I have been thinking about this blog lately and wondering if I should make a theme for it...for example, I've been reading other blogs, some are for updates on family life (which initially mine was going to do that) others are about tracking their pregnancies,health problems etc. So, since right now we are in the process of getting out of debt, I was thinking that I could track our journey, good and bad on here. If it bores you, you don't have to read it. :) This will be good for Bill and I to look back and remember our journey. Where we are now, where we came from and where we hope to be. My greatest hope would be that God would use this process to help someone else through a similar situation.
Finances have been our biggest struggle throughout our whole marriage. It's amazing to see how destructive debt and bad spending habits can be to a family. We started our marriage off with debt and have been going deeper and deeper since then. Over the years we have tried different budgets and programs but have been unable to stay on track for more than one week. I think that Bill and I had to go through a process in our marriage to get to where we are now. We have had some really tough times where one or both of us didn't think we'd make it through, but miraculously God brought us through those times. It wasn't until last year that we really started working together on things. We are finally on the same page! It took a lot to get us here, but we are here.....I know we have a lot of work to do still, but this is a good starting point.
If you've read my earlier posts, you know we are seeing a financial counselor certified through Dave Ramsey-it is so great for us to have someone that we are accountable to and that guides us through some decisions and helps us stay realistic with our finances.
About a year ago, things were really tight for us as usual but we were having a hard time paying all of our bills so we decided to go through a settlement company for our credit cards. It took our payment from about $1100 to $460 a month. Although this helped a little with our monthly expenses, we were not paying ANY of our credit cards-see our $460 payment went to the settlement company in a reserve and as soon as we had enough money in our reserve, they were going to negotiate with our credit card companies (all 7 of them) at one point or another and settle at about half of what we owed. At first, we thought this would work out great...one account that we owed about $1800 on settled with us for $512. We were so excited to get one out of the way! But, even though this seemed to be working we knew this was not for us and we would not recommend it to anyone. It was like we were trying to take the easy way out but really it just caused more problems. The letters and phone calls started coming again and they were not good. So, we decided that we were going to start dealing with them on our own and either start making payments again or just try and settle on a couple ourselves (thank goodness for tax refunds!)
So, as of today, we have 6 cards to pay off totaling around $20000. That is a huge amount but sadly it was a lot bigger than that just a few years ago. This week, Bill was able to make a few calls and set up some payment arrangements and by the end of April, Lord willing, over half of that will be gone! If all goes as planned, by the end of the year, we will be credit card debt free...(then it's on to the cars). Time will tell if this all works out according to plan-I'm hoping and believing it will since now Bill and I are on the same page with this and we are making our decisions very prayerfully.
That's our beginning in a nutshell and until we are out of debt including the cars, I will use this post mainly for updating on this process we are going through. One more thing is that this all wouldn't be possible if God wasn't part of this. We have made so many mistakes and have wandered so much but God is so good. His compassions NEVER fail. They are new EVERY morning and HE is faithful!
3 years ago