The Debt Free Scream!

Hello everyone and welcome! I was reflecting on what gives me the most inspiration and encouragement to complete our Total Money Makeover, and I realized that the most emotional feeling derives from people calling in to the Dave Ramsey Show to scream they’re debt free!! Every time I hear a caller scream these 3 very powerful words it makes me imagine being there and what it feels like! Sometimes this means the eyes water up!

Imagine with me for a second and think about screaming these three words. “WE’RE DEBT FREEEEEEEEEEE!” Imagine that is you! How do you feel? GREAT right? Does it give you a stronger desire and motivation to accomplish this goal? It fires me up, and sometimes it can be very emotional since my entire adult life has been apparently devoted to living in debt. This one phrase gives me focus and extra determination to reach this pinnacle of freedom!!

With my blog, I want to help others like me, get out of debt forever. I would like this blog to be about inspiration! I would like this blog to be about giving people the same inspiration that Dave Ramsey’s radio show gives it’s listeners! I want this blog to lift up! I want this blog to reach the person that is just beginning the debt free process, and I want it to provide HOPE! I want it to reach the person who has never even thought about what debt freedom means, but happens to run in to this blog! Inspire, encourage, motivate, and support! That is what my mission is about!

In order to do this I need for people who are becoming debt free, or are already debt free to participate! Here’s how it will work.

Consider answering these questions in your post:

DEBT FREE but the house/even the house!
  1. How much debt have you paid off in total?
  2. How long did it take you to do this?
  3. How has this freedom changed your life?
  4. What was the hardest part about your journey?
For those working to become DEBT FREE!
  1. How much debt have you paid/how much you have left?
  2. What is your projected goal for becoming debt free?
  3. How is this new journey changing your life?
  4. What are some of your struggles along the way?

I hope that you see just how important and essential something like this can be to people who are struggling! Please help me lift those folks up so that they do not feel alone! Let’s show them that the path to freedom is there, they just have to keep walking! Help give them the hope that you once experienced!

This has evolved into Debt Free News From A Debt Free Reader.

Share your stories, and help change lives!

About Brad Chaffee

6 Responses to “The Debt Free Scream!”

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  1. FPU - mecrafty says:

    We started FPU with $73,600 in dept – mostly credit cards and car payments – EEEEKKKKK! This does not include our Mortgage or HELOC. Within 4 weeks, we had paid off $3800 of it, and are on track, thanks to a working budget and using cash only, and cutting corners wherever we can, to paying off a total of $25000 by the end of the year. Then we will be on track to have ALL of it but the house paid off by the end of 2009!
    Considering we took 14 years to build this up, 2 years to pay off is not that bad! I am truly looking forward to having it all, including the HELOC paid off.
    It’s definitely been life changing! And there’s struggles – building up an emergency fund is difficult, but can be done!
    We cut about $600 from our monthly food budget by limiting our eating out and shopping at ALDI’s and Angel Food Ministries.
    It makes me cry when I think of being able to say I’m debt free!
    The other night I did some retirement calculations, and of course, at the pace we were at before, it would not have been good, but I put in an anticipated amount of contribution in 2 years (15%) and calculated it out, and we are going to be able to make it!!!!! YEA!!!!!!!

    I actually have a trip to Chicago and a trip to Nashville planned (I hope to be able to see Dave Ramsey, or at least something related while I’m there), and I am paying CASH to do these – I won’t have to pay the bills when I get back!!!!!
    No longer will I be a slave to debt!
    Thanks EoD for this AWESOME Blog! I hope we can encourage others to pursue a complete change in thinking about debt!
    Remember, “if just one person believes in you……”
    Peace out!

  2. RedE2Win says:

    My name is Brad and I created this blog.

    Our life has changed completely from just 4 months ago.

    At first we had a total debt of around $21,000. We dumped our huge car payment which took us down to $12500. We paid off all of our credit cards and finally paid off our medical debt. We are now on our last debt equaling $6700. We just paid off another $1,000 this month.

    We are shooting for becoming debt free except the house by August of this year!

    This process has changed our lives in ways we never expected. We are starting to communicate better, we have less money fights, and we just can not believe the hope that we see in our future! The most exciting thing for us through all of this is that we will be able to give truly like never before. We are looking forward to GIVING big time! We know for a FACT that our son will not start out his adult life and struggle the way we have! Living paycheck to paycheck is no fun. When you are free from debt and the chains that come with it you have a new lease on life!

    The HARDEST parts for us were actually believing that this was possible, and learning to do a budget and tell our money where to go. The behavior changes were difficult to kick off but as you go through your Total Money Makeover it gets easier and the motivation to continue grows with each day and with each new accomplishment!!

    Stick with it and you will WIN! If you haven’t started you should get started NOW! Join those that have taken control of their finances and are figuring out that it was the very best decision they ever made financially!

    I want debt freedom for EVERYONE!

  3. idkmynameismikki says:

    ok ehhemm

    I am currently in the process of being debt free and here is what i have so far

    1.How much debt have you paid/how much you have left?

    I have 32k In Debt not including my house I started FPU 1/17/08

    I have $1,800 in my emergency fund to date before dave I carried a negative checking account balance on a regular basis.
    2.What is your projected goal for becoming debt free? My debt free goal is 8/8/09

    3.How is this new journey changing your life? I now have a hold on my financial future, I was never one to shop a lot but I did try to keep up with my friends who had houses and nice cars. The best part about this program is knowing I will never have to worry about money ever again!! No more stupid with 0’s on the end!!

    4.What are some of your struggles along the way?

    The struggles I have found so far are staying away from more debt, I have to now save for things I need and want vs get it now and borrow to do so. Its a great challenge but not having it now kinda bites!!

    also my friends want me to go places, take trips and stuff but I can’t I just keep telling myself I am going to be debt free!!!!

    great blog I hope people get inspiration its worth the money 1 million times over that I paid to take the FPU class, because if you stick to it it can change your life forever..

    also I am a gazelle and I am working 2 jobs and I love it!!

  4. Kristin says:

    Hi, my name is Kristin.

    FPU has been a great blessing to us. We received FPU Online free as part of the Veteran’s Day promotion. We had been listening to Dave on the radio for about a year. We have two vehicle loans totaling about $23,000, and our house. Our mortgage balance is $113,000 on a $125,000 mortgage. We refinanced our van from a 6.59% to 4.99%, and we are in the process of refinancing our house from 7.0% to 6.25%. We will save about $140/mo. on the house, which we will then use to more quickly pay down our vehicles. Our house actually appraised for $145,000, $20,000 more than we paid for it 8 years ago, and the mortgage officer at the bank said that was probably even a conservative appraisal, given the current market. We plan to be debt free but the house by the end of 2009. We used to think it was OK to use credit cards, and that we had to for “emergencies”, and we would always carry a balance, which we would then pay off with our tax refund every year (about $2000/year).

    What turned out to be the easiest part of this process is the envelope system. It has been so freeing! We used to use our debit card (and Kohl’s credit card) for restaurants, and for things we did with the kids, and clothes, but never knew where this money was coming from. We now keep envelopes for restaurants, entertainment, haircuts, spending money, and house maintenance money. We don’t have to wonder where the money is coming from, because it is already budgeted!

    One of the “hardest” things was that my husband had to take a voluntary pay cut for the military in February (or move), which left us with $300 less/month. I am a stay at home mom, with minimal income ($200/mo.). But, since we have been following our monthly budget, and putting cash in the envelopes, we have not had a credit card balance in 4 months, and we were able to set up a money market account, and our kids’ ESA accounts (their money they had saved over the years), using one of Dave’s wonderful Investment ELP’s.

    Our 6yo and 4yo wonder when we will get to call in to Dave’s show and yell, “We’re debt free!”

    Justin and Kristin Shuman
    Pickerington, OH

  5. Tonya says:

    We came to Dave Ramsey from a different position. We’d been debt free except for the house for a couple of years at the time and working on our emergency fund. Though I found his plan interesting, I really didn’t see it as being a lot different from what we were doing already. Yes, we still had credit cards, but we were paying them off every month so it didn’t really matter, right? I figured what we were doing was working ok. Was I ever wrong!

    Fast forward two years and we were still working on our EF. Though we had a budget, we weren’t adhering to it and had gotten ourselves into an awful cycle of spending out of control for 6 months (floating expenses based on expected income that never matched up) and 6 months of struggling to regain our position. We still were paying the credit cards off monthly, but our EF was being tapped hard!

    In July 2007 we were fed up with the cycle and got on MyTMMO for the support and encouragement. I was challenged to get rid of the credit cards and begin the cash envelopes. Dh agreed so we began a 2 month challenge using cash. In 2 weeks we were sold! Using cash made such a difference. We’d also tightened our definition of an emergency so the EF was being used for what it was intended. Oh, and we banned “floating” expenses! We don’t have the cash, we don’t make the purchase.

    In November 2007 we were blessed with FPU Online. At that time I finally calculated when we would be done with the EF and we were looking at August 2008. However, as we began planning for inflows ahead of time and sticking to the budget, things kept getting better and we finished our EF in February2008 — just in time for dh to have gall bladder surgery. It was such a blessing to be able to cash flow that — and we even received a 20% discount from the hospital for paying promptly in full.

    Now we are rebuilding the EF and should have it complete in about 2-3 weeks thanks to the tax rebate! We then will fund a couple of sinking funds (which should be done very quickly due to another unexpected inflow). Then it will be on to BS4! 🙂 We are so excited and so thankful for Dave’s program and God’s help in being good stewards with all His blessings.

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