I have been listening to Dave Ramsey’s podcast almost every single day for the past 2 years. It used to be only 40 minutes (schneriously???) but then last year they upped it to three 40 minutes segments a day…EUREKA!!
At least once every “hour” of his 3 hour a day radio show, Dave has people either call in or show up live in Tennessee to do their “debt free scream”. This is where singles, couples, or families have paid off all their debt (some even pay off their mortgage, but that’s not a requirement to complete ‘baby step 2’…paying off all debts but your mortgage… to do your scream) and get interviewed by Dave who asks questions about why, how, etc.
The two minute interview culminates in the person (or people) who are now debt-free counting it down (3…2…1…) and then yelling at the top of their lungs “WE’RE DEBT FREEEEEEEE!!!” and the crowd goes wild! It’s AWESOME!!!
Ever since I attended Dave Ramsey’s FINANCIAL PEACE UNIVERSITY over 6 years ago I have been “working” toward being debt-free with little success (HELP! Baby Step 1…AGAIN…UGH!!!).
I decided to get serious (well…more serious) about a year ago when I declared to the world (or at least my friends… (My next big thang!) that I was really going to finally kick this one in the ass! AND I DID!!! As of September 23, 2015, we have paid off all our debt other than our house! YAHOOOOOOO!!!
We are heading to Nashville, TN after my 7 marathons next month to do our own debt-free scream out in front of Dave Ramsey’s building where he does his radio show. We can only be there on a Saturday so he won’t be there, but I’ll video it so it will still be official!
When he interviews people who got out of debt, he asks them questions in order to help others who want to get out of debt get inspired, motivated, or just get some ideas on where to start. I wanted to answer some of the questions he asks so that YOU may get excited about getting out of debt too! I hope this article will help each and every one of you believe that you too can be debt free!
Q: How much debt did you pay off?
A: $30,957 since we started getting serious and keeping track
Q: How long did it take you?
A: 15 months
Q: What was your household income during that time?
A: Varied a LOT because we were traveling all over the place and just working here and there. I would say we ranged between $2,000 a month and $6,000 a month
Q: What happened 15 months ago that make you think you should and could get out of debt?
A: We had been “trying” to get out of debt for about 6 years with no traction. We went to FPU and that started us thinking we should, but we were still spending more than we were making every month. About a year ago we just got sick and tired of being stressed about money ALL THE TIME and we decided to buckle down and JUST DO IT! We wanted the freedom to be able to travel more and we needed to be out of debt to even consider it.
Q: Did you sell anything?
A: Yes. I am always selling things. Books, DVDs, etc. The big thing we sold at the end was our RV we had been traveling in the past 2 ½ years.
Q: What was the hardest part about getting out of debt?
A: Sticking to a budget. Both of us have that “entitlement” mentality of “I deserve this” so we had to break some bad habits of buying whatever we “needed” which was usually insanely expensive trips to Whole Foods for me.
Q: What was the hardest thing to give up?
A: For me it was racing triathlon. It’s my favorite hobby (well, only hobby) and I gave it up for one year.
Q: What were other things you gave up?
A: We also gave up cable (don’t miss it), we only ate out a couple times a week (used to be triple that), I buy more food at Wal-mart (and less at Whole Foods), and I could only do a running race if I got a free entry (I used to race every weekend).
Q: Did your friends think you were weird?
A: They do anyway! So no more than usual!
Q: What advice would you give others who want to get out of debt?
A: Work together WITH your spouse/family to have a plan and stick with it. The biggest thing that kept me going was listening to every podcast every single day for the past 15 months. And don’t forget to tell everyone around you your plan. That way they aren’t shocked when you don’t show up with gifts at Christmas and birthday parties or they aren’t surprised when you decline their offer of dinner at an expensive restaurant or joining the family vacation.
After the questions, Dave would say, “Kirsten and Rick paid of $30,957 in 15 months making between
$2,000 and $6,000 a month. Let’s hear a big debt-free scream…”
And Rick and I would reply excitedly, “3…2…1…WE’RE DEBT FREEEEEEEEEE!!!!”
So what is next? I’m sticking with Dave which means BABY STEP THREE which is to save between 3-6 months of expenses in an emergency fund. My goal is $18K by this time next year! I’ll keep you posted!
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See you SOON!!!