We paid off my wife's student loans this past weekend!

"Babe -- you want to come press a button and pay off your student loans?"

I had everything set up; the web page showed a final payment of $380.14 scheduled to be made that day from our checking account. All Katie had to do was confirm.

"This button?" she asked.


She clicked it, the screen changed to show a confirmation of payment, and just like that we were student loan free!

When my wife and I got married nearly two years ago now, one of our biggest conflicts was finances. We'd both grown up with different financial principles and backgrounds and -- while neither was right nor wrong -- we had to learn to manage finances together now. As is the case for many young married couples, one of our biggest financial commitments was student loans; Katie came into our marriage with about $4000 yet to pay off; I was blessed with no student loans. I did, however, come into our marriage with a huge appreciation and commitment to the financial principles of Dave Ramsey and his Financial Peace University.

In short, Dave Ramsey firmly believes -- through his ownpast experiences and mistakes -- in controlling your money and not letting your money control you. With the right budget, there's often be a lot more money available to us than most of us realize.

So the first thing we did was establish a budget. This was new to Katie, and -- admittedly -- hard for the both of us at first. However, as we began to see our budget work for us, and we felt more in control of our finances, we both began to see the value of a good budget.

Katie had two student loans to pay off -- one to a family member who lent money and another to FedLoan Servicing. The larger loan was FedLoan, so we began by doubling up payments to the family member and paying off that loan within a matter of months. We then "snowballed" our FedLoan payments. At the rate Katie was paying this loan off before we got married, it would have taken her 4.5 years; after quadrupling our monthly payment amount, we paid it off in less than a year!

With student loans paid off, we now have several hundred dollars more in our budget each month that we can put towards savings or spending or our new dog Rosie or another trip to Iceland. We haven't decided yet, but I can tell you this -- boy, does it feel good to be in control of our finances!

For more on the "Snowball" effect and getting in control of your finances, read this recent article by Mixed Up Morning Show co-host Ashli or check out Dave Ramsey's website.

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