A few years ago, Josh and I decided that being debt free was important to us. It seemed impossible back then. We had a house and student loan debt, but thankfully, we hadn't gotten into consumer debt. At the same time didn't have much savings and were barely making ends meet.
We began to pursue:
- Being debt free
Working too many hours away from family and living with payments hanging over our heads. It's the American Dream, right? Well, most people wouldn't say it that way, but that's the sad reality of far too many families.
We've come a long way in the last 4 years. We've made some crazy decisions and set some crazy goals, but you have to be a little crazy to successfully hold these priorities.
- Left my job in 2010.
- Went through Financial Peace University.
- Paid the $2000 insurance deductible for Jacob's prenatal care, labor and delivery in cash.
- Began growing this blog and building a virtual assistant business.
- Set a goal to pay off Josh's student loans (about $6,000) in 2012. We met that goal in 3.5 months.
- Set a goal to put $4,000 towards the 2nd mortgage on our house. We met that goal in 5 months.
- Set a goal to save the $4,000 deductible to pay for prenatal care, labor and delivery in cash before Josiah, baby #3 arrived. We met our goal 2.5 months early.
At this point, we knew that our family priority had to take priority over being debt free. So we prayed and searched for a way to move to closer to family. When an opportunity came earlier this year, we took a counter-intuitive pay cut and paid for our own move. We put our house up for sale and waited 5 long months for an offer that leaves with next to nothing of our equity. But it has all been worth it learning what really matters and living within our means.
They have a new site dedicated to this new American Dream:
“When getting out of debt and learning how to manage money, we found what works, and what doesn't. Here we share first-hand our money saving tips, debt-reduction plan, and budgeting applications and tools to help individuals and couples work more efficiently and quickly towards financial health.”
Once living the American dream of fancy cars, custom homes, and a pile of debt, Mark and Lauren Greutman exchanged that overrated, stressed out dream for their new American dream of enjoying life together while living within their means. They'll teach you how to jumpstart your new American dream at MarkandLaurenG.com.
Are you pursuing the new American Dream? Share your story in the comments on this post!