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John and Kymberly bought an ugly house. It was $85,000 and needed lots of love. But they didn’t care. They wanted a place they could fix up and pay off quickly.
So they replaced the shag carpet, repainted the walls, and moved in (with their four young kids!). Less than two years of accelerated payments later, their mortgage debt was history!
It was a huge victory for the couple, especially considering how much debt they were in years earlier. As newlyweds, they owed $40,000 between student loans and a truck payment. On top of that, they decided to buy a house with zero down.
Talk about stress.
Nine months later, they got pregnant with their first child. “That was a major wake-up call for me,” says John. They were ready to get rid of the debt.
After reading The Total Money Makeover, they had another realization. “We talked it out and we said, ‘If we really buckle down, there’s a small chance we can pay these debts off this year.’”
So they made a list of everything they owed and started tackling their debts one by one. “We had numerous fights. It wasn’t easy,” says Kymberly of their new budgeting routine. But they were determined to make it work.
John even got a second job.
“I got a pizza delivery job at Papa John’s and started working weekends and nights,” he says. But about a month or so into delivering pizzas, John’s truck was T-boned at an intersection. “It was kind of a test, ‘Are we going to keep going or are we going to give up?’”
They chose to keep going and did minimal repairs on the truck. “It was a crazy time in our marriage,” John says. “But I think because we were working so hard, when we did have time as a family, we really made it count.”
Thanks to open communication and teamwork, they were out of consumer debt in under a year! And when it came time to buy another home, they wanted to do things differently.
That’s why they landed on a fixer-upper.
“The more you focus, and the more you follow this plan, the more you will win,” -John.
“A couple weeks of hard work and it was a lot better,” Kymberly says of their second home. “I remember thinking this was a fresh start. Another turning point in our life where we could say we’re going to do things different from now on.”
They are proof that anyone can change their money habits. All it takes is focus and a plan.
“The more you focus, and the more you follow this plan, the more you will win,” John says. “There were times when we lost focus and we did not follow the plan. We lost hope. We got a little loose and didn’t follow the budget. And we paid the price. But when we stuck to the plan it worked.”
It’ll work for you too.
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