Living Baby Step 7: The House

Would you believe this month will be our anniversary of 5 years debt-free? You can read about our final mortgage payoff here.  Dave Ramsey’s final baby step is to “build wealth and give like no one else” and I thought over the coming weeks I would examine what Baby Step 7 looks like for us.

While it would be fun to tell you about a yacht or a luxury berth on the QE2, as the kind of practical people that follow Dave Ramsey, those are not choices we have made.  A major amount of the money that would normally be spent on a mortgage payment has been directed towards saving for largish home renovations and repairs.  A siding project that also required masonry work… flooring… painting that required patching… floor refinishing…and currently we are saving to add a bathroom in the basement.

When you have committed to being debt free and never paying interest, you have to save a lot to be able to pay for home renovations and repairs without financing. Sure we have 100% equity in our house, but we don’t view our home equity as a bank account to tap into.

Other Dave/Mr Money Mustache fans might choose to do some of this work themselves, and more power to you if that sounds like you.  For us, a choice we can make being debt-free is to have someone else do the work and hire people whom we believe to be trustworthy and conscientious.

If you are following Dave, what are your priorities for Baby Step 7?

I’ll have some additional thoughts on living step 7 throughout the month.


8 thoughts on “Living Baby Step 7: The House

  1. Flo

    That’s definitely an anniversary worth celebrating! I chuckled a bit about the home equity loan, we do it the same way. Today I got a thing from our bank advertising low interest rates–but nothing beats NO interest! So many people take these out under the misguided notion that they can write the interest off on their taxes, but unless you owe a ton, chances are you aren’t going to come up with enough deductions to do so. Sorry, so not for me! I’ve come to the conclusion that lots of people are bad at math. πŸ˜‰

    1. Jen Post author

      And do you find your bank (if you ever go in person) is quite eager to get you a mortgage refi or HELOC? I say “I own my house.” “How can you help me MAKE money?”
      One of our cars is sounding loud, but we keep a budget line for repairs, so a muffler repair isn’t a crisis, just an inconvenience.

      1. Flo

        I am always amazed at the number of people who earn a good wage that when faced with an unexpected bill, it is a crisis. WTH?! While I’m not thrilled about my hospital bills, it is what it is, and like your muffler, it’s more of an inconvenience. You work around it and go from there.

  2. twomomsrusticlove

    Congratulations on being debt free! That is something we are working towards. We’ve just started our joinery to become debt free, but it’s so worth it. We, too, will be so happy to live free of payments and owing everyone someone. I used to hear “it’s just a paymet” a LOT growing up and thought that, that was the okay to live…. That mindset has changed and paying things off feels so amazing. πŸ™‚

    1. Jen Post author

      Thanks TwoMoms… and congratulations to you on your journey to paying off debt. Aside from the financial benefits, it has been a positive thing for our DD (11) to observe. She can look at our budget and she has her own in Excel. When she wanted a fancy Lands End lunchbag for middle school, I said OK but showed her the back to school budget and said everything else needed to work within that amount of money… shoes, etc.


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