Today I'm going to talk finances. How on earth does this relate to a Clutter Free Home, you ask? Well, I will cut to the chase and explain.
My husband and I spent the first 5 years of our marriage trying desperately to attain all that our parents had in 25-35 years of marriage. We borrowed to buy a house, cars, an education, clothes, groceries, dinners out, expensive vacations....you know the drill. As a result, we racked up $38,000 of debt outside of our home mortgage ($14,000 on credit cards that we then refinanced into a second mortgage on our home, $8,000 to family members and $16,000 in student loans). We had not yet learned that just because a bank would loan you money to buy something doesn't mean you can "afford" it. Needless to say in 2007 we finally had a reality check when we heard of Dave Ramsey from our friends Jared & Kim. And through 7 months of complete torture working 5 jobs between the two of us, we paid off every last penny of debt outside our first mortgage. Here I am that fall cutting up my "first credit card" that I had opened my sophomore year at Purdue. Hallelujah and GOODBYE!
And here I am stuffing Sunday papers at 2 a.m. one night. This is what I did every night from 1 a.m. to 5 a.m. for 7 months instead of sleeping...
So, getting back to the clutter free topic....Not long after the debt was paid off, we realized a side benefit of being debt free was not receiving as much paperwork in the mail each month. Take away 7 monthly credit card statements and that's a lot less paper clutter! Not only does it save a tree but it really reduces clutter in our home and confusion when sitting down to pay the bills. I remember there was a point where we got a bill in our mailbox nearly every single day of the month (not to mention calls when we were late paying them!). It was overwhelming. Nowadays I smile each time I go to the mailbox and just have junk ads because at least it is not a credit card bill charging 28% interest!
Come on, take the plunge and get debt free. It will definitely de-clutter your life!
*If you're really interested in getting out of debt, definitely check out daveramsey.com as well as a fellow 31 Days of Change blogger, Brooke's site: Spruce Your Nest this month. Brooke is writing about Financial Freedom this month and I found her blog the other night as I looked thru the list of 600+ bloggers that linked up over the weekend. Good tips and she's a fellow fan of Dave Ramsey. I love it.