Today my twin sister Misty Davis is guest posting! I talk a lot about money and budgeting here, but we are still in the beginning stages of getting our finances in order. My sister and her husband have successfully completed all of Dave Ramsey’s 7 baby steps, and now actively teach others about financial freedom.
Misty is a mom of two teenage boys, the oldest of whom just shipped off to the Army. She has worked in the beauty industry for many years and is an avid runner. She and her husband enjoy traveling, remodeling their home, and kayaking. They have taught Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace class at their church for several years.
As you can imagine, there is a lot more to their story than what fits in one blog post, so check out part 2 next Monday!
In July of 2005 my boyfriend (now husband) and I decided to take a road trip to Yellowstone. On the way there we decided to try out Corey’s new satellite radio and I was happily flipping through the music stations. When I took my turn driving Corey decided to make me listen to talk radio. I thought the trip would be a total bust listening to talk radio the entire way. Little did I know that when we agreed on The Dave Ramsey show it would completely change our lives.
When I was growing up I was very close to my grandparents and they were a huge influence on my life. They have never had any debt in their lives and did their best to teach me what they knew about saving money. I was familiar with the concept of a debt free life but didn’t really know how to apply it. When I heard Dave Ramsey for the first time his idea of debt free living really appealed to both me and my husband.
Our road trip basically turned into a Dave Ramsey Show marathon and after we returned we decided to give the debt snowball thing a try. We both had some credit card debt, some medical debt, car loans, and were saving little to none of our income. Time went on and it became a friendly competition between us to see who could become debt free the fastest. In 2007 we got engaged and at that point were debt free all except for the mortgage.
We both took part time jobs in addition to our full time gigs to pay off debt faster. We were committed to paying cash for our entire wedding as well. Once we were married we combined our incomes and budgets. I am proud to say we have been on the envelope system and a monthly budget for our entire marriage.
Right around the time we were married God led us to adopt two boys out of foster care. They were in a foster home that was neglecting and abusing them, but there ended up being a legal battle to fight for them and get custody. If we had not been debt free at the time we would not have been able to adopt our boys. Once we were able to adopt our kids and have our family we started to realize what a huge impact becoming debt free was having on our lives. At first we just thought it was a cool concept that would give us the freedom to spend money one whatever we wanted. Once we started to realize what God was doing in our lives through our financial freedom we really got intense about following the program.
We had begun attending a local church and when someone had asked why we drive an older, crappy car we casually mentioned we were on the Dave Ramsey program. They had heard of it and the pastor asked if we would facilitate a Financial Peace University class for the church. The first class we taught was probably one of the scariest things I have ever done. We ended up having a blast teaching it and made some wonderful friends in the process.
After we were on the program for a while, and our budget had recovered from our wedding and our adoption we decided to give it a big push and pay off our mortgage. In May of 2011 we made our final house payment and became completely debt free. We drove to Nashville in June of 2011 to meet Dave Ramsey and do our debt free scream on his radio show.
Obviously there will be a lot more to the story! Check back next week for part two, and some tips on how to start moving through the baby steps!