(Make sure you read Part 1 of My Journey and get caught up before you proceed with reading part 2 below).
As I shared in Part 1, I had declared bankruptcy. Fortunately, a few months before that had actually happened, I met my (future) husband. We both had the same beliefs and morals, and we immediately connected. He knew of my financial past. In fact, he even said that he really did not want to get married until my bankruptcy was behind me.
In early August 2002, I formally declared my bankruptcy. It was not a good feeling, but at the same time, I had owned my mistakes. I knew that this would follow me for the next ten years of my life. I messed up. Plain and simple. The good thing is that my (future) husband was understanding. And, within a few days of my bankruptcy being filed, he proposed. In June 2003, we were married and began our lives together.
We both were a little older and wanted children, so we knew that we did not want to wait to start our family. After just 15 months of marriage, our first little girl was born – Emma. Prior to having our first child, we both agreed that I wanted to stay home and raise her. This meant I would need to quit my job. It also meant some strain on our family financially.
We pressed on. While money was tight, we did a good job at not using our credit cards to live. However, we ended up taking out a home equity loan to take care of some things around the house. We also had two vehicle loans. We even had a little bit on credit cards. We struggled some months to make the minimum required payments, but we managed. I still am not sure how did just that.
March 2007 came along, and our son was born. That meant we would have another mouth to feed in the coming months. We kept pressing on — sometimes robbing Peter to pay Paul. In October 2007, our son’s Godparents shared with us Dave Ramsey and his Total Money Makeover plan. We both knew we needed to eliminate our debt but of course, were clueless about how to go about doing it.
We were both very curious and eager to learn what Dave Ramsey could teach us. So, in early November 2007, we placed an order for his books. We sat down and read everything within a few days (no joke). As we read his books, we had no clue as to how this man would change our lives — forever…..