I paid off my mini van this morning! 🎉

A year ago, I was pregnant with Anders and came to the sad realization that my Toyota Rav 4 would no longer fit our growing family.

I complained for weeks on end, I was NOT ready to be a mini van Mom and I was TERRIFIED of going further into debt to afford the upgrade. After weeks of back and forth, we broke our promise of NO MORE DEBT and took out a loan.

Today, I paid that loan off.

That brings our total debt pay off to $74,788 since April of 2019. I could just cry writing that.

Four years ago we were scared shitless. I went back to work 3 weeks after my c-section. We would run out of money the week before pay day and use credit cards to buy groceries. Craig didn’t even know about one of the credit cards I was racking up. I didn’t know about the tools he was buying.

Four years ago Gannon was hospitalized at Mayo for a week. We were so incredibly stressed over leaving behind this precious, sick newborn to go home and go back to work because we couldn’t afford to not work and stay in the hospital with him. We couldn’t even afford food from the cafeteria at the hospital. I’m so ashamed to even write this, we literally borrowed money from our 2 year olds savings account to scrape by until pay day.

On the way home from Rochester we sketched out on a notepad what we owed and how much. For the first time, we were totally honest and had to come clean to each other about how deeply in debt we truly were.

Our entire lives changed in April 1st, 2019. We cut up our credit cards. We changed jobs and then I changed jobs again. We quit eating out for that first Summer. Slowly but surely the debt started melting away.

We worked our asses off. I would work night shift (7a-7p), sleep for 6 hours in an empty patient room and work another 6 hours. I commuted an hour and 20 minutes BOTH WAYS to get a higher rate of pay. I picked up hours not only in the ICU but started PRN in the ER to make even more of a difference. Every single overtime check and bonus Craig got went immediately towards the debt.

WE. DID. IT. $74,788 LATER.

We have two debts left, our biggest one: my student loans and our mortgage. We will hopefully hear the supreme courts decision on student loans in the next week. If it isn’t forgiven, we know how to put our nose to the grindstone and knock that down too.

Medical debt, UGH. We were completely medical debt free last year at this time but we’ve accepted that we are ALWAYS going to have medical debt and are set up on payment plans for that.

If you’re one of the 63% of Americans living paycheck to paycheck, there is hope. There is a light at the end of the tunnel.

We started out by reading Dave Ramsey’s book – The Total Money Makeover. We’ve had a love hate relationship with Dave throughout our journey. Sometimes we totally agree with him and other times we seek advice elsewhere. Regardless, this book is a great foundation on the path to financial freedom.

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  1. Elle
    March 3, 2023 / 11:34 pm

    Congratulations on all of the successes!

    I applaud you for doing the ugly hard work. I applaud you even more for sharing the truth with your readers. Perhaps someone will learn from you and also have that truth session once and for all.

    Are you aware that if you work for a non-profit for 10y, your monthly payments are forgiven as long as you continue? I recently learned this from a PA friend. And I do hope Biden’s proposal to pay $10,000 for each student comes through (you do know it’s not 100%, right?)

    Another thought: Does Gannon have enough medical challenges that you can get him qualified for Medicaid? As a taxpayer, I would totally support Gannon having this benefit so ya’ll aren’t broke forever. What I don’t know is if Medicaid would cover all of the genetics etc, but worth a look?

    Cheers to you and Craig. I marvel at where you are as a family and not 30yo yet! I think it’s the hardest decade of life! (I’m about to turn 62.)

    • Toni
      March 9, 2023 / 11:42 pm

      I totally agree! I’m sure it’s not uncommon with young couples these days, but kudos for being honest and for doing the hard work! Short term discipline will pay off in long term benefits!

    • thepinkshoelaces
      March 12, 2023 / 8:58 pm

      I’m going to look into this! I don’t think we will qualify but I’ll look into it!

  2. Kate
    March 4, 2023 / 1:42 am

    Way to go!

  3. Kim from TN
    March 4, 2023 / 1:59 am

    You are both doing great with your financial journey.

  4. Christine Binek
    March 9, 2023 / 8:10 pm

    Keep up the great work. You are an inspiration to everyone that reads your blog.

  5. Susan the Farm Quilter
    March 9, 2023 / 11:01 pm

    Way to go!!! Be that gazelle and finish off the house!!! Maybe you need to build in a budget line item for saving for Gannon’s future medical if you can’t get him on Medicaid. I love being debt-free and I do use a credit card for just about everything, but pay it off every month, so I pay no interest. You will get there!! Car payment split between debt and saving for medical??

  6. Rosalie
    March 9, 2023 / 11:19 pm

    Fantastic job!
    It is a wonderful feeling to be debt free. And teaching your children those life lessons will be an enormous gift to them.

  7. RaeLyn
    March 10, 2023 / 8:43 pm

    Yea! Y’all are so awesome! You will never, ever regret it. Promise. Thanks for sharing your journey. I was a minivan mom for years, then after #7 arrived we had to upgrade to Suburban status. We took 2 cars everywhere we went as a family after #6 was born so we could buy that big, big car with CASH. Maybe a SUV is in your future? Bit we still have that minivan, its been great for the kids to drive, keeps ’em humble.

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