As of Friday, May 31st we are 100% credit card debt FREE!
When Joe and I got married back in 2007 we had a joint credit card debt of almost $40,000. WHOA!
Most of our debt was basic living expenses since neither of us had been able to hold a decent paying job since graduating college. (We probably had a combined household income of about 35K. BTW Owing more than your income is never good.) We weren’t using credit to buy frivolous items like gadgets, clothes or going out; we were buying groceries, gas, getting oil changes in our cars, etc… we were barely scraping by. After Jude was born we knew something had to change.
So we met with my mom, she is an accountant and my financial guru. She advised us to pay off our “most important” accounts. (We had credit cards with USAA, who we also have our insurance with, so keeping them happy was a big priority.) And ignore the other accounts because paying just the minimum on all accounts at this point was just treading water. Most of our cards went into collections but we were slowly able to knock out the debt little by little. Thanks to tax refunds, bonuses and help from family.
Over the course of the next 4.5 years (and 2 more babies) Joe got several raises/promotions and now makes about 3x’s as much as he did when we got married. We were able to pay off several cards, settle a few accounts and at one point dealt with a lawsuit from a collection agency. Our credit score certainly took a big hit but being debt free was totally worth it.
Throughout the whole process we’ve been faithful in paying Joe’s student loans (we actually paid one off!) and are consistently paying on the last one to help rebuild our credit score.
The financial stress has been the biggest challenge in our marriage, we’ve spent many long nights talking out our future, looking over our accounts and doing lots of math (oh how I hate math). Going through this process together has brought us closer and certainly made us heavily trust in God.
We have vowed to never use credit cards again and plan on living a simple life buying only what we can afford.
Hooray for being debt free!