Testimony from Mauree who blogs at Today is Sweeter
When my husband and I got married almost three years ago, I was in the process of paying off numerous credit cards, a small school loan, and a car loan. Though I had made tremendous headway, we still had close to $8,000 to pay off when it was all said and done.
As a result of my husband’s personal commitment to saving before we were married, we were able to pay off all but the car loan within days of coming back from our honeymoon. The car loan was paid off a few months later after we had “packed” some more away. That left us completely, 100% debt free!
Because we had been debt-free for that first year of marriage and saving on a monthly basis, we were able to purchase a house and take advantage of the First Time Home Buyer’s Credit. We received a check for $8,000 a few months after closing on our home. While it was tempting (okay, really tempting!) to splurge on new furniture and home upgrades, we decided to simply leave those funds in our savings account as an emergency fund and to do any decorating and small home improvements out of what we were saving monthly.
Saving for a rainy day was hard at times, but because of our resolve to stay debt-free and to save for the future, we were blessed to have the ability to pay cash for three unexpected expenses over this past summer. That “rainy day” certainly came!
During a morning thunderstorm, a large tree fell on our deck leaving us with tree removal and deck repair costs. A week or so later the 25-year-old oven that came with the house gave up the ghost and had to be replaced. And while we knew our home would be in need of a new roof when we bought it, replacing it came sooner than planned and had to come out of our savings account this summer as well.
While it would have been easy to spend that “free” money on the non-essentials, I’m so thankful that we chose to save it. By choosing saving over spending, we have the peace that those unexpected expenses are paid in full and we have not gone into debt to meet those needs.
Maureen Polderman is a stay-at-home mom, private piano instructor, and writer of the blog Today Is Sweeter. She and her husband Josh have one son, Blake, and live in Wyoming, Michigan. They are striving to live debt-free and cherishing the sweet days God gives them!