Total Money Makeover, Week 3

Financial Peace University begins on Monday! My workbook for FPU has a space for me to write down my motivation.  Why do I want to become debt free? What will I get to do when I am debt free? What will keep me motivated to become debt free?

My primary motivation, and the thing that will keep me going, my why, is that being debt free will allow me to stay home when I have children.  I won’t need to work full-time to make enough money to cover my payments.  I won’t have any payments anymore.

Minimum payments in my life, today, are $716.95 per month. Paying the minimum, I would be paying off debt for over twenty years.  Assuming I end up partnered to raise a family (I still think I could rock single motherhood), and assuming that whomever I end up having children with also comes in with comparable debt, that’s about $1400 a month in payments.

No, thank you.

Join me in “Imagination World”

Imagine I make $3,000 per month to contribute to the household (with kids).

If payments on debt are $1,400 per month, that leaves $1,600 for household expenses.

But wait, child care costs money!  If I pay a nanny $12 an hour, 40 hours per week, that’s over $2,000 a month.  My hypothetical family has already gone through my salary on debt repayment and childcare costs alone!  Even if I can work from home one day a week, 32 hours at $12 is still around $1,600 per month.

With no payments and no childcare costs, my hypothetical family can afford for me to stay at home to care for children.  We would essentially be making my salary without me having to work, because we wouldn’t be paying debt payments or child care costs.  And I intend to continue my freelance writing from home, so I would still be bringing in a little income.

Plus, I wouldn’t be spending $150+ on gasoline each month, and I could go longer between oil changes AND tire replacements without the 60-mile-per-day commute.

Yes, please.

The timeline

Dave Ramsey says there are two types of people when it comes to money – nerds and free spirits.  I am a nerd.  I can’t tell you how many spreadsheets I have! (For seriously everything, from natural alternatives to medications, to the budget, to foods that promote lactation).  So I would like to take a look at the timeline for being debt free.

I, being just-me-all-by-myself, could be debt free in under 3 years.  At some point in that three years I assume I will become partnered (because, hey, biological clock), taking on my partner’s debt but also the extra income.  I still think it could be done in 3-4 years.

I definitely want to start a family AND be debt free in the next five years.  Obviously, goals will have to be readjusted as life happens (maybe I’ll marry a debt-free doctor and be paid off in just one year… or maybe I’ll find a Doctor and run away in a blue box).  So my goal is to be rid of as much debt as possible so that, even if we do have still a little debt when we have a child, we can still afford for me to stay home and we will focus, focus, focus until the debt is totally gone.  Ideally I will find a partner who is comfortable with my debt-free goals (enthusiastic about them would be a bonus).

My motivation

I am going to live and breathe the debt snowball for the sake of my future children.  I want them to grow up in a debt free home, with debt free parents, and get a debt free education.  To be the best role model I can be, I need to seriously haul ass right now. I’m doing it for the children! That’s my why.

One thing is for sure: My children will not go get a master’s degree on $40k in loans, and then figure out two years later that their career dream is to be a stay at home mom.



4 thoughts on “Total Money Makeover, Week 3

  1. I’m really looking forward to these posts every Friday! Its so motivational to read about what you are doing, especially as a fellow nerd. I look at my money spreadsheet several times a day even if I haven’t spent anything! We’re currently putting ourselves through an experimental extreme budget month which we’ve called Scrimptember, scrimping for the whole of September, so the timing of your posts about your course is fantastic for me! Good luck!

    1. Scrimptember, I love it! I found out yesterday that I didn’t budget enough for gas money, so that will take a little re-adjust. It kills me to use over a tank of gas a week. Commuting to and from work is 60 miles a day!

      So glad you enjoy the TMM posts, I worry I bore people 🙂

      Good luck to you as well!! Meet those goals!

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