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We're debt free.

Ladies and gentlemen, we are debt free.
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Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving.Wanted to talk about being a turkey today. But first, here's a recap of the Baby Steps used in Dave Ramsey's Financial Peace University.Baby Step 1: $1,000 cash in a beginner emergency fundBaby Step 2: Use the debt snowball to pay off all your debt but the houseBaby Step 3: A fully funded emergency fund of 3 to 6 months of expensesBaby Step 4: Invest 15% of your household income into retirementBaby Step 5: Start saving for collegeBaby Step 6: Pay off your home earlyBaby Step 7: Build wealth and give generouslySo we're on step 3. How's it going?It's not.What we're doing now is akin to what happened a lot between baby steps 1 and 2: Save up your $1,000 emergency fundHave an emergencyRepeatExcept we haven't had emergencies. We maintain the $1,000 EF month to month and manage other storms. We've had to repair some vehicles, sure. We also have more income now than we did. We were forking over hundreds to creditors not long ago. Now we can …

We were just interviewed by NPR.

We had the pleasure of being interviewed on Saturday by Uri Berliner. He oversees coverage of business and the economy for NPR. Amazewife and I both felt nervous. We had: Never been interviewed before, and have been NPR nerds for a long time.One of Amazewife's colleagues from her time at the Daily Nebraskan works for NPR. She had followed our struggle and pitched our experience to Uri as a story idea. He arrived at our home around 10 AM. We exchanged pleasantries. He explained what to expect. We asked where he'd like to sit.The interview beginsWe pulled up a chair so he could sit in front of us. He wore Studio Monitor headphones and held a digital recorder attached to a long, hand-held microphone. We sat down on our brown couch, situated in front of and facing away from our large living-room window. We dove in.He asked about why we did it. What motivated us. What was the moment when we decided to get out of debt. Tell me about your schedule. You worked how many jobs? But what …

Party Time!

Amazewife and I destroyed the last of our debt just in time for our tenth wedding anniversary. Yay, marriage!I didn't have a ring for my wife when I proposed. I really didn't have much at all when I proposed. It was a cold night outside the Logan temple when I did and I had about $200 to my name. Unlike the one and only Derek Oliver that dressed up as Superman. And got Superman's help to propose. (Congrats, Derek.)But my post isn't about Derek. It is about Amazewife and I. She's A and I'm B, so why don't you just C your way out of this conversation, Derek? Go scare away the porcupines from your yard before your dog bites one. Inside joke.Anywho, our anniversary isn't just one day out of the year. It is part of what I call Mega Week. It is clustered like another topping on a delicious, terrifying, three-layer cake made of it, Mother's day and her birthday. Due to that close proximity, gift buying and delivery can become quite the ordeal. Not this tim…

Now what?

Guess what we did a couple of weeks ago? We got out of debt. Completely. We don't have a mortgage. We don't owe any money on any vehicles. We have no student loan debt, nor medical debt.So now what?Developments so far.I haven't delivered pizzas in months. I miss it. Now that I don't deliver pizzas, I qualify for better rates on long-term disability insurance. My bro-in-law is thinking about doing it, and I told him I could help him land a job.In other news, one of our cars got totaled. Rather than buy another car for a couple thou-, I spent $142 not-thou at the Omaha Community Bike Project and bought a bike. Now I bike to work. G'head and follow me on Strava. It feels awesome. Not biking. Well yes biking. But I bike with a little more freedom knowing I'm not carrying around any debt. I also work with that same freedom. I sleep at night enjoying it as well. What's next?The next step in the plan is to set up a 3-6 month emergency fund. This helps in the case …

Where We Stand

The last of our debt – to any one person or institution on this earth – is right here:That’s it. $9,322.78. We basically owe Navient a used Kia Sorento.Here’s where we were as of Christmas Eve, 2014:I want to make it clear for those just now tuning in. Over the last two and a half years: We paid off nearly $6,800 in credit cards.We paid off a surprise hernia surgery for Ruth ($1,700)We paid off Amazewife’s student loans in full to the tune of $15k.We’ve paid off all but the above amount of my $15k student loans. We owe no money on car payments. Instead we’ve sent three vehicles out to pasture: our Silhouette, the Suburban and the LeSabre. We currently drive a Toyota Sienna and the Ford Taurus.We’ve paid cash for everything, including:Car repairs and replacements, the surprises and the plannedVacations (the ones we could afford)Our 5 month old, Weston Anthony.That $9k is going to die. We were planning on having all $9k paid off by March 27. Amazemom is taking all of us undeserving chil…

Change

The telephone rang. I knew whether or not they could hear me was going to be a crapshoot. The coverage at my location was just a small hair above poor. But who knows? Those small engine shops’ phones might always sound like the other guy is cutting in and out. “Yello.” “Yeah, hi, do you folks buy for parts?” I said. “Mmm hmm,” the man responded. “What have you got?” I explained the make and model of my little-engined device. He said they would take a look so I changed directions and headed their way. Weston was asleep in his car seat, or at least incredibly adorable. I got the machine out first after I parked, then grabbed out his car seat. We went inside. The attendant was engaged in a conversation about how chainsaw chains last much longer if properly maintained than salesman try to tell you they do. You can sharpen them a number of times. Don’t let them talk you into a new chain. Etc. How the sharpening was $18, $19 and change with the governor ripping you off. Then it was a conve…