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Celebrating a Major Financial Milestone!

Early tomorrow morning our family is flying to California to visit some special friends of ours.

We're very excited about this trip for many reasons: we're looking forward to a vacation as a family; we can't wait to hang out with some incredible people; and we're anxious to get to introduce our children to what a real beach is.

But this trip is about much more than family, friends, and fun; we're taking this trip in celebration of reaching a huge financial milestone in our family.

If you've been reading my blog for more than a few months, you know that we got this weird idea to pay cash for a house and we set a big goal at the beginning of 2009 to have fully-funded our house fund by the end of the year. We started the year at 33% and it seemed very far-fetched to think we'd actually make our goal.

But God had other plans. He worked some miracles, moved some modern-day "mountains", and by His grace and enabling, I am thrilled to tell you that we are ending 2009 at our 100% goal! We're already seriously pursuing house-hunting and hope to have purchased a home debt-free by the end of April 2010, if not sooner.

Truly, "with God, all things are possible!"

This huge financial milestone did not happen instantaneously. It was not something we just up and decided to we'd aim for a few weeks or months ago. In actuality, our journey towards saving to pay 100% down for our first home began before we were even married!

On Thursday, I'm going to be sharing the nuts and bolts of our story and the struggles, lessons, difficulties, and victories we've encountered along the way. No matter where you are in your financial journey, I hope and pray our story is an inspiration to you to dream big dreams, set audacious goals, work hard, and not give up when the going gets tough. You just never know where it might lead!

Have you written down financial goals for 2010? If not, be sure to check out Simple Mom's post on the subject to nudge you in the right direction.

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  • Vicki says:

    How inspirational! Especially in this day when things are so crazy financially! Congrats!!!

  • Tsh says:

    Crystal, I am SO proud of you! I was talking about you on my blog the other day, and when a reader of mine said that you had indeed made it to 100%, I had to come and read it for myself! A huge congratulations to you both. Praise God.

    My husband and I were doing the dishes last night, and I was talking about you. He thought for a moment and said, “You know, I think maybe we should do that, too.” We’ve been planning on putting as big a down payment as possible on a house, but after talking for a bit, we may just make this our goal, too… We’ll see.

    I’m happy to call you my friend and encourager! Way to go. God is good.

  • Tsh says:

    Oh, and I meant to say… You guys should call Dave Ramsey to scream! I know you didn’t become debt-free; that you have been from the beginning, but I’m sure he’d think this was huge. Just a thought! 🙂

  • Lori says:

    Congratulations! That gave me goose bumps.

  • Debbie says:

    Congratulations! Your story has been such an inspiration to me and my husband. We have cut our grocery bill in half and have taken on your paper towel challenge which has been a lot of fun. I used to buy a huge thing of paper towels every month and I have not had to buy one in 4 months. Thank you for all of your ideas and sharing your story. Your financial journey has been the biggest inspiration as we will be credit card free in 2010. So thank you!

  • Jennifer H. says:

    Wow, congratulations!!! You will be so very blessed because of the choices you have been making. What an example you’ve set for your children and others around you!

    We’ve started saving up for at least a 20% down payment and could reach 10% in the next month and we started 3 months ago. We probably won’t be buying for at least 1-2 years, so we can make huge progress until then! I’d love to pay even 50% down! My husband is entering the ministry and we are taking advantage of saving my salary while I’m still working since we don’t have children yet.

    I can’t wait to hear more about your story! I’d also love to hear where you put the house money while you worked toward your goal – CD, savings, market, etc. God Bless!

  • Cortney Tribu says:

    WOWOWOW Congratulations Crystal & Family!!!! That was a HUGE jump from last month – I can’t wait to see how you did it when you post later today! I also hope you will call in to Dave Ramsey and thank him for the additional inspiration he provided on your journey – I will be listening for it!! 🙂

  • Jennifer says:

    Congratulations! You should be very proud of your accomplishment. I know it took a lot of dedication to get here, and I hope you and your hubby are very proud.

  • Anjanette says:

    I can’t wait to read the details today! I told my husband about your story and he’s eager to read, too. We live in the same area as you and have similar goals.

  • Karen says:


  • Connie R. says:

    Praise God! I am so thrilled for your family. I actually had a tear running down my cheek when I read your post and I’ve never met you. Thank you for you example. May God guide you to the house he already has picked out for you. I know you will be a blessing to your neighbors.

  • Cindy says:

    I am so glad I found your website. We too are saving to pay cash to build our first home. We’ve been married for 9 years with many financial ups and downs. We have rented a home and lived in 2 mobile homes. (Yes, these were new m.h., and nice ones, but still temporary and never felt like home.)
    In the past few years, God has been more than good to us. We’ve saved up and bought a piece of property in the mountains for cash. Now, we are in the process of saving to build a small cabin for our permanent home. We are trying so hard to do this without taking out a loan. I am excited to share in your journey. By the end of this year, we are hoping to reach our goal as well. Praying that my husband’s job holds out.

  • Julie says:

    Congratulations Crystal!!!!!! I am soo thrilled for you and can’t wait to hear about the house you choose! This is such an inspiration and encouragment to me, maybe our debt free adoption can happen!!!!

  • Katie says:

    Congratulations! We just did our end-of-year budget assessment and planning for 2010 last night and are also amazed at the financial blessings God has poured out on us. May you continue to give generously from the abundance God has given you.

  • Teqiyya says:

    Congratulations Crystal, I am so happy that you guys have reached your goals. May God continue to bless you and your family.


    What an amazing (AMAZING) milestone! I can’t believe you were able to hit this goal in one year.

    I sit back daily and watch our dear Lord at work and it’s truly a wonderful thing. I pray you find the house of your dreams and fill it with lots of love and memories for years to come.

  • Judy says:

    Congrats Crystal!! What an encouragement you are to others! I wrote about you in my blog, because you are an inspiration!!!

  • Jenn says:


  • kelly says:

    I just read your post to my 10 year old and we are both so proud of you. You inspire me to pay off my house as soon as I can. God Bless you and your family in the New Year!

  • kelly h says:

    This is incredible!! I am so grateful to you for sharing your journey with us. I have been following your blog for a long time, and I never had any doubt that you would someday reach your goal! Thanks for being such an inspration to us all!!!!! May God abundantly bless your new home!!

  • Michelle Tsao says:

    Crystal –
    I’ve been following you’re blog and couponing for about a year. !!Thank you!! for sharing your tips about couponing and ways to save money (Once a month cooking, links to other like bloggers (i.e the Frugal Fashionista), etc.) It has helped to inspire me and encourage me spiritually.

    Today I did a quick check on our finances and God is good!! This whole year the stock market has been more like a flea market. I didn’t think we would re-coup money that we lost in last year’s market crater, but, Praise God, through NO efforts on our own we are almost back to where we were. Also, we are paying as much extra on our mortgage as possible and I was really surprised and !!happy!! how well we’ve done in one year.

    This wouldn’t be possible for us if it wasn’t for your obedience to God about how to handle/manage money and SHARING your thoughts AND ENCOURAGMENT about how to do it.

    May God Bless You and your work!

  • Kelley says:

    Wow!! I’m so proud of you! I’ve been reading your blog and love it!!

  • Tracy says:

    Congratulations that is a HUGE accomplishment! I’m excited for you and your family! Now go enjoy your trip!

  • Deborah says:


    We, too, are celebrating the paying off of The School Bill this past fall. God is good!

    Looking forward to some big changes in 2010, too…

  • hehashelpedus says:

    First time reading your site and wow am I glad I did! I found out about you through Wise Bread. Anyways a huge huge congratulations to you and your family! God truly is the One to make dreams come true!

  • Rocio H. says:

    Congrats, you’ve inspired me to set some big goals for 2010.

  • LynB says:

    Gotta add my $.02 to the mix as well-

    I’ve only been couponing for just over a month and you’ve been a huge part of my success in that arena. You are a true inspiration to me. I don’t know how you do it, but you do, and I appreciate it all. I imagine you with a baby on one hip and a laptop on the other?!

    And now to find out you’ve been saving for your home too…AMAZING! Talk about stewardship…

    God IS good and may he continue to bless you and yours abundantly as you continue to praise him and spread his message of hope, faith, and love.

    P.S. I’m a REALTOR so I know just how remarkable a feat this is; I don’t often see a family purchase a home debt-free. Actually, I don’t think I EVER have. Congratulations again on such an awesome accomplishment!

  • Danielle Herrera says:

    Crystal you are truly an inspiration. After reading your story I went home last night and My fiancée and I sat down and wrote out our goals for 2010. We have two financial goals (one of which is to have a debt free wedding this October), two personal goals each and two household goals. I just wanted to share and thank you again for all your encouraging thoughts. I hope you and your family are enjoying your time down her in CA and that you have a very blessed New Year.

  • Sharon says:

    CONGRATULATIONS!!! I’ve been following your journey from the beginning and am thrilled to see you’ve accomplished your goal! PTL!!!

  • Julie R says:

    Congrats! PTL!

  • Alicia says:

    I don’t know why I just started crying but I’m so happy for you! What an inspiration! Congratulations.

  • Jessica says:

    I just want to tell you how proud of you all I am. I am a Mom about your age. I have a 12 week old and a 2 year old that are at home with my husband and I (no daycare). We went into debt right after I got out of college. After having my 2 little boys, I now have a new perspective on what matters. God has blessed us many times also. We have sold our house and are working to pay off all our debt to start over debt free. We live on a lot less so that we can keep our kids out of daycare. I still work. My husband makes a whole lot less money to work a schedule that allows our babies to be in our care. I just want to say that you really have a good perspective on things that I had to learn the hard way. God, family, how to make the most out of what you have, to be content…these are all such important values to have. Congratulations!

  • Blakely says:

    Congratulations!! What an amazing goal to set and to have reached.

  • Wow, what an awesome and inspiring story! God bless you on your exciting journey ahead!!

  • Marcy says:

    Congrats Crystal! What an awesome accomplishment. Have a great time on your trip – you guys deserve it! 🙂

  • Angela O says:

    Wonderful news, Crystal!!! We are thrilled for you!

  • sarah says:

    Praise the Lord! How wonderful to see God provide for your family in this spectacular way. God’s blessings on the new year!

  • Melinda says:

    Congratulations!!! That is wonderful— you are really inspiring!

  • Jerry says:

    Congratulations on your hard work and on your stewardship! It shows that diligence and obedience lead to success, and also gives others some insurance that it is possible to pay 100% down for a house. Way to go!

  • Heather says:

    WOW!!! CONGRATULATIONS!!!!! I would LOVE to hear you speak in real life!! You have such a testimony and you are an incredible inspiration!! THANK you for living your life faithful to God!!!!!

  • mary catherine says:

    I am in tears right now! I am so happy for you. I read your blog and it has helped me so much! My husband and I were married in October and with that I took on a lot of his debt. My goal is to be debt free my June. I have accepted God in my life a long time ago and I know that it is his mission for my husband and I to work together and eliminate this debt. Thank you for being a place to turn to when I am so stressed and tired and don’t think I can make it! You give me such hope.

  • Nikki says:

    How awesome!! I am anxious to read all about the journey.

  • Alison Armstrong says:

    Congratulations! Hope you find the house you have been dreaming about!

  • That is so incredibly awesome!!! I can’t wait to read more of the story. MAD RESPECT to you & your husband:)

  • Abra says:

    Congratulations! I remember following this goal with you in 2009. What an inspiration you are to me! I finally got my act together (with the help of Dave Ramsey) and will soon be debt free. Then, I want to start saving for a house, just as you all did. Can’t wait to read more of your story!

  • Rachelle says:

    You definitely should call in Dave’s show to let him know about this amazing milestone! He has so many debt-free calls that he seems to beg for other success stories!

    Can’t wait until we hit this goal too!

  • Jennifer says:

    Way to go Crystal! So proud of you, Jesse and the kids for your sacrifice, your leadership, and above all, your faith!

    Awesome! Happy New Year!


  • Hannah says:

    I am catching up on my blog-reading….now, I’m celebrating with you! Praise God for His provision for your family.

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