I always liked to think I was good at the personal finance thing. I knew to never carry a balance on my credit cards. I knew how to invest for retirement. I knew how to stay out of trouble for the most part. I was doing pretty well – or so I thought.
The truth is I was living in a very dangerous place financially speaking. I wasn’t in any danger of not making rent or having my new 4Runner repossessed. I was investing 4% of my paycheck into my 401-k. I was doing okay. Just okay.
And “just okay” is a scary place to be. When you’re doing “just okay” you don’t have any incentive to do better. When you’re doing “just okay” you don’t have a reason to change. You can live you’re entire life doing “okay.”I consider it a gift from God that I downloaded Dave Ramsey’s podcast one day. There’s no other way to explain the fortuitous way I stumbled across this treasure chest of financial wisdom.
“I’M DEBT FREE!” the first caller on The Dave Ramsey Show screamed at the top of his lungs over the phone. He paid off his student loans, his car, his credit cards, everything. He didn’t owe anything to anyone.
Two things shocked me about this call:
- The guy was making half what I made. How the heck did he do it?
- Dave went on and on about how rich that kid would become. Not a payment to anyone. Saving and investing all his money each and every month – can you imagine???
Another guy called in with a similar story. I listened to caller after caller who made less than I did, with way more debt than I had, pay it off and scream “I’m debt free!”
I couldn’t stop thinking about it. What would my life be like if I didn’t have any payments. How much could I save? How much could I do? What could I become?
My Turn To Win
I was debt free less than a year later. My meager $3,000 in savings swelled to six months of savings shortly after that. It took me several years to inch my way up to the three-grand in savings I already had. Then in about six to seven months we saved five times that! Now this is what living debt-free is all about! THIS is fun!
You can listen to my debt-free story on Jon White’s Debt Free Living Podcast
My wife Cameron and I started saving for our first home shortly after we paid off our debt. And we did it at a rate of over $2,000 a month.
Two grand. Each month. Every month. For over a year. That’s well over $20,000 in just one year!
Can you imagine? What were a couple regular twenty-somethings doing with this kind of cash?
I want to emphasize this: I don’t tell you that to boast. I don’t tell you that to put myself on a pedestal of some sort of financial guru or anything like that.
I tell you that for one reason and one reason only.
To inspire you. To fire you up. To show you what’s possible when you get to keep what you earn every month.
Hearing stories like this is exactly what started me down this road years ago. Stories like this kept me going when it was tough. Stories like this put us in a position to live our dream life.
Your Turn To Win
What about you? Are you just doing “okay” financially? How could things be different if you got to save everything you pay towards debts? Can you imagine???
So how do you get started?
No matter how much or little you know about money I always start people in the same place: Read Dave Ramsey’s My Total Money Makeover. It’s brilliant! Inspiring, educational, instructional.
Warning: This book will change your life… and it’s going to be an exciting ride! #lifeStoked
What would you do with an extra $2,000 a month?
— Deacon Bradley (@deaconbradley) December5, 2011