As I mentioned here, we became debt free except the mortgage on August 28th, 2012.
You can follow our journey from the very beginning in Our Money Story. We got serious about kicking the debt habit in October of 2009. So, it took a lot of meandering along and then 3 years of pretty focused work to eliminate our line of credit for the farm, Brian’s truck loan, and my student loans. Along the way we continued to cash flow our (big) farm expenses and paid cash for a semi, a dump trailer, two pickups, a loader tractor, and a new barn. In the interest of full disclosure a couple of those things were purchased with an insurance check after our shed fire in 2009. The rest, though, all came from our own efforts and God’s grace. Over the last 3 years we have also expanded our farming operation extensively by growing our cattle herd and sheep flock and renting more acreage.
As always, I’m being transparent here in the interest of encouraging you and spreading the word that it is possible to live without the constant pressure of bills. There is no way we could have done this on our own so we can’t even pretend to brag about it. I can’t count the number of times I balanced the checkbook and the numbers came out in the red only to have an unexpected check show up in the mail that very day. One of my favorite moments of this whole experience was when I overheard my dear husband tell someone that he doesn’t know how we got here but he does know that part of it is because his wife prays a lot. I can’t say it any better.
So… what next? Well, per Dave Ramsey’s Baby Steps, we are tackling our Fully Funded Emergency Fund with a vengeance. I have estimated that in the case of us losing the income from Brian’s day job we would need $1000 a month to cover the basics. Since we are a single income family we will be building our emergency fund to $6000 to cover us for up to six months in the event of an unforeseen loss of income. We’ve already set up an automatic monthly transfer of funds from our checking account to our emergency fund. Those transfers will finish the emergency fund in 8 1/2 months. Let’s see… that’s the middle of May. I’d like to think we’ll be able to put a lot of extra money with it and get done a lot faster. By the end of 2012 sure would be nice!
So, there’s the nitty gritty. Questions? Are you on a plan to get debt free? What step are you on?
Linked to: Teach Me Tuesday @ Growing Home.