My wife and I are on Baby Step 3 of your plan, and we're about halfway to building our fully funded emergency fund. We don't like our current home very much, and we'd like to sell and move as soon as possible ...
My husband and I started our debt repayment journey almost immediately after getting married. We were married a month and a half before graduating college, and then the loans kicked in. I was the only one with loans, as my husband had his college debt burden carried through his ROTC commitment. I, on the other hand, had just under $80,000 in student loans (both private and federal to repay). My in-laws purchased us a copy of the Dave Ramsey Financial Peace University, and we began working on the snow ball method to repay our debt. But because my husband is in the Army, it was very hard for me to hold down a consistent, well-paying job until we moved to our permanent change of station. However, once we got to our duty station where we have been stationed for the last year, we made a commitment that by July 2017, we would be debt-free!! We have lived off of one salary (his), and everything that I have made over the last two years has gone into a separate bank account that is used for nothing but loan repayment. I have been very blessed with having had jobs here that have paid well, and because of my husband's being Active Duty Army, there are a lot of household expenses that we don't have to worry about that help with financial aspects of our life. However, it still has been extremely frustrating and challenging for the both of us, as we chose to take the aggressive repayment route, and have been paying upwards of $2000.00 per month to repay the loans. Between my private loans, which my parents took out a home equity loan to refinance, and my federal loans, it was hard to stay motivated. But my parents were firm about the fact that we were responsible for our loans, and encouraged us to stay strong in repaying that debt. It was also helpful to keep in mind that they were tying their own assets and financial future to our ability to stay disciplined and get the loans paid off. We finally paid the last of the private loans off in December, 2015, and starting putting the money that we had been throwing at the private loans into the federal loans and more than doubled the efforts we were making toward paying those off. But today, July 21, 2016, we made our very last student loan payment of $5008.00 for student loans that we will ever have to make. The bank account for debt repayment will have just over $400.00 left in it, but it will be ours. If it hadn't been for the Financial Peace University, we most likely would have wallowed and wended our way through debt repayment. As it is, we're just three years post-graduation, and we are FREE!
This more or less started in 1993. We refinanced house to 15 yr. loan, wife was laid off and adopted baby all in that year. I made about $65k back then. We always invested $1k a year for sons education. My wife wanted to send our son to a christian private school and we agreed to wait for high school. Paid off house early in 2007 so we could pay for son to attend christian high school for 4 yrs. After graduating high school he wanted to become a watch maker and found a 2 yr. school tuition free from a major watch maker and applied and was excepted. In august we moved him back east for school and I was laid off. I started a new job Sept 1 the same day he started school. I was making about $78k at this time. We bought him a used car , paid his living expense's and about $7k for tools during the next 2 yrs. I also was able to start drawing my pension from my previous employer $2300 a month so we cash flowed our sons schooling. He graduated last yr. and then we moved him to Dallas to do a 3 month internship at Rolex. He started his job the beginning of this year debt free making $50k a year. Now at 59 we have $1.3M in are retirement savings.A paid off home at about $350k, and about $100K in savings and investments. This was all making less then $80k a year in all that time except the last 2 years, It can be done. None of this was inherited. God has been good to us and hopefully we can retire soon if needed.