Last year, Courtney and I felt like we needed to do more to better understand and manage our finances. My ward hosted Financial Peace University, a course presented by Dave Ramsey of radio show and financial guru fame. That course was one of the best things we’ve ever done.
Now, a year later, I’ve been asked to team teach another round of the course. I accepted of course, and I’ve been going back over some of the lessons taught so that I could not only discuss them intelligently but also lead by example.
One of the big changes we did was we went to an entirely cash-based system with the exception of automatically debited purchases like utility payments, car payment, and mortgage. We also went crazy on our car and are on track to completely pay off our car in the next few months.
But the final thing that we decided to do was to refinance from a 30-year fixed mortgage into a 15-year fixed mortgage. Rates are so low right now that even cutting the term of the mortgage in half will increase our payment by only $300. Even better, once we pay off the car, it’ll be a virtual wash in the costs.
Yes, it’ll be hard (perhaps harder is the more appropriate term), but it is right. I hate debt. I hate not having control of me and my life and my money. It kills me to be in bondage to anyone. The Lord feels the same way too, and modern prophets have counseled again and again to get out of debt. Well now we will… 15 years earlier while saving over a hundred thousand dollars in interest payments.
Dave Ramsey once made the following statement, which I’m paraphrasing for lack of a direct quote:
You didn’t walk into debt over night; you’re not going to walk out of it over night either. It takes time.
But you can do it. And if you happen to want to come to a class of Financial Peace University hosted by yours truly, you’ll see that you really truly can get out of debt one step at a time.