As a fellow DebtKid reader, I’m honored to be joining the DebtKid writing team for a while, and I look forward to joining you all in our journey towards debt freedom. My husband and I are a young family in our late 20s and we have two daughters, ages 10 and 3. We live in the suburbs of Seattle.
Started with $75,000 in debt
I guess I’d better start by coming clean about where I’m at on my debt journey. In the past three years my husband and I have been bailing out from under about $75,000 in debt, not counting our mortgage. Two cars, and some adoption loans (we’ve adopted our two beautiful daughters), college loans, etc. The college loans and adoption loans and car loans are paid off now and all that is remaining is some adoption travel on a credit card (one month in Ethiopia) and some medical bills (all current).
Progress on paying these off was slowed when I was laid off from my regular job in December and decided to pursue writing full time (a dream I thought would have to wait for retirement), but we’re getting back on track now and we feel like we’re in the “home-stretch.”
Here’s where we’re at:
- Mortgage remaining $163,000 (just refinanced into a fifteen year loan)
- Credit card 1 $13,700
- Credit card 2 $591
- Medical debts $987
Total non-mortgage debt: $15,278
Total debt with mortgage: $178,278
How we’re taming this dragon is by living on a serious budget. (I’ll post about the budget later), and following the Dave Ramsey “debt snowball” program. As adoptive parents, we’ve had the benefit of claiming the adoption tax credit, (usually over two years) and applying that towards our remaining adoption debt each time. It doesn’t quite offset the entire cost, but has gotten us pretty close. Ultimately the $15,000 doesn’t seem so scary since we’ll get back between $7-10k in February.
Our goal is to be out of non-mortgage debt before the end of this year so we can start funding college savings for our oldest daughter. Realistically, it looks like it will take us until about April to be out of debt, as we have some additional medical expenses coming up.
I’ll post more soon, and look forward to getting to know you all. If you’d like to know more about my story in the meantime, you can visit my “Laid off and loving it” story at www.pennywisefamily.blogspot.com. If you’d like to know more about our adoption journeys, those are also online at www.jessc098.blogspot.com. We have a daughter from the USA and one from Ethiopia.
Ciao for now,