yesterday we took another HUGE step towards financial freedom. we finished dave ramsey‘s baby step 3!!! this means that not only are we debt free, but we also have 3 months of expenses saved in an emergency fund. i cannot express to you how free this makes me feel. it took ten months for us to get through the first three baby steps, but it has been an awesome journey. we have taken control of our finances and are able to give more than ever before.

here’s the thing – i am TERRIBLE with money. when i left home for college, i made one bad financial decision after another. i maxed out 8 credit cards, bought a brand new car i couldn’t afford, and spent whatever i wanted. i consolidated all of my debts into a big loan and paid on it for several years. while i was paying it off i opened up new credit cards at gap, banana republic, old navy, and victoria’s secret, then got a new visa and discover card for good measure. i was basically a disaster. i was always later with my rent, trying to explain myself to roommates, and completely unable to get it together.

in early 2006, i felt really convicted and overwhelmed by the way i was dealing with money. i again consolidated my debt and cut up all of my credit cards. by the time i married jed in 2008, i was completely debt free. jed was a different story. he still had a few credit cards, a major loan from his parents, and the dreaded student loans. still, i thought we were doing ok. we were very frugal throughout the first year of our marriage, and never used credit cards. but, we still had all of that debt hanging over our heads.

last year we were introduced to dave ramsey’s ideas by jed’s brother, sam. he and his wife michelle had taken control of their finances using dave’s plans, and were eager to share the program with us. i fought it. big time. i did not want a budget. i did not want to sacrifice to pay off “his” debt, when i had already worked so hard to pay off mine. one fateful weekend we were driving to houston and happened to listen to dave’s radio show. it was a “debt free friday” with people calling in to scream, “we’re debt free!!!”. i was hooked. we started the program the next week, and the rest is history. we have found such freedom.

if you are drowning financially, or even just struggling a little, go check out dave. his ideas are not rocket science, just the common sense that we try to hide from as we run up our credit card bills. i am not receiving any kind of compensation for this post, just trying to share the wealth.

i’m linking to:
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9 Comments on frugal friday (just barely) – finishing baby step 3

  1. Way to go! I’m so happy for you…now just for fun, once each week tell us different ways you did it. I want it personal…thanks!

  2. I Love Dave Ramsey. I get his radio show where I live! I love his no-nonsense approach…Like you said, its already stuff we know, we just have to face it!
    Good for you guts!
    ~Susan

  3. I have been married for 19 years and when we first started off, we were poor. We didn’t have a lot of debt but we had some. We tithe (even when we really didn’t have the money) and we save. We drive 9 yr. & 5 yr. old cars but we go on really great vacations, we don’t have debt, we buy great furniture….basically, we learned as we got older. It is a great feeling to know that you have money in the bank and nothing hanging over your heads. Always do that and you will have a great marriage and a great life.

  4. Did you call into Dave’s show and scream, “I’m Debt Free!!!!!” Its funny- his office complex is across the street from Cool Springs Mall in Franklin, TN, and whenever I would go shopping, I would pass the building and it ALWAYS made me spend less money at the mall! 🙂 Dave is like my shopping conscience.

    I was where you were in 2001, and let me tell you- you do sleep better at night when you are debt free. The car does drive better. The amount of stress that is lifted off of your shoulders is huge. Congrats!

  5. Hi, stopping by from SITS.

    Good Luck. You sound like you’re headed down the right track. Have you read the blog, Coal Creek Farm? http://coalcreekfarm.com/ She’s been subscribing to Dave Ramsey’s way of doing things for awhile now. Her take on all things Dave Ramsey is pretty funny.

    Congratulations on your financial freedom!

  6. You know I love me my Dave!
    Hey!
    Just wanted you to know that I got your entries for the birdcage–wouldn’t that just be crazy if you won AGAIN!!??
    I would fall on the floor, I think.
    😉
    CONGRATULATIONS on finishing Baby Step #3!!!
    WOOT WOOT!!!
    Proud of you!
    ~me

  7. Very cool! Thanks for sharing. This is actually the first time I have heard about Dave Ramsey but I will definitely check him out.

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