365 days of deals and tips completed.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Day 365!!!!!!

3 years 7 months ago we took the next exit to Financial Freedom. Was it easy? Heck no! $48,000 of debt seemed an impossible mountain to climb. But we knew we had to do it. 3 years 7 months ago we were at the point that we were charging all of our groceries and gas and there was NO BIG BONUS that year coming to bail us out. Tough decisions had to be made. Cancel Cable, Sell Husbands Prized Truck, No Fancy Cell Phones, No Eating Out, Very Small Grocery Budget, Lots of Coupons, No Clothing Budget and on and on.
18 long, exciting, grueling, rewarding months we climbed the mountain. WE WERE DEBT FREE in April 2008. Relieved, excited but we knew we had more work to do. On to saving. In 10 short months because we were debt free, our tax refund and by the GRACE of GOD we had a fully funded EMERGENCY FUND....6 months of living....$20,000 cash. Wow! We had climbed that impossible mountain.
Feburary 2009 it happened. The economy was struggling and my husband was laid off. We started our journey to honor God with our finances and I know He blessed our journey and emergency fund. We were going to be okay... well at least for 6 months!
3 months later and 1/2 of our emergency fund gone my husband was employed again. Note to you readers: When calculating your 3-6 months of living expenses don't forget to include paying your own health insurane. COBRA insurance cost our family over $1000 a month while my husband was unemployed.
May 2009 my husband was employed again but for a lovely pay decrease of 39%
Our budget is tight and it is not as easy to save money with a 39% pay cut but we are slowly building everything back up.
Here is what our finances look like today:
6 Months Living Emergency Fund: $18055.55
Christmas Fund $200.52
Car Savings $86.92....I know we need to work on that one
Medical: $379.28
Daughter Preschool $215
401K: 15% of gross income...just a side note/ that is the only thing we have always done right from the beginning :) We have always put away for retirement and never touched it.
Savings Goal $1944.45...that will fully fund our 6 months Emergency Fund
Goal: To have it saved by the end of summer!
That is where we sit today. Was it worth the sacrifice? Yes, Yes, Yes!!!!! We will continue to live frugally. We have changed our family tree and will leave an inheritance to our children. Thank you God for opening our eyes.
As for this lovely blog, it has been an amazing 365 days. Thank you for all the emails. Just yesterday someone emailed me and told me that they paid off their last debt and are now Debt Free. Yea! Amen!
Thanks for coming on the journey with me.


  1. Dara,
    Thank you for sharing your experiences and wisdom with us. You have been an inspiration and I have shared your story and blog address with many people.
    If you can do what you and your family did while raising 3 kids, we can do it too!
    Please keep sharing with us!

  2. feb 22 is the 1 year anniversary of me quitting smoking... thats awesome!!

  3. I just discovered Dave Ramsey on the radio this month and I am hooked. I saw your post on Dave Ramsey's facebook page and I must say I love your blog. Congrats to you and your family. My wife and I just decided last night we need to start our journey and get debt free and get those stresses out of our life. We are followers of christ as well and I know he will bless us in this endeavor.

    Today we are putting our SUV for sale and looking for something cheaper we can pay cash for. We are canceling our HD cable and DVR, we are downgrading our cell phone plan and we are gonna forget about eating out. We started listing them and there are SO many things we spend our money on that are really just so unnessesary.

  4. Yay! Has it really been a year? You guys are awesome.

  5. Hi Greg...
    Yesterday your family tree changed!
    Prayers God will bless your journey.
    Stay intense.

  6. Thanks for your inspirational story! I am often frustrated by our debt and wonder if we will ever climb that mountain! Thanks for sharing!

  7. You can climb the mountain! Stay focused and instense. All the sacrifice is worth it :)

  8. Coming by from Kelly's Korner. This year I took on the challenge to not buy anything "new" in 2010, and slash our grocery budget in 1/2. My goal was to build my savings, but really, what it has done was show me that I don't "need" what I thought I needed! I was also able to pay off one of my credit cards already, 2 more to go! Thanks for sharing your story!

  9. Hi Kelley...
    Thanks for stopping by...
    Good luck on your 2010 journey!
    Stay strong and intense :)

  10. I'm a college student about to graduate with a large amount of student loans....I already feel overwhelmed by that debt. Thankfully I don't have a credit card and don't intend on one for a while. Anyways, I was encouraged to know that when I graduate, if I'm focused, I can pay of my college debt! Thanks!

  11. Hi Krystal....
    Stay focused! The sacrifice will be life changing :)
    Good luck,


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