How we got debt-free in one year.

As of 2012, our family has been DEBT FREE (except for our mortgage). It is the most liberating and fantastic feeling. Wondering how we did it and how you can too?...more

Is "Financial Peace" an Oxymoron?

Tonight was our second class in the Financial Peace series. I think Dave Ramsey put it best when he said that those two words don't usually go together. It's the best oxymoron I can think of: Financial Peace ...more

Four Walls

If you’re a fan of Dave Ramsey, or have taken his Financial Peace course, you may be familiar with what he describes at the “four walls”: food, utilities, shelter, and transportation....more

How to dump your debt without losing momentum

This is the 8th post in my financial series chronicling our debt free journey.So on to baby step #2 and the real reason that most people are looking for help. DEBT. We think it's normal. It's part of life. Everyone has a car payment. Everyone has student loans. Everyone has a Visa bill. Well, we were tired of being normal. Dave Ramsey has a saying "Normal is broke. Be weird!" I can't remember EXACTLY where we were on our credit card debt when we first began this journey but our debt looked something like this:...more

Before you can get out of debt you need an emergency fund (a baby one)

Once you've made a budget and begun using the envelope system, it's time to attack those baby steps of Dave's. For a refresher, they are: $500-1000 in an emergency fundpay off debt except house3-6 months expense in emergency fund invest15%; college funding;pay off mortgage build wealth The sad truth is that up until that time our savings account probably fluctuated somewhere between $50 and $350. Maybe. It was obviously so minuscule that I don't remember....more

The Invisible Merchandise

Last month Beau, my 13 year old, took sides with Mumford when we were having a discussion about who spends the most money.  D'oh!  The worst part of the whole thing - they were both right.  I am a money spender!...more

Using the "Envelope System" to help you stay on budget

This is the next post in a series about our journey to being debt free... At some point after graduation when we had real jobs and were facing a budget crisis we SORT OF tried the cash envelope system. It kind of worked but was frustrating and not fool proof and we soon gave up. The problem was that we didn't have a good budget in place and so it was doomed to failure. Really it's an age old system and has been around for a long time. Another signal that it's a good idea....more

The "B" word: B-U-D-G-E-T

So Dave Ramsey lays out these 7 baby steps ($500-1000 in an emergency fund; pay off debt except house; 3-6 months expense in emergency fund; invest15%; college funding; pay off mortgage; build wealth – MORE DETAIL). (We’ve kind of adapted our baby steps/financial plan but that’s a different post.) Well to get to any of those places there’s one thing that needs to be in place and that is a budget. Preferably one that works. Our previous attempts had not....more

Every month is not the same so it makes sense that your budget is not going to the be the same. ...more

Working the financial "Baby Steps" with a baby on the hip

Part 4 in a series chronicling our journey to becoming debt free...So there we were in 1999 – both of us working, living in Dallas now and expecting our first child. We were making good money but it was going out as fast as it came in. We had no real savings and no real plan. When Noah was born Mark had a job that involved a nearly hour long commute each way and it was during that time that he found Dave Ramsey’s radio show....more

Driving Our Debt Around

As I’ve mentioned, I come from a family who drove cars until they died. In the entire time I grew up I only remember my parents buying 4 cars including the one they had before I was born. One was a 1970 Ford. Then a Pontiac hatchback and two Honda Accords. The Ford lasted about 17 years before my brother totaled it. One Honda met the same fate (different brother) and the other two were driven until it no longer made sense to repair them. The 3 kids never had their own vehicle b...more