Travel and Lifestyle

Debt-Free: How I paid off 33,000 in 36 Months

“You must gain control over your money or the lack of it will forever control you.”
― Dave Ramsey

Debt elimination  is paramount to creating the freedom you need to live a fulfilled life! In July 2009, my colleague introduced me to Dave Ramsey's The Total Money Makeover: A Proven Plan for Financial Fitness . I was skeptical of this Debt-free "thing" and was convinced as a child I would "always" have debt. I actually refused to buy the book because I was sure  it was a scam! I was living check to check and struggling to stay afloat. With Nothing to lose (literally),  I checked-out The Total Money Makeover (TMM) from my local library. After reading the TMM, I became a Dave Ramsey follower and was "gazelle" intense. 

The TMM principles are based on getting out of debt using a Debt Snowball:

1) List your debts in order from smallest total payoff balance to the largest.

2)Get your debt snowball rolling by paying as much as you can on the smallest balance.

3)Once you've paid something off, move on to the next debt on the list.

This book changed my life!

How did I do it?

1.)The "B" word!

Budget! There, I said it! Before TMM I would loosely write bills out as they were due, but didn't have a consistent, systemic, methodical plan for budgeting. I created a easy monthly budget in excel (a simple pen and paper will work too!) that included income and expenses at the end of every month for the following month. I used debit card and receipts to track my spending weekly. Budgeting is simply "telling your money where to go instead of wondering where it went." Now there are a plethora of apps available to help keep track of your spending at your fingertips.

Free Printable Budget Worksheets

2.)Sell Pizza!

I didn't sell pizza, but I did pick up a second job (sometimes working 70hrs per week). It was tough and exhausting but the reward of becoming debt-free superseded everything. Hard work and sacrifice are guaranteed ways to get out of debt and stay debt-free! Nowadays if you have an operational vehicle or extra space in your home you can make a little extra cash with Uber and/or Airbnb.

3) Conduct  Plastic Surgery!

Think Nip/Tuck meet credit cards! This was tough, and initially I put my credit cards in the freezer. But After a couple of weeks, I grabbed  a pair of scissors and cut up my Master card!


4) Get Creative!

I sold everything I could (except the kid)! Ebay, Craigslist, Amazon, Facebook Marketplace and Offer-up are great tools to generate funds to pay down your debt. I also became a coupon DiVa. I searched store websites and ads for deals before shopping and used Groupon for dining out.

In 36 months,  I paid off $33,000 in debt: student loan ($15,000) , car loan ($13,000) and credit card debt ($5,000). The 7 steps introduced in Dave's Plan are simple, practical methods toward money management and using income to build wealth.

How bad do you want to be free? Not just debt-free, but free from life's burden? Free to live a life worth living? Free to pursue your wildest dreams? Free to be! 

As a result of becoming debt free, I fired my boss, moved from Savannah to Atlanta, and went on my first international mission trip to Haiti. To date I've visited 20 + countries and counting.

It’s 2020 and I continue living a debt-free lifestyle following the principles I learned in the TMM

Currently, I've embarked on a journey toward a minimalist lifestyle to achieve my dreams of quitting my job to travel the world for one year! This is what Financial Freedom affords you...Time &Freedom!  

If you will live like no one else, later you can live like no one else.”
― Dave Ramsey

Remote Lifestyle: How to Make Money While Traveling

Want to work and travel? 
Want to work from home and spend more time with your family? 
Looking for a Side Hustle?
Want to quit your job and travel the world but are concerned about finances? 

Ok the later applies to me, but this blog is for you!


Best Credit Cards for Free Travel in 2020

The key to affordable travel is Financial Freedom.

Two years ago, I flew to Africa (Ghana) for Free. Yep, Free! Once I mastered debt-elimination with Dave Ramsey's Total Money Makeover, I discovered how to leverage credit for free travel.

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2019 Most Fun Cities in America


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Most people love trying new restaurants, traveling, catching a movie, finding a good bar, etc. According to the Bureau of Labor statistic the average American spends about 3,000 per year on entertainment. Having Fun does not have to be expensive. The personal finance website, WalletHub released it's report on 2019 Most Fun Cities In America.

How to do Jamaica on a Budget!

Jamaica, Jamaica! 

As one of the largest English speaking Caribbean Islands, don't be afraid to add Jamaica to your must travel list! Jamaica has so much to offer and you don't have to break the bank to have an amazing vacation. From the beautiful coast line of Negril to the everything goes vibe of Montego Bay your sure to have a good time on a budget! Of course the bulk of vacation travel cost is flights, so begin your savings by finding cheap flights to  Jamaica.


10 Must Haves for a Beach Day Getaway

Going to the beach is one of my favorite pastimes but I always forget to bring something I need. Whether you're in crystal blue waters in the Caribbean or taking the family to your nearest watering hole be sure to have everything you need to have an amazing beach experience!


Top Cruise Deals for the Week: 7-Night Caribbean Cruises from $379 including FREE open Bar + Free Excursions

7 Night Caribbean Cruises from $379 on Norwegian, only at FREE Open Bar + FREE Shore Excursions, Plus Up to $1,000 to Spend On Board!


Top 10 Free Things to do in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Rio de Janerio, translated "River of January", is one of the most compelling cities in the world. Want to experience Rio de Janeiro without breaking the bank? Look no further! This glorious city has plenty of free fun things to do to make your next vacation memorable! 
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How to get U.S. Passport in 24-hrs!

Travelers can Renew and Rush U.S. Passports at 2,000 FedEx Office Locations Nationwide

FedEx Office and RushMyPassport are teaming up to offer expedited U.S. passport services nationwide to travelers beginning this summer.


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