Hello everyone and welcome to Simple Steps to Debt-Free Living!

My name is Amanda and my husband and I are raising our four young boys.  We are a real, average American family who are working on becoming (as Dave Ramsey says) WEIRD – because normal is broke!!  You can see my little family here and I love this picture because it is so real life.  My 5 year old was so unhappy (this was just taken Easter 2018) and wouldn’t cooperate for pictures.  When we got back to the car I asked him why he was like that and he wanted to hold the baby!!  He didn’t like it that his older brother got to hold the baby and he didn’t get a turn. (LOL)  Kids, eh?  I still love this picture and probably love it even more because of his face!!

We are still working on becoming debt-free but the goal is so close!  We decided to start this website to help others the same way we have been helped along the way.  I’ve learned so much over the years about budgeting, getting out of debt, ways of making passive income, frugal living and more!  I can’t wait to share it with you!

I became interested in finance when I realized my man and I were getting really serious about marriage.  I knew one of us would have to take care of the money and it wouldn’t be him because he has no interest in it.  So I read up on personal finance and, like many, had the head knowledge but didn’t use it.  I remember picking up Dave Ramsey’s Total Money Makeover book in an airport when it was released – more than 10 years ago!  I kick myself now thinking that if I had only applied the knowledge in the book we would have been out of debt so long ago.  I’ve known about Dave and his plan since 1999!

We implemented the envelope system in April of 2014 and it has made so much of a difference in our finances.  We used to see money in the bank and think “oh, we have money” and spend it, then find that things would pop up, like needing gas in the cars, and we would put it on the credit.  That habit led to over $11,000 in credit card debt, not to mention the student loans I had from getting my master’s degree (about $12,000).  We have tried different things like personal loans (none now thank goodness!), balance transfers, and even refinancing our home to pay off a personal loan!  So if this sounds familiar to you, you are in good company.

As of Valentine’s Day 2016 we owed about $3000 on a credit card, $4600 on the van we bought since we outgrew our old car, and $5600 on a student loan.  In 2018 we had no credit card debt (although we still struggled with it from time to time!), no car payment and were working on the student loan. 

Now in 2021 we are working on our LAST debt!! A personal loan we took out to pay off the last of the debt… and then we are DEBT FREE except for the house!

One of the things I have really found fascinating and have done extensive research on is ways of making extra money.  We have really been able to make a dent in our debt through different side hustles and online adventures (such as freelance writing – who knew?) and I can’t wait to share all of that information with you as well. I also started a crochet blog in 2016 and it has become my full-time job! Join us on our adventure as we head toward a frugal and debt-free life!