Our Debt Free Journey: From Laid Off to Paid Off in 6 Months | Sara Lane & Stevie

Our Debt Free Journey: From Laid Off to Paid Off in 6 Months

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A few weeks ago we posted our #debtfree news! I thought I’d share a little more of this story today & where we’re at now:

During college Stevie and I both accumulated our own student loans, and when we graduated, the payments started kicking in. We both paid the minimum amounts for years, and it really wasn’t until we got married that we started paying more towards our principle, rather than the minimum amounts. Basically, being married and combining our finances made us go ???????? and start chipping away at the loans!

Although we made some progress for sure, we weren’t ALL in with it. We didn’t have a goal or plan of attack. We tried a couple of different ways of budgeting, but all went HORRIBLY for us (us creatives avoid Excel like the plague ????). We were always surprised & clueless as to where our money went each month… “The credit card has HOW MUCH on it? How did this happen?” was a common freak-out-moment we had. We wanted to get a grasp on our finances, but didn’t know how. We’d make some progress here and there, but would easily get knocked off track. And then stay off track for way too long! It was exhausting.

Then at the beginning of 2019, we wrote down a goal to pay off 1/4 of our loans by the end of the year. Because of that goal we set, we decided to (admit we were amateurs and) join a Financial Peace University class. We’d had many friends go through FPU through the years and knew a little bit of what Dave Ramsey teaches. We figured committing to a class would help us get serious and hold us accountable. The fact that we were so sick of feeling like our money controlled us, and not the other way around, added to that push we needed!

So we signed up for the class. And then Stevie was laid-off…

We were scared. We questioned God’s timing. But we also believed there was a purpose to this and that we needed to stay the (FPU) course. The class brought us so much support and motivation. Slowly but surely, we started praying more about our money and our debt. We stopped with the credit cards. We began budgeting. We changed our behaviors with money. And mostly, we just started PAYING ATTENTION to our finances. What a simple, yet mind blowing concept. ????

It took about 6 months of heavy workloads, tucking our money away, saying no, having #fomo, lots of prayer, lots of mistakes, and LOTS of communication with each other. But we ???? did ???? it. ???? We paid off ALL our student loans and in a quarter of the time we planned.

I don’t tell y’all this to brag, humble brag, draw attention to us or anything like that. We don’t make loads of money. Heck, with me freelancing, some months are empty with work while others are packed. *God’s provision* got us here, and it can get anyone else here too.

We know we still have SO much to learn and that we’ll continue making mistakes, but WOWZA what a long way we’ve come. We praise God for all he’s done in our life and the ways he’s taught and stretched and loved us through it all. 

Oh, and do you see the irony in the fact that Stevie now works at Ramsey Solutions? ???? It ain’t lost on us. 

Here we come, Baby Step 3! 

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Where are you at in your financial journey? What goals do you have for 2020? If you want to share a victory, lesson, or goal of yours, we’d love to hear!

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© saralane & stevie 2020

Sara-Lane & Stevie Boudreaux are Tennessee and Destination Wedding Photographers based out of Nashville, TN with a focus on capturing connections artfully and honestly.