I grew up in a financially stressed household. Constantly 'floating' checks, hoping to not receive another overdraft. My parents built a real estate empire, but had mortgages attached to every property. Every month was stressful. Especially when a renter didn't pay or trashed a house and moved out.
Because credit was the only thing I knew, I used my credit cards ($100,000+ worth) to help start a business. I was trying to juggle a full-time job (at a credit card company) and full-time college. The stress of a house payment, 2 car loans, and all the credit cards was too much to handle. I ended up dropped my school down to part-time. I wanted to cut back at work, but I wouldn't be able to make all my payments.
After 3 years of juggling payments, and getting the 2 cars paid off, our daughter was born. I quit working to focus on her and the business. It was at this time Dave Ramsey started on our radio station.
At first, I laughed at Dave's answer. Get out of debt! Yeah right. Not possible. But every time I heard a debt free scream, it gave me hope. Hope that maybe, some day.... I could find financial freedom.
Our business was hit hard with the sluggish economy. We started a construction business to try and make ends meet. Over the last 9 years, our construction business has doubled in size every single year.
By following the baby steps, we paid off our credit cards, hospital bills, student loans, business loans and car debt. We also paid off our personal home, and 2 rental properties.
We paid off $552,000 in debt in 6 years.
Everything we own is paid for!
It's been 2 months since we paid off our house, and the financial freedom is starting to become real.
We've been able to cut back at work a bit, and spend more time with our kids, and enjoy life. Best of all, we've been able to give, and give generously.
Dave, Thank you. You've changed our life, and our family tree. You've taught me how to create a legacy for my children's children and one that will perpetuate through the generations.