Wednesday, December 8, 2010

The Debt Stuff


So, it's been awhile since I've written on our debt story. Honestly, I shouldn't openly admit this, but I grew tired of writing it. That, and there was just a lot of waiting between paying off our credit card and paying off our car. It was month after month of tight budgeting, not going out to eat, not really doing anything fun ... on and on. It went by quickly though so it is difficult for me to sit down and remember every detail.

However (ah...thank God for however's!) I received this email yesterday from an old friend and it made. my. day. In fact, I cried for a bit when I read it, and when I re-read it to Mike later, I cried again. Not only did the email make my heart very very happy, but it also affirmed me as a friend and encouraged me to continue to stay on our debt free path (which can, admittedly, become tiresome sometimes) and to continue writing our story.

I thought I would write another chapter in the debt free saga but my daughter just vomited over the entire living room and so ... I'll leave you with the email I received. But soon, like, a few days soon, I'll continue the debt free story.

(Oh...and for a little history on this friend of mine, her youngest son was recently diagnosed with DMD (Duchennes Muscular Dystrophy) and she is pregnant with her sixth child! She's pretty amazing to begin with but this email put it over the top for me...)

Hey Genesis,
It's been a while since we've talked but I wanted to thank you for something.
It was a long time ago, right after Simeon was born, I came to visit.  (which by the way, we need to do again, it's been tooo long).
We talked about babies, Simeon's birth, how you weren't having more babies, etc.  But we also talked about $$, bills, paying for stuff, mortgages, credit cards, etc.  You were telling me about (I can't think of his name, pregnant brain, right) the financial guy, you read his book about keeping a budget, no credit cards, putting money in envelopes.  Anyway after I left I told Tom all about our visit.  At the time, I thought there is no way, there is no way that I ever will be able to be debt free.  
About a month or so after that, you posted on facebook that you were officially debt free.  I was so happy for you an Mike (I hope things are still well??, I know more than anyone that life happens, and things come up, but I hope you've been able to stay debt free).  
Well, long story short, I took your advice and decided I was going to try really had to do that too.  Then not very many months later (maybe 2 or 3 months) we got Wyatt's medical diagnosis.  And so much for debt free.  We ended up spending about 7000 to 10,000 dollars out of pocket on medical bills since then.  So we were in debt twice what we were when we talked.  
But after so many hard decisions, fights with our mortgage company, fights with our medical insurance, fights with our car loan people, almost 15 months since I saw you we are officially debt free (except mortgage, which we got a loan modification and are saving about $1000 a month on our house payment) as of today.  No credit card debt, no car loans, medical bills are paid, man does it feel great.
The whole purpose of this email is to thank you.  I have a lot of friends who try to give me advice or say you can't be without a credit card, you need one, that's bull!  You were my only friend that gave me a solution.  As you well know, it's still so hard to live on a budget.  EVERYTHING is more expensive, but Tom doesn't make anymore money.  We've made huge sacrifices, but haven't had to give up what's truly important....a safe place for our children to live and the best medical care money can buy for Wyatt.  I don't know how I can ever thank you enough.  You may not know how much you encouraged us to make a change.
We didn't do this for us, we wanted to prove to our kids, that it is truly possible to live with in your means, I hope that in the last year the kids seeing us struggle to get though everything will not only prove to them ANYTHING is possible, but that also that they need to budget when they want things (as adults) and I hope and pray that they don't make the same mistakes we did.  This is the first time (other than right after we sold our house when we moved here 3 years ago) in our almost 18 year marriage that we have been debt free.  I am a changed person and I hope that my kids will LEARN from my current example, not my mistakes of the past.
Thanks Genesis.  You truly made a difference in the lives of 8 people.  Our family can never thank you enough.
Merry Xmas and Happy New Year.
I'm honored to call you my friend.
Love, Melissa

1 comment:

Momma K9 said...! How cool! She's right too, to the world, the idea of not having a cc and not charging is just crazy talk! We originally were going to keep mine for emergencies. Because it was paid off and I was only charging small amounts (like a book for my Kindle, iTunes) then paying it, my cc company lowered my limit to $300. Umm...yea not worth keeping! We do still have OK9's which we are not using but paying off. I am proud to say though that this will be the first Christmas we have paid exclusively with cash, even adding a baby to the mix. I set our Christmas spending budget and we are sticking to it. Even online shopping, which we typically charge because of the fear of fraud, we used our debit card for. Pat on the back for us! It's no fun to be tied down to stuff you can't afford. I loved how she wrote they were setting the example for their children. That, is worth millions! Keep writing your story or not, either way I know you've already impacted families in huge ways! Including ours!