My pal Courtney has really been bitten by the get-out-of-debt bug! She’s inspired by Dave Ramsey and is really hitting the ground running.
Here’s just a few things she’s been up to in the last week:
- Lowered her cell phone bill by $22/month
- Canceled Netflix (around $9/month)
- Unplugged all appliances that don’t need to be constantly drawing electricity
- She’s been avoiding restaurants
- Sold a treadmill for $200
- They’re planning on selling things at two huge garage sales soon
- They’re moving in with a friend for a few months after their house sells to save money and to pay rent to the friend (helping everyone out!). They’ll put the profits toward building an emergency fund and paying off some debts, as well as building up savings for another down payment.
- They’ve substantially downgraded the amount of house they’re looking to buy next. A smaller, lower-cost house will mean a lower monthly payment, lower property taxes, and probably lower utilities. If they find they need more space later, they can always move at that time. A house at this price point (and after paying off their credit cards and saving some money) will be affordable to them, instead of a huge stretch.
- She thinks that they can be debt-free (except for a mortgage) in about 3.5 years, as well as have a complete emergency fund.
They’re doing a modified debt snowball for now. Courtney tells me that some of her cards have really high interest rates and are close to being maxed out, so initially she’s going to work to bring down those balances so she won’t be slammed with overage fees. Once those are a little more manageable, it’s time to work that snowball Dave’s way.
Here’s an excerpt of an e-mail from Courtney (printed with permission):
“My husband and I are keeping each other in check, too! I wanted to go out for ice cream last night (we have $50 for eating out/entertainment) and my husband said, NO! Eat something from the candy jar! It’s only March 10th and we’ve already spent $30 of that fund! I loved it! I really was too proud/happy and remembered the “delaying pleasure is a sign of maturity” from Dave Ramsey!
Anyway, I’m just really pumped and excited, and my husband is NOT a theory guy, so when I show him my spreadsheets he gets excited! It feels more like something tangible and not a completely unreachable idea!
I really cannot say thank you enough to you! I know all of this stuff is common sense, and I’ve had abstract ideas about what I should/shouldn’t do, but you have hellped me buckle down and put my money where my mouth is!”
Don’t you love her energy and enthusiasm? She’s making me want to find new ways to save money out of our own budget. Love it! Can’t wait to write part 4.