WE PAID OFF $31,317 in ONE YEAR! Our ONE YEAR Dave-a-versary!

You guys…it feels so damn good to type that sentence.

We have put $31,317 towards debt in the past 12 months – an average of $2,600/month.

*to help you gauge/process this number, this total includes interest and monthly payments we would have had to pay – this is money put towards existing debt as of April 1st 2019 – this does not include cash flowed expenses that we would have normally put on a credit card*

We began Dave Ramsey’s financial plan or otherwise known as “The Baby Steps” on April 2nd, 2019 after we couldn’t afford food in the cafeteria when our 6 week old son Gannon was hospitalized.

  • We completely changed everything about how we view and spend money.
  • We stopped contributing to our 401k.
  • We cut up our credit cards.
  • We refused to make financial decisions without the other person.
  • We vowed to never put anything on a credit card again.
  • We promised each other that life would be different.

That was one year ago and look where we are now. I hope this doesn’t come off as bragging, I just want you to imagine what is possible and what your life could look like in one year!

  • I took my car to the shop and unexpectedly needed to replace all four tires on my car. I wrote the check in full without hesitation.
  • We have enough money right now to pay off the rest of our credit card in the bank but we are saving it until the pandemic has calmed down.
  • I quit my second job to be able to spend more time with my boys after two years of teaching clinicals because we had paid down our debt enough that it made sense.
  • My credit score went from 642 to 753.
  • Craig quit smoking. Craig doesn’t buy tools without talking to me about it first.
  • We have a cushion. We have an emergency fund.
  • I haven’t had to borrow money from my mom in over a year.
  • We aren’t afraid anymore. We are a team.

How much do we have left? We’ve got a ways to go:

I track this using the FREE baby steps app created by Ramsey Solutions. Our stimulus check will go right to our debt. We have a few other bigger checks coming in this month and I cant wait to crush our debt!

I’ll be totally honest guys, this process has really improved our marriage. I’m ashamed to admit this but I was hiding our credit card debt from Craig for 6 months before I came clean. I can’t imagine doing that now.

Why am I so honest about this? Money is a taboo topic and for most people, it isn’t something they really feel comfortable talking about but I want you to see that if we can do it, so can you. If you’re stuck or you feel like you’re drowning, ME TOO! There is so much power in knowing you aren’t alone.

Here are our REAL numbers. This is our REAL journey. When we started out it was so inspiring to hear about people who were in similar income brackets/had the same amount of debt as we did. Hopefully by sharing our story we can inspire others to show them YOU CAN DO THIS TOO!

If we continue at the same rate of putting $2,300/month towards debt, we *should* be debt free except for our home by October 2021! Our projections have been putting us there all along but it really used to bum me out that it was SO FAR AWAY. Every month it feels closer. I have to constantly remind myself of a few things:

  • enjoy the journey
  • money is not EVERYTHING
  • it is a marathon, not a sprint.
  • progress, not perfection

To read more about our financial journey, check out these blog posts:



  1. Amy
    April 3, 2020 / 10:51 am

    Congratualtions! Keep it up! And thank you for the inspiration.

  2. Anne
    April 3, 2020 / 12:06 pm

    Good job! So many good thoughts there, including the teamwork concept in marriage.

  3. Ellie
    April 3, 2020 / 12:21 pm

    Congratulations! That’s a great accomplishment . You are also providing a great role model for Carver and Gannon. You may think they are too young to understand these things but it’s amazing the behaviors and attitudes children observe.

  4. Cheryl
    April 3, 2020 / 1:04 pm

    Big progress for your family…dad not smoking, mom quitting second job…real steps toward the life of a family. Making financial decisions as a family. You have really done well! Congrats!

  5. Rbon
    April 3, 2020 / 2:07 pm

    Keep it up. You might call it bragging, I call it teaching. You are setting a great example, not just for your boys, but for your friends, family, and anybody reading your blog. Keep living like nobody else so you can live like nobody else.

  6. Carolyn Sullivan
    April 3, 2020 / 9:39 pm

    CONGRATULATIONS!!! it is not easy to do this. I wasn’t able to do this until I was in my 40’s. Now I pay off my credit card every month. I bought a NEW CAR CASH!!! DH did help me with this…. but mostly it’s mine.

  7. Nancy Angerer
    April 3, 2020 / 11:03 pm

    Congratulations! You are doing a good job, and thanks for your bravery to share to encourage others.

  8. Susan the Farm Quilter
    April 4, 2020 / 2:47 am

    You gazelles, you!!! As you see that debt going down, it so motivates you to work even harder to get it paid off sooner!! Just imagine, if you pursue paying off your house with the same fervor…you could pay it off before Gannon is in school!! You are living like no one else now, so you can live like no one else for the rest of your life!!! So proud of the work you have done, together!!

  9. Elle
    April 14, 2020 / 8:41 pm

    awesome! You learned the principles of $ earlier than we did. Congratulations on your commitment to your financial well-being. The peace it brings is more meaningful than any “thing” could ever be. and the freedom from debt is immeasurably joyful. The world will open up before you as you control your $ now rather than it controlling you.

    “I wish you enough sun to keep your attitude bright.
    I wish you enough rain to appreciate the sun more.
    I wish you enough happiness to keep your spirit alive.
    I wish you enough pain so that the smallest joys in life appear much bigger.
    I wish you enough gain to satisfy your wanting.
    I wish you enough loss to appreciate all that you possess.
    I wish you enough hellos to get you through the final good-bye.”

    They say it takes a minute to find a special person. An hour to appreciate them. A day to love them. And an entire life to forget them. – Author Unknown

    Most of all, I wish you Peace 🙂

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