As you may (or may not) remember much of this blog last year was dedicated to our striving and work toward frugal living. We had a No Spend Challenge Month. We collected all our change for a month. We set the goal of $400 month for a grocery budget in 2008. (Follow the sidebar on Frugal Living for details.)
Well, by God's goodness, I am thrilled to report that after 2 1/2 years our family is now DEBT FREE! (expect for our mortgage). We received the title to our van last week in the mail which resulted in much jumping and dancing around by all. The total amount of debt paid off was about $28,000. The majority of this sum was the 15 passenger van we bought in 2007. The remainder was owed for various emergencies that had arisen over time and we had charged to a credit card. Keep in mind that during these past two years there were two surgeries, four car repairs, four appliances replaced, home repairs, a room makeover, xrays, doctors visits, many memorable road trips.... You get the idea. Life doesn't stop just to let us meet our goals. There have been some obstacles along the way, but here we are. Finally. Here we are!
Honesty, we didn't sell all our things, receive an inheritance or follow a secret plan. God has provided extra work for us and we've been working hard. The doors that have opened have been amazing, particularly for Sean. He's now getting compensated for what he loves to do- teach math/physics and encourage others in their instruction of it. This has taken the form of both speaking and writing.
It is though a large weight has been lifted. Romans 13:8 says, "Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for he who loves his fellowman has fulfilled the law." This verse holds new meaning. Sure, it's a relief to get rid of those monthly payments. But more than that, it's freedom look outside ourselves and the financial pressures. It's the freedom to continue to trust God for whatever the future may hold. It's the freedom to be able to bless others. It's the freedom to serve One Master- the One who meets our every need and every way.
I hesitated to put numbers here on the blog. Debt, no matter how large or small, is a slave master. But I wanted give praise to God for His Provision and work in our lives. I also want to be an encouragement to you where ever you are on your journeys. Persevere, my friends, you can do this- one day at a time.
Our children have been with us on this journey 100%. They've known the goals and seen the budget. I've even made them listen to the Dave Ramsey Show on many an occasion. In fact, whenever they see a 1-800 number on the caller ID they swear that it's Dave Ramsey calling:) I pray that as they read this someday, they will remember these years as ones not of want, but of plenty. It hasn't always been fun, but it's made us who we are today.
And so the work continues and the major savings has now begun. I believe 2010 might be renamed "The Year of the Orthodontist."