How We Paid off $50,000 of Debt in 1 Year

In May 2010, I married my dream girl. She was funny, beautiful and chock-full of 90’s TV trivia. Our first couple of dates consisted of a lot of Saved by the Bell and Seinfeld jokes.

Outside of knowing the Soup Nazi episode verbatim, Nicole and I both came into the marriage knowing the general basics of personal finance. You know, advice like:

  • “Don’t carry a credit card balance”
  • “Always have some savings for a rainy day”
  • “Good debt is okay to have”
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With My High Income, Why Can’t I Get Ahead?

From time to time, I receive questions from the Marriage, Kids and Money audience. I thought this week I’d shake up the show format a little bit by answering one of the questions I received recently about controlling expenses when we have a high income. Enjoy!

Dear Andy,

I saw Dave Ramsey live a couple of years ago and it resonated with me. I began promptly to hack away at my debt and contribute 15% to my 401k. I  gross $8,000 a month before all the fun stuff comes out, including insurance, etc.

  • $500 goes into a high yield savings (Currently, there is about $6,500 in that).
  • $1425 is currently my mortgage payment.  Then we have all the normal bills, etc.
  • The summer was a bit brutal on my budget as I spent $750 in 6 weeks on summer day care, plus $1,000 on a broken AC.

So given all that … My question is “How can I get ahead?” Maybe I just need patience?  

We’re planning on moving soon and I am already doing research on how I can find a safe place in a good school district. But I don’t want that to drive us further into the monthly mortgage hole.

Anyway, I hope I do not sound overly neurotic but I would love your input. 

Kind Regards,


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5 Steps to Getting on the Same Financial Page as your Spouse

We all have individual passions in our lives. Sometimes our interests don’t always gel with our spouse’s interests.

You might be really into brewing beer as a hobby, but your wife … not so much. She prefers photography. It’s all good though. Both of you respect each other, you do your own thing and you’re happy.

When it comes to our finances in marriage, that can be a whole different story. This is an area where teamwork, collaboration and partnership is required to be truly successful. Going off and “doing your own thing” when your money, future and retirement are at stake can be a recipe for disaster.

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MKM Challenge: Budget Your Way to Wealth

It is the first Monday of the month my friends! That means, we’re throwing down another MKM Challenge. For you “personal challenge types” out there (like me), this can be a lot of fun and, if you stick to it, quite rewarding.

Last month, I challenged myself to develop a chore and reward system for my 5-year old daughter, Zoey. The goal was to help Zoey correlate hard work with reward. This way she knows if she really wants something in life that she has the power to make it happen.  

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