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Marriage Kids and Money

Are you looking to improve your family's financial wellness and create a life of true wealth and happiness? The Marriage Kids and Money Podcast is dedicated to helping you do just that. Each week, Andy Hill interviews millionaire parents, couples who have reached financial independence, and financial industry experts like Jill Schlesinger, Chris Hogan, Paula Pant, JL Collins and Rachel Cruze (the daughter of Dave Ramsey). These interviews are meant to provide you with easy-to-understand information and actionable takeaways you can use to give your family the life they deserve. With over 250 episodes and counting, Marriage Kids and Money has been the recipient of multiple awards such as "Best Family Finance Content" by Plutus and has been featured in major media outlets like US News and World Report, CNBC and Kiplingers. Show topics include everything from how to pay off your mortgage early to how to help your kids become future millionaires (who are generous). Join the family wealth-building conversation by listening to this 5-star rated family empowering podcast today!
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Now displaying: Category: Debt

Are you looking to improve your family's financial wellness and create a life of true wealth and happiness?

The Marriage, Kids and Money Podcast is dedicated to helping you do just that. Each week, Andy Hill interviews millionaire parents, couples who have reached financial independence, and financial industry experts like Chris Hogan, Paula Pant, JL Collins and Rachel Cruze (the daughter of Dave Ramsey).

These interviews are meant to provide you with easy-to-understand information and actionable takeaways you can use to give your family the life they deserve.

With over 200 episodes and counting, Marriage, Kids and Money has been nominated as “Best Podcast of the Year” and been awarded “Best Family Finance Blog” by Plutus. Show topics include everything from how to pay off your mortgage early to how to help your kids become future millionaires (who are generous).

Join the family wealth-building conversation by listening to this 5-star rated family empowering podcast today!

Sep 28, 2020

With its extremely high cost, it can be difficult to know how to pay for adoption without debt.

Amanda and Jonathan Teixeira went through the adoption process three times and ended up paying nearly $100,000 in total. But they did all three adoptions without debt.

Here's how they did it.

Feb 12, 2020

In May 2010, I married my dream girl. She was funny, beautiful and chock-full of 90's TV trivia. Our first couple of dates consisted of a lot of Saved by the Bell and Seinfeld jokes.

Outside of knowing the Soup Nazi episode verbatim, Nicole and I both came into the marriage knowing the general basics of personal finance. You know, advice like:

  • "Don't carry a credit card balance"
  • "Always have some savings for a rainy day"
  • "Good debt is okay to have"



In the years before our marriage, we did rack up a hefty amount of "good" debt. Car payments and student loans were a few of the good debt offenders we carried into our marriage. Hey, you NEED a car to get around, right?! And how else are you going to pay for college?! 

After some research and personal soul-searching, there really was no good debt or bad debt in our eyes. It was just debt to us. This was all just money we owed someone. It wouldn’t go away until we decided to clean it up.

We decided that being in debt was not something we wanted for our new family. We vowed to become debt-free (outside of our mortgage) before our first child was born.

In September of 2010, we owed $20,908 on my wife’s car and $27,124 on my student loans for a grand total of $48,032 of good/bad/indifferent debt. During the next 12 months, we took that $48,032 of debt and clobbered it!

By September 2011, we owed $0. Zilch. Nada. Bye-bye debt.

Here are the 5 steps we took to rid debt from our family forever:

1. Develop a Monthly Budget

We developed a monthly written budget that defined our way forward. We knew we had to reduce our expenses and increase our debt payments. The written budget guided us to ensure we would stay the course.

For budgeting, we used a simple spreadsheet. It wasn't too fancy. We just listed out our income and our expenses and made sure we allocated each of our dollars to an assignment. 

As the years past, we decided to upgrade to Mint. This online budgeting tool gave us more flexibility and made the monthly budgeting process a lot quicker through its ability to link up to your bank and credit card accounts. 

I developed a simple 10-step guide to get started on Mint.

(For couples, consider checking out Zeta. This is another free budgeting option that will help you win together.)

Good old fashioned pencil and paper will even do! Make sure you have a budget and stick to it.

2. Choose Your Debt Elimination Strategy

There are multiple debt elimination strategies to consider. Choose the one that works best for you and your situation.

Debt Snowball

How it works:

  • Take your debts and line them up from smallest amount owed to the largest amount owed
  • Pay the smallest off first by making extra payments each month
  • Given that you’ll now have less interest to pay with one of your eliminated debts, take that extra amount of money and start paying down the principal on the next debt
  • The process continues with your payments growing larger like a snowball down a hill

Debt Snowball Example:

  • You have $2,000 in credit card debt, $500 in medical debt, $25,000 in a HELOC
  • Pay off the medical debt first, then the credit card, then the HELOC

Why the Debt Snowball works:

  • By getting some quick wins in paying off your smallest debt first, you’ll feel motivated to keep going!
  • If you started with the $25,000 HELOC, you could be at it for a quite a while and become uninspired to continue paying off your debt

Debt Avalanche

How it works?

  • Take your debts and line them up from largest interest rate to smallest interest rate
  • Pay off the debt with the largest interest rate first by making extra payments each month
  • The process continues similar to the debt snowball

Debt Avalanche Example:

  • Credit card debt (20% interest), medical debt (4% interest), HELOC (6%)
  • Pay off credit card debt first, then HELOC, then medical debt

Why the Debt Avalanche works:

  • Mathematically, this helps you pay off the most financially draining debts that you have and will (in theory) help you save the most money.

Other Debt Elimination Options

Hybrid Model

You can also look at using a Hybrid Model of these two approaches where you pay off the debt with the largest interest percentage first, and then get some quick wins on the debt with the smallest balance.

Debt Hatred

Or simply just choose the debt that you HATE the most and smash that one first!

We chose the Debt Avalanche method because our student loan and car debts amounts were nearly similar. The student loan had an interest rate of 6.8% so we decided to blow that one up as soon as possible and then tackle the car loan. If the student loan refinancing companies like SoFi were around then, I definitely would have taken advantage of that for a lower interest rate (and even a cash bonus!)

3. Increase Your Income

Outside of spending less money, another great way to eliminate your debt fast is to make more money!

Before we decided to go crazy on our debt, I received a promotion to a sales position that allowed me to make a commission when I brought in new business. At that time I was making around $70,000 per year without commissions. When Nicole and I decided to rid ourselves of our debt, let’s just say, I became highly motivated to sell … a lot.

I expanded our portfolio with a major client and doubled our business in 2011. Our business grew, my team grew and so did my commission checks. I ended 2011 with just over $100,000 in total income!

With that additional income, we did not adjust our lifestyle and buy new clothes, fancy dinners, and jewelry. We took the extra money we received each month and slowly but surely paid down our debt using the Debt Avalanche.

Now you may not be in a sales job like I was, but increasing your income is completely in your hands. It just takes extra effort.

10 ideas to increase your income

Here are 10 ideas for increasing your income immediately. I’ve done 5 of these personally:

  1. Detail the value you bring to your company and ask for a salary increase
  2. Sell household items you don’t use anymore on Facebook Marketplace
  3. Become an Uber or Lyft driver in your downtime
  4. Airbnb a room at your house
  5. Get a roommate and charge a monthly rent
  6. Use your skills to create something and sell it online (Etsy, etc).
  7. Help people with everyday tasks through services like Task Rabbit
  8. Become a freelance writer or start a blog
  9. Sell unused gift cards on eBay or Cardpool
  10. Start a weekend dog sitting service

Related Article: 26 Smart Ways for Moms and Dads to Make More Money

4. Stick to the Plan

It is incredibly easy to stray away from your budget and your debt elimination strategy. There are always shiny objects that will distract you and take you off course.

Although I consider myself a frugal and disciplined guy, I had a tough time not spending the extra commission dollars I was receiving at my job. I’m human, right?

To help me stay on track, my wife and I would remind ourselves that being debt-free before our first child came into the world would set our family on a course for financial success that would last our entire lives.

That reason for pushing hard (my “Why”) gave me the motivation to stick to the plan. I kept thinking about how SATISFYING it would feel to rid ourselves completely of this debt.

5. Celebrate the Wins

We’re not robots. Live a little! When you pay off one of your debts, celebrate!! Go out to dinner. Pop some champagne. Share the news with family and friends. This is a BIG deal. You are NOT normal (in a good way)! This encouragement will motivate you to keep charging down the path toward complete financial freedom.

Nicole and I celebrated each debt crushing milestone together and it made our new marriage that much stronger. We were partnering together on something so important for our future and we were winning.

That year of debt destruction allowed us to have Nicole leave her job and stay home to raise our kids. You can't put a price tag on the bond she's developed with Zoey and Calvin during the first years of their lives.

Fast forward to today, we've kept up our debt elimination plans and have paid off our $195,000 mortgage in less than 4 years. That major reduction in our expenses has allowed both me and Nicole to choose the work we want to do instead of the work we have to do. 

At this rate, we’re creating a financial future for our two children that we would never have imagined possible. And to think, it all started with taking that first step in making the conscious decision to eliminate our debt once and for all. Now we have the freedom to live the lives we’ve always wanted.


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If you enjoyed this episode, here are some excellent ways to support the show:

I truly appreciate the support everyone!

Questions?

I’d love to hear from you!

If you’d like your question featured on the show, reach out and let me know. It would be my honor to support you in your journey toward financial freedom.

Leave me a voicemail or connect with me on InstagramTwitter and Facebook.

Carpe Diem Quote

"Believe you can and you're halfway there."

Theodore Roosevelt


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WHAT DOES A DEBT-FREE LIFE LOOK LIKE FOR YOU?

PLEASE LET US KNOW IN THE COMMENTS BELOW.



Nov 4, 2019

Julie is living paycheck to paycheck. She and her husband live near a major city and make around $100,000 per year, but they have nothing to show for it. Julie is frustrated and wants to know how she can do better.

Sep 23, 2019

Ryan and Regan Whitlock partnered together and paid off $40,000 of debt in less than 8 months. They did this through communication, compromise and boosting their income. As parents-to-be, they've now set themselves up for future family financial success.

Aug 8, 2019

When Chris Browning got married, he and his wife accumulated $27,000 of credit card debt. Working together for 2.5 years, they were able to pay it all off and then some. Here's how they did it.

Aug 5, 2019

Daniel has paid off $90,000 of debt, but still has $100,000 more to go. He and his wife are having difficulty staying motivated and are looking for advice to keep going.

Mar 18, 2019

126 | When you're debt-free, your dreams can become a reality. I review 7 lifetime goals that can be realized with debt freedom. Also, we hear from Colin Murphy about how he paid his mortgage off in less than 5 years.

Feb 18, 2019

Before they got married, Travis Hornsby helped his (soon-to-be) wife pay off $124,000 in student loan debt in 15 months. Find out how they did it and why he thinks other couples shouldn't delay marriage or parenthood because of their debt.

Feb 11, 2019

Allison Baggerly and her husband, who are both teachers, eliminated over $100,000 of debt in 4 years. Find out the strategies they used to become debt free and take their family to the next level.

Dec 3, 2018

Nick asked what we did with our money after our mortgage was paid off. Angela wants to know what do with her money after she maxed her 401k. And I challenge you to crush your goals before the new year!

Nov 5, 2018

Joe feels like he's drowning in his $200,000 of student loans and he's not sure where to start. We review 5 ways for him to break free from his pile of debt.

Aug 27, 2018

Talaat McNeely recently paid off his $330,000 mortgage after 5 years of dedication and perseverance. He did this on a single income and now officially owns his home outright. Here's how he did it.

Feb 19, 2018

Popularized by extreme frugality rock stars like Mr. Money Mustache, the Mad Fientist and Jacob from Early Retirement Extreme, the Financial Independence or FIRE community has grown in popularity over the past 5-10 years. This is a subset of the personal finance world that encourages earning a solid income early in your life, saving a … Continue reading "10 Pillars of Financial Independence with Jonathan Mendonsa"

The post 10 Pillars of Financial Independence with Jonathan Mendonsa appeared first on Marriage, Kids and Money.

Feb 12, 2018

Without the right discipline, credit cards can cripple our ability to build our cash savings, our retirement savings and our overall wealth. It’s so easy to swipe that little piece of plastic without even thinking twice about how much money we actually have in our checking account. My guest today, Whitney Hansen, has developed a … Continue reading "How to Build Your Credit Without a Credit Card"

The post How to Build Your Credit Without a Credit Card appeared first on Marriage, Kids and Money.

Feb 5, 2018

This week’s question comes from Michelle in response to an article I wrote about paying off our mortgage early: MICHELLE: Hi Andy, I find myself in a unique position.  I understand the steps you’ve outlined in your mortgage pay off article. I’ve read a few books on that process by Dave Ramsey.   What advice would … Continue reading "Is Debt Freedom Impossible in a High Cost of Living Area?"

The post Is Debt Freedom Impossible in a High Cost of Living Area? appeared first on Marriage, Kids and Money.

Jan 22, 2018

Complete debt freedom can allow you to do amazing things. You can pursue your passions, you can craft the direction of your day and spend more time with the ones you love. Our guest today, Vincent Pugliese is the walking, talking proof of what complete debt freedom can do for your life. Vincent is a … Continue reading "66 | How Debt Freedom and Side Hustling Provides You More Family Time"

The post 66 | How Debt Freedom and Side Hustling Provides You More Family Time appeared first on Marriage, Kids and Money.

Jan 8, 2018

Who hates student loan debt, but loves sex? Yeah, me too!  Before my interview with Shannon McNay and Erin Wiley, I didn’t realize how these two topics were so intertwined. Erin is a Marriage & Family Therapist and Shannon is a student loan expert from Student Loan Hero. These two professionals conducted a new research study … Continue reading "64 | How Your Sex Life and Student Loan Debt Are Connected"

The post 64 | How Your Sex Life and Student Loan Debt Are Connected appeared first on Marriage, Kids and Money.

Jan 1, 2018

Recently, I received an email from Chris who was interested in my opinion on taking out a 401k loan to pay off his student debt. “Hi Andy, Did you ever consider leveraging your 401k to try to clobber debt faster? I do not mean withdrawing funds from the 401k and incurring the penalty and tax … Continue reading "63 | Should I Take Out a 401k Loan to Pay Off Debt?"

The post 63 | Should I Take Out a 401k Loan to Pay Off Debt? appeared first on Marriage, Kids and Money.

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