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Total Money Makeover.

June 4th, 2010 | Posted by Emily in About Us | Bungie Finances

Daniel & I just hit a big milestone on Monday. We paid off and closed my Chase credit card. Happy dances ensued as I hit the “send” button on my payment. I felt like a huge weight had been lifted.

http://www.creditcardbank.in/images/Chase-Credit-Card-In-India---Chase-Visa-Credit-Card---Master-Chase-Card.jpg

Boo Chase Card!

Let me back up a bit. When Daniel & I got married 2 years ago, we both had very different ideas of how to spend/save our money. I was meticulous with my checkbook register but always spent every dime of my paycheck, and Daniel didn’t even have a checkbook register, but his philosophy was to “spend as little as possible.” Sounds like a recipe for disaster, right?

Well, right after we got back from our honeymoon, we decided to enroll in the 8 week Dave Ramsey “Financial Peace University” at our church so we could figure out a new way of handling money – that way neither of us had to conform to the others way of money management (are we two independent people or what?) Well, we decided the first week of the class that we weren’t going to put anything on credit cards anymore. We had a decent chunk of debt between our 4 credit cards, my car loan, and his small student loan, so we both decided to get 2nd jobs on top of our regular full time jobs to help our, as Dave calls it, “shovel to hole ratio.” It ended up being a blessing that I got a second job because I ended up quitting my job a few months later due to … ahem… and unsatisfactory work environment. It took me a couple months to get a new job (which required me to take a pay cut – boo), so my job at the Gap helped to keep us financially afloat and it kept me from going insane from boredom/depression as I pounded the pavement for a new job.

http://ponderingsfrompluto.files.wordpress.com/2010/01/dave-ramsey.jpg

My good friend Dave Ramsey...He sure is creepy in this picture!

So, long story short…in 2 years we’ve paid off close to $15,000.00 in debt in the midst of buying a house, renovating said house, and even taking a very nice trip to San Francisco for our 1 year anniversary (all paid for with cash). It’s been rough working 5 jobs between the two of us, but we arranged our schedules so we work on the same nights, and we make the most of the time we do have together. We still have a ways to go, and with me starting grad school in August, that will cause me to quit my second job, but we are well on our way to being debt-free. When I was worrying the other night about how we are going to make it once I start school, Daniel reminded me that it’s been 2 years since we’ve relied on credit cards to sustain our lifestyle. If we can do that, we can do anything.  It’s been hard, but it will be worth it when that last debt is paid off.

I’ve already told Daniel that once our last debt is paid, we are going to start saving for a 3 month trip to Europe to make up for all the years we’ve been unable to travel as extensively as we did in college.

What about you? What would YOU do if you were debt free?

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9 Responses

  • avatar Katherine says:

    CONGRATS!!!!! PS–I need to get your books back to you.

  • avatar Anne says:

    I’m so proud of you guys! I know you’ve been working so hard to make this happen. This step must feel incredible.

  • avatar Bridget says:

    I think paying off a credit card balance is the best feeling in the world! I only use my credit card for emergencies and the reason I’ve had to pay it off twice is because my car needed some major work, so I had to use the emergency card. The first time I became debt free by paying off my credit card I got a tattoo. The second time I paid off my credit card, thanks to Obama’s first time home buyer tax credit, I took a trip to Chile! Congratulations on being that much closer to being completely debt free! :-)

  • avatar micah says:

    We are credit card debt free as of this year too! It’s a great feeling! We are saving up for a trip to Hawaii :)

  • avatar Courtney says:

    Congrats on debt payoff!! I would not close accounts though, just cut the cards. The debt to credit ratio is good for your credit score. Still, you guys have worked so hard and I am inpressed!!!

  • avatar Katrina says:

    Congrats on paying off all your debt!! Before we bought the house 1.5 yrs ago we were debt free (minus my car pmt) but since buying buying the house we’ve racked a little debt up thanks to Home Depot — but a few months ago we said no more credit use and have been paying down our credit card debt and using cash only & I upped my 401k contribution and hope to increase it more towards the end of the year.

    When we are debt free, I want to start saving for a nice family vacation / or a 5 day carribbean cruise some time next year

  • You rock!! It sounds like a debt-free vacation is in order for the two of you :).

  • avatar Emily says:

    Thanks guys! Just for the record, we aren’t debt-free just yet, but paying off the Chase card was a big turning point, we are now on the back end of our “debt snowball” and should be completely debt-free within the year (I hope!) Owning a home definitely makes it a little tougher to plan for things as little emergencies tend to pop up whenever we get ready to make a chunk payment on one of our debts. Are ya feeling me? I’ll definitely do a post when we are completely, COMPLETELY debt-free!

  • avatar Kim says:

    YAY! SO incredibly proud of both of you – just think, that $15,000 could have been over $30,000 if you wouldn’t have been so diligent (and incredibly disciplined) in paying it down so quickly. You guys are awesome, and a great example!!