Our story is normal.
So normal that I wondered if it was even worth sharing, honestly.
Boy and Girl meet. Boy and Girl get married and bring to the world a couple of ginger kids.
Throw a dog in there...you got normal. Boy and girl buy a house....a money pit, as it was. Boy and Girl move and buy another house....(a foreclosure! What a steal! Couldn't turn it down!). Boy and Girl buy a car (it was used! What a good deal!) and another.....Girl loses job, starts business.....Boy loses job, starts business....and the world keeps turning. If you didn't hear the little "ch ching!" sounds in there with every move, let me help you out. They're there.
What has also been "normal" throughout the 13 years we've been together, nearly 10 of those married, has been a "normal" amount of debt.
According to a 2015 study, the average American is carrying a little over $25,000 in student loan debt (check!)
Over $10,000 in vehicle debt (Oh yeah, check!). Nearly $8000 in revolving debt (check and then some!)
Yup. Decidedly average.
I struggled with our number. Part of me felt the pain, a bit, of those folks on the Biggest Loser....stripping off their t-shirts to reveal years of abuse to their bodies....stepping onto that gigantic scale and watching with shame as the number ticked higher and higher.
We sat down and wrote it all out and there it was staring us in the face. 10 years of college (I'm a bit of a slow learner, apparently). 2 cars. 2 business lines of credit. Black and White.
We are AVERAGE....but people don't talk about average. They hide their average in little corners and use words like "we only use credit for emergencies" or "everyone has a car payment".....or, the best one: "You can't go to college without taking out a loan".
I started to think, what if we stopped hiding behind average? What if we declared "No More" and faced our number and our intent to kick it to the curb? What if we supported each other in this instead of shoring up the idea of "Well, you're normal. Don't worry about it". What if I took responsibility for every card swipe, every wayward car purchase, every decision that should have been a debt repayment?
What if I stood up and said I didn't want to be average anymore?
About 3 years ago we started the Dave Ramsey Total Money Makeover
In 6 months we paid off $36,000. Yes. 6 months. We KILLED it. Seriously (see the first blog post about this tiny toe-dip into non-average-ville).
Then we suffered a job loss. And decided to start a business. We jumped off the bandwagon and were left behind in the dust. Had we kept going? We would have been debt free by now. The years are going to pass anyway, what are you going to do with them?
We're ready....are you ready? There's strength in numbers, and there's definite strength in building those around you up as they start on the same journey as you.
With our current plan, we are on target to be completely debt free (outside of our home) by October 2018. Watch us as we kill it again.
I am not, nor have I ever been, a financial expert. I'm just a normal chick blogging about our journey through the muddy water of personal finance....the good, the bad, and the ugly. From time to time there will be affiliate links or sponsored posts on this blog. Rest assured, I will only link to items I actually use and can be helpful to folks. I will only support causes and/or businesses that I feel are helpful, not harmful.