We’re Debt Free! Paying off our house with Dave Ramsey’s Baby Steps

If you’re a fan of Dave Ramsey, you know the scream…WE’RE DEBT FREE! And we can say it again…because we have paid off our house! We’re weird people!

First, Let’s Rewind

If you missed how we started on our debt free journey, you can find out about how we got started on my first blog post about our baby steps. And then I followed up last year with how we’re doing along with sharing info about the Financial Peace University (FPU) class we were teaching.

House Paying Off Goals

We had a goal to pay off our house by the time we were 45 years old. This year my husband and I both turned 40. So how did we hit our goal faster than we thought? Three words: real estate market. It’s nuts right now, right? We were hanging on to a rental property my husband bought in foreclosure over 15 years ago. That house was paid off but we kept it for rental income. Our plan was to sell it when we needed the money to pay off our current house, which we thought would be a few years away. But our friend and real estate agent, Matt Beers asked: why are we not selling it now?

Good point. Why aren’t we? So my husband got to work with some updates and we put our rental house on the market. A week on the market and the house sold. And with that money, we paid off our current house plus had some money for a few renovations we’d like to do.

Thank you, crazy real estate market.

But mainly, thank you Dave Ramsey for showing us that this was actually possible. Here are our numbers:

Total amount of debt to start$716,829
Total months it took to pay off44 months
Total amount we currently owe to anyone$0

Our Story: Why I Shared

I shared our FPU journey to become debt free for one reason only: to show that anyone can do it. Yes, your journey may look different. Your journey may take longer. But every day is one day closer. And setbacks happen! Were we on budget every single month? Heck no. We had months that I felt we could have done better. Yet, here we are.

My Tips that Helped Us Become Debt Free:

  1. Follow the plan. Don’t Dave-ish anything. Don’t do it half-ass in other words. If you’re going to do this, do it right and by the book.
  2. Budget. I can’t believe how much that helped me spend money. Say what? Oh ya…that money I thought we didn’t have for clothes that I would sneak on the credit card each month? Our budget showed me that we did have it IF we budgeted for it. And sometimes at the end of the month I would jump on Target.com and get the kids stocked up for the next season because the budget showed I had money to spend.
  3. Be on the same team. If you have a spouse or partner you’re doing this with, get on the same page. One person on the budget and one person not really caring is NOT GOING TO WORK. Keep each other accountable. However that looks.
  4. Get the entire fam involved. At one point our son was telling the neighbors about Dave Ramsey. They know that we’re saving for their college so when they get done, they don’t have thousands of dollars of debt waiting for them. And with that, we want them to do the same for their kids.

Now What?

What’s next for us? Lots of saving, of course! We’ve set up retirement accounts, IRAs and all the things with Mark Scholz with Ameritas Financial Services in Omaha. Mark made things super easy and I feel so confident that if anything happens, I could call Mark and he’d walk me through everything. We are using the money that was towards our mortgage for the future and for future purchases, like a new vehicle when the minivan decides it’s done. We are also renovating our home so we’re using a bit to make all of that happen.

Financial Peace. There is a reason it’s called that. The peace we feel to pay off the house and not have loans to pay each month is amazing. Questions? Reach out of course. I’m happy to give you any pointers, guidance or words of encouragement.

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