This is not adoption related, but I hope it can help some future adoptive parent sometime in the future. When Randy and I got married in March, I knew that Randy had some debt, but as young(er) people who were just so happy to find each other, we really never discussed the #'s. 2 weeks after our wedding, and home from our honeymoon I went out to get the mail and Randy was at the fire station that day. There was a bill from his student loan, and so I took the liberty as his new wife to open said bill and pay the bill. Well when I opened the bill I started crying. I have never had student loans from college or my masters, and I didn't have CC debt either. I immediately called Randy and was crying as I asked if the #'s were real. He was so sad and said yes. After much back and forth, we decided that the next day we were going to sit down and map out a plan, because I was NOT going to have Sallie Mae make herself comfortable in our home. She was getting kicked out ASAP. There were 3 different debts that we had to tackle, 1 was a lowly CC, which we paid off that day with a CD that I had, the second was his car, and then Sallie Mae.
We got on a plan, we followed Dave's Plan, $1000 in the bank for emergencies, and then starting hitting the debt. Now even Dave says that when you start doing things right, Murphy's Law will hit and hit you hard. Well he did. Pretty much right after getting married, I got pregnant, and while I was so excited, we were both scared. Things were trucking along smoothly and we had eliminated about half the debt in a year, refinanced the house, and we JUST paid off his car. The only thing left was Sallie Mae. Then we had an ice storm. I had a dentist appt. that morning and school was canceled, well I decided to go anyway. Bad idea. I was hit from behind and my car was totalled. Being pregnant I called Randy to come and get me and he got hit when he was about 250 yards away from me, his car was totalled also. Our insurance adjuster had been in the business for 25 years and had never run across that scenario EVER! So we are out 2 cars, we didn't even have the cleared title for Randy's car yet. We were able to purchase a car from my parents with our insurance money, and Randy was given an almost 20 year old truck that leaked oil like a sieve to get us through.
We started going some more, and we were 3 weeks from Camden arriving and it was June and it was hot, and our air conditioner decided that it was done. Well because of new EPA regulations, we not only had to do the air conditioner, but also the heater also. $6000 for both, I was a hot mess literally and figuratively! That done, we still were not completely done with our debt, but I had already left my job, but I was due to get my last 3 paychecks the day after Camden was scheduled to arrive. That was suppose to finish off Sallie Mae, but instead it went to the A/C.
Now we were down to one income, a new baby, but we were happy and in love. Randy went and got a part time job and we were able to finally kick Sallie Mae out 4 months later. In total we paid off $62,000 in 18 months, plus we cashflowed Randy being in Nursing school the last 6 months of that also. Yes we did have a good income for the first 14 months, but we had A LOT thrown at us and we still prevailed. ANYONE can do it, single parents, married couples, widowed, anyone. You just have to have the drive to do it. We even had the opportunity to call into Dave Ramsey's show and scream that we were DEBT FREE with the exception of the house. Because of this we have been able to live comfortably but frugally on one income. We were scared when we decided to adopt because we didn't want to borrow money, but only had to borrow $5000 of the $50000 that we had to have, and paid that off within 2 months of being home with Dasha. Now we are actively paying off our house, we replaced the old truck, and we live a comfortable life. Just remember that car payments are NOT the norm, you don't have to have them, save your money and go pay CASH, it is amazing the deals you can get when you whip out $100's instead of a CC. My husband is the King of bargaining. :-)
This is by no means to be a bragging post, just to share the lessons that we learned and hope to pass on to someone else. Imagine the difference you can make if you have NO payments, no car payments, no CC payments, and even more importantly no house payment. I know many people have made a HUGE difference in our lives because they live by the same principles as we do.