My husband and I got engaged on April 3rd 2004. Since the anniversary just passed it got me thinking about that time in our lives. In just six months we bought a house, paid off $5,000 worth of credit card debt, and paid for our wedding with cash. Pretty crazy. Here’s how we did it.

My husband already owned a house but we knew we wanted something larger for our growing family. We decided on a four-bedroom house that was being built as new construction. They said it would take three months to build. We decided to move in together in order to save some money while we waited for our house. He moved into my apartment for a few reasons, my place was cheaper, I was still in a lease, and it would be a smoother transition for my daughter. Looking back we shouldn’t have been so quick to sell his house with the market the way it was back then, but hey, hindsight is 20/20 right. I was so worried about getting stuck with two mortgage payments that I wasn’t seeing the big picture.

So now with us living together we had a serious reduction in total living expenses. It ended up taking nine months to build our house rather than three. Which allowed us to pay off all our debt in record time and still have money left over to pay for a frugal wedding. We used the proceeds from the sale of my husband’s house, plus a generous gift from my dad, as a down payment on our new house.

We could have easily over extended ourselves in so many different ways, from not consolidating our bills, to buying too much house, to having an extravagant wedding. Instead we stayed focused on giving our marriage a good start. We didn’t want debt hanging over us like a dark cloud casting a shadow on our new life. Instead, we used our engagement to help us get to a better place. And I’m so happy that we did.

Tomorrow I’ll tell you about our frugal wedding.

picture by Shaun and Jackie


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