In this video we are sharing our debt free journey. Stay tuned. We’ll be right back. [Music] Welcome back to The Long Run with Joel and Christy. I’m Joel and I’m Christy. We would like to invite you to follow our journey to live a healthy life on a budget. And today, we’re going to share with you our debt free journey. How it began and where we are in the present day. So we started our debt free journey about six years ago. Actually it was a little more than six years ago, because I started doing a Excel budget even further back than that. But in January of 2013 I come across this program called why YNAB “You Need A Budget” and it was pretty much what I was doing in Excel. It just gave me more features and more things that I could do with it and so I started using that. One of the characteristic of You Need A Budget is that you want to be living a month ahead of your income. So whatever income you’re bringing in January, is the money you are going to use for February. And so what we did was we we got a month ahead in February of that year. Started using the software in January and we got a month ahead in February. And so we were cruising along there I had a pretty good job, Christy was working, and we were doing pretty well. we started budgeting a little bit and you know doing all those things you do when you’re budgeting. But then, May of 2013 hit and I lost my job. So seeing that I was bringing in most of the income, that hit us pretty hard and the good thing about it was we took three months of severance pay and turned it into at least six. And so because we were already living on a budget and we were already living a month ahead with our income, we cut back on some things and things that we knew that were not essential to our lives. You know that’s a strange thing but when you go through a financial crisis, you really understand what’s important to you, what’s important to your life, and so we cut out a lot of things that weren’t really important to our lives, that we really figured out that you know we really didn’t need those things and so we got rid of a little more than $200,000 worth of debt during that time. My job loss was what really led us to our debt free journey I know Dave talks about your sick and tired moment. What was your sick and tired moment? Well, ours wasn’t a sick and tired moment. It was a You Ain’t Got No Choice Moment. And so we realized, we had to pay off a lot of stuff pretty quickly. Because you never know when you’re going to get another job. And so that was during the time just coming out of the recession coming out of when jobs were pretty much scarce. And so we realized we had to pay off a lot of stuff in a short period of time. So we paid would pay off our cars with some money we had set aside. So we did all that. We paid off all of our cars and we downsized our cars so that they would be cheaper on gas. Older and cheaper on gas. Yeah and so we’re still driving one of the cars that that we downsized to 2008. So it’s 11 years old now. It’s the only that we have. And it’s still running pretty good. So you keep You service your car for a while, It’ll run you for a long time. So keep that in mind, if you are on a debt free journey and you’re driving an old car, kudos to you, because we are too. We could afford another car now but we’re just we just don’t because we don’t want the car payments. because we don’t If you get a good quality car, it should last you a long time. Should last you a long time if you keep the maintenance up. So our sick and tired moment was more of a You Ain’t Got A Choice Moment. So what was your sick and tired moment? Was it a sick and tired moment or was it a You Ain’t Got No Choice Moment? You can comment below and let us know what or how your journey started. But that’s how we started. That’s how things got going for us and how we paid off a lot of stuff in a short period of time. we had some credit-card debt and a student loan that we thought was paid but really wasn’t paid and so we had to pay that off too. And we had a home that we were paying off at the time. And we didn’t sell it right away because we were still living in the place where we’re living at that point. We were cash flowing one of our son’s education at the time and he had he had to drop out of school. I had to drop out of school. He was working on his EdD. Yeah I was working on my doctoral degree. 6 hours short. Everything but my dissertation was done. And so just didn’t have the money to finish it. So anyway we got rid of a lot of stuff except our house and we just continued the journey. And I finally about nine months later, I found a job that I’m still in today that I really love and that I started at the bottom and I worked my way up to where I am now. And we’re excited about where we are. We were living in Tennessee at the time and then during the middle of all that we moved to Houston and in the meantime while that was going on. we sold our house because we didn’t need it anymore. So we’re renting here in Houston. We sold our house and that pretty much finished off the rest of the the debt that we had. It was somewhere in the neighborhood of total of $200,000. We don’t really know. We didn’t add it all up at the time. We weren’t following like Financial Peace University or anything so we never like sat down and added up the amounts that we owed. We just got rid of our debts. So we don’t know like what it was totally when you. They’re are all gone now and so we don’t have to worry about that. And so once again we are cash flowing our sons education and we excited about where he’s going with that. And we do have credit cards. I know some people on debt free journey just they cut up all their credit cards and they don’t use them anymore. We do still have credit cards. I use one for work that I reimburse myself for. We sometimes use them to buy groceries and things so we can get the points. We’ve actually we’ve been able to take trips because of points that we’ve gotten on our credit cards. And so we’re, that’s one of the things that we do, you don’t have to do that. That’s fine. If you do, comment below. Let us know how you do that. It’s the kind of thing where you have to figure out your personal spending habits. I’m the saver. So she’s assuming I’m the spender. No, just more so than I am. I say I’m like my grandmother. She would go into a store and talk herself out of stuff. I’m that person that goes in picks up something and put it back. That’s why one of the reasons why our credit card debt was kind of small because I would talk myself out of anything. So that’s where we were and that’s how we got to where we are now. So where are we now. Well we’re still running a month ahead. That hasn’t changed in the six years. We’ve always been a month ahead on our income and so we feel pretty blessed in that seeing that we went six months without any work and then except for Christy’s job and then I did take a job, a couple of jobs that I didn’t like and got out of those and then finally found the one that I did love and now I’m still in that one. And so where are we now? Well we’re still a month ahead on our income. So the money that we’re earning now in October is going to be used for November. And so we’re also. We also have a baby emergency fund of $1,000 that we haven’t touched since we put it in there. So you know that’s that’s an exciting thing to see that you got one thousand dollars in your budget, that you haven’t even touched and you haven’t touched in six months. Or maybe longer than that. And so we do, we also set up several sinking funds. We have bought tires with a sinking fund. We did our last oil change service for our car with a sinking fund. We bought the chairs that we’re sitting in, we bought with a sinking fund for household items. That’s money that’s left over from our grocery budget that we don’t use every month. We budget about $600 for groceries every month. Anything that’s left over goes into our household essentials fund and so we’ve got a lot of things that go into our home out of that budget and didn’t have didn’t have to spend extra money for it and didn’t have to go into debt. And so that’s the exciting thing. We have, I’m an avid runner and so although I can run for free for practice, if I want to run a race and it’s one of you know they like money and so. Especially marathons. Yeah I’ll be running the New York City Marathon on November 3rd and to do that it’s hard to really get in, it’s hard to get into the New York City Marathon if you go through the lottery drawing. yeah might get in, you might not. And so a lot of people enter the drawing and very few get chosen and so since it’s one of my goal races, I decided to go as a charity runner. And as a charity runner, you have to raise a certain amount of money to guarantee your entry. And so then you have to pay the entry fee and all the associated costs that go with getting to New York City. So I signed up to be a charity runner. We’d already planned out how we were going to put money aside just in case no one donated to my fund for my charity and so we were putting money aside for that. And then my owner’s, the owner of the restaurant that I run, stepped in and said Hey you know what let’s do some fundraisers in the restaurant and we’ll put that money towards your charity. We did two fundraisers, one in May and one in July, and the money that we brought in for, she gave me a portion of the sales of a certain item on the menu and then the money, that through those two fundraisers, my charity portion was covered. So I want to thank Holly for that. Thank you for for doing that for me in helping us get there. And all the team members at our restaurant and all the guests that bought chicken sandwiches that day. Just those two days. What a great time for us and all all that’s covered. And so we also set aside money for getting to New York City and all of that as as of about a month and a half ago, it’s all paid for. So when we step on the plane, to go to New York City on Halloween, October to 31st, then everything’s paid for except for the stuff that we’re going to do while we’re there. And we’re going to go ahead and pay for some stuff some of the things we’re going to do before we get there. But our most of our food and stuff will be paid while we’re up there and then it’ll be paid when we get back. We’ve actually taken three trips this year that we that we’ve totally cash flowed. Back in May, our son and daughter-in-law graduated from college and we went up for their graduation. Us two and our older son. We cash flowed that debt-free. We took a trip back to Tennessee in October to see them again. They have new jobs now and are living in a different place in Tennessee. But we went back to see them and cash flowed it all paid for before we went. And now the New York City Marathon, before we go everything’s paid for plane tickets, hotel rooms, everything is done. We’re doing it on one income and, so yeah, we’re excited about the journey that we’ve had we’re excited about the things that…we’re not excited about things we went through. The things we went through were hard but hard times call for hard faith and hard things that you have to do in your life to make things better and so we’re grateful for the hard times because it made us better made us stronger. And so don’t worry if you’re going through a hard time right now. There is light at the end of the tunnel and you’re going to be stronger at the end of it. So hang in there, it will be it will get better. And so if you’re going through a hard time right now. if you want to comment at the bottom we’d love to hear about it and encourage you in your journey as well. So comment down here at the bottom and let us know how we can help you as well. So we’re excited about where we’ve been, we remember where we’ve been, we remember the journey that’s taken us to this point. And we’re excited about the future, about what’s going to happen as we continue in our debt free journey. I hope you were inspired by hearing about our debt free journey and how we survived our financial crisis. Again comment below and tell us if you’ve ever dealt with job loss or a financial crisis or just tell us how you ended up in your debt free journey. Also be sure to LIKE subscribe and hit that bell so that you don’t miss any future videos regarding debt freedom, frugal living, and tips for living healthy on a budget. We post every Tuesday and Thursday as soon as we launch officially on November 14th. Also be sure to follow our blog, Facebook Instagram, and Pinterest accounts. You can find the links down in our description and be sure to check out our video where we share just a little bit about how weird we are. And that should be right here on the bottom of the screen. Ok until next time. Alright again, I hope that y’all enjoyed getting to know a little bit more about what we went…that’s kind of weird.