Part 1 – Organize your finances: creating a budget

March 13, 2011
We are always trying to figure out how we can organize our closets & drawers, but this week I’m going to share how I organize my finances!

I am so excited to host the challenge for you.  My wish is that you will truly see how life changing this lesson can be for your family.  It’s my absolute favorite challenge so far! I’m calling it “ORGANIZE YOUR FINANCES WEEK”. This challenge is 6 days long and will come in daily tasks for the entire week. I want to make it clear that I am not a financial advisor, but a mother and wife who has learned the hard way, how to organize my finances (mostly by the teachings of Dave Ramsey). I am not perfect, and I’m definitely still learning, so if you have any suggestions or tips, that would be beneficial to us all. If you are someone who is debt free, way to go!  You will be an inspiration to all of us who are on our way there! 

Here is a look at what we will be doing this week…

“The plans of the diligent lead surely to plenty, but those of everyone who is hasty, surely to poverty.” Proverbs 21:5

Today my challenge for you is to create a WRITTEN budget & track ALL of your spending for the next 6 days!

You may say “Im already on a budget” but today I want you to sit down and write out a NEW budget (your budget should be revisited every month) which will spend every penny of your paycheck! This is called a zero balance budget.  If you are paid differently each payday, you can still create a budget. This is called “irregular income planning”.  With this plan, you will prioritize your spending by importance. So if you get paid $2000 this payday, you will spend the $2000 right down your list of importance until its gone. For the irregular income budget form, go {here}.You can learn more about cash flow planning & budgeting at  My challenge is going to be very basic, enough to introduce you to financial organization and get you on the road to financial peace. Once you have completed your budget, place it in your home management binder (for now).

Dave Ramsey says “Every single dollar of your income should be allocated to some category”.  When you are done with your cash flow planning (detailed budget), your income minus expenses should equal zero.  That means, if you have money left over after budgeting, it needs to go to savings (or somewhere).

To track your spending for the next 6 days, all you have to do is carry a little notepad with you.  Write down EVERYTHING that you spend… coffee, gas, food, etc…  This is going to show you exactly where your money is going. 

A few great places to find budget forms are:

Clean Mama Printables (I use these)

A quote to ponder…

“There is a difference between being committed to your success and being interested in your success. If you are interested, you will do what’s convenient.  If you are committed, you will do whatever it takes – and doing whatever it takes is what you need to succeed in business, no matter who or where you are.”


Oh, and one more thing before I go,  A new challenge means a new giveaway!! Since this week is “Organize your finances” week, I wanted to host a giveaway that went along with the theme.  I’m giving away a Dave Ramsey gift pack.  One winner will receive all of these Dave Ramsey goodies…

1. Total Money Makeover Book
2. High-Performance Achievement CD
3. More than Enough Book
4. The Super Red Racer Kids financial book
5. Financial Peace University Book
6. Dave Ramsey Deluxe Executive Envelope System
7. Dumping Debt DVD

Not only am I giving away the Dave Ramsey Pack, but I am also giving away 5 Budget & Bill Pay Kits from Clean Mama’s etsy printables shop. 5 winners will receive this kit.

I would love for you to join my “ORGANIZE YOUR FINANCES” challenge this week. If you do, remember to link up your blog & add my button!

If you would like to participate in the “Organize your finances” challenge this week… link up your blog NOW!!
 (You do not have to share pictures this week, unless you want to.)

244 comments on “Part 1 – Organize your finances: creating a budget

  1. Jill says:

    I want to be debt free!

  2. Becky says:

    We are debt free….so excited to see everyone else to be inspired to be debt free also! Thanks, Toni!

    Becky B.
    Organizing Made Fun

  3. I would LOVE to be debt free. My goal is for my family to become a cash budget household, no credit whatsoever (except our mortgage). Great challenge and giveaway!

  4. Alicia says:

    I am a follower πŸ™‚

  5. Alicia says:

    I would love to be debt free. The first thing I would do is quit working and be a stay at home mom.

  6. Chantol says:

    We are working our way to being debt free. If/when we are, I would love to take at least a year off of work and home school my kids on the road while traveling the country. πŸ™‚

  7. Jan says:

    What a great giveaway! Thanks for the opportunity. πŸ™‚

  8. missy says:

    Would love to be debt free! I would take all my family on vacation together & make memories to last a lifetime if I was debt free.

  9. Kimberly says:

    This is a fabulous post. My husband and I are taking this course through our church right now (I think we’re on about week 9 or so) and it’s just awesome. I’m looking forward to the day when the numbers start to swing on our favor!

  10. Love Mr Ramsey! We took his Financial Peace University at church this past fall into the Christmas season(not a fun time with the holidays) We “sold the car” and we’ve paid off debt but still have ONE more bill to pay besides our home and we will be debt free. I can’t even wait until the day I get to make the call to say those famous words. Thanks for the challenge, excellent timing for the week. We will start by giving back today what is his to begin with. Happy Sunday

  11. my husband and I want to be debt free, and if we were, we would start our debt free life praising the Lord!!

  12. Elaine says:

    It would be a huge weight off our shoulders to be debt free. Someday!

  13. Trish says:

    We started this program through our church about three weeks ago. We still have ten weeks to go, but we already feel the relief! Great advice. I HIGHLY recomend this program!

  14. pinkbeary says:

    I follow you!

  15. pinkbeary says:

    I would love to be debt free! I would probably live the same way I do now if I were debt free.

  16. The Greedy's says:

    I’m a follower!!

  17. The Greedy's says:

    Can’t wait till my hubby gets back to work, 1.5 years + on unemployment does a number on your savings accounts. We ARE going to be debt free and rebuild our savings!!!

  18. Yarnie says:

    I am a follower!

  19. Karissa says:

    Im a follower, great giveaway!! Thanks!
    angelsamongus1986 at yahoo dot com

  20. Karissa says:

    If I where debt free, I would go to all of Dave Ramseys shows, I havent been, havent even been able to purchase a book yet…but I WANT to badly! lol Love all of the things I hear about him!

  21. Jack says:

    We are trying to get debt free!

  22. Jack says:

    I am a follower!

  23. katiejulius says:

    My husband and I are taking Financial Peace University through our church right now and wow…what a change in how I view money and the attitudes I had toward it. We have a long way to go to be debt free (no credit cards, just 1 car and 2 LARGE school loans), but I am very excited to be on the journey to paying this off and becoming more financially secure to make our dream of me being a stay-at-home-mom and homeschooling our kids a reality.

  24. Ree says:

    I am so swamped in debt that I do not know where to start. It would be great to win some Dave Ramsey products because I definitely need a financial makeover.


  25. I so want to be debt free – I am a single mom and things are, lets say a little tough some times. If I was debt free, I would like to take my girls on a mission trip – I really want to do this with them.


  26. Just Fi says:

    Hubby and I are working at being debt free, it’s along road and every extra bit of cash goes on one of the bills. We can’t wait to be debt free and have money left over for the nicer things in life again

    Going to try really hard with this weeks challenge too (once I get my youngest to a birthday party it’s all systes go lol)


  27. This is a great challenge for me! The whole issue of budgeting and finances elludes me. I really feel like I don’t know what the heck I’m doing! Maybe I shouldn’t have skipped math so much in grade 12 LOL

    Jo @ Squeaky Clean!

  28. Justine says:

    I am a follower of your blog!

  29. Justine says:

    If I was debt free I would be able to save more for my son’s college fund and my husband would not have to work so hard!

  30. I follow bowl full of lemons. And look forward to each post!!!!

    sharonsaad at gmail dot com

  31. If I were debt free… I would love to bless others who have blessed me buy slipping them $100 dollars here and there.
    For example, my mom is in a nursing home and there is a nurse there who goes above and beyond. He works so hard and loves his job but I would like to thank him by giving him a little extra money.

    That is just ONE situation I can think of.
    It is so fun to GIVE!

  32. Angel says:

    I love that you are doing this! I am a follower of your blog.

  33. Angel says:

    I can’t wait to be debt free. The freedom will be amazing. Right now we are slaves to our debts and totally feel it.

  34. tobiasstacey says:

    My long range goal would be to be debt free. However, at this point, I would love to be on a budget, and stick to it. The hubs and I always say we’re going to do it, but don’t stick with it. Thanks, Toni!

  35. kati mazza says:

    If I was debt free I would be able to spend so much more time with my family… Striving to be a cash only family!

  36. TeeBLiterary says:

    This comes at a perfect time! I am reading through TMM right now (but would LOVE another copy for my family and all the other goodies!) and my hubby and I are sitting down this week and plowing through this whole debt thing and setting up our zero balance budget. Thanks for the extra motivation, Toni! I love all the weekly challenges:)

  37. Ang says:

    Oh, if I was debt free, I’d buy a house. Seems counterproductive, but then I’d have my own place instead of paying ridiculous rent to the apartment we’re in. πŸ™‚

  38. Jackie Koll says:

    When we are debt free my husband won’t have to work two jobs and we will be able to move from our tiny little house into something that suits are family more. I’m so excited for this challange!!

  39. Amy says:

    My husband listens to the Dave Ramsey show on the radio nearly every morning. We are trying to become debt free and will be dropping down to one income later this year when my husband starts gread school. We HAVE to track every penny we spend and try to put as much as possible into savings. When we finally become debt-free, my husband would like to buy a bass boat, and I want to re-decorate our entire home.

  40. TWINS TWICE says:

    I would love to be debt free, i wish our church would offer his course too. I want to be able to give to the Lord and help those in need, and be less stressed about money, and be aa more relaxed mom.

  41. I would love to learn dave ramsey’s plan! I hear its great!!

  42. We are SO close! Only debt is our home right now…and I’m losing a bit of motivation! Uh-oh! If I were debt free, I think I would “Live Like No One Else” by taking a vacation to celebrate!

  43. Linda says:

    Didn’t you just buy an ipad and an ibook? Interested to know how this fits in with becoming debt free!

  44. Rochelle says:

    We’ve been following Damn Ramsey for sometime. While we are not gazelle intense, we are snowballing and throwing all extra money to debt. My husband is a world cultures teacher and we plan to start travelling abroad in the next couple years. Our goal is to be debt free in 2-3 yrs so I can quit working and we can travel. It would be amazing to have no bills other than the basics.

  45. Toni says:

    Linda, actually my iPad was a Christmas gift from my husband and the laptop was purchased (with total hesitation) for editing purposes ( my photog business) and for my blog (shakleestuff). My oldcomputer is on its last leg and so full, i have to delete images to upload more. I do not use any credit cards. Everything is paid with cash only. Andi KNOW my purchase should have waited until everything was totally paid pff, but we used our income tax return anddidnt take it out of our budget. :). I have worked my butt off and I don’t regret the purchase one bit!!! πŸ™‚


  46. Kyra says:

    Oh how I would love to be debt free, i’m a SAHM and my hubby needs some weight lifted from his shoulders! 2 mortgages, a car payment and prepaid college is what i’m working with.

  47. Kori says:

    i am a follower πŸ™‚

  48. nursepaula06 says:

    I want to be debt free! This is something that we are working towards in this house & can always use more tips. I am totally a follower of your blog.

  49. c4s70r says:

    Oh how I would love to be debt free! If we were debt free we would probably take a wonderfully guilt free paid in cash vacation!

  50. I follow you!

    tiffany (at) realsimplesavingmethods (dot) com

  51. I would love to become debt free. Right now my fiance and I have so much student loan debt. We’re going to attempt to live off his income and use my income to pay off our loans over the next 5 – 7 years. Hopefully this works!

    tiffany (at) realsimplesavingmethods (dot) com

  52. Martine says:

    I would love to be debt free. If I was debt free would do all the updates on my house that I have been putting off.

  53. cheeksb says:

    I follow you!!!

  54. cheeksb says:

    I would love to be debt free I would love to teach my kids how they could be debt free when they are older

  55. The only debt we have is our mortgage. I credit both our parents for teaching us both good money management πŸ™‚

    Love the new look of your blog, and I’m passing on an award to you. Check it out here:

  56. Melissa says:

    I am a follower!

  57. Melissa says:

    We are working on being debt free. I have my home paid off and that is a huge relief to us. Credit cards are next, followed by school loans, and medical bills. If we were debt free, we would save up to take my whole family on a Disney Cruise.

  58. We are not debt free. We are not even credit card debt free. I’d be happy if we only had a mortgage and car loan debt. I so need this. I want to be organized with my money (and I’ve tried) but I need help.

  59. I’m a follower!

    (I forgot to put in my last comment…
    If we were debt free I’d build a huge cash reserve and take an awesome vacation with the kids.)

  60. Kathy says:

    I am a follower, just found your blog a week or so ago and already loving it!
    This giveaway is incredible! We are trying to get debt free too and I’ve heard great things about Dave Ramsey but have never read any of his books. {yet} =)
    ~~Kathy k.

  61. Amy Lynn says:

    Our goal is to be debt free ASAP! My husband and I are avid Dave Ramsey followers and have been teaching Financial Peace University at our church for the last 2 years!

  62. I hope I win the giveaway!

  63. If we were debt free, we would be able to afford to move into a house with a backyard for our kids to play in!!! I can’t wait until we reach our financial goals!

  64. I’m a follower! I can’t wait to read your blog every day this week!!!

  65. I am a follower of your blog!! What a great give away…

  66. Stephanie says:

    I just want you to know how excited I am about this weeks challenge. I am going to work really hard on completing it, because this is something on my to-do list already, so now I have no excuses to get it done πŸ™‚

  67. Living with out debt is so freeing! We are so blessed to be able to help others, through our church and other ministries!

  68. Great challenge! We have ours organized and are sort of following DR…(I was working on paying down bills and saving, and then I read about DR and we found out that we are pretty much doing what he recommends, without even knowing, lol!)

    We are on track to be debt free except for the mortgage within 12 months. hopefully by the end of the year if I can find some kind of paying work.

  69. Amanda says:

    We really want to be debt free. If we were, I would start up a college fund for the baby bear

  70. Jenna says:

    I want to be debt free, but that’s not possible yet as my hubby is still in medical school which means big time student loans. But we plan on paying off huge chunks of our debt as soon as he’s making money and we have a real income!

  71. Amanda says:

    i follow and subscribe πŸ™‚

  72. Susan says:

    I would love to become debt free, I am going back to grad school which means only living on one income so becoming debt free would be great and stress-free. Thanks for the givaway.


  73. Lori says:

    I’m a follower of your blog!

    Lori : )

  74. Lori says:

    I’ve been married for 20 years and have never been debt free. I can’t imagine how wonderful it would feel. I sure hope I win this!!

    Lori : )

  75. Rochelle says:

    I forgot to mention in last comment, that I am following the challenge and put button on my blog.

  76. The Warchols says:

    Just found your blog today, recommended by a friend. I love it. Thank you so much for sharing your wonderful ideas. The hubby and I just decided over the weekend to start our second adoption from Ukraine and we now need to save some money to make this dream come true!! We could surely use some help from Dave!!! Thanks again. I look forward to the budget makeover this week.

  77. Bonnie says:

    So much has happened in our extended family over the last few months that it has really created the desire to follow a budget and be debt free! Love your blog!

  78. Peta says:

    Being debt free would mean being able to go on holidays without worrying about every cent we spend and not having to say “no” to the kids so often.
    Love your blog and your challenges.

  79. Kitty says:

    I have no credit debt, I use cash exclusively. If we want something, we save until we can afford it.
    It’s not easy, but, it works for me!

  80. Jenni says:

    I am a follower of your blog.

  81. Jenni says:

    We are mainly debt free…just the house left. It is a relief although I would love to have a better budget and save more money. Paying off the house would mean taking the family on an awesome vacation!

  82. Antarian says:

    I would love to be debt free!!

    I earn a decent income, but with a mortgage, car loan and hubby’s credit card debt, we are very much “Where did all our money go?” by the end of the month?

  83. This is great! Right now we are just starting our debt free plan, so this is perfect timing! We are hoping to be CC and auto loan debt free by Summer ’12. These tools would be such a blessings to us! Thanks for offering this giveaway!

  84. Debt free would be TOTAL bliss!

  85. Jessica says:

    Would love that pack!! We have been doing the zero budget for quite a while now, though still struggle with sticking to it; its still tons better than our by the seat of our pants budget from before! We would love to be debt free and are working towards that goal!

  86. caramelchica says:

    Debt freedom rocks! I would love the bill pay printables pack to revamp my budgeting style.

  87. What perfect timing! I was just telling myself the other day that I need to get back on track with my budget. I have been a follower of Dave for a while. I’m currently on baby step 2 but made some dumb choices during the holidays! Thanks for doing this challenge! If I were debt free, I would travel!!

  88. We’re so glad to be debt free (apart from our mortgage) – thank you for the challenge to work further on our budget!

    I’m also linking up to the challenge so can I have two entries into the giveaway please.


  89. the girl says:

    I follow your blog!!

  90. the girl says:

    We’re working to be debt free. We’d go on a cruise and start saving for kids!! β™₯

  91. Jenna says:

    I follow your blog

  92. Jenna says:

    We are close to debt free. I would use the money to help others become debt free! And also put a LOT away for rainy days and college expenses for the kids!

  93. Meg says:

    I am a follower. If I were debt-free, I would love to start saving for a home!!! Right now we are focusing on the mounds of student loans. :-/ Was hoping to start the Dave Ramsey class in the future!!

  94. Beth's Blog says:

    I’m a follower!

  95. Wendy Boothe says:

    If I were debt free I would used my extra money to fix up my house, do some landscaping, and buy and iPad.

  96. Casey says:

    Oh, we would so love to be debt free! We’re really trying hard this year to meet that goal–when we get there, I would love to get a big nest egg and just simply RELAX about money. We’re learning to live with less.

  97. Whitney says:

    When I am debt free, I would love to work only part time and to volunteer. I would love to “make a difference” rather than just work full time just to pay our debts. And I’d LOVE to remodel my bathroom!
    I love your blog and organizational challenges. This one was a great idea!

  98. Michelle says:

    I would love to be debt free… then I would start saving up for a trip to England πŸ™‚

  99. Jessica I says:

    I am a follower already! Such an amazing giveaway!!!

  100. I’m interested in becoming debt free because I figure that the earlier I get started on it the better.

  101. Jessica I says:

    Omgosh! If I were we were debt free my husband and I would finally take the honeymoon we never had to Hawaii. Also, I think we would live frugally and pay ourselves to definitely watch our money GROW for US and not someone else. πŸ˜‰

  102. Just posted to my blog about it!

  103. I’m a follower!
    Jennifer B.

  104. My husband and I entered into marriage 9 months ago with no debt. He payed off his car before, and I’m paying my way through the cheapest school possible (community college). We refuse to get a credit card (I was taught early on about the evils of credit cards). Currently, we are renting a house from my parents and adding payments for a laptop we bought from them onto our monthly rent payments. It’s the only debt we have, and we’ve broken it up in manageable payments over the course of 1 year!
    Jennifer B.

  105. Jenny S says:

    oh!! Add me in! I so need to be debt free!

  106. SMM says:

    If I was debt free, I would save to pay cash for my next vehicle. I have a good five years left in my car, if not longer, so I could “finance” myself for the next five years and pay cash. I would also start chunking away money for my son’s college. Fortunately, I only have to pay for half, but who knows how much that half will be in ten years!

  107. Elissa says:

    I would love to be debt free…what a relief it would be!

  108. Marcia Z says:

    We’re currently debt free, but I really need some help to stay that way. Husband’s job is ending soon, and I don’t know how long it will be until he finds another.

    If we were debt free and both permanently employed, I’d love to go on a vacation with my husband to reconnect. We don’t need to go far, we just need the luxury of time alone.

  109. Lindsay says:

    I am debt free! I also would love to share my story but when I click on that link it won’t let me email you (it’s a weird thing going on with my Mac and yahoo account). I would love to share my story! Email me at Thanks!

  110. kacie says:

    i’ve been through dave ramsey’s financial peace university class and it’s definitely helped me. it’s tough getting your spouse on board when they are the “free spirit.” but it’s exciting paying off each thing in the snowball plan.

  111. Jenna says:

    i’m so glad you are doing this this week. we are barely keeping our head above water in our debt. we are taking baby steps towards financial freedom. we need all the help we can get. this dave ramsey kit would be a godsend! i can’t wait to be debt free!

  112. Patty says:

    I’m a follower!

    Getting out of debt is at the top of our priorities this year. Originally we had it budgeted to be debt free(except for the house) by July of this year, but our van’s transmission went out and it’s not in good shape body-wise so we need to get another one and will have to get it financed, but we’re looking hard for the best deal on a used one with some miles left on it. Hopefully get it paid off in one year or less. Still, even with it, we’ll only have that and the house payment after July (God willing). And the house will be paid off in less than 6 years now, and we’re 40. Not too bad I think. Really excited about building wealth soon!

  113. Linked up to the post for a second entry!


  114. awstsi says:

    I actually just started the Dave plan last month and can’t wait to be able to Scream I am am DEBT FREE!
    The kit in your giveaway would be so useful for me right now.
    Blessings to you and your family!

  115. I am actually doing the Dave Ramsey plan now and would love to have more of his books. I am so excited to become debt free!!!

  116. Soooo excited for this upcoming week’s challenge. My husband and I cannot wait to become debt free!

  117. Cory says:

    Working HARD this year to pay off some debt! Completely debt free may take a while…. I could certainly use a few tips and encouragement!

  118. Shanna says:

    If I was debt free I would be able to breathe at night and not toss and turn because I won’t be able to buy groceries this week. Any help I can get would be great. Love your blog.

  119. Pieces of Us says:

    i am a follower and would love to be debt free. pick me!

  120. Cindy says:

    I would love to learn how to become debt free!

  121. Sarah says:

    We would love to be debt free! We are slowly on the Dave plan and I’m sure there is a light at the end of the tunnel – Our tunnel is just really long right now!

    Thanks for having such a fun giveaway!

  122. labeck says:

    This is soooo a God thing! I heard about the Dave Ramsey class at my church yesterday, signed up and realized it starts TONIGHT! I can’t wait as I’m such a fan of Dave Ramsey.

    I have little debt (medical bills totaling $1000) and little savings ($200), so being debt free would help me breath more easily and focus on putting money in savings for that emergency fund!

    It’s so not a coincidence that you’re having this financial series this week – the same week I’m starting Dave’s class. I cannot wait until I can call into Dave’s show and yell I’M DEBT FREE! πŸ™‚

  123. Joy says:

    I cannot wait for the day that we are out of debt- we have medical school loans to pay off, so it will be awhile, but I cannot wait!

  124. Chelsa says:

    we’re trying to be debt free! i can’t wait until the day we are! i’m going to shout it from the roof top!

  125. Lissa says:

    I’m a follower. If I were debt free, I would save money for my duaghter to go to college so she can graduate debt free from college (what a wonderful gift that would be for me to give to her!)

  126. Pinks My Ink says:

    I am a follower and I am so not debt free, sad to say. I am so depressed over this fact and it has hit me hard, as I painfully watch my daughter apply for every scholarship imaginable. Thank goodness we had the sound mind to purchase a prepaid college plan, so at least her tuition is paid. She is also a very smart girl and the scholarships abound, but room, board, and meals will place is further in debt….
    Oh well, I hope I win because we need this so very much. Until then I have been on Dave Ramsey’s site all morning, hoping it will stick.


  127. Pinks My Ink says:

    I am also joining your challenge, spring break could not have come at a better time. The budget and envelope system will be started this week.

  128. I am a follower of your blog!

  129. I would love to be debt free – I would go on a vacation with my family!!

  130. MontyFam says:

    Love Dave Ramsey and what he teaches! We are about 5 months from being debt free!!! Once we’re debt free and get our emergency fund up then we’re going to start fixing up our home! We have so many plans and it won’t take us long to save up for the projects since we’ll be DEBT FREE! Can’t wait!

  131. Marlo says:

    I would LOVE to be debt free.
    If I were debt free, I would take my family on a nice vacation. Thanks for the chance to win πŸ™‚

  132. MontyFam says:

    I’m a follower!

  133. I would love to be debt free. If I were, I would place extra money into a retirement fund and splurge when I am able to retire.

  134. Tristen says:

    I am a follower!!

  135. Tristen says:

    We would take a wonderful family vacation if we were debt free.

  136. I am an everyday follower of your blog and love it!


  137. I would love to be debt free, I’m on my way and this giveaway would be so helpful it I won it. πŸ™‚


  138. Carter Clan says:

    I am a follower of your blog!

  139. I have wanted to be debt free for many years but never seem to get anywhere. I have started plans before and not been able to follow through. Help!

  140. I’m a follower and loving it! When we are debt free I want to enjoy my home more and build up some savings.

  141. Rachelle says:

    My husband and I have made it our goal to be debt free in the next 5 years. Winning this giveaway would help us be able to have more tools to succeed!

  142. Allison says:

    my goal is to be debt free w/in the next 5 years… thanks for this great challenge!

  143. Nima K says:

    This is a wonderful post and I am sure it’ll help me take one more step towards becoming Debt-Free πŸ™‚

  144. rskmom says:

    If I were debt free, I would focus on giving more to volunteer organizations I support!

  145. rskmom says:

    I’m already a follower!

  146. Stephanie says:

    I’m a follower, and on our way to being debt free!

  147. Oh…I so need this!! Thanks for the chance to win! If I were debt free…I would first celebrate and then would take a trip to see family and friends back home.

  148. B Bryan says:

    Debt free here except for the mortgage. Being able to pay cash for things is SUCH an amazing feeling. I respect Dave and how he’s helping people change their spending habits. Would love to read his books then pass them along to others to learn how to manage debt.

  149. Heidi says:

    I follow a Bowl Full Of Lemons!

  150. Heidi says:

    We try so hard to be responsible and conservative, but we have no budget. The budget is: “Be as conservative as possible.” This kind really lends itself to a lot of interpretation and flexibility, which hasn’t served us well. While we don’t have any credit card debt, we have student loan debt, owe a LOT (still, even though we’ve been paying for 2 years) on one of our two cars, and have zero emergency fund. I will sit down today and draw out a budget-I had no idea how functional and helpful they could be. Thank you for your inspiration!

  151. amber says:

    We have been working really hard to be debt free! We just paid off our SUV it was the best feeling to write out that check!

  152. amber says:

    Im a follower!

  153. First of all thank you so much for doing this challenge! And what a CHALLENGE it will be for me! Trying to get away from being credit card dependent! Seems impossible. But I know it is very possible with Dave and your help. If I was debt free I think the most enjoyable thing would be being able to sleep better at night. Thanks Again!!

  154. I am also a follower.

  155. We just started the cash bugdet and I am super excited! We are working hard to be debt free! We are waiting to buy a house when we are debt free so that will be our first goal after becoming debt free! πŸ™‚ Great giveaway! Love the blog also! Thanks!

  156. Melissa says:

    I am a follower.

  157. Melissa says:

    We are almost debt free… we have a truck to pay off along with our mortgage. Going to one income again has made us real in our budget and get back to envelopes.

  158. Heidi Joncas says:

    Would love to rid ourselves from the burden of debt! I would love to get rid of the debt and start a real saving account.

  159. Jenn says:

    I would love to be debt free! Getting ready to start the envelope system! πŸ™‚
    New follower!

  160. Crystal says:

    I am a follower of A bowl full of lemons. My husband and I have been on the Dave Ramsey’s plan for about a year. We are not completely debt free, but we have paid off $10,000.00 in debt that we had. We have a way to go, and we get side tracked, but we are not spending money on things that we do not need. We are not out buying new cars or new clothes, just the basics. We did not take a class, we just listened to his radio show, and read the books.

    Hopefully we can teach our children that they do not have to live paycheck to paycheck because it is just hard. And it does not look as if it is going to get in easier. Just found your blog the other day and I am loving it already.

  161. Jessi Robson says:

    I’ve tried so many times to budget but have always followed back into indulgent shopping. This tax season around I am committed to sticking to our budget!

  162. Jodilyn says:

    I am another one who has tried to budget many times. We always end up falling back and not following the budget. I am so tired of living paycheck to paycheck. To be debt free would mean so much less stress for me. I have such a hard time being the person I want to be when I am stressed so much.

  163. Jenny says:

    So far my husband and I are debt free – Yay! But we haven’t yet purchased a home, so I know there is some debt in our future. Here’s to hoping we stay mostly debt free.

    Thanks for the financial organization tips! πŸ™‚

  164. I am a follower of your blog. I am about to graduate college–with a TON of student loan debt under my belt–and I have no idea how to manage my money. The Dave Ramsey plan would help me figure out how to organize my finances before I get sucked into the world of mortgages and large purchases and savings for children… I want to eliminate the student loan debt I’ve accrued and start out on the right foot!

  165. jessa says:

    I’d love to pay off student loans and get a nice amount of money saved up for emergencies- so I won’t have to worry so much!

  166. Molly B says:

    I wish we were debt free. . .but we are working on it!
    I am a follower

  167. I love to follow your blog. It is always helpful. I have been trying to convince my husband Dave Ramsey plan is the way to go. I have 2 cards of my own, and I pay them myself. I am doing my best to do his plan from what I have read on this and other blogs.
    If I was debt free, I would be able to help build a college fund for my grandchildren. As I woman who began college at age 45 and graduated with a Bachelors at 50, I realise how important to get all the education possible!

  168. Linda Oldham says:

    My husband (a math teacher) and I just bought our first home we wiped out out initial savings for the down payment. We are now on a strict budget. THANK you for this timely challenge! I really love your blog and it has totally changed the way I run my household.

  169. Melissa says:

    I can’t wait to be debt free!!

  170. i am a follower – love the blog

  171. i’d love to be debt free. would love to be able to put our kids through college with no student loans

  172. Sheena says:

    I am a new follower…stumbled across ya blog hopping.

  173. Sheena says:

    I would love to be debt free. I can see now things I couldn’t see when I was younger. When we were doing good we were not disaplined(sp?), however we are older now…debt accumulated..sometimes it seems with nothing to show for it. With the birth of my 4th child it came at a time when the company that I was working for was dying down and looking for a job was a stuggle while I was pregnant. So I am now a stay-at-home mom, we are a one income family, and times are tight! We built up debt on two incomes and now have one to pay for it! So I would love to work towards being debt free. I would love to have money put away for emergencies,and college funds!

  174. Missy says:

    If we were debt free we would give away money-especially to church and our family members!

  175. I am a follower! πŸ™‚

  176. We are at turning point on our path to financial freedom and need to assign extra dollars to specific causes – like in the zero budgeting plan. Looking forward to working on this- and would love to learn more from Dave Ramsey!

  177. We are trying so hard to become debt free. I’ve been a stay at home mom since I was 20 years old, and my husband has worked three jobs at times to keep us afloat. We recently paid $6,000 of debt off, and are working on the final $2,400. I would love to be debt free so that we could travel to do missionary work. I’ve heard that Dave Ramsey’s advice is awesome!

  178. Meredith says:

    Looks like a wonderful starting point!

  179. Tiffany says:

    We just paid off our car this week and are working towards being completely debt free. I’m so excited you’re doing this series, it’s really going to help!

  180. I’m working on my financial planning!

  181. missy says:

    If I was debt free I could quit work and spend more time on my home. I have so many projects that need to get done. I work & run my kid everywhere all the time.

  182. Vanessa says:

    My husband and I are blessed to be debt free. We are saving for a house.

  183. Vanessa says:

    We are sitting down this week to focus on investing.

  184. Ginny says:

    We are almost debt free. Have been using cash only for 5 or more years except one store credit card. That has under $300 on it though, so not too bad! The part I struggle with the most is the savings, etc. I’d love to win this prize to keep up my motivation & maybe learn some new techniques to stay on track, etc

  185. fsuchristy says:

    If I were debt free I could take my family on vacation without feeling guilty. My husband gives me such a hard time about spending money on vacations. If we had no debt, we would have the money travel and have fun guilt free!

  186. Brooke says:

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  187. Brooke says:

    I’m a follower of a Bowl Full of Lemons!

  188. Leslie says:

    I would love to get my hands on this! I know so many people who have had success with Dave Ramsey, you have motivated me!!!

  189. Emily Love says:

    My mom has been taking the Dave Ramsey class and tries so hard to explain it to me. I’d love to win the kit for both of us!

  190. Emily Love says:

    I would love to be debt free. Thankfully, my only debt right now is student loans and I’m in my last semester of grad school right now. I’d love to have a plan to pay these off quickly!

  191. Angel says:

    I am a follower

  192. Angel says:

    I would love to be debt free to pay for my children’s college education. I find the book collection very interesting, this Sunday the sermon was about living with-in our means and Pastor referenced to a red racer. Trying this system has been on my mind a lot lately it looks like all of the signs are saying go for it. πŸ™‚

  193. Amber says:

    I can’t wait to be Debt Free!! We are just starting the program and I am so excited! I feel like the biggest weight will be lifted off my shoulders!! Thanks for your blog. It’s great!

  194. We are on our way to becoming debt free but am struggling to get it together and in a functional way. I am hoping that being debt free is in our very near future!

  195. I am a follower. πŸ™‚

  196. I am participating in the weekly challenge. πŸ™‚

  197. MOM OF 2 says:

    I am debt free….my fiancee is not…I would love this giveaway, so we can work on him together.

  198. MOM OF 2 says:

    I am a follower

  199. Christi says:

    I enjoy following your blog and am so glad to see you take on finances. My husband and I are almost debt free but seem to have gotten off track these last few months. Hopefully this will get us back where we need to be =) Thank you

  200. Samantha2818 says:

    I am already a follower πŸ™‚

  201. Samantha2818 says:

    I would love to be debt free. My son has just turned 13 and having no debts would mean we could enjoy more family holidays while he is still young.
    I would love to win this prize and Dave Ramsey stuff is not available in the UK and I’ve read so much about him. I did use his envelope system on holiday last year and it really worked for us. We were under budget every day which meant that we could treat ourselves on our last day and still bring some money home.
    Thanks for the chance to win this life changing prize.

  202. Heather says:

    I am a follower!

  203. Heather says:

    We are close to debt free. When we are debt free I would love to build up a big savings!

  204. Alissa says:

    I’m a follower!

  205. Alissa says:

    If I was debt free I would love to help others more.

  206. Amy says:

    We’re almost debt free!! We paid our house off in 2008 and then my husband got truck fever so we only have 5K left of that and we’re completely debt free including the house. I can’t wait!

  207. Rachel says:

    I’m a follower! And we are debt-free and are working hard to stay that way!

  208. If I were debt free..I’d spend more time doing fun things with my family. Knowing I’ve saved the money for it.

  209. Jolayne says:

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  210. Jolayne says:

    I am only 21 and I have about $30 000 in student loan debt (Thankfully I am a month away from graduating) and being newly married, it is definitely weighing on my shoulders. My husband is unemploymed at the moment so things get very trying at times. We haven’t been completely irresponsible with money, but we haven’t been the most responsible either. I look forward to when we’re debt free and don’t have this baggage on our shoulders. It’s hard to justify buying something when I owe so much. With this debt gone, my husband and I can move on and look forward to the future without burden πŸ™‚

    Thanks so much for these posts! I have heard so much about Dave Ramsey and look forward to learning more!

  211. Kelly says:

    Thanks for doing this challenge. I have been semi trying for a month or so, but this is inspiring me to be more gazelle intense!

  212. Jenn says:

    Wow, it is so inspiring to see you [and so many others] actually working down large debts! I have a HUGE student loan that just keeps lingering (and the amount seems to be getting bigger by the day). I would love to have some direction on how to tackle all my debt! BTW – I am so inspired by your blog. πŸ™‚

  213. Angela Fehr says:

    I just subscribed using Google Reader. Love the tips – we are debt free apart from the mortgage which will be paid in 2 years – when my oldest child turns ten! We do need to work harder at saving and keeping an emergency fund, however.

  214. Mrs T says:


    Love this idea. We’ve have money mismanagement problems and it’s awful! We were the curse of our own lack of organisation – the money was there but never accounted properly. Budgeting is essential no matter how much you are earning.

    Just followed you on twitter @midlandsmrst xx

  215. Kelli says:

    I follow this blog and I need this series and prize more than you know. This is an outstanding offer!

  216. Kelli says:

    I would have more time to build my card making business. I would also be able to pay for activities that my daughter and son would like to participate in.

  217. I am working towards being debt free. It would be nice one day to be able to buy whatever we need because I know I have the cash to pay for it!

  218. Ashten says:

    I have been sick and tired, of being sick and tired for a while now. I now have my hubby with me on baby step two, and we are plugging away. I barrowed the Dave Ramsey book from a friend, but would love one of my own!

  219. Sarah Jane says:

    I follow your blog!

  220. Sarah Jane says:

    I would love to be debt free. My hubs just finished school this last fall and now we are starting to pay student loans, and I would love to have those all paid for and gone!

  221. Shalee says:

    I would love to be debt free! I’ve heard a lot about the Dave Ramsey plan and I would love to learn more! My husband and I are a lot like you and Dave Ramsey in the fact that we weren’t taught to save. This is definitely something we need to get started on!

  222. Shana says:

    I am sooo excited about this challenge! If we were debt free, I would sleep easy knowing we are being responsible parents and adults who can TRAVEL!!!

  223. Mom to One says:

    I’m a follower πŸ™‚

    After many unexpected circumstances during the past 3 years, unemployment & major health issues – we are working harder than ever before to become debt free.

    No lofty goals or ambitions after being debt-free — simply FREEDOM and being able to bless others with random acts of kindness. πŸ™‚

  224. The Ortegas says:

    I’m a follower πŸ™‚ If we were debt free we’d be able to take a vacation to Argentina to visit my husband’s family whom he hasn’t seen in 9 years.

  225. My husband and I would love to be debt free! It would mean he could persue his acting career without the guilt of not making enough money to make all the ends meet. What a gift!


  226. Margy says:

    I am a follower and love your blog. I could use some help with budgeting too!

  227. Jocelyn says:

    I would love to be completely debt-free someday (house included)! Then we could save so much and be prepared for our future. It would be nice to be in a position to help others more!

  228. CindeeQ says:

    I so want to be debt free! I want to go on great vacations, we miss that so much. With two kids going off to college in a few years I need to get it together, so that we can help them too.
    What a great give-away! I just became a follower. Please teach me!

  229. Laura says:

    I am a follower πŸ™‚
    I so NEED to be debt free…it would rid so much stress for me and allow me to joy the things we have more πŸ™‚

  230. Julia says:

    I am far from being able to organize my finances as my husband is addicted to luxury watches. All our savings go out the window each time he gets a crush on a particular watch. And people say women like to shop for stuff…

  231. Hello Im a new and hopefully Twenty Televe (2012) im going to be an originzed person. With house hold and budget plans ect. BTW love your blog!!!! cant stop ready oh wow 3 hrs just went by….

    Now I do Have a question well 2 and i Hope you can help…I just lost my Job and have limited income right now and I want to save big time and get rid of debit … I looked on Davids Site and nothing just nothing big about budgeting or saving or debit fee for unemployeed people. I want to do it now even though mo job start now so i wont be in more detit then im all ready in!!!

    Second Question is there a time of the month that is right for people to pay bills right now I have like 3 bill all due on the first of the month every month and i worry that tues (unemployment pay day) come when they are due and all 3 are my higest detie bill to be paid house, car , and credit card (i hate using it i cry when i do it for in case some thing happens my bf can tell u that) if u couls answer me

    Email me at thanks for the help

  232. JC says:

    I’d like to follow along. I hope it’s not too late πŸ™

  233. Sooo obviously i’m a little late for this challenge, but hey, better late than never, right?!

  234. ter@waaoms says:

    Hi, I found this through Pinterest. The links to parts 2-6 seem to be broken?

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