Where did I start? $70,594 in non real estate debt

Where did I start?

In Feb of 2008, I found myself without a job and had $70,594 of non-mortgage debt.  In addition on my condo, I owed $115,241 on a first mortgage and $19,855 on a second mortgage.

In July of 2008, I found a job and swore to myself that I needed to pay down my consumer debts as quickly as possible, I realized how much risk I put myself in by having a student loan, a 0% interest loan on a computer, a car loan, a second mortgage etc.  Add to it that the nation was going into a major financial crisis, so it was unclear if I was going to be able to keep my job that I desperately needed to make payments on my debts.

What did I do?

I went out and got a copy of Quicken and took the time to set up all of my accounts, loans etc into the software so that I could start tracking my progress.  (I loaded data back to 2007, in some cases if I had it back to 2005).

About 2008, I found out about Dave Ramsey and began to listen to his TV show (no longer on the air), and to listen to his podcasts (free).  I began to focus in on what debt was doing to me, and what situation it was putting me in.  I was normal, it’s not like I ever missed payment, and I paid off my credit cards in full every month but I was sick and tired of being sick and tired.

I followed the baby steps, I attended Financial Peace, I temporarily stopped contributions to my 401K, and I began making extra payments on my debts.


By May of 2011 I had paid off everything except my first mortgage. (about +91K)

In 2011, I began to date the person who would end up being my wife. We grew up in the same hometown and knew each other as kids but it wasn’t until later in life that we reconnected.  We began to date long distance while I lived in Texas and she lived in the Midwest.  By being debt free other than my mortgages, I was able to cash flow trips back and forth every month.

Without having gotten serious about paying off my debts in 2008, there is no way I could have paid for a year or so to date long distance.  Therefore there is no way we would have ended up married.  So I thank Dave Ramsey, he truly changed my life.


12 thoughts on “Where did I start? $70,594 in non real estate debt

  1. Thanks for sharing. I recently began my debt free journey in February and just paid off my final credit card! Now onto the biggins – student loans. However, this lifestyle has changed my life. It is because of this that my high school sweetheart has started the conversation of buying a home and marriage. He isn’t scared of the financial situation that I had put myself in in anymore because it is getting cleaned up rapidly. I’m hoping to be completely debt free in 2 years.

    Dave Ramsey has changed my life as well and I couldn’t be more grateful.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for the comments.

      Dave Ramsey does a great job of setting a solid financial foundation.

      ITs a great feeling to get traction isnt it?!!!! The big thing on those bigger debts is to keep challenging yourself to pay down more each month. A graph, or some sort of personal pep talk each and every day. I listen to the Dave RAmsey podcasts every day to keep myself motivated.

      I had already attended financial peace, and before my wife and I got married, she watched all of the Financial Peace videos. Also as the nerd, I helped my wife with making her budget every month before we got married ( I also do my own individual budget). Since we have gotten married, we sit down every month and do a formal budget. And she has to make at least one meaningful change to the budget I draw up.

      I would highly recommend if you are thinking about marriage doing something similar to what my wife and I have done. Highly recommend attending Financial Peace before you get married, and maybe you each do an individual budget that you talk about when you get engaged.

      I dont know if you use it or not, but I find it really really helpful to track our finances in Quicken.

      Remember that Dave Ramsey talks about being completely out of debt before buying a house. I know way too many young couples who get into trouble by buying too much house and they have no wiggle room in their budget to do things.

      Hey Keep up the great work, I want to hear back from you on how you are are doing with the Student Loan and hopefully marriage!!!!

      Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for stopping by.

      My focus now is on becoming financially independent, and thinking about real estate as the main vehicle to do it. That’s why I started this blog.

      But I think its helpful to know where I came from how and how I think Dave Ramsey is a great way to start.


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