It’s a new year, fresh budget, and time to reset my cash envelope wallet.

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In a previous post, Calculating Your Magic Number, I wrote about how my husband and I live on one income and bank the other. We’ve been doing this from the beginning, and it’s become second nature to us.

When it comes to paying off debt, we do a modified snowball method. Minimums are paid from one paycheck, so we stay on course. In the savings account, in the meantime, we save up $5000.00 at a time and throw that chunk at the debt when we have it. This method has worked well for us.

We’re currently, debt-free except for the house, and once the annual savings goals (retirement, travel, and house expenses) are complete, the next $5000.00 saved will be thrown at our mortgage.

Having started our married life by only living on one income and banking the other has allowed us to chip away at financial goals steadily. I encourage everyone to look at your lifestyle and see if it’s possible to cut back enough to do this as well. I have a friend who plans on being a stay at home mom when they start a family. They were barely making on both their incomes. Once they became debt-free, I encouraged her to see if they could work on trying to live on one income NOW before they started a family, because if they can’t do it now, it’ll be much harder once a child is in the picture.

There are multiple resources out there giving advice on how to pay off debt. We did a modified version of the Dave Ramsey system. I recommend it over other systems out there. Modified or not, this system has helped millions of people.

*Not a paid spokesperson or affiliated with Dave Ramsey and Ramsey Solutions in any way.*

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My husband and I have managed to pay off debt (except for the house) over the course of our short marriage, and I’d like to share with you how we did it.

Our non-residential debt included two car loans ($9k and $26K) and student loans ($42k). We still have a mortgage and are working to pay that down as well.

I’ve briefly written about our debt pay off journey before, and I know I’ve mentioned Dave Ramsey on this blog before.

We followed Dave’s Debt Snow Ball method for the most part, but did make a slight change. We are blessed to be able to live on one of our incomes, while banking the other. Not everyone has this luxury, and we understand that. However, if you think you can make living on one income and banking the other work, try it!

The way we paid off debt was to make the minimum payments to stay current AND save up our second paycheck for the balance or $5000, which ever was lower. Now for those who are familiar with the Dave Ramsey Debt Snow Ball method, y’all maybe wondering why I’m advocating minimums instead of doing the actual method.

There is a method to my madness I promise. For us, being able to save up $5000 and be able to throw that at one of the debts all at once was more motivating to us than the “quick wins” mindset that Dave talks about. I understand the premise of “quick wins,” but it’s not working for us.

This method also has gotten us into the habit of saving for home improvement projects and traveling, as well as paying down our mortgage.

If you’ve been paying off debt, what method are you using? Debt Snow Ball? Double payments? I’d love to hear about it in the comments.

 

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I didn’t read as many books this year as I would have liked. How many can say the same? I am proud to say that my reading tastes are all over the place.

Douglas Preston & Lincoln Child Pendergast Series #15: Crimson Shore
Peggy Wang Dessert & Booze Hacks
Kathy Reichs Speaking in Bones
Carlos Ruiz Zafon The Shadow of the Wind
Nina George The Little Paris Book Store
Rainbow Rowell Fangirl
Stephanie Pearl-McPhee All Wound Up: the yarn harlot write for a spin
Chris Grabenstein Mr. Lemoncello’s Library Olympics
Stephanie Pearl-McPhee Yarn Harlot: The Secret Life of a Knitter
Dave Ramsey Entreleadership:
Stephanie Pearl-McPhee Free-Range Knitter: the yarn harlot writes again
Chris Grabenstein The Island of Dr. Libris
Rainbow Rowell Carry On: a novel

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Gazelles, Baby Steps, and 37 other things Dave Ramsey taught me about debt by Jon Acuff

Summary:

Title is self-explanatory.

Opinion:

Oh, my God! This book was hilarious!!! Don’t have to have read The Total Money Makeover to find this book funny, but it helps. Jon sarcastically and humorously expounds on questions that are on all our minds: Does Dave only own blue shirts? What is the appropriate attire for attending Financial Peace University? New ideas to improve the Ask Dave Ramsey app, and much more!

Recommended very much!

© Cori Large November 2013

Small Change by Shelia Roberts

Summary:

Three friends who are having money troubles band together to try to get their respective acts together to save money.

Opinion:

As someone who is on the Dave Ramsey plan, I was cringing and yelling at the characters at the beginning of the book.

I did get some neat homemade gift ideas from this book. Recommended, overall: enjoyed reading it.

© Cori Endicott September 2013

The Total Money Makeover by Dave Ramsey

Summary:

Dave Ramsey teaches readers how to conquer their pile of debt, build an emergency fund, and save properly for the future. He makes it very clear that this isn’t a get rich quick scheme; that it will take lots of hard work and dedication. His motto, Live like no one else, so you can one day live like no one else, may not make sense at first, but when you do finally comprehend it, you will feel inspired.

Opinion:

Truth: for the longest time I thought Dave Ramsey was some other financial guru who likes to hear himself talk. I was given the audio book as a gift from someone who had tried his method and it worked for her family. He does have good ideas, thought I’m not a complete convert. Once fiancé listens to it as well, we’re going to discuss what we’d like to implement in our financial life.

Dave Ramsey’s website had a lot of helpful tools. He also has an afternoon radio show on AM 540 where he takes phone calls and tries to help people through their financial questions on air.

© Cori Endicott March 8, 2013