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Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Merry Christmas and a Debt Free New Year!

Seasons Greetings,

Debt as of 06/09/2012:  $92,645.00

Debt as of 12/24/2014:  $0.00

Total Debt Paid Down:  All of it baby!

Well, in the words of the Grateful Dead, "What a long, strange trip it's been."  We started this journey two and half years ago the day we got married.  I wish we could tell you that we had this planned to be done the day before Christmas, but we didn't.  There was actually a time not too long ago that we weren't even sure that we could make it by January 1st (which was our goal).  Check out this picture Em took on the student loan website after our last payment!



This has undoubtedly been an incredible experience for both us.  It has taught lessons of money, savings, wealth, what success really looks like, humility, and faith.  Looking back on this two plus year long lesson, this was the right step.  No matter where life takes us. The lessons don't end here. We have new goals and challenges we are working on now.

We hope that, if nothing else, our story gives you hope. We understand the despair of debt and finances. However, we also understand that you can achieve anything you put your mind to. Two teachers paid off almost 100,000 dollars of debt in two and a half years. Anything is possible with hard work, determination, sacrifice, and faith. Know that you can do this. Know that there is always hope.

We also hope sharing our story publicly with you will help you and your family with your own money goals.  In the meantime, if you have a question or just need some support, please don't hesitate to contact us through this email:

badler26.2@gmail.com


"God must have loved ordinary people, because he made so many of us...but everyday ordinary people do extraordinary things." - Coach Jim Valvano



In Christ,
Bryant and Emily

44 comments:

  1. Congratulations on becoming debt free! You guys are an awesome team and I wish you all the best. May you find undeserved bliss where ever you go!

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  2. Very cool. Congrats on being debt free.

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  3. I read your inspiring story on yahoo and wanted to say congrats and Godbless! I pray you follow the rest of the DR steps and prosper...

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  4. that was so awesome! reading the last few blogs about y'alls accomplishment, determination, and discipline brought me to tears...so happy for y'all! thanks for writing...it has been very encouraging to say the least!!

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    1. We are so glad our story encouraged you. Thank you so much for your kind words!

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  5. Just found ya'll via Yahoo. I started FPU but unfortunately the church hosting it cancelled so I never really got to participate! I started work on a TMMO in 2014, but I am hoping this will be the real year. Major CONGRATULATIONS on being debt free! I am glad to see the hard work paid off and can't wait to read through more of your posts for some inspiration :)

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    1. Thank you for your kind words. You can do this!

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  6. I don't even know you and I am proud of you. You have given 2 retired people with debt some hope. So let me give some advice. Please continue your lives debt free so you can retire with options. So you can retire when YOU want to. Yes money won't make you happy but having money to have a choice of what you want ....well lets say it does give you peace of mind. Thanks for sharing your story.

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    1. Thanks for your kind words and advice. We are so glad our story brought you hope!

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  7. I love this! My husband and I are also using Dave Ramsey's method to get out of debt, although we have made a few tweaks to it. Congrats! I'd love you to check out our story as well! http://www.takingkaramyself.com/getting-out-of-debt

    P.S. Did you go on Dave Ramsey's show to do your debt free scream?!

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    1. We will be on Dave Ramsey's show in March! We are excited. Best of luck to you in your journey as well!

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  8. Congrats to both of you! I'm lucky to be debt free (aside from a mortgage), but this is my first month of sticking to a budget in order to start saving more for the future. I'm only a few weeks in, and it is so hard! My budget is pretty generous compared to what you say you cut out, and I am still struggling with it. I said no to going out with friends last Friday night, and it really sucked. I can't imagine doing it for 2 years straight. Really, major props for sticking to your guns and turning your financial life around.

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    1. Thanks for your kind words! Budgets are so hard, but they are so worth it! Thanks for reading our story.

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  9. I came across your article on Yahoo news and I was really excited to see a young couple working so hard to get out of debt. Congrats! That must feel fantastic! My husband and I just paid of $155,000 worth of student loans this past Nov and we are now completely debt free. It took us 4 years (were now 26 and 27) but it was worth all the effort. I related to everything that was said in the article about how tough it was not to buy things and how other people wouldn't understand or would disagree with what you were doing. You're not alone! It was really tough for us at times too but it has changed our thinking about money forever. I hope you can inspire more people to get out of debt. You're an inspiration! Thanks for being so awesome! You gotta live like no one else so you can LIVE and GIVE like no one else!

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    1. Thank you for your kind words and encouragement! It is so appreciated!

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  10. Way to go!!!! Most young newlyweds think of most anything other than debt. You both are an inspiration to all, and your children (when you have them), will be very lucky to have such structured parents. CONGRATULATIONS to the both of you

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  11. AWESOME TESTIMONY, I AM SO ENCOURAGE.
    I AM SO MOTIVATED.
    THANKS FOR SHARING.
    GOD BLESS!

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    1. Thank you so much. We are so glad you are encouraged and motivated. You can do this!

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  12. Way to go, guys! You are doing REALLY, REALLY WELL (as Dave Ramsey would say). I listen to his radio show every day to keep motivated on our journey to financial peace. I wouldn't change anything about my life, but I do think you are doing it a lot smarter than I did. I'm 43 and I can see now how incredibly smart you are. Keep it up; don't get caught up in buying an expensive house and you will do great. Congrats!!

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    1. Thanks, Lori! We so appreciate the kind words and encouragement!

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  13. Hurray! So very proud of you guys! Much love to you and your fam. :) Love, Mary & Davis

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    1. Mary!! We couldn't have done it without you. Thanks for answering all my questions in the beginning of this! You were an inspiration to us to do this. Much love to you as well! We miss you!

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  14. Inspiring! We can relate in many ways. I am a TN elementary teacher. My husband is a middle school counselor with a side job as a soccer coach. We have paid off 60k of student loans plus car debts to be debt free, about to finish our 6 month emergency savings, and plan on paying off our house in 3 years. Good luck to you both in your future goals!

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    1. Thank you so much! Best of luck to you as well!

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  15. To God Be the Glory!! Congrats on a job well done. May God continue to bless you two and use you as instruments of inspiration to others.

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  16. I learned of your status when I signed onto Dave Ramsey's website at:
    www.mytotalmoneymakeover.com . Thousands now know that you have won the battle with debt on Yahoo and on TMMO.

    Way to go!

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    1. Thanks Annie! We didn't even know it was on Dave's website. That's great! We will be on his show in March. Have a wonderful day!

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  17. Huge congrats on paying off your debt!!! I would love to feature you on the blog I work for, Well Kept Wallet. (www.wellkeptwallet.com). If you'd be interested in sharing your story (very little work for you), please email me at thefrugalfarmer (at) ymail dot com. Thank you!

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  18. Awesome, will look forward for your future posts....

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  19. Awesome, I will look forward for your future posts. I have a debt now on $9,000 left and it's from student loans.

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    1. Thanks! Keep after your debt. You can do this!

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  20. congrats...this should be taught in high school...I am inspired to get rid of my debt...especially the credit cards..following your plan..pay off a small loan and then apply the extra money to another...the snowball effect.

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  21. congrats!!!..I am inspired to pay off my smaller loans and apply the extra money to another loan...the snowball effect.

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  22. Very inspiring!! Congratulations and may God bless you both!

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  23. Great work! When I saw your headline on Yahoo, I wondered if this had anything to do with Dave Ramsey's teachings. When I saw you were from Tennessee I knew it had to be. I was an FPU leader a few years ago and I am looking forward to running the course again this summer. My emergency fund is now fully funded (again) and I'd like a refresher on the next baby steps.

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    1. Thank you so much! Yes, we used The Total Money Makeover to guide us. Best of luck to you!

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  24. Monetize your site and take advantage of your publicity!

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