The ramblings of a woman,
wife, & mother, who loves:
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learning about parenting /
mamahood / childbirth,
cooking foods healthy /
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It is not to say she does these things
with style or grace, or even skill.

When a snowball rolling down a hill is a good thing.

January 26, 2009 - 9:48 PM

I heard this short analogy about how if a bus was going to hit me, and if you are able, shouldn't you shout out and warn me to move, or physically do something?*

If I had that time machine I've always wanted, then in my story today, the raging bus would be my student loans & college credit card and my action to myself would be yelling, "DON'T DO IT!" 

*Sigh*... why is technology always so far behind?

Most are probably better off than us and did things differently when they were young and never had issues with these things.  If that is you, seriously, congratulations!  What a blessing!  And, if the case applies, you should go thank the person who told you or directed you into such wisdom!

As for us, we each had a student loan, a major credit card each and a car loan in college.  At the time, we had all those debts not because we were stupid, but because we genuinely thought those were normal things that everyone did to go to college and nothing in our then worlds told us anything different.   (Maybe that does make us stupid?)  For better or worse, we had those beasts of burden and married them together. 

In the beginning of our marriage we were simply trying to put food on the table.  While we did destroy all our credit cards and sold all cars with loans when we married, we did not do anything major to get rid of those debts quickly and, as life would have it, added to it several major medical bills along the way.

But as I mentioned, 2 years ago we took this life-changing, 12-week class called Financial Peace University (cheesiest name ever BUT don't let that stop you from going!).  There was one (of many, brilliant) principle that we had never heard before - "The Debt Snowball."  The simplest bit of advice - pay off the smallest debt first (NOT the highest interest rate) "A", then when you pay that off, roll its payment "A" to the next smallest debt's monthly payment "B" and pay it off with "A + B" (the now larger monthly payment), etc.**

When we started the snowball 2 years ago, I was very skeptical of the whole process... would it really work all the way to *gasp* our student loans?  Would it truly speed things up faster than the 7 years technically left on them?  Thanks to not having any new debts added and also maybe it was "thanks" to all the crazy medical bills over the years, as we paid off those bills, one by one our snowball got larger and larger and bills were disappearing until finally it was only the two... then Josh's disappeared and then... mine... AMAZING!

I could not believe it!  5 years early! It is truly a burden that has been lifted from our shoulders!  Talk about financial peace!  The old addage, "The borrower is slave to the lender" is gone!  Vanished!  Praise God!

Again, we know, not having them in the first place is the ideal situation, but like I said, no time machines... yet.

*This was actually taken from a very powerful video blog by Penn of Penn and Teller,  I hope not to disrespect the powerfullness of this video by my referenceing a tiny portion of what he shares out of context.

**There is so much more goodness to this concept, budgeting wisely and tightly, scrimping carefully, throwing everything one has at each smallest debt along the way, changing the whole way you think about money, etc.  It doesn't mean we're done yet either, while we do have some savings and have also saved for the next major medical explosion (that as life has it, will happen), we are now saving for 3-6 months of living expenses, and so on, and so on, as per the class's recommendations. Again, another GREAT reason to take the class,!  I would higly recommend taking the ACTUAL class to EVERYONE, married or single, who has not done it, even if you have no debt or are in retirement, there is SOOO much goodness to be learned!

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About Me and This Blog...

Begin Our Adventures of Fall/Winter 2012 to CA, MN, CO
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Begin Our Adventures of Summer 2012 to MN and CO
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