The following is a guest post by Tony Colon about their debt free journey and how they are helping military families become debt free.
Tony Colon, a Master Sergeant in the US Army, with his wife Carole has been married for over 11 years. They are a blended family with fourteen children. Out of their fourteen children, four children still reside with them at Fort Bragg, North Carolina. Upon committing to one another in marriage, Tony and Carole also committed to living a debt free life together. Amazingly Carole, with nine children, was completely debt free. Tony on the other hand was weighed down with over $25,000 of debt.
Debt Free Journey
Their debt free journey begins in June 2000, where the family had a debt balance well over $25,000. In the midst of a move from Fort Bragg, North Carolina to Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri; Tony and Carole stayed true to becoming debt free, creating and executing a debt free plan.
Tony had developed a plan to be debt free in six years, Carole had a different idea, and she established a debt free plan that would be accomplished within 24 months. The family worked extremely hard keeping track of expenses and making many sacrifices when necessary.
Carole home-schooled four of their children during the day while working at Wal-Mart from 11pm until 7am. The extra income allowed Carole to contribute to the families’ financial goals. The family was able to meet their goals of becoming debt free, in 22 months, two months earlier than expected.
Since that time, the family has been determined to remain debt free and have followed Dave Ramsey’s, Total Money Makeover Plan to maintain this goal, saving and paying for everything with cash, to include saving for a 100% down payment for a home. They are currently at 73% of reaching this lofty goal. (Current target amount is $170,000.)
Since 2008, Tony and Carole have facilitated the Dave Ramsey Financial Peace University program for the soldiers and families of the 5th Special Forces Group(A), and the surrounding community. The results have been outstanding. Today over 250 Soldiers and their families have graduated reporting a $1.9 million dollar change in position. This represents money saved and debts paid during the 13 week personal finance program.
Tony and Carole’s heart is to see others become free from the bondage that debt represents and to encourage contentment along with wealth building, motivating, encouraging and empowering families along the way. They are dedicated to spreading a message of hope to all and are reaching that goal one family at a time.
Find out more about the Financial Peace Military Edition can promote financial readiness for times of activation, deployment, TDY or PCS.