The Journey to Financial Freedom: Jenn Custer’s Story

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Jenn Custer

Jenn is an accountant passionate about spending habits, personal finance and financial peace. A wife and new-ish mom learning the ropes of a crazy toddler. Working towards a position to enjoy life to its fullest

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Hi, my name is Jenn and this is my financial freedom story. I first found about Dave Ramsey in 2009 searching about the “envelope system” concept. I was in my first “big girl” job.

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I came face-to-face with the fact that my debt from college was hovering with the same balance, not dropping at all. So I started turning my life around. My credit cards got paid off and I had $5000 in my savings account when I bought a house with my then boyfriend.

The same month my boyfriend got laid off and then he went back to school.

Of course, he didn’t want me “supporting” him so he took out loans while I continued to save. Stupid? Yes I know.

We married the next year. Yet we continued to have separate finances. So naturally I saved and he took on more debt.

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That is, until everything changed in 2012.

We lost almost everything. I quit my “big girl” job due to stress.

But I had savings so I invested $10,000 in a partnership. It was a bad situation and the business went south. Stupid? Yes I know.

It was a whirlwind year. My old dog died, his old cat died, he totaled my car, we sold his truck, and we lost several close family members.

My husband did the most awful jobs during that time to try and keep us afloat. Yet no matter how hard we tried, everything we had worked towards separately was gone. We started making purchases and financial decisions together. This is when things started turning around. We finally started working as a team out of necessity.

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Things I had heard in Dave’s podcasts were hitting home. Such as when Dave talked about Murphy’s law and his three cousins. Broke, Desperate and Stupid.

The other was Dave’s quote on buying things we didn’t need, with money we didn’t have, to impress people we didn’t even like! Those were the ones that stood out.

We would walk almost every night and I started gently helping my husband see how this could affect our lives. I explained that after he finished school we could make double payments on house and that we could be debt free in less than 5 years. Things started clicking for us then. He started bringing up “The Plan” in random conversations.  We became very focused on this dream together.

Every walk. Every talk. Every night.

Our future kids would never remember life with payments.

We planned our future. We planned for when the money came. We started to work together.

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Free Bird Photography www.beafreebird.com

Our first baby was born eleven days before he graduated in December of 2013. He started his new job January 2014. We more than doubled our income overnight.

We started our debt snowball in February 2014. Then we started using the envelope system in July 2014. In September 2014 we took Financial Peace University for the first time. Then we sold our big vehicle, Hyundai Santa Fe, in November 2014.

We paid off $46,000 in our first year in 2014 alone!  We started to get made fun of, which let me know we were on the right track.

We refinanced our house in March 2015 and we are on track for another $45,000 this year.

It’s been an ugly, hard road but we are now on track. We have a plan. We have our dream.

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We’re currently on Baby Step 2 – paying off our debt with the debt snowball! We’re sticking to our budget, following the 7 baby steps, and living like no one else! One day we will be living and giving like no one else!

I would encourage anyone who is working the 7 Baby Steps to continue moving forward. For anyone struggling I hope this has encouraged you. For those who have never heard of or are new to Dave Ramsey check out the 7 Baby Steps here!

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Have you heard of Dave Ramsey? What’s your story on this journey to financial freedom? Are you working the 7 Baby Steps? If so, how has Dave impacted your life?

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About Jenn Custer 1 Article
Jenn is an accountant passionate about spending habits, personal finance and financial peace. A wife and new-ish mom learning the ropes of a crazy toddler. Working towards a position to enjoy life to its fullest

47 Comments

  1. Started Feb 2015. On baby step 6. 4 years 6 months till debt free. It will probably be sooner though as I’m intense. Great job Jenn and thanks for sharing.

  2. I am not familiar with Dave but since my husband is a financial advisor, he might have. It is so great that you are encouraging people to take control of their finances–it is so essential!

    • Congratulations on attaining financial freedom Cathy! What advice would you give to those just starting this journey or in the middle of paying of debt? Thanks for commenting.

    • Where are you in your financial freedom journey Jolleen? What advice would you give to others? Are you using the 7 baby steps or something similar? Thanks for stopping by!

  3. This is such wonderful example of how IMPORTANT it is for couples to work as a team with their money. The Dave Ramsey program is truly life-changing. Those of you who have not checked it out, PLEASE do so. You will not regret it and will wish you know this stuff years ago.

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