debt free, you’re one of the weird ones. The crazies!
Well, I’ll gladly admit that my family is crazy. We’ve been debt free for the past four years and wouldn’t have it any other way. Here is our story.
Starting Out Debt Free
My husband and I both grew up with parents who were able to provide for us comfortably. We both lived in nice houses, had three square meals a day, had running (most of the time) cars, and had debt. We were normal, middle class families. When I turned 16, my parents bought me a used (but nice) car. When I wrecked the car driving on ice at 19, they bought me another car. They paid for me to go to college for four years. I wouldn’t consider myself spoiled since there were stipulations (had to maintain a certain GPA, had to call when I arrived places) to maintaining these privileges, but I was very blessed to have parents who could provide for me in this way.
My husband wasn’t quite as spoiled, but he worked during high school and college and got good scholarships and he graduated with very little debt. Debt he was able to pay off before we were married.
Smart Choices to STAY Debt Free
After college is where the smart decisions began. My husband got a teaching job and could have easily moved into a nice apartment or even bought a small house. But he didn’t. He chose to stay with his parents and save up money. He stashed away everything for the two years he lived there before we were married. He spent very little. His frugality was based on seeing the debt his parents had and not wanting debt of his own.
When he and I got engaged, I still had a year left of college. My parents continued to pay for that, but they did something else. They gave us a book that changed the way we looked at money forever. It was called The Total Money Makeover by Dave Ramsey. Brian and I both read that book and decided we wanted to be one of the odd balls. That book shaped the way we would handle money from the start.
Come and read part 2 of our debt free story!