At the end of yesterday’s blog, I told you that we’d be moving on and talking about how to save for big purchases after you finish Baby Step #2. Well, I’ve decided against that.
Instead, I want to make sure that you know that after you pay all of your debt off that it’s time to take a step back and look at what you’ve accomplished. It’s something that I wish my wife and I would have done more of after we finished everything. We didn’t stop and smell the roses, we didn’t go have a big date night to celebrate (We did go out to our favorite restaurant, though 🙂 ). We just kept furiously working through toward the next goal of totally remodeling the outside of our house with cash (Which I’m happy to report that we were able to do about 10 months after we paid the mortgage off).
But, I digress. We DID manage to celebrate after we finished Baby Step #6 (Pay off your house early). You see, we did things slightly out of order. Instead of moving to Baby Steps #4, and #5 (Put 15% of your income into retirement, and start college funds for the kids), we decided to go nuts and pay the house off after we finished Baby Step #3. Why? Because, at the time, it was the only way that we could accomplish our goal of allowing my wife to quit her job to be a stay at home Mom. We did the math, and figured out that we could pay the rest of the house off in 9 months, so we buckled down and threw $48,000 toward the balance in that 9 month period. Don’t ask me how. All I know is that we did it and we didn’t starve to death in the process.
Anyway, before we remodeled the outside of our home, we did something that we looked forward to for the entire 5 year 9 month period that it took us to pay everything off. We went on the Dave Ramsey show, and did our “Debt Free Scream”! Normally, you’d schedule yourself to do it after you finish Baby Step #2, which is why I’m talking about it today (I bet you were wondering if I was ever going to get to the point!). After we finished Baby Step #2, we talked it over and after looking at the calendar to see how long it would take, we decided not to do it until after we paid the house off. Many of you won’t have that option because it would take too long to pay your home off, so go do yours after Baby Step #2 if that’s the case. However, if you’re like us and the light at the end of the tunnel (Paying off your house) is close. Take my advice and pay it off, and THEN go do your scream.
Many folks decide to do their screams over the phone, but at that point we hadn’t been on a proper trip together since our honeymoon three years prior. We needed a get away. So, we decided to schedule our scream in person all the way down in Nashville, TN. If you haven’t been there, GO. It’s beautiful, fun, and the people, food, and drink, are wonderful! In either case, below is a video of our Debt Free Scream to give you a little motivation. You don’t get much time to do it, so there is a TON of stuff left that we wanted to say and totally forgot to mention. I’ll be telling that part of the story in the next few days. It’s something that I wish we would remembered to say. In the meantime, here you go:
If you want some more of these to pump you up, click here. There’s an entire archive of people doing theirs. I know my wife and I listened to quite a few of them to help keep us on the right path and motivated to change our life together.
Come back tomorrow for our discussion on Baby Step #3. There’s some really important and emotional stuff that I want to share with all of you.
Have any comments about the video? Any question about what it was like to get that monkey off our back? Any personal experiences that you want to share about paying off debt or the importance of celebrating milestones? Comment below!
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