Tuesday, November 6, 2012

The holidays, debt free

Thrifty Decor Chick Dave Ramsey

I don’t know what it is about this time of year, but the last time I blogged about our debt free journey was last November as well. I guess it’s the upcoming holidays coming up that gets me thinking about it.

This year it’s extra special because I was asked to participate in the Dave Ramsey Merry Different Christmas series over at daveramsey.com. It was such an honor to be asked to write about our experience and I so cherish the relationship I have built with the people there.

It’s been almost two years since we finished paying off $125,000 (in credit card, car, student loan and I-have-no-idea-what-we-bought debt) and became debt free, and yes, I can easily say it’s been the best two years of our lives. It has changed us, our marriage and our outlook on life in general for the better.

I get asked all the time how it’s changed our lives. To say there is a peace and a feeling of FREEDOM is an understatement. The only money we owe anyone is for our house, and we’re chipping away at that at a good rate too. After living our entire adult lives in debt, that is an amazing feeling!!

It’s the little things that make a difference to me – I can buy primed wood if I want to now, instead of unprimed. Silly maybe, but it’s still not lost on me. This year I went to the salon to get my hair highlighted for the first time in five years. I don’t shop Goodwill as much as I used to, which I think bothers some people. Thing is, I believe I’ve saved money by not stopping in a couple times a week anymore. I used to buy items just because I’d be afraid to “lose” them for a good price -- and my house filled up with STUFF I wasn’t using. It was a waste.

Some things have not changed though – our two cars combined are 16 years and 300,000 miles old. They are…interesting. ;) But we’ll keep fixing them as long as we can to avoid buying new (used) ones. And although we can now hire help sometimes (no, I didn’t frame and drywall our basement, thankfully we hired out for that), I still find great joy in doing things myself and always will.  :)

A time that I feel the change in our home the most was last Christmas (our first without debt), and that’s what I wrote about over at the Dave Ramsey site here. A few years ago, right about now, I would start to feel the panic of not having enough money to pay for Christmas. Then that panic would be “eased” by our fall back method of using credit cards throughout the season.

But it returned a couple months later…and for months (years?) after, as we continued to pay off the holiday (and everything else from months and years before). It’s just what we did. It’s what so many do! And I’m not mad at you if you do either – but if you are fed up with the debt, I write this to tell you you CAN do it differently.

That day that we asked each other – “Can we REALLY live without credit cards?” -- caused a shift and changed our lives.

This year the folks at Dave Ramsey are encouraging you to be weird too with their "A Merry Different Christmas” series. They want you to avoid going into debt for Christmas gifts, parties, decorations and focus on what really matters. To celebrate, they’ll be doing product and cash giveaways that total around $75,000 ($10,000 per week and a $15,000 grand prize)! There hope is that this will ultimately provide someone the chance to celebrate being debt-free for Christmas. AWESOME!! It gives me chills. And yes, every time I hear a debt free scream on the radio show, I still get tears in my eyes. It is an emotional thing.

My hubby and I would like to pay it forward too. If you are struggling with a little or a lot of debt, we want you to know that is really IS possible to become debt free. So like last year, we are giving away the Financial Peace University classes to five of you. This is the nine week series of classes that got us SUPER excited to kick some debt butt. The end of our debt journey was the hardest for us, and these classes motivated us SO much.

You can just use the CDs in the packet to go through the class on your own, but I highly encourage you to go to the classes if you can. It makes a difference!

You can take a look here to see where there are classes near you. Many start up at the beginning of 2013 – I can’t think of a better way to start the new year!!

The Dave Ramsey folks are throwing in 25 desk calendars as well:

dave ramsey

Believe me, when his words are staring at you every day, it motivates. ;)

To enter to win one of the five Financial Peace classes, just leave your comment here with an email so I can contact you if needed. And of course, if you’d like to enter privately, please just send me an email at thriftydecorchick (at) gmail (dot) com with the subject “Financial Peace.” I’ll leave this open all week, till this Friday, the 9th, at noon. Winners will be contacted via email.

Good luck, and if you have a debt story to share, please feel free to do so in the comments! I love hearing them!

527 comments:

  1. Does being the first to comment mean that I have less of a chance to win or does it indicate that I am eager to start on this journey with my new husband? ;)

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  2. blessedtess6@gmail.com. Still struggling to believe we can do this...:/

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  3. have heard how awesome this program is and would love the chance to win! Good for you and your debt free success!

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  4. I would love to win this program. My husband and I have good jobs but we keep slipping into debt and can't seem to get rid of a line of credit. Thanks for your inspiring blog!

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  5. I really like your post today. While I do not have credit card debt, my dream is to pay our house off. That would be one of the best days of my life! I think credit cards should be like DL. You should pass a test before getting one. Thanks for sharing your positive experience! www.fabtwigs.blogspot.com

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  6. This was such a great post, Sarah, and so was the one on Dave Ramsey's website. You are such an inspiration! I've been chipping away and 10's of thousands of dollars in stupid debt and would love to win Dave's Financial Peace University classes. I haven't done it because I'm not spending money right now! My email address is cakes1979@yahoo.com. I hope to hear from you! Happy Holidays.
    Heather

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  7. I am 33 and currently living with no credit cards, but have debt piled up from the last 10 years including student loans, car, and credit cards. I would love to be able to figure out how to pay this debt off and start over fresh- and be able to actually SAVE money for my future!
    Thank you for this opportunity!

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  8. Would LOVE to start off 2013 on this program!! Thank you! aiken74(at)comcast(dot)net

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  9. How inspiring! Please sign me up for the drawing. I WOULD LOVE THE OPPORTUNITY!

    allison [dot] preiss [at] homtail [dot] com

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  10. I'm currently in the 'frozen' position and I would love to get unstuck and out from under this weight. (kaffeine at the G mail)

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  11. I would LOVE to win this class! I was actually just looking at his website yesterday. I think that I'm going to try to buy one of his books (although its not in the budget for this month) and start reading through it. My email is mrs(dot)juliehuffmier(at)hotmail(dot)com

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  12. Such an encouraging post! We have the Financial Peace kit, but need to start up again. We kind of put it on hold when our little one was born. I could wouldn't mind one of the desk calendars though! :-)
    I am going to ask my husband where our kit got placed during our move. Thanks for the reminder!
    theadventuresofthescottfamily.blogspot.com
    oreo077@gmail.com

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  13. I want to win!

    kyrabeatty@gmail.com

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  14. I think we all could benefit from learning how to become debt free. This would be a wonderful Christmas gift for our family.

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  15. LOVE, LOVE, LOVE listening to Dave. My kids scream along with the callers with the "I'm Debt Freeeeeeee!". They definitely know who Dave is!
    cdtrevino (at) bresnan (dot)com

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  16. My husband and I have been wanting to do this for a while now, we'd love to win!
    kristinerpetersen (at) gmail (dot) com

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  17. I finally graduated with my bachelor's degree, and $33,000 worth of debt to go along with it. Just looking at that number makes my hyperventilate!!

    katieohning (at) yahoo (dot) com

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  18. Thanks so much for writing an inspiring and informative post! My husband's uncle has used Dave Ramsey's FPU to pay off debt and I would love to implement these tools in our family life as we begin to think about further expanding our family. My email address is loloren712@hotmail.com.

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  19. I have attempted to take that "first step" so many times in the past few years. After losing our 15 year old son this summer in a tragic accident...It is finally time! I don't want to leave all this debt to our other 2 children. It isn't fair for any of us. Thank you for such an inspirational post. selkin0001@insightbb.com

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  20. I need to make a serious change and would love the opportunity to go through this class. My husband is currently in nursing school and we are really struggling because of our debt. Good luck to everyone!
    annemarie.bishop@cox.net

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  21. thank you for the opportunity. this year the hubby & I are trimming down whatever we can't - it's not a lot of debt that we have but it is a lot for us & would love the peace of mind.
    kissthekitty13@gmail.com

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  22. We would love to win. We need it! Thanks for the opportunity to try and win! Congratulations on being debt free. :) jercelbrown {at} gmail {dot} com

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  23. I read Money Makeover last month and was so inspired. We are kicking off at the beginning of the year after taking care of some other issues. Can't wait!

    Renee
    http://CasaStephensInteriors.com

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  24. We would love to win. We need it! Thanks for the opportunity to try and win! Congratulations on being debt free. :) jercelbrown {at} gmail {dot} com

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  25. To do FPU is on my bucket list ~ sooner rather than later. My husband and I are both hardworkers and have great jobs, but it's the little emergencies in life that pop up and deplete us 'just when we were starting to make progress.' How wonderful it would be to finally get the tools to figure that out. I would LOVE to win - thank you!!

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  26. I would LOVE to win this and learn how to pay off all my bills. I'm tired of being in debt!!
    tabethanester@yahoo.com

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  27. Love this post! My husband & our 1 yr old moved to be close to his son in September. We thought we'd be okay at by Christmas but with our daughters unexpected surgery (no insurance) on top of trying to pay off our debt, it's looking scary. I think my head would spin right off if we won!!! I've been trying to years to get our debt gone. Good luck everyone! katjoylewis1@hotmail.com.

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  28. Thanks for sharing, Sarah. It's very encouraging. My student loan is a hefty debt I haven't begun to tackle. I bet Dave could help me come up with a plan for that :)

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  29. Thank you for the chance at starting anew. I would like to learn more and help not only our debt but to teach my girls that living a debt free life is the only life to live.
    mheartsjak@gmail.com

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  30. Thanks for the giveaway!! I like Dave Ramsey, but have never taken FPU.
    keshacagle {at} yahoo {dot} com

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  31. At the end of our rope. We are desperate to end this sinking feeling that we will never come out of. I want to stop this cycle of stress and end the strain on our marriage that we refuse to give up on.
    Riley.jessica2@gmail.com

    I would love for our children to grow up knowing our mistakes and not doing the same by the way we come out of this

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  32. Thank you for both of these posts, Sarah. The one over at Ramsey made me tear up. My household is taking the journey in baby steps...getting closer to paying off the vehicles and student loans! No credit card debt for us now :)

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  33. Our financial situation is going to be changing a lot in the next few months.... Though we don't use our credit card anymore (except for the "self-financed", self-installed furnace) we could use a kick in the pants to get it paid off!

    themamma@eclecticmamma.com

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  34. Family of 7, 2 finance classes.....still working it out. Seems so hard to dwindle the debt when there is constantly more debt accumulating. Ex. $1000 each year book rental :-/ but still praising & thankful :-) & still working it out.

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  35. How encouraging! My husband and I are in the midst of our debt snowball. One credit card, a goverment debt and 1/2 of our car has been paid off since September. God is so good! We are just using the tools from the book Financial Peace. This Christmas we are making some tough choices but we're living within our means!

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  36. sarahsarander@gmail.com.

    I would love for my husband and I to win. We received a Dave Rasmey CD as a wedding gift 4 years ago. We set it aside thinking...weird wedding gift. My husband pulled it out a year letter. We started hard on our journey and made tremendous gains. We have slowly backed off. I think this would be the perfect thing to get us going and finish off our student loans and home!

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  37. OH MY GOSH! The Dave Ramsey Financial Peace course is on my 101 goals for 1001 days and I would love love love to go! There is one starting in my hometown in January - and I am already starting to panic about a debt free Christmas. So hard not to overspend and such.

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  38. I have heard so many wonderful things about this course! Katie_dowens@yahoo.com

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  39. oooh me please. my husband and i were recently married and would love to take this course.

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  40. Debt free is a dream I would love to come true. Never heard of FP until I started following your blog. Thanks for gifting this opportunity to 5 of us. :)

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  41. My husband and I have heard about Dave Ramsey and we want to do his program. What an amazing giveaway. Thanks so much.

    Vanessa
    vanessa@homesweetbutterflyc.om

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  42. We've done the class, but we're definitely finding ourselves falling back into old habits! I could use the calendar as a reminder to NEVER go back to that dark dark place again!

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  43. Thanks for posting! You continue to inspire me to do this program. Would love to win! Staci dot McFall @ gmail dot com. Thank you!

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  44. Oh please pick me! With trying to buy a new home, unspeakable medical debt, an each of us with a previous divorce, we are poster children for needing this program!

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  45. Taking a chance and hoping this will set me free!! ;)

    emmalee_24@hotmail.com

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  46. I have been very interested in the Dave Ramsey System but never have made the leap. I would love to put it into use. johnsonfamily186@yahoo.com

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  47. I would be THRILLED to win the Financial Peace course! I seriously need some "financial peace" in my life. Like you, I've been worried about finances pretty much my entire adult life. I know this course would help tremendously and change my life!
    Thanks so much for the opportunity to win, and thanks for your awesome blog....I LOVE it! You make me smile everytime I read your blog!
    Cindy Baker
    cinbake at hotmail dot com

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  48. Wow what a great opportunity. We've been trying really hard and pretty much cut off credit cards, but we have continual medical bills that have made it more difficult than anything else. I can't wait until I have a story to share because I will (someday)
    thanks!

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  49. I have been married 24 years and it seems like we have been "in the hole" the whole time. It would be wonderful to get out of debt. Financial peace is what we need!

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  50. We have just started getting serious about paying down debt and securing our future. Nothing makes you realize how important these things are than having children. Anyhow, I would to have the opportunity to win one of these items. Thanks for insipiring!

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  51. Sarah, you are so awesome for doing this, what a blessing! I would love to be able to take this class...who doesn't want to be free of those pesky student loans! @ apeacefulcrib at yahoo dot com.

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  52. Yes! please please i would love a chance at this. My husband and I would love to start a family soon and its so hard with all of our bills. We are young, both 25 and already have 13 thousand in credit card debt because of our area (city living) and we are trying to move and really get on track. This would help us so much!
    maggiekrzywicki at gmail dot com

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  53. Trying and failing miserably at this Dave Ramsey thing. So encouraging to read a story like yours!

    chelsie dot thuecks at gmail dot com

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  54. I would love to be considered. Thank you.

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  55. Would love to win!!

    Cmh141 at hotmail dot com

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  56. What a wonderful opportunity! I'd love to be considered! Dave Ramsey makes sense!

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  57. This is what we need for sure!
    adnyanafam(at)gmail(dot)com

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  58. Thanks for sharing. Living debt free is our goal that we try to maintain, but it isn't always easy. Good luck to everyone on your own journey to financial freedom.

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  59. Stacey.butler526@gmail.com After acknowledging to each other that our career paths (with great money) were slowly killing our souls, my hubby and I are trying to get out of debt so that we can be free to take jobs that pay less, but make us happy and help us feel fulfilled.

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  60. I would love the opportunity to learn more about Dave Ramsey and to get on the path of financial freedom. Thanks for the giveaway.
    Jessica.McKimmey@gmail.com

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  61. It is our dream to get debt free, as I'm sure it is everyone else's. Please pick me so we can make it happen! We need to learn to spend within our means better! :)
    Kateelm@gmail.com

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  62. I Love DAVE! Congratulations!!!
    jacqueknowlton@gmail.com

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  63. Just got married in September! I think this would be a wonderful way to begin our journey together financially and plan for our future.

    shepster17(at)yahoo(dot)com

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  64. As newlyweds this would be great for us. With a older house, would love to learn how to save money for updates! Thank you!!!! jennalynnsews @ yahoo.com

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  65. My husband started Dave Ramsey's book but never finished. Time for us to do something!

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  66. Two years of unemployment while my husband got his paramedic degree, to him getting his dream job as a firefighter in another state and living apart for a year while paying for two households most definitely put us back in achieving debt free living.. Still encouraged to accomplish that goal and reading your story today has reinvigorated that desire to do so!

    Thanks!
    Jill S.

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  67. It would be such a blessing to receive this! I read Dave's desk calendar every day and already have the 2013 calendar on my christmas list! With both me and my husband with law school loans, it would be a blessing to receive this!! I'm praying!!
    adriennenevin@gmail.com

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  68. A year and a half ago, my hubby talked me into starting our total money makeover. I kicked and screamed about it... And I remember reading your post and feeling your joy for being debt free and wanting to feel the same way. We are on track to be debt free except the house next month! It'll be a great Christmas indeed!

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  69. I am soo struggling with all of this...we want to be debt free since we are in our mid 40's ...retirement (or lack there of) is just around the corner and I want to be prepared...Love your blog..:) dspahaney@frontier.com

    thanks






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  70. What a great giveaway!!! My husband and I took this class about three years ago. We are not yet debt free but oh so close!!! I would love to have this to give to a friend who could really benefit from it!! I LOVE it!!

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  71. We are debt-free, except the house too and it is amazing! I would love to win this to gift to a family member though. Congrats on being debt-free too!

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  72. Would love to be in the Debt Free Club.....

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  73. What a wonderful giveaway, that will surely change lives! We would love the opportunity to take this course! allison(dot)sawicki(at)gmail.com

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  74. Having to re-invent myself after a divorce meant using credit just to get by for quite a while. Though I was able to purchase a home and have a relatively new car, retirement is just around the corner (I am 60) and it looks like I will be working for the rest of my life. If there is a plan I can use to get rid of my debt, I would surely like do it! Thanks for the opportunity.

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  75. Congrats ! What a wonderful feeling :) It is a goal on my bucket list. S.Chavez

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  76. We just love Dave Ramsey and are working together on our journey to financial freedom. We've just made our Christmas Budget and I am excited to keep it this year. There is a good feeling that comes when you can live within your means.
    angelamc@gmail.com

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  77. I would love to win this! My husband and I are trying so hard to not rely on our credit cards. We are struggling and unable to have a lot of "extras" at the moment but it feels good not charging everything because we want it!

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  78. Thanks for the opportunity to win this! I would love to make a fresh start in 2013!

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  79. Thanks for the opportunity to win this! I would love to make a fresh start in 2013! Email: koehn.shawn@yahoo.com

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  80. we are about 3 months to finish paying his BIG (work) truck. How can manage to a 90K truck in five years but not pay off our small debts. Would love to win this!

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  81. I was just telling a neighbor about this, and thinking about how badly I want our family to be "out of debt" and all the expenditures that are headed our way.

    With God, all things are possible.

    Thanks for offering this!

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  82. I would love to win this! My husband and I do budget, but we still struggle with our whole mentality of going into debt with something we just "have to have". We've lived and learned the hard way much too long!

    Erin
    erin.pittman@hotmail.com

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  83. I would love to win this - we definitely need to start doing things differently at our house!

    suetrav @ gmail dot com

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  84. Thank you for the chance to win this! My husband just became unemployed after almost 20 years with the same company, and I'm having a hard time justifying spending any money even on something that seems to be so amazingly helpful!

    It looks like a wonderful program. Thanks again for the chance!

    krafty119@hotmail.com / Carrie.

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  85. I love your blog!! As a single mother of two young children I could really use the Dave Ramsey system to kick me in the rear and get me on track with my finances. Thanks!

    contess177@yahoo.com

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  86. We are not in debt except for our house, but we're neither chipping away at that nor saving for retirement. Right now, we're just existing trying to get kids through college debt-free. It's huge, but we could still do better, I think.

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  87. I would love to win this! We need some serious guidance and motivation around our house. You give me hope that we can get ahead. Thank you!

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  88. I would love the chance to win FPU! I've read one of his books and it was so great!

    ladybrookcrescent at gmail dot com

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  89. It's taken me a long time to realize that we have a problem. I would kind of recognize it, but the other day I sat down and really looked at the money we brought into our home and how much of it went out. It was pretty much ridiculous. I'm tired. I'm stressed. It's time to stop.

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  90. Our family would love a chance at winning this! Excited about this opportunity.

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  91. Gah pick me please!!!!

    morrest1101 at aol dot com

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  92. My husband and I both have good jobs, but our student loan payments seem to be never-ending. No...really, we'll be 56 before they're paid off, at this rate. I'd love to get out from under this cloud, so we start saving more for our future.

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  93. It has been a seven year journey for us, but we will finally be completely, absolutely out of debt at the beginning of December. Our house will be finally paid off, and I cannot wait. it took major sacrifice on our part, and so I want to share my story with the whole world, but I am thinking rather than being inspiring, it will be perhaps annoying to friends and readers. Ah well. The hubs and I are excited, and I guess that's all that matters.

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  94. I would be interested in this.

    traceypa@yahoo.com

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  95. I love Dave Ramsey and am looking forward to the day we can scream "We're debt free!"

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  96. Would love to get out from under this debt we call our own. We lack the courage and the knowledge.. wrapped up in intimidation. Thanks so much for offering this!!

    mmalagari at gmail dot com

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  97. Would love to try this. So many of friends do and love it!

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  98. Love this offer. We have had family members and friends go through the program and we know we have much to learn to be better stewards of our money. Thanks for sharing your story. It's truly inspiring. I want to learn more!
    Katie

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  99. Massive student loans, my kid's medical bills and an irresponsible purchase of a massive play yard/swing set for the kid ($,$$$) puts us way behind.
    I read his book years ago and was inspired, but the hubby wouldn't read it, and then... well, excuses are stupid, we just didn't follow it. enchantedwon(at)hotmail(dot)(com) Thanks for the opportunity.

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  100. I really want to try this program. Thanks for the opportunity to try to win! tabadilly at gmail (dot) com

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  101. Wow! What an inspiring post! I have heard a lot about him but have never got the chance to read/listen/attend any of his stuff. I am all about getting debt free so I would love to learn more! megaubrey01@gmail.com

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  102. Thanks for sharing your amazing journey..would love to watch the series and implement it in our lives!
    Jaholton at bellsouth dot net

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  103. What a wonderful story!
    I would love to win this for my debt free journey.
    amylouisewolff@hotmail.com

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  104. thanks so much for the encouraging gift to inspire others! i have read the book, took a "mini" PEACE university series through my church --- i started out strong --- but fizzled. i won't be defeated! i am determined to get back on track --- i am divorced and on my own--the biggest struggles for me are the cash envelope system and the emergency fund! but i will persevere and get back on the wagon! Congrats to you and your husband for accomplishing such a HUGE SUCCESS!

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  105. There is a class right down the road...TO SUCCESS! Thanks for the chance to win!
    Missy

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  106. I'd love the hear these!! Thanks!

    acp328(@)yahoo(.)com

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  107. I have heard about Dave Ramsey and his classes, and would love to win! Right now I'm going to read what you wrote about on his site. I would love to win though!

    niehausal@yahoo.com

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  108. What a blessing debt free would be. Student loans, fertility treatments, and some younger/poor decisions have created a bit of debt.
    bl_holloway@yahoo.com

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  109. Though we are not $125,000 in debt we are in much need of some financial restructuring. I have been longing to be debt free for several years to the point of even selling our nice home and buying a fixer upper. My husband wants to be on board but is not doing much to help me make our home a debt free on. I guess maybe he just is overwhelmed and don't know what to do. He does listen to the Dave Ramsey show, but I think the class would help so much more. PS. So glad you are now able to live debt free. Congratulations!

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  110. reddog60@frontier.com

    Would be so happy (and relieved) to have a plan to be into action.

    Happy Holidays!

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  111. We desperately need to be debt free! At least a lot less debt would be a huge blessing! This would be wonderful for us because I just don't know where to start. Thank you very much for the opportunity to win this! megitys(at)gmail(dot)com

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  113. We have already taken some small steps in becoming debt free, but this program would really help get us motivated! Thank you for the opportunity!

    tbean918(at)gmail(dot)com

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  114. Would LOVE to get this! obrien.rachelmarie{at}gmail{dot}com

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  115. Wonderful story!! Congrats to you both, again!!!

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  116. When hubby and I both lost our jobs back in 2010, we HAD to kick our debt habit - no choice. Sold our condo, paid our credit card and our car off. However, our car gave out with 165,000 miles on it. Since we had to purchase another we decided to get a new truck for 2 reasons: 1) so we wouldn't have any repairs to deal with and 2) so we could use it to make money with. That's when we started picking up furniture to repair and resell. Now I have a new full-time job, but my hubby continues the furniture business we built. We still are debt-free except for the truck, which actually pays for itself from the furniture we fix and resell. I even make the Christmas and birthday gifts for my grandchildren now since I craft and sew. It is a great feeling being debt free.

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  117. I would LOVE to win! We need all the help we can get to be debt free.

    avlam13@yahoo.com

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  118. I was so thrilled to read your story today on the Dave Ramsey site! It couldn't have come at a better time because yesterday I made the last payment on my debt. It was huge! :) I wrote about it on my blog and I'd love if you would come over and read my story. http://cosycarolina.blogspot.com/

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  119. Wow what a great giveaway. Two years ago I was guilty of being in debt and having all our cards maxed out...I have not used a credit card since and have been paying off our debt as much I can but still would love the classes! my email is warmthandcomfort@fcogw.cggc.org
    Blessings to you, Tress

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  120. would love to win this...email toepferfam at gmail dot com

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  121. Dave Ramsey has changed so many lives, including mine! We to are debt free except for the house, and what a relief when my job of 21 years ended in June, when they closed our office.

    I so recommend everyone to listen to him on their local radio station, or online, his callers inspire as well, especially "I'm Debt Free" fridays!

    Jan @ The pink Geranium

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  122. Ahhhh Financial Peace - what a Christmas Wish. I hope to tackle this in 2013! Thank you!

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  123. What a wonderful giveaway!! I love Dave Ramsey and would love to do his program!

    Jennifer
    sweetpea49048(at)yahoo(dot)com

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  124. I would love to win this! For years I've wanted to do DPI, but the initial payment is what has me dragging my feet!

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  125. I've been reading your blog for some time (love it!!), and your previous posts about getting out of debt were on of the catalysts for making me find Dave Ramsey's book in our library and reading it with my husband this past summer. We are both 27 and have close to six figures in student debt only. That includes this semester, which is my last in getting my master's! But that means we have been trading off who was in school and living off of 1 salary for years.

    We're trying so hard to knock down that debt amount, and what I'm about to say may seem like a silly issue, but I really struggle with it: I can't seem to wrap my brain around not buying new clothes/shoes. I am frugal by nature - I'm like a Target/everything on sale shopper and can barely bring myself to spend more than $20 on a sweater. And I try to be practical. Will I go naked or barefoot if I don't buy anything? No. Can I wear my boots from last winter that are slightly ripped? Yes. But do I want to buy things every now and then? Yes.

    How do you deal with this? Any advice?
    (Wow, this was a long comment.)
    Thanks!!

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  126. Hi,
    Have been a fan for a while now and your story today really motivates me. My husband and I have debt from adopting two children from China. Our first was in 2008 and the next one was March of this year. We have at least 8 credit cards with balances and a loan we took out at the bank for 20,000. The cards equal about 40,000. We don't owe on our cars. We really need some help to learn how to get rid of this weight.
    mvwilder@viterbo.edu

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  127. Working on the debt - would LOVE to take his classes!

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  128. My husband and I started doing DR 3 years ago after attending his LIVE Seminar. We spent 6 hours on a Saturday and it was a turning point for us. We were under credit cards, student loans, infertility treatments and car debt. We have paid off over $100k and are paying off my car currently. We will be debt free (except mortgage) in a few short months. I can't wait till the Friday we get to call in to his show. We have a lot of friends give us a hard time about our college couches with the holes in the cushions, but I just smile. Because I am perfectly ecstatic about being weird. The freedom we have now can't be put in to words. I can't wait until my littly guy is older so we can start the DR kids program with him. I am already giving him a better start by teaching him to make good decisions. He won't have to get student loans like his parents. It is a wonderful gift to give your children! Thanks for sharing!

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  129. I just want to say I was one of your winners last year... My hubs and I had only been married a few months and before that we had already accumulated a huge bit of debt. Student loans, car payments, credit cards. Sad day. But now we have a debt snowball plan, an emergency fund and so much security that we didn't have before. We started out wrong, but are working really hard to turn it around. We're not debt free yet, but we will be! And I can't wait! THANKS FOR GIVING THESE AWAY!!!!!

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  130. We are working on becoming debt free! So far we've paid off all credit cards and cars. We still have my student loan and the house though. We've been too cheap to buy any of the books or classes and would love to win!

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  131. Thanks for sharing and being so honest and open. I am currently almost debt free (a mortgage and one (used) car to go), but would really love to get this for a friend of mine. My husband and I have talked to her and her husband before about how freeing it feels to have no credit card debt and how it has changed us...but, it doesn't look like they are making the right steps and I KNOW this would help. Thanks so much for paying it forward!
    mariajadams@gmail.com

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  132. Student loans are the burden for us! Would love to win! vbraschler(at)gmail(dot)com. Thanks for hosting this giveaway! And for sharing your story - very inspiring!

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  133. WOW! Thanks for such a great giveaway. My husband and I have take FPU and LOVED IT! So, we shouldn't win. But I wanted to encourage others, it is so worth it. We're still working on paying off our debt, mostly medical, and are making progress.

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  134. I would love to be debt free, it is something I dream about. I would love to be entered into your giveaway. bskt197@aol.com

    Thanks!

    Rhonda

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  135. I have loved following your blog over the past few years, Why we don't have a lot of CC debt we do have some which is ALL ME ME ME its buying here and buying there. We haven't ( Or I) haven't used cc in months I'm paying them off slowly but surely. My DH works so hard for us and I have a small part time job and here lately that has been going to our or again ( MINE) debt snowball. Hopefully by the early spring I will be calling dave with my WERE DEBT FREE..... I loved reading your story and has made me pay a extra payment just today !!

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  136. My husband and I would lurve this!!!!!

    kellyrphillips@gmail.com

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  137. It seems we are so far in debt that we can't enjoy life. All we think about is money. We would love to be educated on how to be debt free!
    sbagley@lcsd2.org

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  138. I have read DR book but I just don't get it. I believe it is a great way to do it, the debt snowball, but I have such a hard time believing the case studies. I have done the math and I just don't see how that much debt can be paid of in that short of time. You mentioned how much debt you were able to pay off but how long did it take you?
    Any advice would be greatly appreciated!
    bwrdavis@telus.net

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  139. I would love to win this class. Being debt-free is something I dream of for my young family. natalie.steckel (at) yahoo (dot) com

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  140. I would love to take this course and get my 7 year old son started on living debt free too.

    I could not get my husband to attend FPU before he died.

    Life insurance policies are NOT the way I would ever recommend becoming financially solvent.

    I want to learn how to stay debt free now that I have some extra money.
    ebeth@pdq.net

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  141. I would love to win this! My husband and I are trying to pay off student loan debt as quickly as possible!

    britnie.sims@gmail.com

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  142. I would love to win this class. Like everyone else, we have too much debt and can't seem to get out from under it.

    lbrtychic (at) gmail.com

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  143. Thanks for sharing your story! I'd like to enter for a chance to win the class.

    Steph
    stephaniecumpton@hotmail.com

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  144. I have checked our Dave Ramsey's website many times and for some reason I have never pulled the trigger to start my debt free journey. It is always on my to do list and I think I am a young professional I have time. But the truth is I need to start now before the problem becomes too big. This would be a great gift for me and my husband. We would definitely share our knowledge and debt free solutions with our friends and family.

    Thanks! lkronmiller@gmail.com

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  145. I'm not entering as we, too, are debt free. Love Dave and FPU and highly encourage anyone out there to go through it. It's not easy, but it can be fun and really great for your marriage.

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  146. We were debt free until medical bills put us back in debt. We LOVE Dave's system and that's how we became debt free the first time around. We'll get there again!!!!!!
    lopin1979@yahoo.com

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  147. I'm here to cheer you on! We have been completely debt free including the house since we were 26 years old. We are 35 now and I just want to tell you that it is such a wonderful feeling! I want to encourage you to start TODAY! Sell stuff you don't need or use, eat rice and beans, go on a spending fast. It will all be worth it, I promise!

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  148. Thanks for the motivation! tyallison@telecomwest.net

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  149. I have also been trying to get rid of some credit card debt that accumulated from buying something I need, although I cannot remember what it is. Last February we instituted a no spend February and it was amazing. Unfortunately, I fell back into old habits quickly. lrdobry@gmail.com

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  150. Would love to get debt-free!!!!!!!!

    Klmoore6608 (at) yahoo (dot) com

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  151. We're a newly married couple and trying to stay as debt free as possible. We'd love to have the skills early in our marriage. Thanks for the inspiration!! Jen
    jena.l.max [at] gmail.com

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  152. What a wonderful prize, especially this time of year! My husband and I have a massive, embarrassing amount of student loan debt PLUS credit cards to pay off. I can't tell you how much this could help us.

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  153. Reading your post definitely hit home for me! The stress our rather large debt puts on my husband and myself is unreal and now we have a baby... It's tough!!! It's so nice to know there is an end n we can get out... I haven't heard about these classes before but will definitely be looking into them... My email address is luvbug831@gmail.com

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  154. I would love to win!

    lora.m31 at gmail dot com

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  155. Financial peace? Sounds like heaven!
    jlwhall(at)yahoo(dot)com

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  156. We are struggling to find the drive to pay off the car and mortgage and put substantial money in savings. pugsandnee@yahoo.com

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  157. LOVE Dave Ramsey and we have been loosely applying his FPU principles to eliminate our debt.. CONGRATS to you and all that you have paid off! We would love to take the classes.

    Claire(dot)hotelling(at)gmail(dot)com

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  158. Leaving a comment for consideration for the DR plan!! :) I'm so excited for you, after reading your story. I have never known a time without debt and have thought that that's just how it is... your story has given me hope :)

    Thanks for your blog and inspiration.

    Heather

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  159. So kind of you guys to do this giveaway. And so helpful! I've read his book, and have looked through the website. Now I need to get myself in gear!!

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  160. We became debt free about a year ago. We were so charged up but since then have lost the motivation to increase our savings. I hope getting these classes will motivate us to get moving in the right direction again!

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  161. Your story is so encouraging. Thanks for the chance.

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  162. Thanks for sharing your story Sarah, my husband and I have talked a bit about trying something like this but its hard to know where to start at times. We do pay extra on our mortgage each month but a plan of attack would be awesome!

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  163. WOW!! What an awesome giveaway!! My husband and I are working toward being debt free by the time he retires in 2015 and we are almost there. However, our son and his wife struggle and this would be a great gift/tool for them to reach their goals. Their hearts are in the right place, they just don't seem to have the know-how to make it work.

    smboyd99 at yahoo dot com

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  164. So glad you do this and speak out about it! It shouldn't be a taboo topic! So many of us grew up with money as something you "Just DON'T talk about"

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  165. I really want to be out of debt and need the help. Josmari(dot)lizardo(at)gmail.com

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  166. we are also debt free,but would love more help with investing,etc.

    jessicarwarfield at gmail dot com

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  167. I bought Dave's book after last year's post.:D I love your story of hope. Thanks for a chance to win a spot in the course.

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  168. smith_monica31 at yahoo dot com

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  169. We would seriously SO love to be able to take this class! Either on our own or in the class (though we secretly hope to be in the class...). Fingers crossed! thecraftedcure{at}gmail{dot}com

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  170. What a great opportunity you are offering!
    Jrigodn112 at gmail dot com

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    Replies
    1. Jrigdon112 at gmail dot com

      Wow... Spelled my email wrong =)

      Delete
  171. What a great opportunity.

    annburnett@hotmail.com

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  172. We are going to FPU classes right now,We have been big fans of Dave for a long time.I would love to win this.Paying off debt is so freeing!!slimetta at hotmail dot com.

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  173. dckline007(at)comcast(dot)net

    This is such a great giveaway! Having only one income coming into this house to support 6 people can be very hard! I would love to go through his classes. Thank you!

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  174. This is so inspiring to read your story! We're trying the debt snowball part of Dave's plan and it's working pretty well. But we would love to win the Financial Peace classes to really learn about the entire plan to be debt free.

    klbmayo (at) gmail (dot) com

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  175. Oh I would love to win this. My husband and I have been doing well lately with trying to save money, but it's been without any formal plan and I think this course would be just the thing to really get us organized and going. Thanks for the chance to win! :)

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  176. We are really struggling...50 years old and I still don't know how to manage my money...living like this is exhausting and terrifying. Thanks for your work and sharing your experience.

    billbarbwink@aol.com

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  177. My boyfriend and I completed FPU this summer and we loved it! We've been keeping our cash envelopes and zero based budget going since August and we find that we have more money now that we know where each and every penny is going. And no longer do I stress about paying for things, it is all planned out perfectly. Dave Ramsey system isn't anything new but he explains everything in a way that makes so much sense. My boyfriend and I laugh whenever we talk about our finances because "Uncle Dave" usually makes it into the conversation.

    Thanks for shining some light on being debt free and weird! :)

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  178. Hi! I would definitely benefit from this! I am newly married and just graduated from PA school - with the debt to prove it! ;) My dream is someday living debt free, too! Thanks for the inspiration!

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  179. Please DO NOT consider this comment an entry to win. My husband and I have already taken FPU, I would LOVE to see this go to someone who really needs it.

    But I would like to say, IT CAN BE DONE! Becoming debt free that is. We are almost there. We've been credit card debt free for nearly 3 years now and the freedom that is in that is unexplainable.

    We have our last vehicle loan nearly paid off, only a couple months left on it and then a large student loan to conquer and we are debt free (since we are renting right now, there is no house to pay off)!!

    It's not about how much money you make to become debt free, but how you use what you have. We have seen our income get cut in half these last three years, thus the reason it has taken us so long to pay off debt, but we are committed to it, and won't give up until it's all paid off!

    I hope this FPU giveaway truly blesses a family out there and their lives are forever changed because of it!!!

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  180. This is one program that everyone should out money aside for, including me. Getting this would help and I look forward to giving back once we are debt free.

    Mike.daddyof2@Gmail.com

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  181. Hi, I am a big fan of yours. Becoming debt free is such a huge goal for me. My email is annyscialla@yahoo.com. I am currently reading one of his books. I really want to make budgeting a way of life rather than something I dread.. fingers crossed I win...

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  182. I was recently married in February. My husband declared bankruptcy 10 years ago and has a house from his previous marriage that is being foreclosed on. I declared bankruptcy 3years ago and have nearly $100,000 in student loan debt. Oh, did I mention that I was on disability this year and have not been working? Financially, we are pretty bad. We have been trying to improve and chip away at our debt, but it is hard. I have looked into buying this series before. I would be super excited to win a copy!!! Thanks!!

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  183. thank you for sharing your story and keeping it real! Finances is always a hard topic to talk about but i appreciate your heart to see others debt free! This is me and my husbands goal for 2013! Thanks for the opportunity to get educated and see our goals met! Stephaniem07 @ gmail .com

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  184. I'm commenting to say my hubs and I are debt free due to Dave for the last 3 years. We've almost paid off our house and have done all our home improvements by cash following it. I listen to Dave's podcasts every night as I go to sleep and I love every Debt-Free scream too.

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  185. I would love to win!

    inspirationformoms(at)gmail(dot)com

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  186. I am so inspired by your story and hope to one day be debt-free. I have already signed up for the classes, but would love to win the packet to get started!

    jenncsr (at) yahoo (dot) com

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  187. Would love to win :) and I love your blog!

    caitlyn1@frontiernet.net

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  188. Thanks for a chance at a great opportunity to take this class! kelly lmessimer(at)aol(dot)com

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  189. I would love to take this class!! fulleraluv(at)hotmail(dot)com

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  190. Thanks for the opportunity to win this fabulous prize!
    ♥'s
    Sherry

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  191. I started doing debt-free Christmas several years ago and I've never looked back. Starting in January I do an automatic transfer to an ING account with every paycheck. It's not a lot - only $20 ($40 a month) but by November it's about $400 dollars. I do the same for our mini vacations that we take during the year. After we're done with our mini vacations, I put the vacation payment towards Christmas so we have another $120 or so. It's worked out great for my family. I budget the money and write down everything I buy for gifts. Everything is paid for with cash or debit from the Christmas account so I never have Christmas debt. We stopped using credit cards in 2011 after I had no choice but to use mine to pay for emergency dental work twice in the same year (it would have wiped out our savings, plus more). I know DR probably wouldn't approve, but we transferred the c.c. debt to a home equity line of credit to bring the interest down until we can get it paid off (an additional benefit is that we can claim the interest on our tax return). The 14.99% interest rate was getting us nowhere in paying it off. jlr1260[at]gmail[dot]com

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  192. I have read Mr. Ramsey's book the Total Money Makeover probably 5x's! Have all the steps memorized:) I would love to win this giveaway! No pity party here, but had to tell you, my husband is finishing up his fourth week of layoffs this week. Unfortunately being paid monthly, our paycheck is half what it normally is this month right before Christmas! I have three young children which we homeschool.( another money saving decision) coming from a family that has a million traditions this time of year ...its hard to think about not being able to afford them and still being cheerful:P. We know the Lord has a plan and I have learned so much from Dave Ramsey and stories like yours! We hope to be debt free in two years amidst lower paychecks. Thanks for the great post! Jessica J

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  193. I absolutely remember your post last year about becoming debt free. It was so inspiring! We've paid off 2 credit cards and a loan, but still have other bills we're working on. We get frustrated sometimes that it never seems to go away, but then we think about where we were a year ago and how far we've come! It will be so satisfying when everything is paid off! Thank you!

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  194. I have read Mr. Ramsey's book the Total Money Makeover probably 5x's! Have all the steps memorized:) I would love to win this giveaway! No pity party here, but had to tell you, my husband is finishing up his fourth week of layoffs this week. Unfortunately being paid monthly, our paycheck is half what it normally is this month right before Christmas! I have three young children which we homeschool.( another money saving decision) coming from a family that has a million traditions this time of year ...its hard to think about not being able to afford them and still being cheerful:P. We know the Lord has a plan and I have learned so much from Dave Ramsey and stories like yours! We hope to be debt free in two years amidst lower paychecks. Thanks for the great post! Jessica J

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THANKS so much for reading!