We’re often asked asked how we were able to pay off $332,000 in debt in 8 years while saving over 25 times our annual expenses. The answer is we made we made paying off the debt a priority! We literally viewed it like our future was at stake. Do you know why? Because our future literally was at stake! We knew that if we didn’t fix this problem we weren’t going to have much of a future. At least one that was worth living. And being an indentured servant to Bank of America, Citibank and MBNA for the rest of your life is not living. Jon Gruden, nor anyone else, would be standing there saying, “Pete & Maria, their future’s so bright, I gotta wear shades.”
So how did we do it? Teamwork. When we were first married, we managed money separately. Pete had “Pete’s Bills” which “Pete” paid with “Pete’s Money” and Maria had “Maria’s Bills” which “Maria” paid with “Maria’s Money.” I once heard Dave Ramsey say, “When people are married, the preacher says, ‘And now you are one.’ He doesn’t pronounce you a joint venture.” I specifically put some key words above in quotes so those words would stand out. Did you notice them? It’s not “Pete’s Bills” or Maria’s Money”… it’s OUR MONEY!!!! WE ARE ONE!!! And once we started acting like it and agreeing on common goals and a long term vision, we worked TOGETHER.
Have you heard the analogy of the Belgian Draft Horse? They are the strongest horses in the world. One Belgian Draft Horse can pull 8,000 pounds. But get this, if you put two Belgian Draft Horses together, they don’t just pull twice as much. They actually pull 20,000 to 24,000 pounds. Almost three times as much! Now, here’s the real kicker. If you put those two horses together and actually train them to work and think as one, they can actually pull 30,000 to 32,000 pounds. Almost four times as much as one horse by itself!
So, the key is to work together. Only by doing so can you achieve such a monumental goal as buying back your freedom. Which is exactly what you’re doing when you’re working your way out of debt. But remember, just as unity and teamwork are the keys to success, disunity can disrupt the team due to self-centeredness — and the end result will be that the team loses. Keep disunity on the sidelines by communicating well and having a shared purpose or dream. Unity can only be created when each person is willing to give up their own gain for the good of each other.