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.