Monthly Archives

August 2014

Money, Our Debt-Free Story

Our Debt-Free Story: Part 1 – “We’ve Had It!”

August 29, 2014

This is Part 1 of a 3-part series. Be sure to read the whole story!

Since we are running a Financial Peace Giveaway, it only seemed right that we formally share the story of how we became debt free.

This will be a three-part series and this post is the first installment. We hope to offer encouragement in sharing our experiences and perhaps a few laughs along the way.

So, let’s take a trip down memory lane back to yesteryear….

name-my-car-3In a Delorean.

Since we’ve all not-so-secretly wished we could travel in one.

The story begins on  warm summer’s eve when a guy with long hair walked up and  asked me to get ice cream later that night. I said, “sure.” He then high-fived me and ran away.

That guy was Jonathan and we’ve been inseparable ever since that first ice cream cone.

Our first conversations about money began that Fall. We both declared we had some students loans and had them on auto payments…student loans we likely never needed to take if we had both saved and worked through college. Whoops. Not a very deep or informative conversation but it got the ball rolling.

In late Spring…Holy Thursday to be exact, we got engaged and that is when the real shackles of debt began to rear their ugly heads. Now we had a wedding to plan with varying expenses and a honeymoon to pay for. Naturally we began to talk more details about what sort of financial means and baggage we were carrying at the time.

We were sitting in my car when the bomb dropped.

Between the two of us we had $24,500 in debt!!!

displeasedHere’s the breakdown:

Amanda: $8,000 student loans 

Jonathan: $13,000 student loans + $3,500 on a credit card 

What’s weird is I didn’t freak out about the $21,000 in student loans but I FREAKED about Jonathan’s credit card debt. Something about credit cards has always scared me and I just cringe at the thought of paying 17.235% interest or whatever they are. Gross. 

At that point, I had some savings I was holding onto. Why was I sitting on student loan debt with savings in the bank? Don’t ask. I really have no idea. Upon arriving back at my house, we got out of the car and I logged into my bank and transferred Jonathan the funds to pay off the credit card immediately

Later on I learned  Dave Ramsey says I shouldn’t have done that until we were hitched. Whoops.

It was paid. I felt instantly better.

Throughout our engagement we both began to read Dave Ramsey’s Total Money Makeover. It rocked our world. All the testimonies from individuals and families who have worked Dave’s plan and obtained financial freedom were inspiring. We started listening to the radio show and with every “debt-free scream” that aired, I would start to cry. We felt the weight and burden of debt and knew we wanted it gone as soon as possible.

But.

We had that thing called a wedding to plan.

We wanted to apply all of Dave’s principles right away but we were waiting to merge bank accounts until after the wedding and there were too many urgent tasks in the way that kept preventing us from starting to budget on our own.

We let the principles take a back seat and knew that after the wedding, there was no turning back.

We were going to do this.

We were going to kick Sallie Mae to the curb and never look back.

We were going to be debt-free and that is all there was too it.

We were finally “mad” about our debt.

And Dave Ramsey always says the first step to getting our of debt is saying, “I’VE HAD IT!” and being sick and tired of being sick and tired. We had arrived at that point.

In Part 2, we will talk you through how we got started working the baby steps as a married couple.

See you next time! Until then, jump over to our FPU Giveaway post to enter for a chance to win one of three FPU memberships!

Money

Financial Peace University Giveaway!

August 27, 2014

Drum roll please….

It’s time for a giveaway around the True Good and Beautiful blog!

What are we giving away, you ask? (just in case you didn’t see the title…)

3 FINANCIAL PEACE UNIVERSITY MEMBERSHIPS!!!!

If you know our story, you are well aware that Dave Ramsey has a huge influence on how we choose to live. Using his materials and methods are the sole reasons we are debt-free and living on a budget today. Dave Ramsey’s message has literally changed out entire life.

And we can’t help but pass along this opportunity to others.

No, we weren’t given these by Dave Ramsey’s company.

We are simply a family who believes so powerfully in the freedom that comes in handling money God’s way that we want to pay it forward to someone else. We want to bless an individual or family who would benefit from going through this class.

What is Financial Peace University (FPU)?

“Financial Peace University is a nine-week class on money taught by America’s most trusted financial guru, Dave Ramsey. Dave and his teaching team will walk you through the basics of budgeting, dumping debt, planning for the future, and much more!”

www.youtube.com/watch?v=62emrljp03c

You can see a sample of all nine lessons here.

Most classes start up in a couple of weeks, hence the giveaway. You can see a list of locations, dates, and times at the FPU website.

Jonathan and I have attended and facilitated Financial Peace University and it’s been a huge blessing in our life and parish. If you could benefit from sprucing up your finances or demolishing old habits and starting over, then sign up to win one of these classes we are giving away.

It literally can change your life and the lives of those around you.

Lastly – I shouldn’t have to say this but…if you know you will not complete all nine classes and take the class seriously, DO NOT ENTER THIS CONTEST! If you are ready to dive in and apply yourself in class, ENTER ALL YOU CAN! We want to make sure the people with the right attitudes are the ones who win this opportunity.

Best wishes and “may the odds be ever in your favor!” 🙂

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Adoption

Building Our Family Piece by Piece: Day Nine

August 22, 2014

Nine days down.

No more to go.

We reached our goal to meet our phase one funding goal of nearly $13,000 for the home study completion and out-of-state agency fee as of yesterday afternoon.

A few donations continued to come in today, which will definitely help with the next goal down the road.

Here are the stats we saw on Thursday:

On day nine we sold a total of 17 puzzle pieces, totaling $425!!

Total overall stats thus far are now as follows:

  • 572 pieces sold

  • $14,303 raised!!!!

  • 110% of our phase 1 goal of $13,000

  • 57% of original goal of $25,000

Here’s a picture of the puzzle progress:

DSC04149

Really starting to fill in and that last line of text is beginning to peek through!!! We are excited to send payment to both agencies early this next week and get estimates on future miscellaneous expenses.  I

Thanks again for all who have donated! May God bless everyone who’s walking alongside us in this journey.

Thank you again for all who are joining Team Baby Teixeira! :)

Keep coming back each day for new progress updates!

Click here to learn more about the puzzle fundraiser!

That’s a wrap!

Adoption

Building Our Family Piece by Piece: Day Eight

August 21, 2014

Eight days down.

One more to go.

We are EXCITED to say that today we reached our goal to meet our phase one funding goal of nearly $13,000 for the home study completion and out-of-state agency fee.

Sometime Wednesday evening the final donations came in that tipped us over the goal…and a few more came in only a few minutes later, taking us beyond the $13,000 we needed at this time. We absolutely will incur more than that in agency expenses, so every extra dollar is still going towards the adoption. We just have that much less fundraising to do later on when we find out any extra expenses.

Here are the stats we saw on Wednesday:

On day eight we sold a total of 66 puzzle pieces, totaling $1,650!! 

Total overall stats thus far are now as follows:

  • 555 pieces sold

  • $13,875 raised!!!!

  • 106% of current goal of $13,000 (WAHOO!)

  • 55% of original goal of $25,000

Here’s a picture of the puzzle progress:

DSC04146

Looking great!

Again, despite the fact that we met our goal, if anyone still wishes to purchase a puzzle piece, feel free to jump on board. The extra expenses will come but we won’t know the final amount until it’s all said and done.

Thanks again for all who have donated! May God bless everyone who’s walking alongside us in this journey.

Thank you again for all who are joining Team Baby Teixeira! :)

Keep coming back each day for new progress updates!

Click here to learn more about the puzzle fundraiser!

 

Adoption

Building Our Family Piece by Piece: Day Seven

August 20, 2014

Seven days down.

Two more to go until the day we hope to meet our phase one funding goal of nearly $13,000 for the home study completion and out-of-state agency fee.

There must be something about number seven since it was our best fundraising day thus far!!! 🙂

ANNNND we are ssssssooooo close to our goal! We’re truly in the home stretch.

Thanks to you all we went from the smallest day to the largest day…all on day seven.

Not surprising when I actually sat to think about it. It was like God (since in the bible the number seven means perfection or completion) saying, “In the fullness of time I bring you what you need.” Duh. I always seem to forget that one.

Since it was the biggest day yet, here are the stats we saw on Tuesday:

On day seven we sold a total of 95 puzzle pieces, totaling $2,375!! Praise the Lord! 🙂

Total overall stats thus far are now as follows:

  • 489 pieces sold

  • $12,225 raised

  • 94% of current goal of $13,000 (soooo close!)

  • 49% of original goal of $25,000

Here’s a picture of the puzzle progress:

DSC04134

EEEEP!

It’s really coming together! CHILD is more or less spelled out! Woohoo!

We are also excited because we now know the adoption cost will NOT be $25,000. Whew! We don’t have the final numbers but it will end up somewhere around $15,000-$17,000. Great news!

Thanks again for all who have donated! May God bless everyone who’s walking alongside us in this journey.

Thank you again for all who are joining Team Baby Teixeira! :)

Keep coming back each day for new progress updates!

Click here to learn more about the puzzle fundraiser!

Adoption

Building Our Family Piece by Piece: Day Six

August 19, 2014

Six days down.

Three more to go until the day we hope to meet our funding goal of nearly $13,000 for the home study completion and out-of-state agency fee.

On Monday things slowed down significantly on the puzzle fundraiser…which we sort of anticipated right as we are about to enter the home stretch!

If I am being totally honest, I am feeling incredibly vulnerable.

I know God will provide for our family if this is his will. But through this fundraiser I’ve been reflecting on the fact that due to medical issues, we won’t bring a biological baby home without help. We need God, doctors, treatments, etc. to even have a CHANCE at that. Same thing with adoption…we can’t even do that alone either. God told us not to. We need him and you.

In our culture today, to need to rely on others is a humbling thing. Real humbling. But we’ve fundraised our income for over 7 years, so haven’t I gotten over the humility? Sure, in some ways. But this is different. The ability for me to become a mother or Jonathan a father lies in God and your hands…not our own. That’s an entirely new level of inviting others to help. It can be embarrassing.

But I choose to stand in the fact that God invited us to take a leap of faith….

To ask others to join us as we walk through the adoption process. To give others a concrete way to say YES to life by supporting a birth family who CHOSE adoption instead of abortion. To give others a concrete way to say YES to life by supporting a couple who CHOSE adoption instead of artificial reproduction.

Vulnerably we stand. A week into our puzzle fundraiser. Dependent on the heroic generosity of others and the Lord. Trusting his plans will exceed our own.

That’s a deep reflection, I know, but I felt like it just needed to be shared to truly bring you all into this experience. I don’t think ours is a story often told and we want to allow others to take a peak into the beauty of adoption.

Back to the puzzle 🙂

Although it was a slow day, here is the progress we saw Monday:

On day six we sold a total of 13 puzzle pieces, totaling $325!! Progress is progress so we are happy!

Total overall stats thus far are as follows:

  • 395 pieces sold

  • $9,875 raised

  • 75% of current goal of $13,000

  • 39% of original goal of $25,000

Here’s a picture of the puzzle progress:

DSC04129

Now it’s the “L” and “D” you can see forming!

Please help us bring this fundraiser home and reach our goal by Friday! May God bless everyone who’s walking alongside us in this journey.

Thank you again for all who are joining Team Baby Teixeira! :)

Keep coming back each day for new progress updates!

Click here to learn more about the puzzle fundraiser!