Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Living Debt Free - The Final Debt Story





Please excuse the crappy quality of this video. We had to tape it as it came over the air through our computer...pretty backwoods but it worked! Also, pardon how totally dorky we sound. If you've read our entire debt story, you know how excited we were for this moment...but we still sound super cheese.



Mike and I have been debt free for awhile now. Over two years. The completion of our story is long overdue, but the truth of the matter is that our story is still being written. God's provision has overflowed in our lives but we still are a long way from being the financial stewards He wants us to be.

Being out of debt has been so good for us but I know it is only possible because we have refused to open new credit cards.

I thought I would make a list of all the things we've been able to do without our credit cards. I'd like to remind you that, until very recently, Mike was the only one who contributed to our family financially. Most of you know he's a police officer and while he makes a good wage, our income is below the median for our area. We bought our home when the market was starting to climb, and like the rest of the dimwits out there, refinanced multiple times so our mortgage payment is embarrassingly high for our little home. It's important to me that people don't read this list and think, "Oh, well you can do these things because Mike makes so much money." There's a lot of blood, sweat and tears that have been put into our staying out of debt.

So, here's my list...
* Bought a truck.
* Bought another truck when the first truck caught on fire. (Another post for another day!)
* Took the kids to Montana for a few days.
* Took the kids to Silverwood.
* Took the kids to Canada to visit Mike's sister.
* Mike and I took a trip to Dallas to visit our dearest friends.
* Established an emergency fund. (*confession* This has been super difficult for us. Because we don't have a lot of excess income, and because we have had quite a few emergency's come up over the last two years, it is nowhere close to where we want it, but we continue to work on it.)
* Increased our tithing to 10% of Mike's income.
* Spent one week in Maui for our tenth anniversary.
* I started a photography business.
* We go out to dinner. Often. (Er...I just like it.)
* Mike got me a laptop for my business.
* Mike bought me a new camera for my business. And new lenses.
* Each year for my birthday Mike has taken me away to a nice hotel and given me a shopping spree.
* We remodeled our kitchen.
* In two days we're taking our kids to Disneyland. For a week.

These are just the things that come to mind right now. As I think longer I know I can come up with more. Since choosing to make the effort to get, and stay, out of debt, our lives have been blessed beyond measure.

We have had to be patient. We have continued to have to go without. Our home is still 1300 square feet. Our yard is still small. With four children and large families on both sides, Christmas is still a stretch. Our TV is old. Our computer is outdated. Our fireplace is still unfinished.
We don't get to do everything we want.

But...(and you knew the BUT was coming, didn't you?!)

While it is a continual process, we have learned to be content with what we have.

And what we have is truly more than we deserve.