Starting Fresh

I’m a sucker for a blank slate.

Soon after getting married, Aaron and I began to consolidate our finances. Between the two of us, we had five credit cards with over $5,000 dollars in debt, not to mention the student loans from Aaron’s undergraduate degree — a newlywed couple’s dream! At the time we both worked part-time jobs and picked up odd jobs on the evenings and weekends when we could. We essentially lived pay check to pay check. Living on love, as some say.

One of our biggest priorities in 2017 was to pay off all our debts. This was intimidating, but not impossible. We created a budget, used all the coupons we could find, ate lots of rice, shopped around at thrift stores and craigslist, and started to pay with cash as much as possible. We got creative and still managed to pay rent on time with a little (tiny) bit left over. Those are still some of the best days of our lives!

2017 brought us many blessings as we worked on this project. After Aaron graduated in May, he and I had the opportunity to work full time at our respective jobs, we moved to a slightly more affordable apartment, (who are we kidding, Massachusetts housing costs are insane!) and we used our tax refund to pay off an entire credit card. Aaron’s transfer to the Army National Guard was also helpful with educational benefits and student loan repayment plans.

Seminary was a potential backbreaker, but God remained faithful as He provided a full tuition scholarship through the Partnership Program. We are continuing to learn more and more about stewarding our finances, assets, skills, and callings for the glory of God. I say it all the time, but this program is truly amazing.

As the year came to a close we knew even before Aaron left for basic training in November, we had this goal in the bag. (Our circumstances were certainly by no means the worst and we have been blessed with generous parents who fill our freezer when they visit and support us in prayer.) 2017 ended and we had zero debt and even substantial savings thanks to a new perspective and some discipline.

As I remind Aaron all the time,

“Live like no one today so you can live like no one tomorrow.” – Dave Ramsey

What are some of your goals for 2018? Never too late to add one!

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