So, we are finally here… able to live and give like no one else. I am so excited to share this last post, concluding this series and hopefully inspiring you to take action.

So, what now? What is next for us?  So many things! I love this post from Will that he wrote before we paid off our house, and now I’ll share with you my take on “What we plan to do, now that we are debt free!”

– Give more to our church
– Shop at Whole Foods for groceries
– Add a “date night” envelope to our budget
– Increase our blow money
– Pay for someone else’s restaurant tab anonymously
– Learn more about our investments
– Buy counter culture coffee
– Continue to invest
– Throw a dinner party for our friends
– Get Winston a big bed
– Sponsor another Compassion child
– Plan a vacation to celebrate
– Continue to work hard and grow my business
– Continue to save for a bigger house
– Continue to do a budget
– Continue to read and learn about finances
– Continue to teach Financial Peace University

That’s a pretty exciting list if you ask me. Of course it will change as we continue to learn and grow, but I am excited to begin living the life we’ve worked so hard for!

(Photo by Callie)

There were some key lessons I’ve learned through this journey, lessons I never want to forget:

– Personal finance really is 80% behavior and 20% head knowledge.
– Your money will disappear if you don’t tell it where to go.
– Materialism is a cheap substitute for real joy. (Don’t let marketing and Pinterest make you think otherwise!)
– Contentment is the key to financial success.
– Self denial has great rewards. In a culture that thrives on instant gratification, it is hard, but worth it.
– Wealthy people think long-term, big-picture, and set goals accordingly. Stressed, broke people live paycheck to paycheck with no overall, long-term plan.
– Nothing will strengthen your marriage more than linking arms with your spouse and tackling a goal together. For us, paying off our house was one of our greatest accomplishments and one of the best relationship-strengthening things we’ve done.
– You will learn so much about yourself if you choose to set boundaries in your finances.
– The funnest, most gratifying thing you’ll ever do with money is give it away.

And finally, I want to leave you with a list of resources that will help you get started.
It’s never too late.
Start Anywhere.
•••
The Total Money Makeover  – Dave’s book on personal finance
Financial Peace University – Dave’s 9 week class on personal finance*
Entreleadership – Dave’s book on small business
The Millionaire Next Door  – a fascinating book : a study on millionaires (and how you can be one too)
Boundaries – book on personal boundaries; helpful in many areas of life including finances
Thou Shall Prosper – book about finances relating to Jewish culture
The Dave Ramsey Show – radio show for inspiration (free podcasts available on iTunes. Raleigh radio AM 680 : on air from 10am – 12noon, from 7pm-8pm)
Stitcher – iPhone app for listening to your favorite radio podcasts
Deluxe Envelope System – great way of keeping track of your envelopes
Will’s Blog – Will regularly blogs about personal finance – it’s his passion. He will continue his take on “our story” and also give much advice, resources and tips throughout the year.
•••
*Will and I will be teaching Financial Peace University on Monday nights at our church during March and April. Registration opens today (click here to register) and we would love to see you there! (This is the only time we will be leading a class this year, but several churches in the area offer the class. Find a class that suits your schedule at daveramsey.com.)

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COMMENTS

Nancy, I came across your Instagram today and am so glad I did!!! Ya’lls personalities and story are so similar to ours. My husband was using Dave Ramsey’s envelope system when we started dating and I thought it was the strangest thing ever! We married while I was still in school and lived on a very tight budget but I wouldn’t change it for the world! We were able to pay off some serious student loans in our first 14 months of marriage and it was the greatest feeling!!! Thanks for sharing your story, I look forward to following along!

[…] 1 Part 2 Part 3 Part 4 Part 5 And, because I love to hear from you guys… Do you have a financial success story you would […]

[…] and stick to a budget (based on Nancy and Em’s recommendations–thanks so much for these series, ladies!!) (I have been doing a […]

1. WInston looks like a statue
2. I’ve been trying to perfect the hair roll you have going on here since I saw it on part 4
3. YAY!!

Loved this series. Such an encouragement.

This is so great Nancy! Thanks for sharing your journey and being honest. You and Will are truly inspirational!

Thanks so much for sharing all of this Nancy! Hearing your background and attitude prior to committing to a budget was so helpful. It really has inspired me and helped me realize that i too can do this. I can’t wait to tackle my finances! I signed up for the class and I will see you and Will in March!

so inspired by your story! As a bride-to-be, I want my marriage to start well in the are of finances!

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