When Luke and I first got married, Luke had owned a house for about two years. When he purchased, he was told that he would be financially fine with an adjustable mortgage. After we got married, the mortgage adjusted, and we were not financially fine…
We had moments when our bank account would read – $800, and that was immediately after we got paid. We had our water shut off (not a fun feeling)… We would go get gas for our cars and would be stuck until we could find a way to get money into our account… We would go to the beach to try and clear our minds, but could only stay for a little while because we didn’t have money for the parking meter. I remember driving home from work, and I didn’t even want to go to our house because it felt like a black hole. We were financially drowning to say the least.
Luke came across a book, Dave Ramsey’s Total Money Makeover. After reading it, he became adamant on getting our finances in order. However, I did not read the book so did not understand where he was coming from. He tried to explain it, but I didn’t get it, I simply felt that we were helpless. Not too long after he read the book, our church was offering Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University. We decided together that we would take the course. It was while we were taking the course that we started to think similar on our finances. Thank goodness!!! But we still had a lot to learn and a long way to go…
We decided to stop paying our mortgage. We were always taught to never give-up, however, at that point, with our lender not willing to work with us, we felt like there wasn’t any other choice. About a year or so after we stopped paying, we received the notice that we were going to be evicted. We packed-up our things and moved out to an apartment in Irvine.
While living in Irvine, we had an amazing realtor, Janet Guidice, who was able to help get a short sale on our house. During this time, we paid off our truck! It was an unbelievably freeing feeling getting that pink slip! But, we were still learning the importance of really getting our finances in order. There were still times that we would fall into the negatives in our bank account. Not nearly as bad as it had been, but still falling into the negatives. We had taken a lot from Dave Ramsey’s course, but were still having a difficult time applying certain things that we learned.
In an attempt to make a long story short, it did take years for us to completely grasp the fact that while money should NOT take over your life, getting to a point in which you feel like your finances are in order is an extremely important part of life. A lot of prayer, knowledge, and putting that knowledge to practice helped get us to where we are today. Please know that we are still dotting the “I’s” and crossing the “T’s” when it comes to our finances, but we are A LONG way from where we were.
The only debt we currently have is our mortgage. We have paid off our student loans, our credit cards, our cars, a timeshare (no I would not recommend purchasing a timeshare… we got it right after we were married… not a good idea), and are currently living in a home we purchased together about two years ago.
It has not been an easy journey. But we have gotten through it together. And in the end, our marriage has strengthened, our faith in Christ has strengthened, and our knowledge of finances, and desire to live a life not dictated by how much money we make has strengthened. We have learned that NOTHING IS IMPOSSIBLE.
Now it is our hope to try and help anybody who is in need of financial guidance. We are not experts, but we have lived through some tough situations, and we hope that the knowledge we have gained will carry over into guiding others.