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Money

Teixeira Debt-Free Scream!!!

November 14, 2012

Want the whole story? Check out our 3-part series about Our Debt-Free Story.

Many of you celebrated with us when we became debt free back in August. You may have even read the blog post about our financial journey. It was a great day and we decided going to Nashville to do our “debt-free scream” in Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace Plaza lobby was something we definitely wanted to do. We wanted to stamp our freedom into the fibers of our family, marking our hard work and achievements in our memory for a lifetime. But we had a super busy Fall…in our line of work the Fall Season is our busiest time as we are launching a new year of ministry on college campuses across the nation. So the scream got pushed aside and we were in a “holding pattern” waiting for an opportunity to get away and visit Dave.

In mid-October an opportunity came up for both Jonathan and I to travel to Tennessee for some FOCUS work at University of Tennessee and Vanderbilt. It worked out to fly into Nashville and so we saw it as a perfect opportunity to schedule a visit to finally meet Dave!

We arrived just before the show began and we met Martha and even tasted those infamous “foo-foo” coffees and deserts Dave is always talking about on the radio. They were as delicious as I had imagined! 🙂 We took our seats on a couple of chairs in front of Dave’s studio and got to watch the show through the glass! It was so cool to see it all happen in real life!

Our view of The Dave Ramsey Show happening LIVE as we watched from chairs outside the studio!

It was then our turn to get ready to do our live, in lobby, debt-free scream! I was nervous. Jonathan was pumped. This is a typical response from both of us. I am good at hiding it but I swear I was near panic attack when this photo was taken.

Maybe I am not that good at hiding my nerves…I look stressed out. Whoops. Jonathan is excited!

The moment finally arrived and we could still see Dave through the glass but this time he was talking to us! AGH! You can listen to the entire audio clip below. My favorite part of the call was at the end, after the scream, when Jonathan threw fake money all over the lobby and Dave loved it! He came out laughing and gave Jonathan a high-five! 🙂

The Teixeiras with Dave after our scream!

Afterwards, we have a friend who actually works for Dave Ramsey and he was kind enough to give us a tour of the building. It was such a great milestone for our marriage and something we will always look back on. God-willing we have children someday, they will listen to the audio clip and our stories so many times they will probably be sick of it…but by golly they will know the truth about debt and the freedom that comes being completely debt-free!!!! Sometimes I look back and I wonder how we did it…when I look at the numbers it’s crazy because Jonathan and I as a married couple lived on less money every month than what I lived on when I was single! That shouldn’t even be possible but we did it! It was actually FUN to find ways to save money and make it work harder than ever for us.

We are debt-free but are complete “deal-a-holics”. Not in the sense that we can’t pass a deal up but in the sense that we can’t help but find a way to get a deal. We get out of paying retail ALL THE TIME and it’s fun!!! I love seeing my money stretch father every month because of using some good old bargaining. Try it sometime! 🙂 We also seem to win stuff on a regular basis…I really think that God rigs contests because He loves to bless His missionaries and show us His provision in radical ways. In Matthew 19:29, Jesus did say,”And everyone who has given up houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or lands for the sake of my name will receive a hundred times more, and will inherit eternal life.” I consider us blessed a hundred times over with the way God takes care of us.

I hope you enjoyed our story and received some inspiration to continue living debt-free or are encouraged to go down that road and accomplish it soon! Seriously, if we can do this…anyone can. We don’t make crazy amounts of money but we had crazy gazelle-like intensity and if you’ve got that…you will get your debt done in no time and begin getting your money working for you instead of the banks! Be a person who makes interest, not who pays interest!!!!!!!! Let us know if you need cheerleaders along the way, we would love to be there for you! Visit The Dave Ramsey website to get started!

Money

Our Total Money Makeover

April 30, 2012

Jonathan and I got married this past October. By November we read Dave Ramsey’s Total Money Makeover and got pumped up about our finances! We even started listening to his podcasts every single morning while we get ready for the day. We were sick and tired of seeing so much of our paychecks go to student loans! Since we fundraise our entire income, working for FOCUS – Fellowship of Catholic University Students, we take every paycheck seriously. The money we live off of is the hard earned tithe to God from so many generous family and friends we’ve made through working in campus ministry. We owe financial responsibility not only to God and ourselves, but to these people who are donating to us, who desire Jesus Christ to be known in our world. It was time that our money started working for us and not some bank! I can think of a LOT of great ways to give & spend that money I see whisked off to Sallie Mae every month…now it’s time to kick the old woman out of our house!

After going through all the necessary changes from getting hitched – name, driver’s license, SSN, address, etc., we were ready to start our new financial  journey in January. We had around $21,000 in student loans at that point and have been working the baby steps. We got our $1,000 in an emergency fund set aside and then began with gazelle-like-intensity to pay down our debt as soon as possible!!!! We have lived on next to nothing, literally. We chopped up the credit cards and started paying cash for our purchases. Every date night is spent playing board games at home and eating home cooked food. We took a “stay-cation” over Spring Break under our own roof instead of traveling to see family or go on a mission trip. We haven’t bought any clothes or anything non-essential. We’ve eaten beans and rice…a lot.  I’ve been selling things so fast, I wonder if we will have anything left by June! We splurged once, to see The Hunger Games with friends, but it was in the budget 😉

Despite it seeming like we haven’t had much of a  life in some people’s eyes, we are so HAPPY! Living frugally has forced us to come up with new ways to have fun, create a budget and stick to it every single month, to communicate about what we buy and why we value certain things, to dream about all the ways we desire to give and spend our money once we become debt-free, and to have a less distracted life by the fact that we don’t have “stuff” to distract us as often. Thankfully we have amazing and supportive friends who like to do free things together and working for FOCUS provides us with so many exciting adventures with college students built right into our daily lives. So we don’t feel like we miss out on too much since we are surrounded by a great community of joyful people.

So, we’ve got four months under our belts of our gazelle-like intensity and we have seen results!!! As I said earlier, we started out with close to $21,000 in debt. I am excited to say that today, we only have $10,461.09 left on those student loans. Our income fluctuates, but we’ve been paying 50-65% of our income towards debt each month. I don’t share those numbers to toot our own horns and to show how great Jonathan and I are…but to INSPIRE anyone reading this who wants to dump their debt too! If we can do this, anyone can!!! We are set to be debt-free sometime between August and September 2012. We originally thought we would need 12 months to pay it all off but once the ball got rolling, we got more and more excited to see our loans GONE, it truly became a snowball effect.

We aren’t at our final goal yet, but it’s close on the horizon and we are already talking about how to celebrate being debt-free.  We aren’t sure about what we’ll do but we’re certain we’ll be paying cash 🙂 You can bet we’ll be calling Dave to do our “debt-free scream!” Thanks be to God for the ministry of Dave Ramsey and his team of workers. Their hard work is truly paying off in the lives of so many people and we are just one of many. YOU CAN BE NEXT!!!! www.daveramsey.com


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