Spending Strike: Day 29 - Lindsay Pays Off $30k & Reclaims Financial Peace (Part 1)

There's really only one thing that has inspired me to keep on truckin' through this spending strike, and that's hearing from YOU. 

Your stories, tips, and words of encouragement pretty much let me know that I'm not the only one out there sticking to a tight budget. Like I said in the post where I introduced this spending strike, it's a lot easier to stick to something when you have a partner or group with you for the ride. 

Today, I want to share with you another awesome, inspiring story from Lindsay and her family. Like Ally (read Part 1 here and Part 2 here), Lindsay and her husband paid off a boat-load of consumer debt in a short amount of time using a very specific, tried-and-true strategy. 

(Now, to be clear, I don't endorse this specific strategy or any others mentioned this month during our spending strike, I just want to share as many diverse opinions as possible. My hopes are that one will resonate with you and get you on your own path to financial independence.)

First of all, I would like to thank Kelli and Michelle for allowing me to share my story with all of you. My hope is that between their dedication to the The Spending Strike, Ally and her family’s success at paying off debt and my story about my family’s journey toward financial freedom, we will inspire many of you to do the same!

Just a quick run-down about myself and how my husband and I got where we are today financially: As I mentioned, I am married to my husband, Randy. We have three sons, who are almost 8, almost 6 and 3. I have worked in a public school for the last 6.5 years on the administrative side of things. Last January, I took a very large leap of faith and decided to go back and finish my teaching degree. I am currently taking classes through the University of Northern Iowa and will graduate in May 2015. Another large leap related to this change was to quit my job as the secretary to the superintendent of the school district to take a position as the elementary library associate. I did this because I believed the experience in the elementary school would serve me well when it came to time apply for teaching positions. The experience would be invaluable. BUT, I would be remiss if I didn’t share with you that the ONLY way I was able to take a painful pay cut (and when I say painful, I mean PAINFUL) and switch jobs was due to the fact that we were debt-free and had money saved up because of it. I cringe thinking about the fact that my ability to go back and get my teaching degree may not have been possible If we had never started this plan. BUT, we did. And here’s how it started:

About 7 years ago, an accountant told me that she had a client pay off ALL his consumer debt (all the debt that’s not your mortgage) by following the steps suggested by a guy by the name of Dave Ramsey. I ran out and bought his book “Total Money Makeover.” I read it in two sittings. I ate it up. I was motivated. I was ready to get “Gazelle Intense!” And then there was my husband… He didn’t quite like the idea of having to “give up” buying whatever he wanted, whenever he wanted. Even after I read him the many success stories shared in the book – he was a skeptic. See, the key to this plan is teamwork. If you and your spouse aren’t both on board, this will sink, very quickly. And that’s what happened. The book went into a drawer.

A couple years later, Randy’s mom and dad took Financial Peace University and were sharing their progress with us. They didn’t know that we were familiar with the plan (or should I say, I was familiar with the plan), so when Randy started sharing his skepticism with them, he learned that this is the real deal. These weren’t people from a book; here are his own parents telling him their very own success story. Hook, line and sinker. He was in. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t just a little bit annoyed that he wouldn’t just take my word for it from the start, but, hey – he’s on board.

So, in February 2009 we started to budget each month. Holy smokes… what an eye opener!?!?! Where was all our money going every month? On paper, we had money leftover! SAY WHAT?! As part of budgeting, we were using the envelope system (paying cash for things). Your allotted amount was in the envelope so you could only spend what was there. If you ran out, too bad, so sad! Budgeting was one of the best things to come out of this program.

Want to hear how Lindsay's story ends? Part 2 of her inspiring journey to financial freedom will be posted on Michelle's blog, Simplify, Live, Love - you'll have to catch it over there! Trust me when I say you'll want to read her story.

Added bonus? Lindsay will be giving away a copy of a highly sought-after text to a randomly selected reader who leaves a comment on Part 1 OR Part 2 of her guest post. So really, people, leave a comment here and then go over to Simplify, Live, Love A-SAP. You have until Friday to leave a comment!

Here are the numbers -

Money Spent Today: $0
Running Total: $75
Money We Didn't Spend: $0


  1. I can't wait to read the second half of her story! You guys have inspired many to be better financially for their families!

  2. Congratulations! Great job! Very inspiring, so thanks for sharing.

  3. I admire that you had the patience to wait for your husband to come around and get on board!

  4. I am working hard to reduce our spending and our debt!


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