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Tag Archive: We Paid Cash

We Paid Cash! :: We bought a motorhome

We paid cash!

Testimonial from Leslie

We had been looking for over a year for a motorhome for our family. Our kids are 10, 7, and 5 and we thought it was the perfect time to be “making memories” with them. We had been saving up and knew we wanted to pay cash, so we couldn’t get something over our budgeted amount.

My father-in-law kept telling us to get something nicer and we could just write off the interest as a second home. But, in order to write off interest, you have to pay interest, which we weren’t going to do!

We paid cash for our motorhome!We finally found an older motorhome that met all our requirements and was less than what we had saved — score! It isn’t pretty but it is so much fun.

I happened to win a gift certificate recently from Keeper of the Home for $100 of material from Marie Madeline Studio. Perfect timing and we are so thankful. I am ordering material to make all new curtains and pillows to make our motorhome more our own.

I forgot my camera on our first outing so I used my phone to take some. Here are our kids, sitting around the fire, on a 95° day — making memories! I blogged about that first trip here.

As for how we saved the money, first off, we live below our means. That was hard when DH was laid off for 7 months and ended up taking a job making 1/2 of what he was making previously. But God always provided. I have a small photography business that was able to keep us afloat and we actually doubled our savings during those months that he was out of work.

We use cash, shop sales, don’t have cable or even a media package on our cell phone (this shocks people the most, I think). Our cars are older but paid off and we are just normally pretty frugal people.

Leslie has been married to her best friend for 13 years and they have three great kids, ages 10, 7, and 5. They are just about to start their 4th year of homeschooling and she has also owned her own photography business since October 2006. She loves the Lord, her family, and truly loves her life. She is very blessed and tries to not forget it as she is breaking up the umpteenth sibling fight of the day. 😉

Have you saved up and paid cash for something — large or small? Submit your story for possible publication here.

We Paid Cash! :: A New-to-Us Car

We paid cash!Testimonial from Christina

Last month my husband and I bought a car in cold hard cash. As a young couple, it was our first big purchase and a very stressful one.

The Background

For the holidays last year we decided to skip the gifts and pay off all the random credit cards that we had been ignoring. Once we were debt-free, my husband and I started to save money as our New Year’s Resolution.

We tracked every penny we spent in a nice little excel spread sheet. Eventually our drive-thru breakfast and Chinese take-out habits had stopped and we ate a lot of pasta dinners.

Our Goal

In May he started a new job with a long commute. His beat-up car was getting the job done but then the summer heat really kicked in and his lack of air conditioning made the 45-minute drive on black leather seats unbearable.

At this point, we had about $10,000 saved. After much research, we decided the best thing for us was to buy used, but we didn’t want to spend all of our savings in one place. We agreed on of a budget of $6,000 total off the lot, and so the hunt began…

We paid cash for our car!Our Purchase

After about two dozen used car lots, half a dozen pushy salesmen and one potential buy (the car was mysteriously “sold” when we asked for the car facts), we found her in one of those free used car magazines at our grocery store.

The next day we went to take a look, even though the dealership was closed for Memorial Day weekend. Our little gem was in a packed lot outside of an auto body shop and boy, she was a beauty. A blue 2002 Volkswagen Jetta with 70,000 miles.  Her price tag: $6,000.

After a week of bargaining, we got her for $6,000 including taxes, fees and we even got them to throw in a 90-day warranty.

What We Gained

I was grateful we found her. I was starting to get discouraged and our 6 grand seemed like pennies in the overwhelming world of car shopping. But we stood our ground, hit the pavement and didn’t let anyone talk us into anything we weren’t comfortable with.

Christina, 23, and Michael, 25, live in New Jersey, have been married for two years and are expecting their first child in September.

We Paid Cash! :: A Move to Africa

We paid cash!

Testimonial submitted by Amanda

Moving to Africa two months after getting married is not a plan that many parents understand. Moving to Africa, newly married, while still in college and with a $50,000 student loan burden was almost unfathomable.

I wish this was the story about how God miraculously paid off our debt before we stepped our newlywed feet on that Nairobi-bound airplane, but it’s not. It’s the story of a call and His provision in that call.

The Call

Despite our student loan burden, my husband knew that finishing his college degree and an internship in Kenya was where God wanted him. He also knew that God was drawing us into a marriage together. His heart beats for Africa and mine was newly awakened to the needs of people around the world.

So in a step of faith, we planned our marriage and our big move without knowing how we would survive in Kenya or even how we would get there! Our loan burdens were too big already, so we knew we couldn’t borrow or charge our way there.

A Move to KenyaThe Provision

God’s first provision was to give this journalism major a job. Teaching. Middle school. History. Miraculously, the more-qualified applicant was rejected by HR, and they agreed to let me take on the post for a year, despite the usual two-year commitment. God provided a job and a fabulous community that would be invaluable in the coming year.

His second provision came from the hands of ordinary people. Instead of registering for wedding gifts, we simply and politely asked for money towards our move to Kenya.

Once the wedding celebration ended and we settled into a friend’s vacant and rent-free apartment for two months, we realized we had exactly enough money to cover two round trip tickets to Nairobi and to purchase a small reliable car from a missionary leaving the field (vehicles are more pricey in Africa). Big wads of wedding cash and checks went straight to those huge expenses.

The Rest of the Story

That first year of marriage in Africa is full of countless stories. We survived robberies, civil strife, malaria and so much else, but we learned so much about God’s provision and how materially blessed we are as Americans.

We came home from Kenya when my mother was diagnosed with cancer, but someday we hope to return (without taking on debt of course).

We are still working on that student loan but are proud to say that we just passed the 50-percent paid milestone and can’t wait to be debt-free!

(Note: Yes, we did write a check for the plane tickets AND the car. No credit cards!)

Amanda Parks is a PhD student and lives in Pennsylvania with her husband, Sam, and her black lab, Zeke. They just celebrated their third wedding anniversary.

Have you saved up and paid cash for something — large or small? Submit your story for possible publication here.

We Paid Cash! :: A 15-Passenger Van

We paid cash!

Testimonial submitted by reader, April

When we found out we were expecting our 7th child, we knew we were going to outgrow our minivan (which seats 8).

Having resolved to be debt-free, we began to search online for a good deal. We had our emergency fund, as per Dave Ramsey, so we planned to use that and just make “car payments” back to the emergency fund.

What we found

After searching for a few months, we found a van on eBay that had previously been used by a carpeting company. It had 3 of the 4 benches (so it seats 12) and was in functional condition. It met our criteria of having enough seats and of working perfectly.

The only problem is that we live in Alabama and the van was in Denver, but I didn’t consider that much of a problem.

It was ours!

We won the eBay auction and paid $1950 for a 15-passenger van that runs perfectly. Granted, it is 15 years old and has 150,000 miles, but the pride of it being paid for more than compensates.

After flying to Denver by myself — which should really count as a vacation when you have 6 children — and driving the van home, along with taxes and tag, the total price came to $2400. We, of course, paid cash and made monthly payments back to our emergency fund for about 8 months.

For next time…

Now we have a special savings account called “Car Payment” where we make our car payment for the next time I get to vacation alone. I hope the next van is in Alaska!

P.S. The children have named the Big Van, Shakespeare. We still have the minivan, since it is also paid for, and use it whenever Dad is not home to lengthen Shakespeare’s life.

April Bracker is a homeschool mom to 7.

We Paid Cash! :: We Built a Home

Testimonial submitted by reader, Michelle Thomas

My husband and I have been married for 12 ½ years. Unfortunately, we started out our marriage about $25,000 in debt. After our wedding, we immediately established a budget and started paying off debt. Within about 14 months, we were debt free and began to save for our home. Very early in our marriage, God spoke to my husband. He wanted us to commit never to go into debt again, for anything.

My husband is a public school teacher, and at this time I was working full-time for Christian Financial Concepts, founded by the late Larry Burkett. So, we had very average incomes.

Ways We Saved

We built our home with cashSo, we began to save to pay cash for our home. We owned a piece of land, and we began to make plans to build a home on it. Instead of continuing to rent an apartment, we decided to ask my grandparents if we could live in the upstairs of their home so we could save more money. We lived with them for a couple of years and were able to save tens of thousands of dollars toward our home.

We broke ground on our home in February 2000. We had decided to frame the entire house but finish the basement first and move into it while saving and finishing the remainder of the house. By doing it this way, the outside of the house would look complete, as we hoped not to annoy our neighbors with our lengthy building process.

We were able to move into the basement in August, 2001 (and we found out the day after we moved in that our first baby was on the way!).

We built our home with cash 2We did a lot of the work on our home ourselves, with much, much help from friends and family members. God perfectly orchestrated all of the circumstances of our financial path. It took us about 3 ½ years to complete our home and move upstairs, and we’ve continued to save for upgrades and finishing touches since we moved in.

What We Gained

God has been so faithful and so good to us through this entire journey, and hopefully we’ve encouraged others along the way. We lead a financial Bible study in our church periodically, and I’ve done budget counseling through the years also.

We continually praise the Lord for His faithfulness to us, and we wonder what our family would have been like had we continued on the widely traveled road of debt on which we began our marriage.

Watch more about our story and how we built our home debt-free in the video below:

Michelle Thomas lives with her husband Trevor and four small children in Gainesville, GA. She graduated as valedictorian from North Georgia College with a degree in Sociology. Michelle homeschools her children, handles the bookkeeping for their church, works part-time from home for Crown Financial Ministries and loves saving her family money.

Have you saved up and paid cash for something — large or small? Submit your story for possible publication here.

I Paid Cash! :: Medical Expenses With No Insurance

Testimony submitted by reader, Jody

About four years ago I began to have terrible pain in my lower abdomen. I had been diagnosed with Ulcerative Colitis, an “incurable disease” ten years prior to that, and knew that because of this, my chances for developing colon cancer were greatly increased. After much prayer I decided to consult with a doctor, despite the fact that I had no health insurance.

How I Saved

I was blessed to find a doctor who only charges forty dollars per visit if you are paying out of pocket. She spent more time talking with me than any doctor I have ever interacted with. She prescribed a CT scan to find out what was going on. Rather than just heading to the hospital to get this done, I went home and opened up the Yellow Pages.

I found about four or five facilities that did the CT scan procedure and called to find out how much they would charge me. The prices varied from over $1000 to about $600. When I told the place that was going to charge $600 that I would be paying cash, they reduced the price to $500.

I made an appointment to have the scan done with them. Then the morning of the procedure my brother suggested that I call and ask, “If I pay the cash today when I come in, how much will you charge me?”

I was really embarrassed to make that call. I honestly did not want to. But I did it and instead of them laughing at me, they reduced the bill by another $100!

Hooray! They even seemed rather amazed when I handed over the money that day.

What I Learned

  • Even though I am a patient, I am still a consumer and should shop around.
  • Medical facilities spend a lot of time and money trying to get people to pay their bills. You will save them that hassle by paying up front.
  • It never hurts to ask!

What I Gained

I waited for the results and was very relieved to find that the pain was not caused by a tumor, but an ovarian cyst, which eventually went away.

I am so thankful for the wisdom and guidance that the Lord has given me as He has led me through this illness. It has been quite a journey, and I have definitely received more than a bit of scorn for my choice not to carry insurance — especially considering my condition. For now, I do not believe that that is a burden that He has called me to bear, so I am trusting Him and rejoicing in His faithfulness as He continues to heal me.*

Every year I have been getting better from this so-called “incurable disease”, and I rejoice at the words of the song by Joseph H. Gilmore:

“He leadeth me, Oh blessed thought! Oh words with heavenly comfort fraught!
Whatever I do, wherever I be, Still ’tis God’s hand that leadeth me!
He leadeth me, he leadeth me, By his own hand he leadeth me:
His faithful follower I would be, For by His hand he leadeth me.”

I Paid Cash for Medical ExpensesPsalm 68:6 says, “God setteth the solitary in families”. He has truly done this with Jody by transplanting this Midwesterner to Texas to live with a family of nine and help with their home business.

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*Note from Crystal: While I completely respect Jody’s decision to not carry health insurance, my husband and I would strongly encourage you to prayerfully consider health insurance as a big priority in your budget. We’ve seen families whose finances have been destroyed by being hit with unexpected medical bills. We believe strongly in trusting in the Lord, but we also see carrying health insurance as being wise stewards of the resources God has given us.

Please note that comments which are discussing political views on healthcare, bashing other reader’s decisions or which are deemed to be inappropriate will be deleted. Let’s keep the discussion cordial and focused on the topic at hand.