Testimony from Amanda of There We Grow
It’s been almost six years since my husband and I started down the road to becoming debt-free… and we’ve never looked back. It was his idea originally and I have to admit, I thought he was slightly crazy and not sure it was even possible. After all, you are always going to have a car payment, right?
My husband was trying to grow his landscape business and I was working as an orthodontic assistant. I had always hoped to stay home after we started our family but had no idea how we’d do it. Now seeing what’s happened with the job and housing market, I breathe a sigh of relief almost everyday that we stuck with our plan to live debt-free.
To get our momentum going, we sold some items we owned and started stashing as much cash as we could. As we gained a little confidence, we began throwing as much money as we could towards the debts we owed and one by one paid them off.
By 2008, we were completely debt-free (except our house) and had started building a bigger emergency fund. We were able to celebrate with a paid-with-cash trip of our dreams — to Hawaii!
What an amazing feeling that was! It’s kind of hard to describe, especially to someone who doesn’t remember ever being debt-free. It’s almost like trying to explain how refreshing a glass of cool water on a hot day is to someone who’s never tasted it.
Don’t get me wrong, there have been times we’ve looked at other people’s things and wanted to spend money to buy something similar — but we didn’t allow ourselves to, even when it was tempting. We’ve determined that being in debt — particularly when you’re in debt for items that depreciate and wear out quickly — pales in comparison to the freedom we have of not being strapped down.
Becoming debt-free also allowed me to make the transition from working full-time to being a stay-at-home mom. There have also been several opportunities we’ve been able to take advantage of because of our financial flexibility — not to mention helping people in ways we wouldn’t have otherwise been able to.
For those of you working toward the debt-free life, hang in there! The rewards are so worth it!
No career, training, or previous life experience completely prepared me for the gauntlet of all tasks: motherhood! Now my days revolve around my newfound passion in life as a stay- and work-at-home mama bear to our little boys and wife to my best friend of seven years. We love to travel, grow things in our garden, and explore the outdoors but our favorite thing is being able to do it all debt-free! If you’d like to learn more about me, I’d love to have you visit my blog at There We Grow.