Monday, May 30, 2016

Destination Debt Free: Big Picture

Today starts a new chapter in the financial life of Blake & Katie! We are excited about tackling our budget and taking down our debt. We've been ignoring the debt cloud hanging over us for pretty much our whole marriage (5 years this June!) - aware that it was there, but assuming we could just deal with it "later". Well, "later" is too far away, so we want to handle it N-O-W!

I am going to be posting a lot (maybe not on my blog necessarily because - newsflash: I have two kids and a full time job! - but definitely on my Instagram & Facebook accounts) about our journey towards a debt free life. This is not meant to be a brag-fest or anything like that, but I've just learned over the years that we aren't the only ones in this situation! Just in the few days that I've been posting on budget topics, I've had a handful of people tell me they're in the same boat and working towards the same goal! So, this is meant to be an encouragement, of sorts, for those of you out there who are also working to get out of debt or just to have a healthy family budget. And it's a tool for me to hold myself accountable throughout this process. 

I'm certainly no expert when it comes to money - which is kinda how we got into this mess we're in! But I've learned a lot over the years and I feel like we are taking the right steps to live without debt. Speaking of steps...

I guess this inaugural post should somewhat explain what we're dealing with in "big picture" terms and how we are going to deal with it.

The Debt: 
Our largest debt is student loans. I took out loans to pay for my undergrad and we have taken out some loans for Blake over the past three years. We currently also have a few hundred dollars on two different credit cards. I'm really not ready to share the total sum of our loans because... well... it's a hard pill for me to swallow right now. But I will eventually be sharing that number because I believe being fairly transparent in this process can be a big encouragement to other people who are in the same situation.

The Plan:
We are going to follow Dave Ramsey's Baby Steps. If you've never read Dave Ramsey's plan, stop what you're doing and read it NOW! It's so simple and makes so much sense. Suze Orman also has a pretty solid plan, but she "allows" you to use credit cards. I have learned in my thirty years that I cannot be trusted with a credit card! So, I feel more comfortable sticking with Dave's plan, in which he highly discourages use of credit cards. Plus, I really like Dave Ramsey's daughter, Rachel Cruze, who works alongside her dad in helping people eliminate debt! 

The Team:
I feel like I should mention that Blake and I are both very involved in this process, but I am the more budget-minded/planner in our family. Blake and I are a team and I won't be sharing any information we haven't agreed to share. 

 Like, I said, that is VERY BIG PICTURE of our overall plan! In future posts, I'll be more specific about all the  many little ways we are working to get out of debt! Stay tuned!

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