We're debt free - tracking progress paying down debt with mason jars

More Than Ten Years of Work and a Jar of Pennies to Make us Debt Free!

After more than ten years of work, budgeting, living below our means, and making sacrifices like driving a car with no air conditioning in the Ohio summer it has finally happened. WE’RE DEBT FREE!!! This is including the mortgage!

We paid off roughly $143,000 in mortgage debt plus $21,000 (give or take a few hundred) in credit card debt and student loans since we took control of our finances after taking a Financial Peace University class from Dave Ramsey.

A couple years ago we decide to track the last leg of this financial journey out of debt using a jar of pennies where each penny represented $100 balance in our mortgage.

After Friday night trip to the bank to pull out $3,000 CASH and then a trip to the bank branch that has our mortgage this is what our jars look like:

We're debt free - tracking progress paying down debt with mason jars
We’re debt free – tracking progress paying down debt with mason jars

I’ve got a longer post in the works but here is a short version of what we did:

  1. Dave Ramsey’s Baby Steps
  2. Started using the You Need A Budget (YNAB) software and system. Basically Dave’s zero-based budget but living on last month’s income rather than this month’s.
  3. Living way below our means.
  4. Having goals and enjoying the ride.
  5. Big beefy emergency fund for several bumps in the road including four job losses, hitting a deer, medical issues, and the medical expenses of having two kids.
  6. We decided to get Gazelle Intense once we realized we could be 100% debt-free in 3 years if we put the pedal to the metal.

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