Category: Finances

Six Years Debt Free

In 2008 we set out to get out of debt knowing it was a good thing, but not really knowing how good. The journey was intense, but it remains one of our best memories and learning experiences. If you’re not familiar with our blogging history, the precursor to “The Scott Family Adventures” was a blog called “If I Were Debt Free” in which we documented our life changing steps towards being debt free.

Six years later, a lot has changed but not our desire to live debt free. It hasn’t been easy as we have to preach to ourselves often to trust God in the tough situations.

In 2008 we did debt countdown in which we came up with (almost) 100 ideas of things to do when debt free. We hadn’t looked at the list in a while, and at first thought it would be fun to comb through and give an update on everything. But that was proving way too tedious. And we found that our priorities and desires have changed drastically in some cases. So we’ll just highlight a few of the major things.

  • 82 – Buy a House | We “bought” our first house in 2012- not quite according to our ideal preferences stated in the original post, but we are thankful for how God worked things out.
  • 77 – Pay cash for a second car | We bought our 15 passenger van with cash when our Thomas, our 6th child, was born and we outgrew the minivan. The big van was well used but it is still serving us well. We were able to pay cash for another car as well when the aforementioned minivan-turned-commuter-car was totaled after hitting a deer. Praise God it was only the van (and deer) that was injured.
  • 70 – Climb a mountain | In 2009, we climbed the West Spanish Peak in Colorado. In subsequent years, we spent several months hiking little parts of the Appalachian Trail close to home.
  • 43 – Plant a garden | We got to plant our first garden last year (2013), and we expanded it even more this year. It’s hard but rewarding work!
  • 41 – Have more kids?!?! | At the time of writing the original post we had four blessings. We have welcomed four more since, and are about to be joined by #9 early next year.
  • 34 – Get wisdom | “Dad” spent this whole year reading through Proverbs each month and it has been enriching. We’ve read together as a family as well, learning quite a bit!
  • 32 – Get the kids in some activities | This year we’ve found ourselves in a quite a few – ballet, soccer, homeschool co-op, youth group…

Today we celebrate six years of being debt free (except for the house now). We would love to hear your debt-free adventures!

Four Years of Freedom

In 2008, we started on an exciting journey to pay off all our debt.

Today marks the 4th anniversary of the day we first go to say… “WE’RE DEBT FREE!!!!

And as you know… life goes on. And on. And on!

We’ve kinda discovered there’s something harder than paying off all your debt. What is it, you ask? It’s fighting that constant temptation to have it all or to keep up with the Jones’. To distinguish between provision and materialism. To realize “you’re better than you deserve” rather than “you deserve better”!

But, so as not to be a downer, we’ve also realized again and again… There’s still nothing better than being debt free!

Whenever we are faced with some temptation or another to live beyond our means, we remember what it felt like to be in bondage and what it feels like to be free.

A lot has changed in four years. Too much to list. But we constantly renew our commitment to living within our means and delay gratification.

We do that so we can be an example to our children and friends; so we have the freedom to give; so we know how to trust in God for what we need.

If you’re in debt and want to know what it takes to get out, you can read our chronicle of it.

In the words of Dave Ramsey, you’ll need to “live like no one else now, so later you can live like no one else.”

For those of you on the later side of that “live like no one else”, lave a comment to encourage our readers!

Happy Anniversary, Freedom

candleIt has been three months since my last post, and there’s a bunch I could tell you about. Like, we’re expecting our sixth child, or we had an amazing trip to Colorado, or my car is getting $1,000 worth of repair, or I’ve gained almost 30 lbs in 3 months (all muscle… of course), or I aced my two math classes, or there was a dead baby squirrel on our sidewalk. But you can find out all that small stuff from Twitter.

What we’re here to talk about today is… we’re debt free! Wait a second, you say? That’s old news? Well, you’re right. It’s exactly a year old. We are celebrating a year anniversary of being debt free! And God gets all the glory. He has overcome our mistakes, selfishness, impatience, and fears. We’ve done everything we can to make staying debt free a challenge. God keeps proving himself faithful. It is almost two years since we started on that crazy journey. It was an incredible and meaningful adventure for this young family. Thank you for being a part of it. We’re hoping and praying the results are long lasting, reaching to the next generations.


Our Progress: Month 18

Here are the highlights from the month of June 2009

  • Got to visit with my Aunt Diane while she was in town
  • Had a nice Father’s Day celebration with cookies for breakfast!
  • Celebrated Christina’s and my birthday with dinner an Benihana’s
  • Moved Concert Technologies to a newly purchased building
  • Completed my 3rd class with UoP, keeping an A average
  • Started my 4th class… Algebra
  • Had the last class with my kindergartners in Kid’s Quest
  • Had a budget meeting and discovered our expenses, even after things settle, will have increased about $500 per month after the move
  • Managed to put $500 into savings to get it back up to $9,000
  • Only 32 days till we leave for CO!!!!!

Our Progress: Month 17

No, you didn’t miss it. There was no Month 15 or 16 post. The past couple months reached a level of business that border-lined insanity. Things are starting to calm down a bit now that we are moved. So, here is our summary of March, April and May.

We continue to get used to all the fun new quirks of living in a older house. As you can guess, moving has its expenses. We managed to avoid paying any actual moving expenses. However, start up fees, cancellation fees, and this and that have more than made up for anything we missed out on. Oh, and don’t forget hospital bills! Peter had another emergency room visit. I guess I never reported the first one, which was because of dehydration from a stomach virus. The 2nd one was for stitches after he decided to dance in his room in the dark. Needless to say, he is back in the crib for a few more months.

What else? We bought a second vehicle in April. We paid $1000 cash for a ’95 Toyota Camry from some good friends. It has been a great blessing now that we moved a little farther away from my work. Christina loves having the van whenever she needs/wants it.

I also got new glasses finally. My old ones got smushed, and I desperately needed an updated perscription. And there’s also the laptop for Christina. That was not quite a need, but it was close. We paid cash for it, and I got a great discount through school.

Speaking of school, I have finished two classes, and I am one week through the third. I have an “A” average so far. The last class was challenging since we did not have internet for almost three weeks of it. Online classes + no Internet = …no, it doesn’t compute. We found it where we could, at our parents’, work, libraries, and coffee shops.

Amazingly, through this all, we have remained debt free. Our savings has come down a little from the last report, but we did anticipate buying the car with some of that money. Currently, it is holding steady at $8,500. I’m feeling the urge to tighten up our budget and control our expenses better. I heard Dave Ramsey say, in his Town Hall for Hope message,  “When we get a little bit prosperous, we get a little bit sloppy.” That has been true for us over the past few months. The pressure of debt was off, and we got just a little sloppy. I had slacked on the budget, and the sense of entitlement was creeping back. It’s time to get that in check, and focus on the goals once more.

I’m a College Kid

Yes, that is right.  Back to school!  You may have heard/read that I earned a full scholarship to the University of Phoenix (thanks to my mom-in-law)!  I am taking all classes online, and have it made to my second week of my second class.  The classes run one at a time for 5 weeks.  I found out from my mom-in-law that I can opt for a week break in between classes.  That doesn’t sound like a bad idea.

For my first class, which was a general introduction into UoP, college, learning teams, APA formatting, etc., we turned in a total of three “research” papers.  I’m currently taking Research 110, and am finding out that our research is going to consist of a whole lot more!  Anyway, I walked away from the first class with a good experience.  My team was great.  Believe it or not, I was considered a team leader.  I earned a 96.5 in the class as well as completing an APA workshop.

Breathe!  I have to keep reminding myself.  I seriously forget now adays.  There are about 1,000 things to think about and 1,000 more things to do.

We are moving in 8 days!!! The bunk beds are disassembled and Peter’s room is piling up with boxes.  Our house is in that sense of chaos that I just love (ahem).  We are in the “oh, that’s where that has been” stage of moving.

A coworker/team-mate was let go at work and I took over most of his responsibilities.  I really enjoy the new aspects of the job, such as project management and process development.  We are still in the transition phase and trying to turn the ship around.  I work very closely with the program developer, but also have a lot of interaction with the president and other business heads.  In addition, I’m creating a series of training videos for our program and traveling out to the West Virginia office once a week to have more fae-to-face interaction with the team out there.  (Oh, by the way, I really like using the word “team” when it comes to people I work with.)

We finally bought a second car! It is a ’95 Toyota Camry with 162k miles.  Our friends sold it to us for 1k.  It runs great.  And we are still DEBT FREE!

Expenses have seemed like they’ve been through the roof lately, but that is just with all the transition happening.  Hospital bills, security deposits, car, etc.  We are down to 7,300 in our savings currently (from its high point of 11k).  I think we are very close to being able to throw money back in there.

By the way, our desktop computer pooped out on us.  We are trying to revive it with some memory.  A friend is coming to work some magic on it.  Thankfully we have the laptop (once again – a blessing for the in-laws).

We are praying things will start to normalize… kinda sorta… once we are done with the move.  We’ll need to start planning the vacation to Colorado this summer.  It’s going to be great to get back there after 10 years.

Ok, so I could probably continue, but I’m afraid I’ve already lost you.  Sorry for the rambling, but I’m trying to fit a bunch in knowing that it is not likely that I’ll be blogging very frequently.  Hopefully it will not go out of style before I can actually get back into the groove.

Our Progress: Month 14

If there’s one post I’ll try to keep up on, it will be the “Our Progress” reports.

Below, listed in bullet point fashion are the highlights of February.  Begin.

  • James was a lion and I was the lion tamer in a monthly production called KIDstuff at MBC Loudoun.
  • We joined an MBC Loudoun Small Group with 4 other awesome families.  They all have kids, so we fit right in.
  • We had dinner with the Robinsons – a family we love but do not get to see very often.
  • Lincoln had a birthday, and we receive 3k in tax returns which went straight to savings.
  • We celebrated my mom’s and Clara’s birthday.  My mom turned 29.  She’ll have some explaining to do in a few years as I myself approach 30.  Clara turned 4 and got a lovely handmade doll.
  • To make it complete, we celebrated Clara’s birthday with the Cromps at Chuck E. Cheese’s.
  • We did a family night themed to celebrate and learn about our child sponsorship through World Vision.  We cooked up three tasty foods of Zimbabwe (sadza, dovi, roasted butternut squash).  Then we watched some of the sponsorship DVD from World Vision.  The kids wrote letters to Bright that we will be mailing out… any day now!
  • We stayed within budget and ended with $10,366 in savings.  That’s good, because in March…

world-vision-nightWorld Vision Night: Destination Zimbabwe