Guest post by The Former Mrs. Jones
It was 11:30 at night when I swiped my Discover card through the credit card slot at the gas pump. I remember feeling nervous because I wasn’t sure if little screen would read back “card declined” or “see attendant.” I was pretty sure there was at least $80 of credit left on the almost maxed out $5,000 credit card, and all I needed was $20 in gas so my husband could get to work the next day. The screen read back “select fuel” as I breathed a sigh of relief and began pumping 4 gallons of gas into his truck. It was in that moment that I was “sick and tired of being sick and tired” as Dave Ramsey says. I felt so stupid. Here I was leaning against his $23,000 truck while my $16,000 car sat in the drive way of our $155,000 home and mixed in with all that was our 8 month old baby sleeping in a $300 crib and I couldn’t even scrap together $20 of my own money to buy gas. I had no idea what I was doing. We made too much money to be this broke, and yet we were. This is the start of our debt free story.
One of my favorite sayings is “God works in mysterious ways”, and I truly believe that. It was only a few days later when God blessed me with the financial guidance and plan I truly needed. I came across a video on YouTube of a young family doing their Debt Free scream on a radio show hosted by some guy named Dave Ramsey (See Barry and Stacy’s Debt Free Scream). I only needed to listen to about 5 minutes of his show before I was without a doubt, hooked. I printed out the 7 baby steps he teaches in order to achieve financial freedom and brought them home to my husband.
Let’s just say our first “Dave Ramsey chat” didn’t go over very well. In his defense I’m sure I looked like I had lost my mind. My eyes were crossed, my hair was sticking straight up and I kept ranting about how some guy on the radio is saying “you need to man up” and “I’m not going to be your Mommy anymore.” That being said we didn’t start the Dave Ramsey plan for quite a while.
It was about a year later when my husband finally got on board with the good ole Day-Ray. He finally realized that something had to change with our finances. He sold his 2007 Kawasaki Ninja ZX1 that same day. Three days later he sold his 2004 Ford SVT Lightning and completed eliminated nearly $20,000 of debt in 72 hours. My husband, the gear head, had no car. I had to take him to work for the next few weeks until we found a car for him, AND PAID CASH for it. He was the dynamite for our log jam and I truly owe him the financial freedom we have today. It took us 9 months to pay off the additional $20,000 we had from credit cards and my car loan and to be honest, it really wasn’t that hard to do.
People made fun of us, thought we had lost our minds and assumed that we were probably getting a divorce. We sold our $150,000 home and have officially cleared our name of any debt. We basically started over, and it felt great. I created a YouTube channel called The Former Mrs. Jones because I want to share with others my passion of this debt free lifestyle we have taken on – find me also on Instagram as TheFormerMrsJones. I want to show others that it’s not difficult to pay cash for cars and you don’t need to use credit cards for your emergency fund. Through God, Dave Ramsey and my husband I see the mistakes we made with money, and we are NEVER going back to that place.