$68,193.31 | Dave Ramsey + Budgeting

We have been waiting 3 1/2 years to say this…

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! WE ARE DEBT FREE  !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Shortly after our car accident in 2017, I kept asking myself.. “what do we NEED to do with our life? what is IMPORTANT?”

We were in a season of really deep reflection after what we experienced and we just wanted to think big picture.

Most importantly.. we were alive, we were okay. But as we continued our days afterward, what was ahead for us?

What could we do better?
What could we do to make life easier?
What were we avoiding that didn’t need to be put off any longer?

It was time to face our DEBT. We decided to finally take the plunge and confront the number. The number of dollars we had cumulatively in debt from credit cards to student loans to medical and more. That number was over $55K at the time and over the course of our debt journey, some heavy medical debt was incurred while I went through a series of hospital visits, add on a surgery for me and yep – the numbers kept climbing all the way to $68-ish thousand dollars.

A lot of people refuse to take the step of confronting their total debt number because they dread seeing that number all added up. And I GET IT… that was us FOREVER. But something magical happened when we looked at it… it wasn’t a mystery anymore. It wasn’t this unknown figure we were terrified to deal with, it was now a concrete number in front our of faces that we could go and do something about. We know the number.. now we know what we need to do and how much we need to earn to get rid of it.

Those who know me best know that unsolicited advice makes my skin crawl (Enneagram One HAHA) but I’ll say this only for those seeking hope and help and inspiration: NOTHING will help you better in this journey than contentment. The magic recipe isn’t finding a bag of cash and making it all go away – it’s contentment. If you don’t have to learn and change your heart for contentment, that bag of cash you find to make the debt disappear will only last so long before you’ve racked up more debt in the pursuit of happiness via STUFF and MORE. 

In a world of moms making fun of minivans while living beyond their means in big SUVs with huge car payments… walk-in closets jammed with clothes and no clue how much the balances are on the credit cards that keep bringing them packages but none of it seems to ever be enough to fulfill them truly, I’m the one driving a fully paid off uncool minivan that I’m so grateful for after riding the bus for four years… tears in my eyes on my drive home from the grocery store where I just bought real groceries because I remember barely affording food for years in college.. I remember riding that bike to the Food Lion off of Colley Avenue and coming home with tuna and saltines hoping it would last me the week. There is no other mindset to have but contentment if you want to win this.

You have to discover and embrace simple life joy. This can be hard for people who have never experienced real financial struggle.

Dave Ramsey says that people buy things to impress people they don’t even like with money they don’t have. He’s right.

Our debt journey was EXTREMELY imperfect and we are not the model family example of Dave Ramsey’s program but we worked so hard to always get back on track and budget and it’s also helpful that our family just doesn’t need a lot to be happy.

We have waited a long time for this… and we can’t even describe how much the weight INSTANTLY lifted off of our shoulders when we made our last big payments. I AM SO DAMN GLAD TO BE DONE WITH STUDENT LOANS!!!! THANKS FOR LITERALLY NOTHING LOL!!!!

In conclusion… there is truly no amount of budgeting apps that will help you succeed at this better than embracing CONTENTMENT first. Guess how we ended up pulling this off, in the end? We’ll share the story of that on Instagram Live when I return there in February (I’m on my annual Instagram break now!). It’s honestly one of the most inspiring stories of our life how we ended up finally settling the LAST debts we had left.

Until then.. just pretend you can hear our debt free scream all the way from Frisco on Hatteras Island on the beautiful Outer Banks!!! SEE YOU THERE! XO 

Click HERE to find us on Instagram


This sums up how we are feeling SO WELL!!!!! WHAT A FREAKING RELIEF!! (If we can do this, SO CAN YOU!!)


What I FINALLY see when I log into one of my student loan accounts:




9 thoughts on “$68,193.31 | Dave Ramsey + Budgeting

  1. Amanda!! Congratulations!! That’s so awesome!! We’re at the midway point in the debt free journey and seeing debt free announcements like this is sooo inspirational!! I’m so excited for y’all! 💗

  2. Amanda…My dear Amanda, I am SOOOOOOOOOO proud of you and Mike!! Starting with and keeping contentment is a God-given gift and an incredible blessing!!!! I know I tell you all the time, but thank you for your humility, openness and transparency. You are more than an inspiration. You are saving lives! Love you guys sooooo much! Congratulations again! And cheers to being freeeeeeeeeeeee!!!

  3. Congrats!!!!! So amazing and I’m so proud of you! But one error in your post: minivans are TOTALLY COOL!!! 😉

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