A Debt Coach Success Story: Stephanie

success storyIf you’ve been paired with one of our Debt Coaches, here’s a behind-the-scenes look on what you could accomplish as a member of the Debt Movement.

This is an update on the Debt Coaching assignment with Stephanie, who’s been paired with Jeff and Robin Ehrlich from Debt Free Squad.

Debt Coach Success Story

My husband and I have been living a pretty much normal lifestyle. Paycheck to paycheck, spending what did not need to go to the monthly bills and minimum payments.

Using credit to fill the gaps and to buy things we wanted that we were too impatient to simply save for. He makes pretty good money, we do not need to be in the kind of debt we are, we just made bad and impulsive choices.

In 2009 things got a bit more complicated when our daughter and her two kids moved to Texas to live with us from Calif and then her husband joined us. They needed to get good jobs and get on their feet.

With the way the economy was, and the fact our son in law had worked for a builder all his adult life, it was very hard for him to get a job making enough to support the family.

We got in some pretty bad habits while they lived with us. Eating out as we had less time to ourselves and used eating out as an escape, and they made thier own meals and we made our own, so it gave us an excuse to eat out more often.

We also used credit cards for those meals out when we did not have enough cash. Expenses were a bit more with them living with us, but they bought thier own food and toiletries and laundry detergent and such.

Finally the day came they both had really good jobs and could make it on their own again, and they worked very hard to get there. We made the choice to move out , letting them rent the house from us, so we could move closer to my husbands work last June, just short of three years after they moved in with us.

Gas was expensive with a full size pick-up driving 100 miles a day. Now he drives 18 miles a day and that is a huge break in gas money and time on the road each day. Unfortunately, even though we had a place to ourselves the bad habits continued. Eating out, which we love to do, and just spending what was left after all our bills and minimum payments were made.

We have good credit – 684 . No late bills. But our debt to income ratio is awful. With 19 grand in debt it took us down a lot. It would be a much higher credit score if we had no debt.

Time to Make a Change

We started realizing we had to make a change and I started looking around and found Debt movement and applied for a debt coach.

The stupid behavior continued, despite paying off a small credit card early in Feb. I told my husband it made sense for me to get a job to help pay down debt, but since I do not have a car, I needed one.

He went in and got a pre-approved loan at the credit union we had gotten our last two car loans from, both long ago paid off, and we went out and bought a certified new VW. Within days, our coaches contacted us. Jeff and Robin Ehrlich from Debt Squad.

They are amazing with a story quite similar to ours. After watching their videos that first day, buyers remorse set in. What had we done? We spoke to them on the phone for an hour and a half on Sat and they really lit a fire under us that week!!

We really at that point wished we had not bought the car but we had it now and were determined to pay off the other debt, then attack that car payment and then never do that again!!

We now have our budget set up for March and know what we should be allowing for food, gas and other expenses. They gave us permission to use some assigned money for entertainment and blow money to use where and when we want. Small amounts to start, but that is fine.

How an Emergency Fund Saved Us

We were urged to get a $1,000 emergency fund set up and did that with a bonus from work. This helped us a lot when this past week that new car was totaled when my husband managed to avoid hitting a four car/truck pile-up and before he could change lanes and get out of there, we got slammed and it totaled the car.

We had expenses to pay out of pocket until we are reimbursed by insurance and then the day after the accident, while we still had the rental car, our 1998 GMC truck blew the radiator and it cost us 500 for a new radiator and hoses to be installed. Having the emergency fund in place took away the stress we would have been feeling otherwise.

We can put the money back this week when he gets paid because we have enough in the checking account for our rent and end of month bills because we are not spending every penny he brings home now.

We did spend a bit we had not planned on, some fast food the day of the accident, and even later that week, plus the accident related stuff. But any non accident related money we spent is out of our entertainment money and so that is fine , how great is that?

Our debt coaches are so inspirational and give us our challenges to do on a regular basis. Videos to watch and assignments for us to do. They have made sure we know they are available anytime if we need their help and they are walking us through this process of getting debt free.

Now with the car and extra insurance gone, we can really knock out this debt. A totally unexpected event, a bad and sad thing that ended up to be the best thing for us in the end. Any money we get from the settlement will go toward that debt snow ball.

Thankful for Our Debt Coaches

We have no doubt with Jeff and Robin’s help we will debt snow ball our debt gone in the next 12 months. That is our goal. I have no doubt in my mind without them, we would still be trying,and making some progress, but our focus would not be near as clear and we would not have a set plan to follow that makes sense like the one they used that we are now using. We are so blessed to have their experience to help us!!

We are so grateful to Jeff Rose for setting us up with Jeff and Robin Ehrlich at Debt Free Squad. I urge anyone serious about paying off their debt to visit their site. They have so many wonderful videos to watch and share some great information.

Watching their story video is very motivating as well!! If you are in debt, just start today, it is worth the effort , we are so glad we did!! We are so looking forward to that day we wake up debt free, what an amazing day that will be!!

 

About the Debt Coaches:

jeff-robin-ehrlichSix years ago Jeff and Robin were $150,000 in debt not including their mortgage.  Today they are completely debt free and have encouraged their two children, Chris (32) and Cori, (30) to do the same. They share their story on Debt Free SquadThey are both passionate about helping others live a life of peace through getting control of their finances, God’s Way.  They would love to help you.