Financial Tips Friday!

Tis the SEASON!

And no I don’t mean Christmas. I’m sure you all have your wish list and Christmas list started by now.

One of my favorite Thanksgiving traditions is buying the Waterloo Courier at the Waucoma convenience store with all of the shopping ads in it and we sort through the deals at the table.

We rarely ever actually go black Friday shopping in person. In the past I’ve done quite a bit of shopping online. I like to start making a list in the fall about all of the things that I would like such as a new pair of sweatpants a new pair of scrubs or a new pair of shoes and I wait for them to go on sale on Black Friday.

So I have been having my eye out on a few things and I’ve got my list started. Most importantly I started budgeting for my Christmas wish list about three months ago.

I want to take you all the way back to April when my son Gannon was six weeks old and was hospitalized at Saint Marys in Rochester at Mayo Clinic.

I was on maternity leave still and I ended up going back to work three weeks after I had a C-section just so that I could have some income coming in for our family. Craig hardly took any time off for work when I had Gannon.

We were sitting next to Gannon‘s crib debating on who should go back home and work so that we don’t miss any income from our paychecks.

I also opened up an email around that time that told me my credit score was in the toilet and we had just mounted up about $7000 worth of credit card over the past few months between Christmas and maternity leave.

I was desperate for anything and everything that I could get my hands on to get us out of debt. In Dave Ramsey‘s words I was sick and tired of being sick and tired. I was so sick of working so hard to see such little results of my income actually staying in my bank account.

I had heard of Dave Ramsey before and I listened to his book The Total Money Makeover. I put our family on a budget about a year ago for a good week, fell off the wagon, and then again went back to using credit cards and spending money that I didn’t have to live a lifestyle I couldn’t afford.

As we are gearing up for the holidays I wanted to have a financial advice series of blog posts to help you guys get motivated to maybe start a New Year’s resolution, budget better for your Christmas, and maybe not go overboard on your Black Friday spending.

I want to do a giveaway. I’m going to be giving away 10 of Dave Ramsey‘s total money makeover books. This book has all of the steps you need to take to take control of your money and your life.

It has not been easy but we have been on Dave Ramsey‘s plan since April. We are finally now able to se how far we’ve come financially and we see the light at the end of the tunnel.

I have not had a chance to total and calculate up how much debt we are paid off but it is well in the thousands.

We have a goal to pay off $12,000 between August 1 end January 1 of this year.

We are very intentional about how we spend our money and we commit to a budget. It has helped improve our marriage. I have grown so much as a person and been able to give more than I ever have once it’s already in the budget.

The goal of today’s blog post is to get a basic introduction of how becoming debt-free has changed our lives. I also wanted to start the month-long giveaway of books.

It looks to be about 10 weeks between now and Christmas and as a part of my giving of Thanksgiving I want to be giving away a book with every financial blog post that I have.

To kick off this financial series, I want to give you a few tips for you to start analyzing where you are sitting financially.

The first question I want to ask is how much life insurance do you have? Do you have others relying on your income? If so you need life insurance. Are you a stay at home mom? If you were to pass away, how much would a nanny cost each month. You. Need. Life insurance.

Craig and I got our life insurance in place after starting to listen to Dave Ramsey. Someone would need up to 10 to 12 times their income in life insurance.

Life insurance used to be super expensive but is actually fairly reasonable for the amount of coverage you can get.

Dave recommends and we have purchased 20 year term life insurance for about $500,000 for each of us individually. We pay about $100 a month for that and it is that much higher because Craig smokes cigarettes. However I only pay about $25 a month for mine as I am young and healthy but mildly overweight.

If you have a whole life insurance policy, you need term insurance. Whole life policies are bogus. They have a return on investment o around 1% and they don’t pay out very well at all. Considering getting term insurance in place and THEN cashing out your whole life insurance policy.

Life insurances is something you should really look into and it’s a great way to protect your family from financial hardship.

If you are local to me, I would be happy to refer you to Schmitt Insurance Associates where we purchased our policy through. For any insurance, I recommend going through someone who is not committed to one company and can get you several quotes from different companies.

I would also like you to take a look at your monthly spending.

Did you plan for your expenses? Is your budget an afterthought or is it carefully devised? How much money a month are you paying towards debt? Is your budget in place before the month begins?

The next question I want to ask and I will conclude this blog post with is can you imagine having no payments in your in life?

Can you imagine how much money you would have?

Can you imagine never relying on a bank to offer you money?

It is possible and millions of Americans have done this with Dave’s process.

If you’d like to buy the book – here is my amazon link:

If you ever purchase any amazon products from MY link, I do get commission. If you buy, let’s just say, $150 worth of other stuff while you’re on Amazon by following my link, I also get commission on those things you purchase. It’s a way to support my blog and it is a way to score some great quality products. I just want to be honest with you guys. I would have raved about this product even if I didn’t make any money off of it.

BUT I’m also doing a GIVEAWAY!

To enter the contest for a copy of Dave’s book The Total Money Makeover, I want you to sincerely recommend my blog/Facebook page to a friend. There is no way of me keeping track of this. Maybe you tell them about it, maybe invite them to like my Facebook page or subscribe to my email list.

I’m working so hard to cultivate a strong following and the best way to do that is word of mouth!

Leave a comment on this Facebook post or in the comment section below letting me know you’ve completed this and I will be drawing names sometime next week!

Have a good weekend!



  1. Donna
    November 8, 2019 / 12:38 pm

    Both of are retired and it would be nice to have a little help with our spending habits. Thanks for your honesty as well, as the offer. I shared your post on FB.
    Love and prayers.

  2. Lori C
    November 8, 2019 / 12:46 pm

    Loyal follower of your family since meeting all of you at the Bonnie Hunter retreat. Thanks for the giveaway!!

  3. Kim LeMere
    November 8, 2019 / 12:50 pm

    We are both retired and we read his book many years ago and used his advice to help us budget better. Its a wonderful feeling when you get ahead and debt free. As a young couple raising a family its not easy, life happens. I congratulate you both for taking that first step and talking to each other and making a financial plan. It amazes me how many couple don’t talk about money or plan. Congratulations to you both.
    (I will pass on the book if drawn because we have it and have given it as gifts also, great idea)

    • Natalie
      November 9, 2019 / 12:25 am

      Shared ❤

  4. Becky
    November 8, 2019 / 12:56 pm

    I am retired and lost my husband this year, but we both put away as much money with matching money from our work for many years. It was a no brainer to get the matching money! I will share your post, after this comment. I love reading about you and family!

  5. Anne
    November 8, 2019 / 12:57 pm

    I have heard of this system before and how helpful it has been. WIll look closer at it now.

  6. Missy steward
    November 8, 2019 / 1:05 pm

    Loved it!! Thank you!!

  7. Norma
    November 8, 2019 / 1:14 pm

    So excited for you that you found Dave Ramsey while you’re so young and have time to get this rolling! We’re retired and thankfully debt free but I could tell you some chilling stories of our marriage! Our daughters are both older than you and thank God they married men who care about money/life management. I mean by saying this that I am not signing up for the books but I’m cheering you on!
    May you and Craig stay on the same page and live like nobody else so You can live like nobody else!

  8. Ana Sweet
    November 8, 2019 / 1:27 pm

    All of Habitat for Humanities potential home owners are required to take classes in Dave Ramsey’s financial methods. It is a good program and will get you on the right track.

    You might also want to read an old book, Your Money or Your Life. From the library if possible. The chapters on choosing what to spend money on and various beginning steps are great. You can kind of ignore the old advice on investing but it does give basics. I LOVE this book.

  9. Betty Steinlage
    November 8, 2019 / 2:04 pm


    • Marlene Gould
      November 17, 2019 / 5:22 pm

      Would love to read the book. May consider buying g it as I would love to get out of the ruts!

  10. November 8, 2019 / 2:39 pm

    Sharing your post, and cheering you on! I’ve heard of Ramsey, but I’d like to read the book–thanks for the opportunity.

  11. Cathy
    November 8, 2019 / 2:48 pm

    It makes me happy, knowing you are working toward a debt free life. It is freeing. When you reach your goal remember to let compound interest work for you and stsrt saving for retirement. Financial stability saves you from one of lifes major stressor.

  12. Kimberly Crooks
    November 8, 2019 / 3:06 pm

    Your family’s perseverance through the difficulties in life is a true inspiration. I don’t typically follow blogs but Ifind myself combing through yours every time! My boyfriend and I have been thrown some life challenges along the way too, we aren’t where we’d like to be financially. And with that said it has set us back on our goals in life like a wedding and a house, eventually a family. Your poise through it all is inspiring and I’d like to invite my family as well as Nick’s family to join in on watching you navigate. God’s blessings to you and your family. Your ❤

  13. LisaS
    November 8, 2019 / 3:39 pm

    I’m so glad to hear that you are on the Dave Ramsey plan! I think he’s got a lot to teach a lot of Americans about how to live an adult, financially sound life. The one thing I would add to your blog post is for people to listen to his radio show or podcast. There is so much good information and inspiration shared that way. Keep working hard – you will get to debt free before you know it!

  14. Lisa M
    November 8, 2019 / 6:00 pm

    Great job on paying off your debts. I have been minimalizing my life for over a year now and it feels great. I also have been working on paying off debt and watching my spending and working on budgets. I have not read any of Dave’s books and would love to win a copy. I told my sisters and a couple friends about your blog and gave them your link to check out. I am enjoying your blog. Thanks!

  15. Helen
    November 8, 2019 / 8:49 pm

    I’ve shared your FB page and recommended you to several!! Would love to win this book. Thanks for sharing.

    • thepinkshoelaces_nobzq1
      November 24, 2019 / 10:32 pm

      Hey Helen! Thanks for entering! You have been selected to win! I hope this finds you well! Send me an email with your address and we will get it in the mail to you this week!

  16. Susan the Farm Quilter
    November 8, 2019 / 9:04 pm

    I have been blessed to have follow Dave Ramsey’s advice on most things before I had ever heard about him. Yes, I do use my credit card, but it is paid off every month, no matter what, No car or house payments, no debt except for normal monthly stuff. He really knows what he is talking about and it is amazing to be able to live like no one else! Keep up the good work!!!

  17. November 9, 2019 / 2:44 am

    We’re looking forward to retirement in a few years. We hope 😀
    I’ve invited a few friends to come read your blog and enter the giveaway. Everyone is so charmed by the Pink Shoelaces name.

  18. Bobi
    November 9, 2019 / 2:19 pm

    Hi Kalissa, I read your mom’s blog and I have been super impressed by your posts over there and this great blog you’ve created here. You are an amazing young lady! I have just two things to say regarding this post, first off I’ve heard of Dave Ramsey but have never actually read his stuff. I read lots of his “FIRE” inspired blogs and that is quite a community, but your sister, Kayla, is a great resource for all things frugal, in fact, it was an article she wrote for the Dollar Stretcher website about your dad and his lunches that first introduced me to your family. I doubt you really need Dave Ramsey, I think financial wisdom is probably in your blood!
    The second thing I want to say is to Craig: I know it’s hard but please consider trying to stop smoking for your lovely wife and those two adorable boys. We out here in blogland don’t want you to wind up like your father-in-law. (I’m not saying this to offend you, I’m saying this very sincerely, as I lost my stepdad to the same thing just months before your FIL passed.)

  19. Karen Preusser
    November 9, 2019 / 7:27 pm

    Have recommended Pink Shoelaces to friends already. Very common sense and pertinent. I found you thru your moms quilting FB.

  20. Donita M
    November 10, 2019 / 5:00 am

    I have shared your blog with my daughters. I am currently laid up in a care facility with a broken leg and non weight bearing going on 3 months and may be longer. Not working and have pay deducted is causing a lot of stress. No matter how much I try to save there is always an emergency that arises that wipes out everything and I have to start over. Dave help me!

    • thepinkshoelaces_nobzq1
      November 24, 2019 / 10:31 pm

      Hey Donita! Thanks for entering! You have been selected to win! I hope this finds you well! Send me an email with your address and we will get it in the mail to you this week!

  21. Mary Etherington
    November 10, 2019 / 4:10 pm

    I am sad to hear that Craig is a smoker – has he forgotten the past year with your dad?

  22. November 13, 2019 / 4:38 am

    What a great, honest post that most young people can identify with. I have recommended your blog to my grandchildren.

  23. Bobi
    November 13, 2019 / 4:06 pm

    Dear Kalissa,

    Please accept my sincere apology for my previous comment. I was trying to sound encouraging and clearly failed. But please understand where I’m coming from. I enjoy reading both your mom’s and your blog. The things your family has experienced are universal issues that many of us have experienced and I’m so happy and thankful you feel comfortable sharing with those of us you don’t know.

    That said, I’d like to explain where I’m coming from. I think I was about 10 yo when I found out smoking could kill you. My gram smoked three packs a day of unfiltered cigarettes. Armed with my new knowledge, I was petrified she would die and set out to get her to stop smoking. I went on a relentless campaign to get her to stop. I taped notes to every pack of cigarettes in her cartons, I left notes in her purse, refrigerator and bathroom. I hid her ashtrays. No kidding, I was serious about stopping my gram from dying. Ironically, she did stop within about a month but it had NOTHING to do with my childish but well intended campaign. No, she got deathly ill with the flu, tried to smoke anyway and decided that was it. Strangely, she still had the cigarettes with my notes on them years later when she died (not of cancer, btw.) She said she never wanted another cigarette after the flu episode but kept that carton “just in case.”
    Through the years, I’ve watched several other close family members die of smoking related diseases and cancers. It’s been hard but like your family, I’ve been there.
    Anyway, I did not mean to upset you with my words and by no means was I trying to judge you, Craig or your family in any way. The only “judgment” in this case was my poor judgment in leaving that comment.
    Sincerely, Bobi

  24. Cindy in NC
    November 13, 2019 / 7:11 pm

    Congratulations on working towards being debt free. As you know, life often hands you things you can’t control. Being in control of your money (as much as possible – sometimes the curves life throws at you come with a big price tag) helps when you’re juggling other challenges. I’ve never read Dave Ramsey but would like to. Then I would pass the book down to my younger kids.

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