About a month after debt free scream, we’re working away on Baby 3 (3-6 months of living expenses in Emergency Fund) and we have over $9k in the e-fund but we’d like to have $36k (which will take a long time). While we still have to prioritize our needs and wants, there is breathing room. What’s nice is that we can start to think about what to do with our money rather than “what debt will we pay off”.
Yeah, our car still needs the A/C fixed and the dishwasher’s been broken for years and we won’t be going on vacations and I don’t have an iPad…but we have the rhythm down and we can do our bi-weekly budget in a few minutes. It feels great to be living within our means and working towards a future. It’s not perfect and it still requires sacrifice to separates needs and wants but it’s a new era of living.The biggest thing is to remember to be grateful and help others.
Well we did it! On Friday June 1st we drove from Atlanta to Nashville for our appointment at Financial Peace Plaza to do our debt free scream. The ride was “an experience” that reminds me why we don’t take car trips. Three children in the car (one of which vomited from car sickness) and the constant bickering is a great way to curb the desire to go on vacation! That should be taught in FPU.
We arrive about 30 minutes before our “appointment” and Martha of Martha’s Place and Sheri greeted us warmly. Right away we felt at home. They did a great job of preparing us (and reminding us to breathe—something I could have done more of during the call). It was so surreal to look at Dave Ramsey, hear him in startling clarity on the “headsets” and realize that WE’RE ON THE RADIO.
Two things really blew me away
1. One of our FPU “students” (this guy and his family could easily lead FPU) had e-mailed Dave that day and gave us some kudos about us coordinating our FPU class we just finished up. It was such a surprise!
2. Dave was so conversational and spent (what seemed like) a long time with us. I was prepared for a very short & sweet situation and was thrown off a little bit. But it was fun and great to meet him.
Enjoy the sound clip and the pictures! This was a great day! We are grateful to have done this and hope that it encourages others when they feel less than gazelle.
I’ll write some details later but for now…picture with Dave and our family linked here after we did our Debt Free Scream on Friday June 1st. Wow…
By this time on Friday 6/1 we will have done our debt free scream. I call it scream but the coordinators at Financial Peace Plaza have been calling it “yell” in the logistics email to me. I wonder if that’s a regional thing. Or is “yell” more polite than scream? Or less scary to those not in the know?
Anyhoo, we’ve been in communication with Lara Johnson and her assistant on the logistics. We’ll be on the air as Troy & Lucy 2-3 PM Central Standard Time (CST). So for folks in Atlanta, that’s the 2nd hour of the show so it will probably be 11 PM – 12 Midnight? Well listen to the whole thing just to be sure
I’ve been “rehearsing” the conversation with Dave for a while now. Either I will do the below “script” because I’ve run through it in my head a bazillion times or I will flub it and sound like a bonehead in front of 6 million people. No pressure.
PREDICTION OF DEBT FREE YELL CONVERSATION
Dave: Starting this hour we have live in the lobby of Financial Peace Plaza we have Troy & Lucy from Atlanta! What brings you here guys?
Me: We drove up from Atlanta to do our Debt Free Scream!
Dave: That’s awesome! How much did you pay off?
Me: 62 thousand…debt free except for the house…
Dave: And how long did that take?
Me: 23 months
Dave: Making what kind of income?
Me: A little over 100k
Dave: Very well done. What kind of debt was it?
Me: 40 thousand was IRS and the rest was medical bills and credit card debt. Before we knew about you we did something stupid and cashed out a large portion of our 401k to refinance our house because our payment was 50% of our take home pay.It was a really stupid move but we learned our lesson.
Dave: I’ll say! So what was the hardest thing about paying off 62 thousand in 23 months?
…at this point I’ll hand the conversation over to Lucy. I don’t know what she’ll say.
I haven’t predicted the rest of call other than WEEEEEEREEEEEEEEDEEEEEEEBTFREEEEEEEE ringing your ears!
This coming Thursday will be our last week coordinating about 35 or so people in the Financial Peace University (FPU) class at our church. It’s been a wonderful time and I’ve learned a lot from revisiting the lessons and hearing people’s stories.
I found that by sharing our story people realize “hey weren’t not alone in this”. In fact, I was really surprised by how much people were inspired by our dumb mistakes. Hopefully I won’t continue to inspire them in that way.
About halfway into the class we realized that we needed some additional voices in the mix. So we got people in the class to share their success stories. Also we got some Endorsed Local Providers (ELPs) from Investing and Real Estate to attend. Finally, we got some FPU graduates to share their successes and provide some hope to others. That variety really helped energize the group.
My wife and I are really blessed to be able to work with such a great group of people and be supported by our church. I plan on presenting the new curriculum in 2013!
Yesterday we paid off the credit card which was our last debt (except for the mortgage). That completes Baby Step 2 in the Dave Ramsey 7 Baby Steps. We filled out the form to set up a “Debt Free” scream on the Dave Ramsey Radio Show.
It’s been a long two years but it’s been worth it.
No A/C in the car for 2 years…worth it
Broken dishwasher for 4 years…worth it
Spending time doing a budget every two weeks…worth it
Saying “no” when you didn’t want to…worth it
Sacrificing the near term for the long term…totally worth it
Also this week we started teaching Financial Peace University at our church. What a great way to reinforce the teaching and reminding ourselves to stay on track.