Debt Reduction Success Story in Army Times

Hubby brought home a copy of the Army Times Friday night, to show me one story in it: the story of how an E-7 and his wife have eliminated $95,000 worth of debt.  Although the story doesn’t mention it until the middle, I knew after the first three paragraphs these folks had found Dave Ramsey (emphases mine):

On March 10, 2007, Sgt. 1st Class Reno Peterson and his wife, Lisa, made a rash decision. They decided to live on their income, within their means, and stop buying on credit.

They faced up to their $145,000 debt — including $40,000 in credit card debt, $25,000 in vehicle loans, $9,000 in student loan debt, a loan for a swimming pool, a loan against Reno’s Thrift Savings Plan and other debts.

Now, the Petersons, who live in the San Antonio area, are on track to wealth. In one year, they have paid off $95,000 in debt — including $15,000 of the credit card debt, the vehicle loans, the TSP loan and the student loan. They also sold a rental house and paid off the mortgage on that property, applying the $23,000 profit to their debts.

Let’s face it, only us folks who follow Dave Ramsey get *that* crazy and weird and accomplish that much that fast!  It’s true: Of all the personal finance “gurus” only Dave Ramsey says to get your happy hide out of debt as quickly as humanly possible.

In the military, debt is more than just personal finance.  It is a readiness issue!  In fact, a military person can actually be discharged for being too far in debt with no way to repay given their salary, as I wrote back in a September guest post for CashMoneyLife.  Debt can be a doubly-serious thing when you combine it with military service since it impacts your career as well as your home life.

Dave Ramsey’s company offers a military version of Financial Peace University, with discounts to military units who wish to run the class for their units.  Hubby has passed a little of the information to his commander, since his company recently found out (through the “blotter report” of all things) that their soldiers are having money problems and money fights.

Hubby has also asked to borrow a couple of my old FPU videos to take in and show to his squadmates over lunch.  He hears his buddies grump and gripe about the same problems we had before he went to Korea, and remembers the stress and strain of those money problems.  This is the same husband of mine who still calls Dave Ramsey a cult leader!  I find it amusing my semi-reluctant spouse has become such a proponent of the Dave Ramsey plan at work.

As for what can be accomplished when both spouses are totally into the Dave Ramsey plan: I think the story in the Army Times illustrates that beautifully.  Debt reduction success stories are all-around motivating and inspiring!