Ten years ago (2007) I was introduced to Dave Ramsey by my co-worker and my life hasn’t been the same. I was a 26 year old, new grad, with $104,616 in debt and no plan. Today I am a 36 year old with an net worth of  $149,747.

10 Year Overview

I recall my co-worker saying “Dave says not to invest in your 401K until you are debt free.” I initially thought it sounded ridiculous and was the opposite of everything I had been told by society. Little did I know how misguided I was by listen to society. Now I was intrigued, so I bought the Dave’s book. In one weekend I read The Total Money Makeover: A Proven Plan for Financial Fitness and signed up for Financial Peace University. The $125 I spent on these two things have had a greater return on investment then most of my academic classes.

During the past 10 years I…

… completed Baby Steps #1 through #7 (#5 & #6 were not applicable). In 2016 I moved back to Baby Step #7 when I bought my house.
… was laid off twice; once in a merger (FEB 2014) and another in a acquisition (JAN 2015)
… was unemployed for a total of 14 months between FEB 2014 and MAY 2015. I never want to be unemployed again. After week two it is no longer enjoyable.
… joined the Air Force Reserves.
… had to conduct two job searches. If I had to guess I submitted close to 1000 resumes. Again, something I don’t wish on anyone.
… lived in 6 states between OCT 2013 and AUG 2015.

Lessons Learned

The journey hasn’t always been full of rainbows and unicorns, but it has taught me many lessons. I have learned:

  • To live and be happy with less. I don’t me nothing, just less. What more could anyone ask for when they have what they NEED and LOVE?
  • To follow my own path and stop judging others. We all have a journey and not two people will have the same journey regardless of how many similarities may exist. We all have one goal and that is to create lives that make us happy.
  • To be irrationally generous (a phrase I learned from Pastor Craig Groeschel at Life.Churh). Giving with a cheerful heart is fun and refreshing. Being able to give reminds me of how blessed I am to be in my financial situation.
  • I won’t miss out on anything if I choose to show up as the leading character in my own life.

The Numbers

2007 2017 Change
Income $71,500  $85,508  $14,008
Giving – Annually $520  $8,551  $8,031
Debt ($104,616)  $(13.00)
# Budgets  N/A 262
Credit Score
 IDK TransUnion – 787
Equifax – 773
Net Worth  $(94,744)  $149,747  $244,491

Income: My full time income has increased 19.6%. I did not include income from side hustles because I don’t have the data readily available.
Budgets: I love creating budgets so much I would be happy to create budgets for other people. 🙂
Net Worth: This isn’t something I tracked closely until now.  It’s kinda crazy to realize the the financial position change by almost a quarter million dollars!!!!

Hopes for Year #11

Financially speaking things are starting strong with the new roommate. I will still be looking for ways to grow my net worth to $5.3 million 🙂

I am not expecting a raise from the full time job, but the AF Reserves will be giving me a raise when I sew on Staff Sergeant. I have been selected to commission as an officer, so this will result in additional income. I also hope that my online store side hustle become somewhat successful….okay break even at a minimum.

This time next year I would not be disappointed if I found myself in a relationship heading towards marriage. The idea of navigating personal finances with someone else is exciting, but I have heard “the struggle is real”

I plan to go on a 5 day cruise on Royal Caribbean to the Caribbean. It’s been so long.

Thank for being on this journey with me! It is my hope that something from my story will help you in your journey.

—Lady A

PS: You can see past anniversary post here:


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