Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Well, it’s official. We’re WEIRD.

IMG_2878_picnik

You know that guy Dave Ramsey I keep talking about? You know how he says people who don’t have debt are WEIRD?

Well, if you don’t know him…that’s what he says.

“Debt is normal…be weird.”

Well.

As of this morning, we are officially,

completely,

gloriously,

totally,

happily

WEIRD.

WE’RE


DEBT


FREE!!!

(Except the house.)

Whoo, people!! WHOO!!!!

It still hasn’t hit us. Surreal is an understatement. I haven’t cried yet. But I will. Buckets. :)

It’s major. Like, $125,000 in just about three and a half years, MAJOR. (Yes, there were three zeros.)

I told you about our debt story here, (I way underestimated how much we had already paid off at that point) and for the past three years or so, we’ve been fighting, scratching, clawing at it -- taking our finances BACK. And it’s truly been a fight.

We had flooring debt, school debt, hot tub debt, medical debt, clothing debt, I-have-no-clue-what-we-bought debt – you name it, we had it.

We were so tired of it. It was a monkey on our backs. A large, 125,000 pound monkey. And it was exhausting carrying him around. ;)

Getting rid of that monkey – exhilarating.

I thought it was impossible to live without a car payment.

I thought I would be paying off my student loan till I was 45.

I thought I couldn’t pay for a piece of furniture unless we charged it.

I was wrong.

We decided to live like no one else. So now we can live like no one else.

And it is rockin’ our worlds.

We can live without credit cards. We can save for something and pay for it when we have the money. We can save for our future and change our children’s lives.

It makes me so emotional when I think about how we are completely changing their futures. We will leave them security, not a financial mess. That makes every minute of this process worth it.

Yes, we could have done this without Dave Ramsey. It’s not rocket science. It’s making a budget every month and sticking to it – and telling our money where to go. That was a biggie for me. We were never telling it where to go, we were just floating along. La dee da, la dee da.

But Dave Ramsey inspired us. His conviction and enthusiasm is absolutely contagious. You want to attack your debt like a raging BEAR after you listen to him for five minutes.

And today, I clicked the button that sent the payment to my student loan – our very last debt. It’s all gone – forever and ever and EVER.

It’s the first time in our adult lives we’ve been debt free. We’ve both had debt since we were 18 years old. I have never been an adult and NOT had debt.

Till today. I feel like I could float away, it feels so good.

We are SO WEIRD!!!!

And if being weird is wrong, I don’t want to be right.

I wanted to take a minute and thank you so much for sharing this journey with us! I can’t tell you how much I appreciate your comments and emails about our story. It absolutely makes me smile every time.

One thing I know for sure – if we can do it, YOU CAN DO IT. It may take you longer, it may take you less. I know you will be so proud of yourself.

It made us more mature, it bonded us, it changed our marriage, in a really great way. It is one of the best things we have done in entire lives.

And I’ll say it again – WHOOOOOO!!!!  :)

**And yes…we will be calling in to the radio show to scream. But now we want to take a trip down to Nashville and scream it in his lobby. It’s a big deal, and we want to celebrate it.  :)

***I’m quite sure my Google ads will go crazy with credit companies after this post – I don’t personally endorse any of them. Just sayin’.

427 comments:

  1. I am doing a happy-dance in my computer chair for ya! Woo-Hoo! Congrats!

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  2. OMGsh! Congratulations Sarah! That has got to be thee best feeling! Wahoo! I hope you are doing something big to celebrate. Big!

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  3. I am so happy for you! That must be one of the best feelings ever. I am just 23 years old and we are working our way to being debt free (except our home). It isn't a lot of debt, but I figured we should handle it before it gets worse!

    CONGRATS!

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  4. That is so awesome. I am another one who has never been debt free my whole adult life.

    We are just starting our debt snowball. My husband and I both lost our jobs this year and the debt was the scariest part of it all.

    Great Job. How many years do you think it will take you to pay off your mortgage?

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  5. Congratulations! I really hope that we can start this journey as well. Our church offers FPU and we are really thinking about joining up. Its so fun to see a real success story! So once again, congrats! I know it must feel AMAZING!

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  6. Congrats on being weird!! That is so exciting!

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  7. Congratulations!! I am so excited for you! (And be sure to take pictures of the in-lobby scream.)

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  8. Congratulations! I can only imagine how you must feel. I get itchy just having a mortgage and am thankful we've never had any other debt besides that. You must be so happy and so proud!

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  9. Congratulations! We are on that journey too, I can't wait to be weird like you :)

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  10. Congratulations Sarah! This must feel AWESOME!!

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  11. Weird is the way to be! Congrats!!!

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  12. Sarah, That is AWESOME!!!!! We have JUST finished Dave's book and are starting on our own journey. It's going to be a long road but we're so excited! You're right, it's not rocket science, but for those of us who were never taught to budget, it's nice to have an actual plan to work toward a goal. I'm thrilled for you and your family!

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  13. I got a lump in my throat when I saw your post title just now because I knew what it meant. I'm so excited for you and it is so encouraging to see a real person who has accomplished such an impressive feat. Great job!

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  14. Whoohoo...so happy for you!!! Happy Days!! We too live without debt and only pay for things because we have the money. It is the only way to live! So happy for you friend!!! Sending lots of hugs and love your way!!!!

    Victoria

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  15. I am so happy for you. I know you've inspired many as you've traveled your road to debt relief. Wonderful to be free, isn't it?

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  16. Congratulations!!! I can't wait until I can blog a post like this. We're slowing chipping away at our debt, but we do live cash only after 5 long years of paying on a credit card. NEVER want to do that again. UGH!
    Hooray for you!

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  17. This totally brought tears to my eyes! Thank you for being so transparent {both on this post and the other about your debt free journey} I can't wait till the day hubbster and I can scream the same thing... in the mean time I am so happy for you! wooohoooo!!!!

    ~ Emily N. from "too Blessed to Stress"

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  18. Congratulations! I can't wait to be debt free. I was "weird" until I got married and inherited all of my husband's debt. But we're slowly chipping away. Too bad we just bought a new car and after start a new with a new car loan though.

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  19. Congratulations! I can't wait to be debt free. I was "weird" until I got married and inherited all of my husband's debt. But we're slowly chipping away. Too bad we just bought a new car and after start a new with a new car loan though.

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  20. So excited for you!!! Becoming weird is the best feeling ever! :) Have fun living like no one else!!!

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  21. CONGRATULATIONS! My husband and I started FPU last week after I read your last post. It brings tears to my eyes to read your story!

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  22. Sara!! Congratulations!!! OMG how exciting!!

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  23. Congratulations! As of Jan 1, 2011, we too were officially debt free, including NO mortgage! Woot! I am so happy and proud to be there at age 36. My hubby and I have worked very hard for this, and now it's time to sit back and reap the rewards....in the form of saving for retirement lol. It's a great feeling, isn't it?

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  24. Wow that is absolutely fabulous!! I cannot imagine the joy and sense of accomplishment you must be feeling right now. I'm very weird but unfortunately it has nothing to do with being debt free.

    You should feel very proud of yourself.

    Yay to you!!

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  25. That is so freakin awesome!!!!!! I am so excited for you, a little envious, and yes - inspired!!! Love ya girl! I am tweetin and facebooking this post!

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  26. Woo hoo!

    Your blog is what inspired me to buy the Dave Ramsey books/DVDs- and my family is in a much better place than we were a few months ago because of it. Dave Ramsey really is awesome! I love the envelope system, and seeing our debt slowly whittle away is the best feeling EVER! I can't wait to be weird just like you! Thanks for sharing your story- it's the best decision we ever made.

    thatcrazygravesfamily.blogspot.com

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  27. Congrats!!!!! So happy for you!!!!

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  28. YAYYYYYY!!!! You are so great and what a legacy you will be leaving for your family...your ENTIRE family! Congrats friend, can't wait to hear you scream on his show. :)

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  29. We love Dave as well and are doing this program too!! CONGRATULATIONS!!!! THAT IS SO AWESOME YOU ARE DEBT FREE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I hope to someday be able to say the same thing on my blog!

    :)Rachel Berry

    www.eoberrys.blogspot.com

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  30. I am so happy for you, your hubby and your family. I am looking forward to that day! May GOD continue to bless you.

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  31. Holy moley! AWESOME!!!!!!!!!! So proud of you! Can't wait until I can say the same :)

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  32. Wow, Congratulations, that's an amazing fete. I'm going to start working on my debt right away.

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  33. WOW~WOOZIE~TOOZIE!
    What an inspiration you are!
    I KNOW you must feel so FREE!
    Good for you!
    What an example you will be for your sweet children.
    CELEBRATE...BIG Time!
    ENJOY!
    xo

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  34. Congrats Sarah! What a weight off your shoulders I am sure! So happy for you and your family!

    xxoo
    Ashley

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  35. It does feel so liberating to be debt free - I am looking forward to being mortgage free too (only 9 years to go). What a great accomplishment. Now just keep it that way.

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  36. Congratulations, weirdos!!

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  37. Congratulations!!! I just recently started Dave's plan and the feeling I get when I pay off yet another debt is AMMAAAZZZINNNG!! Budgeting has turned my life around and has gotten my excess spending in check:) I can't wait for the day that I can say that I too, AM WEIRD! Have fun living your life like no one else!!

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  38. Yay! I'm actually sitting here listening to his radio show as I write this! Like Rory Jean, I went and bought his book after reading your story on your blog! I've paid off one debt and am snowballing it into the second. Still a little way to go, but I'll be vicariously screaming with you until I can do it on my own!

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  39. Woo hoo!!!Welcome to the WEIRD club! (I love DR too!) It is possible to live without any debt! Congratulations!

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  40. Awesome job! Love Dave Ramsey! First time here-love your blog

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  41. Thanks for sharing your story. My hubby and I took Financial Peace and it "rocked our world" too! Its a daily battle but we're slowly making headway. Thanks for the encouraging post. Can't wait to LIVE like no one else!

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  42. So exciting! We're only on baby step one, but thanks to stories like yours we do know that it is possible. So many people think it is impossible, and I am so glad we came across Dave Ramsey because he refuses to accept the norm and he always calls people on their excuses! He's the best ! Thank you so much for sharing!

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  43. WAHOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!! Congrats to you guys. Let us know when you will be calling in so we can listen! So thrilled for you guys. There is nothing better than being debt free! Hubby and I paid off our debts almost 6 months ago and it has been awesome! Can't wait to have the house paid off! Way to go!

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  44. Congratulations on becoming weird! That must feel amazing! I can't wait to join the club!

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  45. I can't wait to hear you on Dave's show! Congrats! I'm 18 months behind you but I'll get there too!

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  46. Congratulations!!!! That's wondeful news! You have so inspired me! I hope someday I can say those same words!!!

    Jaci

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  47. Congratulations!!!! My hubby and I just graduated from the class in December and the "fun" has begun on our "mountain" of debt - what a huge encouragement hearing that you did it! Thanks for sharing!!!

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  48. oh sarah, i am *so* *so* *so* happy for you!! i am absolutely ASTONISHED that you did $125K in 3 years... oh. my. word. good for you, sister!!

    and thanks for the encouragement!! posting this makes me want to fight down our debt that much harder!! :)

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  49. Congratulations to you and your family, Sarah!!!

    Your prior getting-debt-free post is the first time I'd heard of Dave Ramsey & I immediately borrowed a couple of his books from the library. My hubby & I found that post of yours very inspirational.

    This month we will get our debt with the IRS paid off. That's been a HUGE outlay of cash for us each month. Getting it paid off gives us financial breathing room -- gosh, it felt like this month would *never* get here. We're excited about now having some extra money each month so we can begin accruing a basic emergency fund and making in-roads on paying off our unsecured debt. Seeing that, yes, we were able to get one massive debt paid off successfully is incentive to tackle the next debt, and the next, until we're left with only our mortgage (and we'll tackle that one, too!).

    Thank you for sharing something so personal with your readers. I can't wait for the day when you're posting about getting your mortgage paid off!!

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  50. Yeah 4 you!!! We're on the plan too. Congrats!!!!!

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  51. SOO Excited for you!! totally jealous you will be screaming from his lobby! :) We love dave over in NV! Congrats!!!!

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  52. I am SOOOOOOO excited for ya'll!! We are pretty young (22 and 24) and we already have debt from college, cars, and then a dumb credit card....but we are following Dave's plan too and it is SO reassuring to see that you paid off $125,000!! (We don't even have a 1/3 of that, and I was feeling sorry for us until I read your post)....thank you for motivating me!! Congratulations!

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  53. Thrifty-

    Congratulations!

    We are ticking away at our own debt- ramsey style- with gazelle intensity. We'll be debt free (no house yet) by next december and I can tell you- i know how you feel! every time I click "pay" on our payments, and then the hubby comes home and we tear up the little paper and put it in the "paid" bag (what can I say, I'm visual) It's like this great weight lifting!

    We've paid student loans, credit cards, lawyer fees and medical bills... and it's amazing. I'm SO proud of you!

    Next time you're looking at that sexy new couch or ottoman or lamp and thinking longingly of your credit cards just re-read what you've written here. You're truly carving out a new life for you and yours. Congratulations!

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  54. I am SO EXCITED for you !!!! We,too,are working HARD at paying off all our debt. We will be paying off our LAST credit card as soon as our income tax refund comes in! We moved to Louisiana from NC cos my house here in La. is paid for & we sold our house in NC. We paid off about $15,000 in credit card debt within the past 8 months,so after we pay off this LAST ONE,all we will have is a 211.00 per mo. CAR PAYMENT !!!!! I SOOOOOOOO KNOW HOW YOU FEEL !!!! CONGRATS GIRLIE !!!!!

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  55. Found this via little brown house! Congratulations! This is inspiring! I will certainly check out Dave Ramsey now! My husband and I are preparing to leave the military in over a year and we need to make a plan for how we will survive! I also have to pay down student loan debt!! Thanks for sharing!

    xoxo

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  56. Congratulations. I cannot imagine what a weight that must take off your shoulders. We will be paying off the last of our consumer debts at the end of February and have Dave Ramsay to thank as well.

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  57. Congrats!! I know it must be such a relief...proud of ya'll working so hard to pay it all off!!

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  58. Congratulations! We are one week into the plan and are so excited! I had never heard of Dave Ramsey until your previous post. When we saw our church was offering FPU, we signed up immediately! Thank you for sharing him with us! Can't wait to be weird just like you!

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  59. I am so excited for you! $125,000 in 3 years is so completely awesome! We became debt free in September and it's been such a wonderful feeling!

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  60. How liberating! I can't wait to be there one of these days. We have been working on it since last March and in May will be debt free aside from the house (going up for sale) and the mega school debt. I totally understand about getting your money where you want it to go and staying on track! It's amazing how much you have when you stay focused instead of floating! I'm so happy for you guys and way to go!

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  61. That is so exciting! What a huge accomplishment. We were going strong with the program until my husband got laid off. He is back to work now and we have started all over. What a wonderful feeling that must be! Yeah for you :)

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  62. Congrats! I'm coordinating an FPU course and in the middle of Baby Step #2!!! What a wonderful day it must be for you and your household! Keep going and you will LIVE LIKE NO ONE ELSE!!!

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  63. Congratz!
    My husband and I are young and debt free. Were working hard to keep it that way. I'm so glad I read Dave Ramseys book, its inspired me to live like the poor people we are so that someday when we have a better income we won't be paying off huge debts. Sometimes I get jealous seeing couples in our situation who don't work, go to school, live in a nice apartment which is nicely decorated. They go out to eat all the time and start their families. I want all that! But I have to remember I don't want the debt that comes with that. In the end we'll be the ones living better lives.

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  64. Congratulations!!! We hope to join you in about 5 years!!!

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  65. FPU rocks! It has changed our lives in amazing ways!

    Congratulations! You will never forget that last payment...ever!

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  66. That is soooooo awesome! I read Dave Ramsey last spring and we've been on a plan to get debt free too. Can't wait until we can scream the same thing!! Thanks for your inspiring story :)

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  67. That is fantastic! I'll look forward to hearing your "debt free scream" real soon.

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  68. That's fantastic! I finally decided to see what all the fuss was about last year and checked out all the Dave Ramsey books in the library I could find and LOVED them. We're working on it too, and should be debt free (except house) by June! And then the house should be paid off in 3-5 years depending on how much extra we can pay on it each month. It's exciting and such a great challenge. At 40 years old it'll be so great to start really putting serious money into retirement. And I want our kids to have something tangible, not just debt when we're gone.

    CONGRATS again!!!

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  69. congrats what an accomplishment

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  70. Congrats! My husband and I are just starting this journey and its great to have your story as inspiration!

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  71. How amazing!! I'm so proud of you.

    I have to tell you, you inspired me months ago with something you said. I don't know the exact quote, but it was something like "never spend month you don't have to make your home beautiful" (it was more eloquent than that, but still...) - And it's stuck with me. We were trying to get out of debt before, but that one quote made it all sink in for some reason.

    We are $100,000 in debt after over a year of no income and having to pay to move ourselves across the country for a job. It is so overwhelming. But you've done it, and I know we can too. Congratulations to you!!

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  72. I cried reading this! I'm so happy for you!

    My husband and I are 25... we have student loans, one car payment and a house. As of August, we will have paid off over $40,000 in loans in 2.5 years. Car payment is dwindling away as well! It's crazy to think that and all of our friends think we are nuts...they yell at us for not having a baby yet, or buying new cars or going on luxury vacations! We just smile and keep treking knowing it will pay off in the end. I grew up with a family with financial burdens and we want to be debt free and already saving for college when we have our first child in the next couple of years! We are gonna celebrate our accomplishment and finally take a nice vacation (somewhere warm of course...this snow is hell!).

    Thanks for sharing your accomplishment because it just makes me smile knowing we will be there too sooner rather than later!

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  73. Congratulations! My husband and I are on the same journey and actually own BOTH of our cars, which was such a proud moment. We have just a bit more of our student loans to pay off, then we're done and can join you in being weird! Though I have to know, were you able to get rid of your mortgage debt too?!?!?!

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  74. Congrats!!! I can hardly wait to scream from the rooftop. My student loan will also be our last payment and I CANNOT wait. Way to go. Keep moving on those baby steps to change your family tree :)

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  75. Congratulations! I'm so happy for and proud of you!

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  76. Congratulations to you! I'm weird, as in "just plain weird" LOL!

    I paid off my car last August, and am about to pay off one of my credit cards (I only have 2). The second credit card is being paid down as fast as I can do it, and I am paying 8 to 10 times the minimum due each month. The rest of the bills are just regular "pay monthly" bills that we will all have forever (rent, cell phone, telephone, gas, electric, etc.), EXCEPT for my student loans, which I am certain will *never* be paid off, and that I will die owing Sallie Mae money.

    My university was pretty costly to attend, and I got no help from parents (just a couple grants and scholarships), so I pretty much paid full price for the whole things. Its A LOT of debt. *Sigh!* I actually dream of winning the Lotto so I can pay my student loans off! That must be the best feeling in the world!

    Best,

    Kimberly

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  77. YAAAAAAAAAAAY!!!!!!

    I'm SO HAPPY FOR YOU!!!!!

    We are doing the Dave Ramsey thing too and by the time my hubby gets back from this deployment we will be debt free too!

    (except for the house... haha)

    That living like no one else feels good too!
    I smile at anyone who sneers at my little beater car I drive and happily tell them I don't owe a cent on it. That normally takes them aback and I can tell the gears start working in their heads when they mentally calculate $500+ a month in payments and insurance they dole out each month for image's sake.

    Then I tell them about the joys of getting out of debt! :)

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  78. Congratulations! I know how thrilled you are. My husband and I did the Dave Ramsey thing and have been debt free (except the house) since 2003. We have lived without car payments and have put 3 kids through college without a single loan or credit card. The day I heard about Dave Ramsey is the day our lives changed and I'm so happy you found him too. Now go build some wealth!

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  79. I am so inspired!!! My husband just finished grad. school...and we're looking into the possibility of buying a house in the next few years...the debt seems insurmountable. We don't use credit cards...but school debt is no joke :/

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  80. CONGRATULATIONS and THANK YOU for inspiring me too, working on our debt too!


    SO HAPPY FOR YOU AND YOUR FAMILY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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  81. I am so happy for you!!!! This is such great news! We are on our way! After this month we only have our two student loans and the one we had to take out to cover the loss on our house! It is going to happen!!

    BTW - when you come to Nashville to scream I want to hold a pom pom in the background!!

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  82. THAT is SIMPLY AWESOME!!!!!!!!!!!!! We are going on a NO SPEND journey (except for food--at home) here!

    Congrats to you!!!

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  83. Sarah! That is just fantastic~so, so excited for you. That must feel so free-ing! We have a student loan we're working on and then we'll be able to join you (also have the house, but I'm ok with that one) I'm so grateful that my blogging is able to help with it. Congratulations to you and your cute family! xxoo

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  84. This was the first thing I read this morning. What a good way to start the day; with a great story!! Congratulations!! It makes me want to google this David guy right now! As a matter of fact, I think I will :-). Thanks and congrats again!

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  85. I am so incredibly excited for you. Thank you for being one of the trailblazers in a newer, freer, way of life that hopefully we will all soon be enjoying!

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  86. Congratulations Sarah, we are working on that too. In comparison to most people, we don't have much debt, but we started saving late, so now we are catching up! :)

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  87. I am really happy fory you, CONGRATS!

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  88. Doing the happy dance for you! Great way to start the new year!
    High Five!

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  89. Congratulations! What an accomplishment to be proud of!

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  90. That is so exciting...dancing a fandango for you! We just finished our last car payment and should be totally debt free (except the house) by the end of this year. Light at the end of the tunnel!

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  91. I am so excited for you! I just started his class... this week is debt snowball week. Loving him!
    CONGRATULATIONS!!!!!

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  92. Congrats!!! We are just a few months away from being debt free, except for our mortgage. We recently refinanced while the rates were super low, and we rolled our home equity loan into our mortgage and dropped it down to fifteen years. I highly recommend you do that if you haven't already. The payout in the end will save us tons! So now we just have a car payment that will be paid off soon I hope! We ONLY use credit cards that give us a discount or cash back, and ONLY use them if we can pay it off when we get the bill. It is definitely a great feeling!

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  93. CONGRATULATIONS ON BEING WEIRD!!!! My husband and I finished Financial Peace about a month ago, and we are on our way!!!!!! I am so happy for you, congrats again!!

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  94. Good For you, Congradulations!!! Hooray, Hooray!! It does feel good doesn't it? My husband and I are debt free and have been for many years. It is the best feeling in the world.

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  95. Hi Sarah,

    A very big CONGRATS! I first heard of Dave Ramsay through church, then I read about him on your blog. Then our church had a financial Peace University course and we attended. It has ROCKED OUR WORLD!! Our problem was with building a house that went 40% percent over budget and several moves only partially paid for by my husband's employer. Learned a LOT through the course. Learned my husband had no idea how a budget works! Don't assume anything in life! We're hacking away at it and gaining victory every day. And thanks for encouraging Dave Ramsay over your blog! God bless!

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  96. Rejoicing with you! We live without debt and our mortgage was paid off last year. It's nice to have room to breathe, huh?!

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  97. Praise God - congratulations! Being debt free is the most wonderful feeling. We're also DR fans and I cry every time I hear someone scream "We're debt free!!" on his show so ENJOY THIS FEELING! Awesome!

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  98. Soooooooooo happy for you! Congratulations. Blessings over your whole family!
    -Jill D.

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  99. I am in tears for you, Sarah! Congratulations!!! If you do have a chance to come to Nashville to do the debt-free scream in Dave's lobby, please, please let me know. I can tell you which hotel to stay in, where to eat, and I would absolutely love to meet you in person. Seriously. Please let us know when (and where) you'll do your scream because I want to either be there or be listening. WeLcOmE to the WEIRD club!!!

    Melissa
    Lissalaneous

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  100. That is completely awesome. I can only imagine the feeling you have right now. Very happy for you and your family!

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  101. Congratulations! That is HUGE!

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  102. AWESOME Sarah!! Very inspiring!!

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  103. Congratulations!!! I'm so happy for you & your family & all the good things it will bring you! My hubby & I are on our own debt free journey & even though it'll take us a while to get to our goal, it feels good knowing we'll get there someday & your story is such an inspiration to us! I'm sooooo happy for you!

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  104. wow!wow!wow! congratulations!! that is so wonderful!!

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  105. Good for you! Isn't it a great feeling?! I learned the hard way after college when I had $11K in debt, living on my own. Took me 2 years to pay off and I have never carried major debt since.

    That means every credit card and bill is paid in full every month. We only have our mortgage and little car loans.

    The key is not to rack it up again!

    I love being "weird"!

    Jeanine

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  106. A SUPER HUGE CONGRATULATIONS to you! My husband and I facilitate Financial Peace classes at our church, and we are also debt free (except the house)!

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  107. Congratulations, Sarah!! I can't imagine how great you guys must be feeling. :)

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  108. WOOOOO!!!!!

    I'm so excited for you!! I can tell you how much it will mean to your children. I was raised in a family up to our eyeballs in debt. It wasn't fun. It was STRESSFULL!

    I'm a newlywed (6months!!!) and we're a young couple (24). We have both committed our lives to being debt free. We both once had debt too...student loans. When we started dating and knew we would be getting married we decided as a wedding gift to eachother to pay them off before the wedding! 3 months before the wedding we were both DEBT FREE! We had only been out of college for 16months! During those last 3months we saved for a wonderful honeymoon and now 6months into our marriage we have made a 20% down payment on a house and began renovations! We're so excited to be doing the renovations with CASH! I love hearing how other families are LIVING LIKE NO ONE ELSE!

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  109. Congratulations!!! I remember that day in our journey like it was yesterday. Be proud of yourselves!

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  110. I am SOOO incredibly happy for you!! That is not an easy fight to win and you should be soo soo proud! As a student recently graduated from college and starting to pay those student loans, I can say that paying for your step-daughters tuition is the best gift you could EVER give her. For her to get a job and start off without that looming debt over her head will put her at such an advantage in life moving forward! You go girl! Keep it up! I admire your ability to create things and do what you love while keeping that budget in place!

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  111. I am so happy for you guys and I have tears in my eyes because I can totally relate. We are on the debt diet too and in part, thanks to you. My friend introduced the Dave concept to us via YOU back last summer. We just got started on it and we were smoothly sailing along when all of a sudden we became victims of the economy and my husband lost his job. Just like that. But he found a new job back in November and I was able to start back on it again in December and ya know what? We have already paid of two "monkey" debts since then and I yelled, danced and sang as I put that statement and check in the little envelope and sent it away!!!! IT IS FREEING!!! And I am so happy for your family! God bless you all!

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  112. CONGRATULATIONS! We too are weird, except for our house. We're working on the house weird thing. We've lead FPU twice, and have completely drank the kool-aid. Being debt free, living on a budget, is the best thing we have done for our marriage and our children. You will not go back. Great Job!

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  113. YOU'RE DEBT FREE! (screamed in my best Dave Ramsey voice)

    Congratulations! My husband and I try to live like no one else too :)

    We still have my student loan to pay....but that is it...no other debts beside the home.

    Several months ago we bought a new-to-us vehicle and paid for it in cash. No borrowing money for us! You can see my brief post about it here:
    http://ericaharless.blogspot.com/2010/09/new-ride.html

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  114. WAY TO GO!!!! We became debt free in October and the feeling is like a high. Hang on to it. We didn't call into the show, but I sure did get super excited.

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  115. woohooo, hooo-hooo, hoo,hoo,hoo,hoooo!!!!

    I am so happy for you! Congratulations!!! Kelly

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  116. SARAH!! GOOD FOR YOU! When I read "We're Debt Free!" My eyes got watery, just like they do when people scream it on his podcast. What an awesome day for you and your family! You've completely inspired me through your journey and we only have one car loan left to pay off and we'll be in your shoes!! :) Congratulations!!!

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  117. Praise God!! Isn't it so awesome to say this? We are going to be in your shoes one day very soon with gazelle like intensity!!

    Hope you and your hubby celebrate a little bit, heres to you!!

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  118. Welcome over to the WEIRD Side....And it is even more WEIRD to have NO house payments too! You will get there! Congrats!

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  119. Fan-Freakin'Tastic!!! I knew you could do it! Having seen some of my siblings go bankrupt at such a young age, I've learned from their mistakes to live within my means, and only use credit cards if I could pay them off at the end of the month. My hubby & I live a wonderfully weird life. It's so liberating! CONGRATS!!!
    Jules

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  120. CONGRATULATIONS!!!! I wish I could write it bigger than that!

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  121. congrats!!

    I'm starting to work towards this more as I had zero debt - was taught well growing up about money. I married into a lot of student debt, now it's 'our' debt. I don't know a lot about DR but how does he feel about going back to school to make 3x the income even if it means taking out more student debt?

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  122. Big HUGE congrats and pat on the back!

    We were weird for awhile, and it was awesome! Then we had to relocate with the hubs job with a newborn and two yr old... in that haze we let our guard down and made bad choices. So this year we're on a mission back to being weird! So angry with myself, but just gotta pick up and move on.

    You did a great job! Be super proud of yourself!!

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  123. Congratulations!!! I am so happy for you! We have been on a debt free journey for almost 2 years and have only managed to pay off a small amount of our debt. But after spending the last year restructuring our lives,(moving to a small home, etc.) We are ready to attack! I can't wait to be where you are, such hard work and now you get to reap the benefits!!!

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  124. Wow congratulations! How awesome of a feeling. I'd probably drive to Dave's studio and yell it too!
    Hubby just wrote a post about us being debt free. It is fantastic. Now, to continue the road we are on.
    So happy to see there are other "weirdos" out there. :)

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  125. Sarah thank you so much for sharing this story! My husband and I are 25 and unfortunately graduated college in the midst of the financial mess of 2008. We are feeling completely and utterly burdened by our mountain of school debt... reading this makes me feel like we can and will tackle it. We may need better paying jobs to accomplish this but I have hope that that time will come and things will get better. The economy will get better. So thank you for your inspiration and from one debt-ridden person to a new debt free one: CONGRATULATIONS!!!!!!!!!!!!! I can't imagine how amazing it feels... and hopefully someday I'll know too.

    ~Christi
    Between 3 Sisters

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  126. CONGRATULATIONS!!!! This is a VERY EXCITING day!! A six figure debt elimination is HUGE. GIGANTIC. The song -- Oh Happy Day -- is ringing in my ears as I read of your success. Thanks for sharing your story, it is encouraging and uplifting. Dancing and singing with you today. :)

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  127. CONGRATULATIONS!!! I am so happy for your guys!!!!

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  128. AWESOME! I just started Dave Ramsey's plan 1 month ago and we are still alive! I guess you can live on a budget! :)
    It's tough some days, but when it's only cash in my pocket, it makes me think twice about what I spend! AGAIN--CONGRATULATIONS!

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  129. It's so encouraging to read this! My husband and I just got married and just graduated from college, so we have a ton of school loans plus car debt. We are in the 4th week of the Dave Ramsey class at our church. This makes me realize that the program actually works! Thanks for sharing!

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  130. Congrats! That is so awesome and inspiring! We are in the midst of our debt snowball and it really is exciting each time you hit that submit payment button. Can't wait til it's our last one too. :-)

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  131. Welcome to the Weird Club! If I could hug you I would! You did an amazing thing! A HUGE ACCOMPLISHMENT!

    We are also debt free. We are 7 months into building our 12 month emergency fund and in two weeks 1/2 our home will be paid off! Last week we got the news that I have been laid off and you know what? It's fine! The security we have in the management of our finances and trusting in the LORD has us in a great place. When people find out I am laid off they call giving condolences, like a relative died or something, and are shocked at my great attitude. I almost feel guilty that we are in such a good place and I should be depressed. And from the outside I can see how my attitude could be viewed as snobbish, because the financial pressure isn't there and I can take my time to find the right job again.

    But my point is there are so many blessings you haven't even come to realize yet because of your hard work!

    I wish I could reply to another commenter, Kari, who posted here. She had mentioned the pressure family is putting on her to start a family or even to be OK with debt. I feel like she is telling part of my story. Just in case she comes back to read the comments I wanted to let her know she is making a wise decision. One that we have made and I wouldn't trade it. Finances are the number 1 issue in a marriage and her marriage, when they do have kids, will be stronger for it.

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  132. I was just wondering, which book did you start with, I was looking online last night, but there where maybe 5 or 6.

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  133. Congrats. I know it must feel great.

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  134. I have always been in denial of our debt, but reading your post made me really emotional. I think it is time to read Dave's book!

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  135. Woo hoo!!!! Good for you! The "hot tub debt" made me laugh. We can be so dumb, can't we? We're working on a student loan and should have it gone by the fall. That will be amazing!

    Good for you, Sarah. I am rejoicing with you!

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  136. You go girl!!!! We did the same thing last year. Now we are weird too.Well we still owe on our house but we are working on that...one bite at a time. Believe it or not...new cars don't even tempt me :) I'm so happy for you and what a blessing this will be to pass on to your kiddos.

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  137. OH Wow Congrats. I just found your site through another site. We have lived without credit cards for about 10 years and it feels amazing. The only thing I am trying to pay off is my student loan, I feel it's going to take a long time(any tips on paying of student loans?) My husband said we can't live with credit cards you buy something and you are only paying double for it. It is so funny everytime we go to check out at a store the cashier askes us you like to apply for our card, and my husband says "oh no thank you I want to be free and alive". He always gets the weirdes look from them. One lady did ask him what do you mean and he told her I want to be debt free. So everything we need we always buy cash. Or if we don't have the money we save up for it. A lot of people ask well what if you want so and so and you don't have the money for it and when you do have the money to go buy it and its not there any more what a bummer. I tell them then maybe it wasn't meant to be. So happy for you God Bless

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  138. Congrats! My hubby and I have been married for 10 years now and we have never had a credit card! People used to look at us funny when we would tell them that...but no so much anymore!!! Neither of us had to get loans for college and we just always had the idea that if we couldn't pay for something right then, we didn't need it right then. And the funny thing is, that has enabled us to have even more in the long run! Right now the only debt we have is our mortgage and a dental bill in addition to the regular monthly bills. I cant even imagine owing $125,000. It is truly amazing that you were able to get rid of that in just a few years!!!

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  139. I'm so proud!!! I just started a blog myself and this is one of my major points!!!! www.emmasfrugalmommy.blogspot.com

    i'm going to start acting like an adult. it is all about accountability. Thanks for the inspiration!

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  140. That is so insanely awesome!!! You really are such an inspiration!!! We are in the process of clawing our way of debt but think it is time to read DAve's book again to kick it up a notch. We currently are paying on our addition, a farm, 1 car, a tractor (0% interest!!! fixed payments for life of the loan!!!!), and a mission trip to Jamaica for 2 (but it is being paid in cash... no credit!!). After next year our only debt will be the mortgage on this house and the tractor but all else will be gone!! I am so excited for that day to come!!!

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  141. We too have bought the Dave Ramsey book and are working at our finances. Our only debt is a school loan and our house. I am a stay-at-home mom and we are getting by on one income but it is hard with the way the prices of everything are gong up!
    So congratulations on being weird! Too bad so many Americans have the I want it so I will buy it now mentality and don't prepare for the future. With the way our economy is right now hard telling what could happen in a moment and how so many people will be effected because they don't plan for the future!
    Praise God for working through Dave Ramsey!
    Marilyn

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  142. Awesome! Mercifully, my husband and I have been debt free for all but the first 2 years of our marriage when we were paying off his student loans. I can't conceive of the heartache we have been spared these 6 years since, just by choosing to live on less than we make. In that time, I have been able to quit my job and stay home full-time with our daughter. We have had our share of emergencies, but nothing we couldn't handle with our emergency fund and savings account. God has been faithful. Being weird is so worth it!

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  143. Thanks Sarah for giving me the kick in the butt I needed to get back on board. We have so little debt left and I have been playing footsie with it. It makes me cry to think of changing my family tree (I grew up w/ a single mom of 7, in the projects on welfare). Congratulations!

    Amy

    p.s. This is my first time commenting. Had to come out of hiding for this. lol.

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  144. congratulations!!!! it always makes me sad how many people live in debt. and what an achievement to come to the weird side!!

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  145. You are an amazing role model to us all! Seriously, we could learn a thing or two from ya'll. With our first big house purchase we are desperatley trying to pay off a CC debt and be WEIRD too :0)

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  146. SO darned happy for you!
    We too are debt free and it is a feeling like no other.
    We are trying to encourage our kids to do the same; our daughter is on her way - her credit card is almost paid off, and she and her fiance are saving for their house...
    Can't wait to hear you shout it out on Dave's show!!!

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  147. Wow! That's a mouthful! Debt Free? Holy cow! I'm going to go look at mine now and see how far till I'm debt free, too? I want to grow up to be just like you!

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  148. Congratulations, girl!! That is big BIG news! I'm so happy for you and your family. That is a HUGE accomplishment. My husband and I started Dave Ramsey's Financial Peace University last April. We have one 10,000 bill left to pay off before we are debt free other than the house. It's been a big struggle for us too. Our problem wasn't really spending money, it's not making enough money. We live below our means but a bad divorce for me left some debt from that relationship on us. I am clapping and stompin' my feet for you! When the time comes for us to do our happy cheer, I'll let you know and you can cyber celebrate with me! LOL - Karen

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  149. Congratulations! You deserve to be shouting it from the rooftops! That's a huge accomplishment that you should be very proud of.

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  150. Yay, Sarah! You did it!!!
    It is wonderful being weird, isn't it? :)

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  151. You can be extremely proud of yourselves, that was one major accomplishment! You must be so relieved. And I admire the fact that you shared your journey publicly, thus inspiring others to do the same.

    WEIRD=GOOD!!

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  152. That is soooo awesome! Congratulations x a million!

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  153. I have been reading for about a year now, but this is my first time to comment! Congratulations on yall's hard work!! I can't imagine how relieved you must feel! So glad for you!!

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  154. Awesome!!! I hope in 3 years we can scream it, too!

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  155. Congrats! So very happy for you. Just the motivation I needed to keep going on our journey!

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  156. Congratulations! Way to go. I have a hard time understanding how people can feel comfortable living off of credit. It's great to hear that there are more weirdo's out there like me~

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  157. It makes me emotional every single time I hear someone scream "I'm debt free!!!" It's such an awesome thing! Congratulations!!!!!!!!

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  158. Congrats! When my husband and I achieved this status I wanted to rent the Goodyear blimp so they could announce it to the world. But that would have put me in debt . . . LOL . . . so I actually scrapbooked a 2pg LO instead.

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  159. I wish I could be weird!!! Hubby and I are working on our credit card debt (less than $2K, so not much) and my car payment, but those are do-able... it's the stupid school loans that are killing both of us. I would love to be WEIRD and debt free!!! It's definitely where to be! :) Congrats!!!!

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  160. So PROUD of you all! I hope and pray that thousands of gals and guys will read your success story and be inspired to jump in and do this too. Dave Ramsey should be paying you for all the great advertising you are doing...his book sales will take a big jump after this! Blessings and joy for sharing your story with the world!

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  161. Congratulations! That is wonderful to be debt free! I am hoping to be weird - well sort of weird - by the end of this year. Credit Card debt is the bane of our existence!

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  162. WOW CONGRATS!!!!!!!
    I'm try to work the plan it's hard when your other thinks his plan is the best. I pray that someday he'll see the plan and get it. I'm so happy for you. Now go out and enjoy your FREEDOM!!!
    Holly

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  163. CONGRATULATIONS!!! We, too, love Dave Ramsey and you have just accomplished a tremendous MILESTONE!!! Nice job!!!

    enjoy!!!
    Terri

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  164. Congrats!!! We are just starting FPU we are on week 3 and it is making a differnce! We started off 5 years ago debt free, but with a new house and all the things that come with starting a life together we quickly ran up the debt.

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  165. Congrats! We are officially weird, too. We paid off my hubby's school loans last month and that was it. We only have a mortgage now. It feels awesome!

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  166. HOORAY!! What you guys did was MAJOR!! So very happy for you!!!

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  167. Congratulations Sarah!! My husband and I are also attacking our debt a little more aggressively these days and it's so inspirational to hear about other people becoming debt free! Way to go!!

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  168. Congratulations!!! It's so freeing to be rid of debt!

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  169. congratulations!!! SO happy for you and will be listening for you to yell it on the radio! We have JUST finished paying our last IUPUI law payment and can now start paying down student loans....how I wish I was at the point of paying it ALL off like you just did!:)

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  170. WOOOO HOOOO!! My DH and I are attending Dave's course right now!

    You are so fortunate to have found him when you were young...we are at retirement age and though we don't have tooooo much debt, we are about to live without an income and Dave is leading us there! We are becoming more confident that we can live the life we want!!

    Congratulations on a job well-done!

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  171. I'm a non-blogging blog lurker =) and was SO excited when I found out you followed Dave Ramsey. We LOVE him! CONGRATULATIONS on being debt free!! Success stories always make those of us still chipping away at it want to keep going -- and you're part of that inspiration now. Congrats again!

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  172. Congratulations!!!! That must be an absolutely amazing feeling! I just started Dave Ramsey's class and I can't wait to be in the position you are now.

    You are awesome!

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  173. Congrats! Love Dave. We've been using envelopes for about 6 months now and when we don't, we are lost!

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  174. YAY! Congrats! We should be "weird" in about 6 months (within one year of marriage!) if everything goes as planned. :)

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  175. Good for you!

    I think it's awesome. You are an inspiration to the rest of us. Congrats.

    -FringeGirl

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  176. You made me tear up a bit! We are also doing the dave ramsay thing and a couple of days ago paid off debt #3 out of 4! One more to go! It feels amazing! I cannot wait until I get to click the button to send that last payment. Thanks for sharing!

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  177. Congratulations! We figured it all out long before Dave Ramsey was a household name, but it's a GLORIOUS feeling to have no debt. You'll NEVER, EVER want to go back to owing again.

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  178. Congratulations!!!! While we're not debt free, we only have our house & a home equity loan & it will be paid off in the next couple of months. We used a credit card but we pay it in full every month. Also, I LOVE NKOTB & have tickets to see them in June!!

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  179. I've been loving your blog for several months now, (I am searching, HUNTING for an adorable craigslist dresser), but your post today made me smile. My husband and I read Dave 3 years ago. We had just had baby #2, moved into a new house on an INTREST ONLY loan (shuddler), had furniture debt, car debt, student loans, etc. You know the drill. We hunkered down and paid off everything but the house in a year. I think it was around $30k or so, and it felt. so. good. It's tough at times, because I am so very much an immediate gratification kind of girl. But it's nice to be able to go on vacation, buy furniture, treat yourself without stressing that it will end up costing 4x as much down the road.
    So congratulations to you! $125k is a MAJOR accomplishment, and screaming and crying are well deserved.

    Oh, and your quote of "I do what I want!" from waaaay back, is totally from Barnyard, right? Cracked me up when I read it. We say that all the time in my house!

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  180. SO PROUD OF YOU!!!!! We are fortunate enough to be debt free except for our house and we are planning on paying that off as fast as we can. Is that your next goal? How awesome would it be to be free and clear of that. You are weird - in a very good way!

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  181. Congrats!!! You will never regret this journey. We've been debt free for four years now.

    OK, this is going to sound crazy but we rent our house (it's a weird rental situation that I won't go into) but we've been thinking about buying it. We spent about six months talking to banks and researching before we decided we really don't want to go back into debt. So we're saving to pay cash for it instead. That's how awesome being debt-free feels for us. (Granted, it's an easier option for us than many folks. Our very average house in this town is appraised at $50,000 and the owners are offering to let us buy at $40,000. Homes are worthless here, only LAND is valuable.)

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  182. Congratulations! After we sell our house, we will be debt free as well. Can't wait!

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  183. Sarah, congratulations to you and your husband. What a wonderful gift you are giving your family! Our church offers the Financial Peace University and as a gift to our
    son and daughter in law, sent them before they were married. Debt is a terrible monster. Monkey is too cute to equate debit to :-)
    Scream LOUD! :-)

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  184. We became debt free three years ago, before joining the Army. We are LITERALLY the only people in any unit we have ever been in, that isn't broke, swimming in debt, etc...
    My husband always has to sit down with a Sgt. every time he joins another unit, and the Sgt. says, "lets talk about your debt" What debt? "the debt you have" don't have any "you have to have some" no "credit cards, student loans, car payments???" NOPE.
    "HOW????????" Dave Ramsey!
    Plus how many people we run into that ask "How can you afford for your wife to stay home with the kids???" NO DEBT! DUH. And guess what? it ain't that hard!
    And we do pretty well! We don't struggle for money like our debt-ed acquaintances.
    LIVE LIKE NO ONE ELSE, SO LATER, YOU CAN LIVE LIKE NO ONE ELSE!!!! :)

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  185. http://shropshirestreetgirl.blogspot.com/February 2, 2011 at 10:57 AM

    Very impressive! Congratulations!!!! A brand new spakin' new life!!!!! awesome.

    xoxoxo, cami

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  186. Congrats, so, so happy for you. Thanks for sharing.

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  187. That is so worth celebrating. Now go out for a great big steak dinner(and pay for it with cash, of course!)!! My husband and I are on the same path, though a little behind you. I am a loan officer at a credit union and you have no idea how hard it is to process loans for people with new cars and not want a new car myself. But, I no longer have a car payment, and that is certainly it's own reward! Our remaining vehicle loan was one of the first things we paid off, even that small step was so exciting! Congratulations, now you can reap the benefits of all your hard work!! PTL!

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  188. My husband and I just went to our first Financial Peace University meeting last night. We loved it, and I guess I needed to read this today because it's making me want it even more! Congratulations!!!!

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  189. Congratulations! I started reading is book and was totally ready to do it, but my husband is not a fan of the all or nothing approach he takes. Maybe he'll come around eventually.

    So happy for you! What a great feeling it must be!

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  190. Sarah, thank you for sharing your story!!! I am the coordinator for a non-profit and we are just getting started for our first ever series of FPU, do you mind if I share your story at our preview meeting??? I think it would get people excited and see that any motivated person can succeed...just like you did..CONGRATS!!!!

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  191. Congratulations!! Seriously SO COOL!! Dave Ramsey has been such a blessing to us, too! We no longer have car payments or credit card debt. We only pay cash. My family thinks we weird, but they are used to it now! We only have our student loans left, and mine should be finished with our tax return. Can't wait to join you in the Debt Free Club. SO HAPPY FOR YOU!

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  192. Congrats Sarah! This is huge! You had inspired me to take control of my debt and I bought Dave Ramsey's book "Total Money Makeover". I'm only in the first chpt but I'm hooked and excited for the potential to be debt free.

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  193. YAY!!!!!!!!!! You did it!! I remember about 4 years ago when we got out of debt (right around this time of the year too), I printed out the page of my credit card bill that said I had a ZERO balance and taped it to my wall. It felt AMAZING. :) So proud of you girl.

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  194. YAY!!!!!!!!!! You did it!! I remember about 4 years ago when we got out of debt (right around this time of the year too), I printed out the page of my credit card bill that said I had a ZERO balance and taped it to my wall. It felt AMAZING. :) So proud of you girl.

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