I vividly remember the day in 2000 when I pulled up to the gas station heading home after work in a city about 30 minutes from home.
My minivan was empty and I had $10.48 available on my debit card. We had no available funds on any credit cards. Any glitches at the gas pump and I was going to be stuck. It was 9:00pm at night on the side of the freeway. I was desperate.
I had been laid off from my job at a credit union when it closed. I took a retail job at an outlet mall just to have some income. Wayne worked in San Diego, which was a 2 1/2 hour commute, as a plumber. We were struggling to make ends meet each week.
I remember thinking I was a loser. That’s it. A loser. WE were losers. How did we get this way?
I pumped the gas into the tank up to the $10 mark. The whole way home I just kept praying that I would make it. I stared at the “E” the whole way home. It seemed like it never moved. I prayed and prayed and I made it home.
I walked into the house and started crying. Of course, Wayne panicked thinking something horrible had happened. I yelled at him about what happened (as if this was his fault?).
Now, let me tell you: Wayne internalizes everything and I get it all out. He was speechless, but I am sure it’s because my mouth didn’t stop moving. We argued about why we were broke, but neither of us accepted responsibility that it was OUR fault.
We weren’t always broke. In fact, many times we were debt free. I can think of one main reason why we kept getting into debt.
Not a great trait to have when raising a family (or any other time for that matter). We were one emergency away from losing it all.
I am going to tell you how we broke free. It took us a while, but we did break free from the cycle of living beyond our means, delaying gratification and gifting so many people with our blessings along the way! (Blessing others is the BEST feeling)!
Every Friday I will share our story with you in a series I call Financial Friday.
On Financial Fridays I will the good, bad and the ugly tears. We do not live a life of shame. We live a life of experiences. We are proud to share our story because we want you to experience peace like we have now.
We first heard of Dave Ramsey in 2000. He wrote a book called Total Money Makeover.
Some say he is radical. Some say it is a cult. I have even heard some people say it is impossible to be debt free. All I ask is that you read our story and do you research before making a judgment.
I want you to be encouraged. I do not get any rewards, income, anything from Dave Ramsey Solutions. We simply read his book and implemented the steps to get where we are today.
The Total Money Makeover involves more than just debt. It is a whole financial overhaul. It is about Wills & Trusts, insurance, credit, savings and giving! I will share our story and experiences about each of these topics each week.
I hope you stick around. If one person can learn from our mistakes than it will be worth sharing our story!
The link to this week’s first free printable is below. Just enter your information and it will be sent right to your email.
Happy Finance Friday!