A testimony from Autumn
My husband and I married at the early age of only 18. We were young and in love with each other — and with credit cards! As you might imagine, the love of credit cards got us in some serious trouble!
Fast forward three years and we had over $30,000 in credit card debt PLUS two car notes. Bad, bad idea! We had gotten ourselves in over our heads.
We knew something had to change!
It felt like a heavy load on my shoulders every time the phone rang because I knew that it would be another debt collector. Life had truly spiraled out of control for us. We realized how true, “The borrower is slave to the lender,” really is!
We decided to make some changes… some very big changes! We went through Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University course, where we learned about the, “debt snowball” technique. We had to hit it fast and furious! We had no other choice!
At that time we had a rental property, and the current renters had not paid us for almost 4 months. This meant our mortgage for the rental property wasn’t being met either. So, the first line of business was to sell it off. Then we celebrated with a credit card destruction party (AKA cutting up the cards).
We took the minimal profit from the sale of our rental and applied it towards some of our smaller bills (per the debt snowball protocol). From there we went on a tight budget like no other!
We did things such as:
- Ate Mac N’ Cheese several nights in a row.
- Said, “no” to extra-curricular activities we couldn’t afford.
- Took advantage of free entertainment (ie. swimming and taking the kids to the park)
- Made crafts out of some interesting materials from home.
- Shopped for deals and thoroughly researched to find the best price possible.
- Took advantage of holiday sales. Sometimes this meant waiting. But, the savings was worth it.
- Worked extra hours — my husband even got an extra job delivering pizzas!
- Sold things that we didn’t need.
- Went on free “dates” at home (usually a movie on TV).
- Cut back on all unnecessary expenses .
It took us almost three years to overcome the mess that we had gotten ourselves into.
It was painful. It was stressful. It was very HARD WORK! But, it was well worth the financial freedom! It’s exciting to say that we are now debt-free, other than our mortgage!
Since we no longer have debt looming over us, we have been able to pay for my new invention (an interchangeable jewelry line) with cash thus far.
Autumn Spitzke is the Owner and Designer of Darling Dazzles. She has been married to her best friend for almost 20 years and is the mother of two teenage daughters, ages 17 and 14.
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