My husband and I were 22 and 20, respectively, when we got married in June 2016. I came into our marriage with no debt, while he brought a car loan and a few small credit card balances. We came home from our honeymoon and realized we had almost no money in the bank and bills to pay. Two days later, I stopped at the library and borrowed Dave Ramsey’s Total Money Makeover. I had heard of Dave Ramsey’s 7 Baby Steps before, but I hadn’t read his book and up to this point, I really had no need to look into the program.
Within days I had finished Ramsey’s book and through a little newlywed persuasion, I had convinced my husband that we needed to start the 7 Baby Steps. Listed below is a breakdown of the steps:
Step One: Save $1000 in a Baby Emergency Fund ASAP.
Step Two (the big one!): Pay off all of your non-mortgage Debt.
Step Three: Save 3-6 months worth of expenses in a Fully-Funded Emergency Fund.
Step Four: Invest 15% of your income into Retirement.
Step Five: Begin saving for your Kids’ Colleges
Step Six: Pay off your Mortgage.
Step Seven: Build your Legacy and Give Generously.
What most people (including my husband at the time) don’t understand at first is that the 7 Baby Steps program is a lifelong journey! It’s about completely changing your family tree and the legacy you leave behind. Your life and your kids’ lives will never be the same! Realizing this completely changed the way I viewed how we should treat our finances.
Within days, I was working on a budget for our household and we began our journey. It took us six LONG months to complete Baby Step 1! Between a sick puppy, replacing a car battery, and a last-minute trip out of state for a funeral, it was really difficult not to lose sight of our goal of an $1000 emergency fund. But by the end of December 2016, we had completed it! Then began the next journey… Paying off our DEBT.
Shortly after completing our $1000 Emergency Fund, the somewhat unexpected happened. Two pink lines.. Yes I found out I was pregnant! Knowing that we were bringing our first baby into the world just magnified our desire to become debt free. We were truly beginning our family tree, and it became even more important to work hard for our growing family.
We had three credit cards with relatively small balances and each month, we finished one credit card balance. By March 2017, we were credit card debt free! Now that our credit cards are paid off, we’re slowly working on our car loan. While we don’t love the price tag on our car (2015 RAV4), we are thankful to have a safe and reliable car for our growing family. But we will NEVER take out another car loan again, don’t worry friends! Since I am pregnant, we’ve put our focusing on our debt on the backburner until after our baby boy is born (Dave does recommend this, it’s called Stork Mode).
The charts in the pictures above can be downloaded for free here. I hope you will follow along with our growing family’s journey to changing our family tree forever! I have a private Facebook group for Dave Ramsey followers and if you would like to join, you can follow this link. If you have any questions about Dave Ramsey’s program or how to get started, please feel free to comment down below or visit my Contact Page for ways to reach me!
P.S. Here’s my little boy and me over Easter weekend! I’m almost 19 weeks today!
Until next time,