The Great Recession (2007-2009) caused higher levels of unemployment, plummeting real estate values and a lot of people to feel uneasy about their financial situation. Many parts of the United States were hit hard during this financial crisis, especially my home town of metro Detroit.
Today, I talk with Christin McKamey, a fellow metro Detroiter and the blogger behind Veggie Chick. We discuss how the Great Recession affected her and her husband Robert financially and emotionally. At one point, Christin found herself in nearly six-figures of debt with no job prospects. Her drive to improve her financial situation helped her to eliminate her debt and eventually become mortgage-free.
We chat about her and her husband’s financial past and upbringing, how she earned extra money to get rid of her debt and what they will do with their money now that they are mortgage-free.
For this month’s Mortgage Freedom series, we’re talking with the McCoy Family! They partnered together to pay off their mortgage early.
In the 3 years that I’ve been doing my podcast, I’ve never interviewed both parents and kids together! That’s what we’re going to do today.
J’Neal, Jeremy, Jensen and Miller McCoy are from Nixa, Missouri. J’Neal works at the local technical community college and Jeremy is an Assistant Principal at the local high school. And Jensen and Miller are currently working their way through 6th and 4th grade.
For the past few years, I’ve been volunteering at my church to coordinate Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University course. It’s a 9-week course that helps people get out of debt and get into strong financial shape. We just started a new session and our class is focused on Baby Step 1 (save $1,000 in an emergency fund).
This step can sometimes feel daunting when you’re just starting out, but it’s a very important one. When you have money in the bank, it keeps you from going further into debt when emergencies happen.
A few of the class participants inquired how to get through Baby Step 1 fast so they can get right into Baby Step 2 (eliminating all of their non-mortgage debt). I developed a list of 10 suggestions that worked well for me in the past and sent them an email so they could get after it. Here they are:
When Nicole and I got married, we were young, in love and … in debt.
I had a luxury lease car, a mortgage balance more than the value of my home and nearly $30,000 in student loans.
Nicole only had a $20,000 car loan. Yeah, I married up.
Needless to say, we were prime candidates for Financial Peace University (FPU). This course was developed by Dave Ramsey, the best-selling author of the Total Money Makeover. The goal of FPU is to learn how to “dump debt, budget, build wealth and give like never before.”
Dave’s book, the course and daily radio show encouraged Nicole and I to live on a monthly budget for the last 7 years, pay off all of our debt and even eliminate our mortgage by age 35.
I’m very grateful for everything I learned from Dave and his team. For that reason, I wanted to give back and pay it forward to others by coordinating Financial Peace University classes … even though I didn’t exactly agree with all of Dave’s teachings.
When I read the Total Money Makeover by Dave Ramsey in 2011, I knew going through all of the 7 baby steps could take quite a while. The book’s structure of saving money, paying off debt and investing was simple and easy to understand, but it definitely had some years attached to it. This was not a “get rich quick book” for sure. Nevertheless, I was intrigued and inspired to follow Dave’s 7 steps and see where it took me and my new family.
One random day five years ago, I was eating lunch at home and messing around on this new thing called an “iPad”.
Because I’m a money nerd, I went to the iTunes store, searched for personal finance and I found Dave Ramsey’s app. Before that $5 footlong lunch, I knew nothing about Dave Ramsey. By the time I finished my meal, I was absolutely hooked on his brand of no-nonsense debt elimination advice.