From Eating Out 3 Times a Day to Nearly Debt Free in 4 Years

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This guest post is from my dear friend Julie 
who writes over at Pary Moppins Perfectly Practical.

My husband and I have made a lot of stupid (this is basically a dirty word in our house but it is so appropriate here) financial decisions throughout our thirteen years of marriage. Some choices were based on keeping up with the Jones’ and others were to keep our heads above water for a short time, but all could have been avoided.

For our first year of marriage, we were DINKS and lived that lifestyle including eating out three meals a day and saving nothing! We had the opportunity to move to Europe and quickly realized that we could not keep up with our lifestyle across the pond without taking on debt. After living abroad for 8 years, we came back stateside. Along with our suitcases, we brought with us loads of consumer debt and an unsold house on which we were upside down. We unpacked in our newly mortgaged house while sitting on our financed couch while watching our TV bought on credit! >Sheesh!< And here’s the kicker, we had decided that I would not work for the first year after we moved home. That was the turning point in our decision making. My husband and I listened to the “Total Money Makeover” CDs and actually >gasp< sat down to write a budget! I took that time not working to learn how to coupon, how to can, how to garden, anything really that could save us money. Instead of bringing in more money, I chose to stretch the money that my husband brought home thus increasing the buying power of our income. I’m not saying it’s a cakewalk. Sometimes you have to say no to going out or to travelling on vacation or to buying that fabulous hat >sniff sniff< but it is so worth the short term pain for long term gain. In the four years, since we have been back, we have eliminated nearly all of our debt and have made the choice not to take on any more debt, all while living on one income.

For those who think all is lost and the debt situation is hopeless, there is hope. For those who think it is impossible to live debt free, it is possible. For those who think you cannot stay home with your children and still pull your way out of debt, you can. All of these require good decisions: 1. Make a budget 2. Cut spending 3. Increase income, even if just a few dollars here and there.

Julie is a God fearing, family loving, opera singing, coffee drinking, fig preserving, deal seeking, milk glass collecting, coupon teaching, budget busting, choir conducting, hat wearing, vintage adoring, chocolate craving, list making, muffin baking wife to a very practical Engineer and mother to a fabulous Diva-in-training.  Stop by Pary Moppins today and tell her Thrifty Texas Penny said hello!

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