My husband jumped into helicopter flight school just after we found out we were expecting our first child in 2001, back when banks would lend money out like crazy. The flight school made big promises like he would be making $60,000 right after graduating (at least that???s what he heard). He tried to work part-time and go to school, but decided to take the plunge and go to school full-time and we would just live on student loans. We ended up moving around to 3 different schools in 2 states. I worked part-time here and there, but tried to stay at home with my new baby as much as possible. Within a year and a half he finished flight school and started to work as an instructor. A month or two later he was fired.

We were living in my great-aunt???s spider-infested one bedroom basement apartment with $80,000 in student loans (with a variable interest rate). We only had one car. We lived on food stamps and student loan disbursements. Things got scary really fast. I wasn???t sure that I wanted to continue down this path with him. We separated and I moved in with his parents for a few months, then with my parents. He traveled all over the country trying to get a job as a flight instructor. He finally found a job that worked out in Virginia. He rented a couch from his boss???s friend (for $100 a month) and rode a little gas-powered stand-up scooter to work every day. Some days it wouldn???t start. I worked in Utah and saved what little money I could. He was over 6 months out of school with no money at the end of the month to pay the minimum balance on the student loan. So he started taking online classes to defer the payments. My grandma gifted us $2,000 and I sent it to him so he could get a car. He cried when he pulled out of the dealership. No more riding a scooter 10 miles (each way) to work in the rain or heat. We decided to keep working on our marriage. He got enough money saved up (because he rented a couch) to put a deposit down on a 2 bedroom apartment. Then my daughter and I moved to Virginia.

We continued to live with just one car. I relied on members of my church to drive me to church every week and to doctor appointments when I injured my back. We continued to pay 10% tithing and the Lord blessed us. Small jobs popped up that I could do from home. We didn???t have health insurance and I was able to avoid surgery on my back. My husband worked 6 days a week and his boss hired him to mow his lawn once a week. It was hard, and it was scary, but we sacrificed and grew together. He continued to take classes online and defer the loan payment. Unfortunately, the loan continued to accrue interest around 8%.

My husband then qualified to work in the Gulf of Mexico flying to the off-shore oil rigs. He was hired right after Hurricane Katrina and there were no available apartments along the coast of Louisiana. My daughter and I moved back to Utah and I went back to work part-time and saved up for our eventual move. My husband flew home every two weeks and spent about a week home. It was over a year later that we felt like things had calmed down enough that we could move there. We were finally making a comfortable living and could start to think about paying back the student loan. That???s when we learned that the loan had an additional $20,000 added to it in interest. And once we started making regular payments, that $20,000 would turn into principle. We would be paying interest on our interest! We had 6 months to pay off that $20,000. My husband started working overtime and I got serious about keeping a budget. I???m so happy to say that we paid off the $20,000 just in the nick of time! We started into our regular payment schedule. I had every cent budgeted. Anything left over at the end of the month went to the loan.

After a few years of working in the Gulf, my husband had an opportunity to work in Utah where we could live around family again. His parents graciously offered to let us live in their basement apartment rent-free so we could pay down our student loan. Shortly after we moved in I received a statement from the loan company showing how much money we would pay if we took the full time (20 years with variable interest) to pay off the student loan. It was over $300,000! We would be a slave to that loan forever! I then made a goal to pay $2,000 a month on the loan. We didn’t take vacations. We drove very modest, very fuel-efficient cars. I continued to budget every cent. Other members of his family went on cruises and fun vacations and we decided that when we paid off the student loan, we would take a family cruise to celebrate. 8 years after the birth of our first child, we finally had a second child and I quit working part-time (off and on) for good. Relations with my in-laws started to go bad when my husband???s sister divorced her husband and moved in with her 5 kids. It was time for us to move on. We backed off on the rigorous student loan payments and saved up enough money to put down 20% on a town home of our own. I was 30 years old and had never owned my own home. The day we moved in my husband got a call that he had to leave for Afghanistan the next morning for his next job as a civilian helicopter pilot. He was gone for 9 months. He made good money and we were able to put a little away for a better rainy day fund as well as continue our $2,000 a month loan payment goal.

In January 2014 we made our final loan payment of $12,000. We decided to use a portion of our rainy day fund to finish the loan once and for all. It was the best feeling in the world! 7 years later and we paid $112,000 on an $80,000 loan. We immediately began planning for our family cruise. We took our two kids, my parents, and my sister on a Disney cruise to the Bahamas. It was the most wonderful vacation and we appreciated it so much more because of how hard we had to work to get there. Now we are able to plan for our future, to put away money for retirement. Even though my husband makes really good money, we still live in our town home and drive modest vehicles. I would like to save up a big chunk of money to put down on our next home. I???m very proud of our story and how far we have come!

I am 30 and single, for the past 10 years I have been spending and saving very carefully. AKA budgeting.
Now I have $160,000 saved to buy a house, and $165,000 in retirement accounts. It doesn’t happen over night but slowly and diligently you can win with money.
I have remained absolutely debt free for the past 5 years as well which has helped with the saving process.
The lessons I learned are to never give up and stay on course, doing something well over a period of time will have a positive impact.

When I turned 23 I took over the payments on my dad’s car so I would have a vehicle. In 2013 he “surprised me” with a “birthday gift” of lowering my car payments. When I asked him how, he told me he refinanced the car!! How does that help me? Now I am paying less per month but I am paying more money over all? It was so close to being paid off, now I have another $2,000 to pay off.

Being a 25 year old full-time student working in ministry as a media producer my budget was tight already. After falling behind on payments on the car, and insurance and other areas I took was given the opportunity to take FPU. Through this class I learned how to budget, and make my money work for me. After just one year of consistent car payments and saving, I was able to take my taxes and pay off the remaining $1600 dollars for the car!!

Now I can begin throwing money to my student loans which is the only thing I have left, entering into my marriage in 8 months!! Thank you Dave Ramsey!!

My husband and I were first exposed to Financial Peace University about 3 years ago through our installation Chaplain in the Army. We were inspired and started tackling the baby steps immediately. We were slowly moving through our debt snowball because I wasn’t working and we didn’t have much money to start. About a year after taking Financial Peace University I was blessed to find a good job, but we started having fun instead of getting serious about our debt. Within a year of me finding a job my husband ended up overseas. Our income increased quite substantially, and I decided enough is enough!! I talked to my husband and I said we need to make this year count, and he agreed. I broke out my FPU books and got serious about our budget. I am proud to report we cut back and got serious. We are both tired of debt and owing people, and my husband is motivated to lead by example. As of this month we are debt free besides our mortgage. To date we have paid off $27,782 in debt (credit cards, student loans, & cars)!!

I am 29 years old and my husband is 30. We have been together for 10 years and married for 5.5 years. We look forward to starting our family this year, and what a blessing now that we won’t be struggling with endless debt over our head!

Dave Ramsey and all of his staff have changed our lives! I was always conscious of my money, but now I name every dollar instead of just looking at the big picture. I even paid for my college bound 18 year old sister to take FPU recently, so that I can help her avoid the mistakes that plagued me through my 20s. I am so incredibly grateful for Dave Ramsey’s FPU to be available through the Army! My husband and I would probably still be struggling every payday to stay afloat if the Army had not made that available to us! THANK YOU!!

My favorite quote of Dave’s that I have hanging in my office at work: “Be proud of what you do. If you aren’t then change something!”

My husband and I married in 2004. Two years later we had our son, Colton. My husband, Jim is a mechanic at a steel mill. I am the office manager at a kennel. Colton is in 2nd grade. The Dave Ramsey “philosophy” has been drilled into my head by my wonderful parents since I was a child. We have still made mistakes. Yesterday not only did we have a house payment but I had a car payment as well. We bought our house in Nov. 2012. We decided that we wanted to pay it off as quickly as possible. We started paying extra every month and planned on it being paid off in 10 years. My husbands grandmother, Nana, was the only close family member that he had left. We lived near her and helped her out as much as her independence would allow. Jan. 2, 2015 she passed away suddenly. It was a shock to us and especially Colton. She was 88 years old and she still got around as well as ever. The next few days after she passed away we found out that she had saved every bit of extra money that she had for us to have when she was gone. Feb. 3, 2015 we finalized most of her affairs and went straight to the bank to pay off our house and my car. This may not be a story of how we scrimped and saved every penny we had to get out of debt but someone did. Nana lived extremely frugally to make sure that we were taken care of. I am 30 and my husband is 36 and we are debt free! you know what we can do now? ANYTHING! We love you Nana. You have changed our lives forever. Thank you for sharing our story.

I used to live paycheck to paycheck and had monthly payments galore for everything from furniture to surround sound and TV. Had a closet full of clothes I never wore but couldn’t leave the mall without buying at least a new shirt for myself, thinking that was a reward to myself and proof that I was “successful”. Just thought as long as all the bills were paid on time that I was doing well. But it was a lot of stress to keep the income level up consistently to meet all the payments. I wondered if I could get out from under the monster I had created. I had heard Dave Ramsey on the radio driving home from work. I got his book at the local library. Reading the book made me realize how foolish I had been!! I realized driving a new car every 3 years and having all this stuff in my custom built house was not impressing anybody really, or at least certainly not enough to justify working so hard. So I pared down considerably, had a garage sale and moved to a small but nice apartment. It’s been so nice to be out of debt and know I can splurge every now and then on something if I really want it bad enough. But little things like taking a walk at sunset or playing with my cat are much more satisfying now than having the latest gadgets, etc. That old saying “less is more” is so TRUE!!

We have been married for 16 years now. Around 2010, we still needed a budget. It took getting behind on Mortgage payments and threatened with certain foreclosure to reach out for help. We quickly asked people to pray with us, and my husband (a mix of Free Spirit and Nerd) found out about Dave’s books and Financial Peace U classes. Soon after that, he and our then 11 year old son attended FPU classe and they graduated from those classes, and we started using an envelope budget system. Learning what we did and getting on that budget helped us to honor God, our family, and our marriage to a much greater extent. We made it to the Debt Free except the Mortgage goal in Summer of 2014. Our family is made up of my husband and I and our children, ages 15 and 8. We are a one income family and have chosen Christian Home-Schooling for our children. Private classes are a part of what makes up our children’s total education picture. My husband and I are runners and are fit and active and have needed to become more so after some health difficulties. Including a heart surgery for me in 2013. We are pleased to keep striving to live our lives that show good financial examples to our attentive children. We are currently on Baby Step 3!

We lost both our jobs in the recession in 2009 right after we had our second baby. We moved from Vegas back home to Dallas. We had no money, no jobs and no house. A friend allowed us to live with them and we got very involved in the local church. There was a family that helped lead the FPU class. It was hard to come up with the fee for FPU, but I said this is what we need. We were being hounded and sued by creditors and too embarrassed to ever tell anyone how much trouble we were actually in. We paid off all the debt, moved into a rental and were able to better provide for our family within a year. Then because I thought I was smarter than Dave instead of saving up the emergency fund I saved up for a down payment. Bought a house on FHA loan with 3% down and Murphy sure did move in. It was actually squirrels in the attic, a bird in the dryer vent and a dead HVAC unit. We turned around and found ourselves in debt again. Ahhhh! After all that hard work. So we got serious again and had to buckle down to get out of debt again. I listen to Dave on iHEART radio because my car does not have a radio and we would not spend the money to fix it while we were paying off debt. Now we are debt free. Including a very old loan to my dad. We feel like a huge weight has been lifted. I am still not getting the radio fixed because we are laser focused now on our emergency fund. The car has 240,000 miles, but runs great. We are considered strange in our neighborhood where everyone has the latest lexus or infiniti. We are definitely living like no one else. I get out of all sorts of parties like Essential Oils, Mary Kay because people know that if it is not in budget then I will not budge. It is fun seeing our goals accomplished together and celebrating successes. I can’t wait to get to Baby Steps 4, 5 and 6.

I first went through FPU when I was a 22 recent college graduate. My mom bought me the class for a graduation gift and I am so happy she did. As a single young adult, I got my life on track and began paying off my debts quickly! I met my husband in June 2011 and by January 2013 we were engaged. I remembered that money fights are the biggest cause of divorce, so we both took the class together… his first time, my 2nd. By this time we had come clean about our debts and trying to save for a wedding, so being on the same page helped tremendously. Fast forward to January 2014. We got married, combined incomes, wrote our final check to pay off our debt (2 cars, 1 masters degree, and a few small credit cards), and made major grounds on baby step 3. We finished that step in Fall 2014 and enrolled and took FPU a 3rd time. It may sound like a lot, but taking the class multiple times at different stages in life truly helped me stay on track. We definitely took advantage of the “lifetime membership!” In total, my husband and I payed off $41,000 in debt, cash rolled a $22,000 wedding & honeymoon, and saved $15,000 in a money market for our emergency fund. This took us about 39 months from when I started on my own in May 2011 to a few months ago when our emergency fund was compelted. Repeating the class helped us stay motivated, connect with other couples in our same boat, and spread the word that finances can be fun! We are currently investing and working toward a down payment on a house. The best is yet to come!

We had talked about attending FPU for years and finally took that leap in June of 2014. The first few years of our marriage were great. We traveled, ate out, and had fun. Then baby number 1 came and We basically lost a whole income and racked up some credit card debt. We were in a constant battle of making debt and trying to pay it off. Things got better when I started working more and then came baby number 2. The cycle started again and we were living paycheck to paycheck and using credit cards.

Since taking FPU a mere7 months ago we have been paying off our debt like nobody’s business. By March of this year (9 months since starting FPU) we will be debt free (minus our mortgage). We will have paid just about $20,000 of debt off.

We ask ourselves all of the time where all of that money was going before, and we still struggle to answer that question. making and keeping a budget makes me happy. It satisfies my need to have control and I love it.

The last 2 times I have done our budget we have found money that we cant explain. I typically leave our end balance at $100 instead of 0 just because the $0 still scares me. But even still after the fact at the end of our budgeted pay periods we somehow had $1100 extra in our account between 2 budgeted periods. God blesses us in ways we can never expect and he knows the desires of our heart.

Dave Ramsey and FPU have changed our lives! And we will be forever grateful. I am constantly imparting my FPU wisdom and learned advice with everyone including family, friends, and coworkers. Thanks Dave. God bless.