Shaun and I met in 2006 coming from very different backgrounds. He was born and raised in Utah very much into hunting, camping, anything outdoors. And I came from So Cal very much into the beach, shopping, camping in a log cabin-not on the actual ground. We met at Los Hermanos both working as servers, but only worked together for a few weeks before I changed jobs and went to Applebees. It was just enough time for us to meet and start eating lunch together with friends at college during classes. We married shortly after...I'll spare you the sappy details.
So Shaun had grown up handling money rather well, but had no credit cards, which equals no credit. I on the other hand had many credit cards (too many) and therefore lots of credit. Luckily we compromised a bit and met in the middle when we got married. After paying off any remaining balances we threw away and cut up all my old credit cards and Shaun and I got one "emergency" card together through our bank. It was a great decision for us because we rarely use it and pay it off quickly, but it will help us keep building credit (I think, I don't really know).
A few months after we were married we went to a sales pitch for WorldMark just expecting to get the free thing at the end. Well we ended up buying. Married couple financial mistake #1 (investing in timeshare knowing nothing about it). However, we do use it every year and love it and were able to pay it off last year with our tax return, but we do pay a monthly maintenance fee for it. I don't think we've saved any money by buying into it, but we always know that we'll be staying at a great resort when we travel and we LOVE to travel.
September 2008 we were due with our first baby girl, so naturally we thought we needed a "family" car. Married couple mistake #2 (buying brand new car). We bought a 2008 Nissan Xterra. LOVE LOVE LOVED it, however, being a brand new car it lost its value almost immediately after driving it off the lot. Also put us in a lot of debt, which I justified in my mind because it was for a car. I've learned since.
We of course had our debt for schooling, which compared to others was not bad at all. We applied for financial aid and grants, which were both awarded to one of us leaving us only paying for the others. We were also attending a State College, which turned into a University my last semester making our tuition much cheaper. We did take our time paying off the student loans because the interest did not incur until a while after I graduated, so we paid on other debts first.
We had our second baby girl in 2010, which we very lucky to have military benefits, so we did not go into any debt on either girls.
And at this moment we are COMPLETELY DEBT FREE!! It took some time, but I definitely think it was well worth it. Now on to the savings...