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Yay! We're Debt-Free! How We Paid Over $40k in One Year

Last July, my husband Matt and I decided to intentionally tackle our total combined debt of over $43,451.13 together. LOL, yes, all the cents are counted. This debt was spread across credit card debt, medical bills, and school loans. We made a plan to pay it off in 17 months but God said, "I got you!" and helped us pay this in 12 months. As of July 15, 2020, we are completely debt-free!!!!

To listen to us talk in more details about our journey, tune in to my debt-free podcast episode here. Please don't forget to rate & subscribe on Apple Podcasts or Spotify!

After our wedding last year, we realized how fast we could save together. I was intent on setting a plan where we would buy a house within the year then pay off our school loans after. Matt was the opposite. We sat down to talk about our plans and he opened up about how his debt made him feel. I knew the feeling all too well (read my blog post about it here) but for some reason, I didn't feel that way when it came to student loans. It's because I've heard it and thought it all: "School loans will take forever to pay off anyway so why bother?", "You're going to be in debt all your life. It's normal.", "You could use that money to invest or save instead."

I was stuck on those phrases, but we finally agreed to tackle all of our debt together first before investing, having a family, or making any big purchases. I created two plans where we paid off our own debt or we combine everything. It was a lot faster to pay it off together. This was a huge, important step for us as a newly married couple. This idea of sharing every part of our lives together got real! Sh/t was weird at first if I'm being honest; but, combining our finances made our relationship and communication stronger. Once we both got on the same page, the journey began!

1. We started listening to the Dave Ramsey podcast.

We stumbled upon Dave Ramsey somehow and that's when we became heavy podcast listeners. I already knew about the debt-free snowball because that's how I learned to pay my credit card off back in 2017, but I didn't know about Dave Ramsey's Baby Steps. We enjoyed listening to Dave because he doesn't sugarcoat anything, and he also states ALL the time how married couples should be combining debt and paying everything together. I love that he also ties in God with paying off debt.

2. We created a pay-off plan and kept track of our plan every month on Excel.