(The following is a transcription from a video Linda and I recorded. Please excuse any typos or errors.)
Today Linda and I are talking with some friends of ours (Chris and Andrea Petrie), whom we met last October, and they have a really cool story that we want to share with you.
They paid off $52,000 in not seven years, but in seven months!!
And so we’re going to talk to them about that and how they did it. We’re going pick their brain and see what we can learn from them.
Chris actually runs an awesome podcast called The Money Peach podcast, which he also has a blog named Money Peach. We encourage you to definitely check both of those out. He’s super sharp and we’ll get in more than a second,
Before we get started, below is the transcript of our conversation. But, if you would like to watch our discussion instead, you can do so here:
Bob: Chris and Andrea, thank you so much for hanging out with us, looking forward to chatting about all this.
Andrea: Well, yes. Thank you for having us. We’re excited to be here.
Chris: I’m excited to be here. I will say this, just so everybody understands here. Happy wife, happy life. So I do a very good job of making sure I don’t step on her toes when she’s talking. And we’ll talk a little bit about our story. She used to talk for a living. And so-
Andrea: Is that why you pause so long? So I could start talking first?
Chris: If it’s my podcast and I’m host of the show then I’m in charge.
Andrea: He plows forward.
Chris: Right now, I’m going to just look for little areas where I could just jab in there, so-
Andrea: Well, you’re too close to me. And so I couldn’t catch your eyes. Like, are you going to talk?
Bob: That is awesome.
Chris: You’re going to get one of these, like “Hey, my turn.” So-
Bob: That’s great. I love that. So you both had great incomes in your early twenties, you racked up a bunch of debt, so yeah and I remember reading your story and so I want you to share your, I don’t know, that turning point moment for you guys.
- 1 The “A-ha” Moment
- 2 We’re Going To Be Fine
- 3 Never Again
- 4 Letting God Guide Our Life
- 5 We Need To Live On A Budget
- 6 Unexpected Blessings
- 7 Momentum Gained
- 8 Talking About Money To Our Kids
- 9 Is Being Debt Free Worth The Struggle?
The “A-ha” Moment
Chris: We call it out a-ha moment, I would say. So it was February 2011 and now fast forward, we got married in 2008. 2011, we’ve been married three years, we have a 10 month old at home, and so she’s been on television now probably seven years. Right? So you about seven years. So everywhere she goes in the Valley, she’s recognized as the girl on TV. And so I was at the fire station and she was at the grocery store. And leading up to this point, we were basically just spending out of control. I think we realized it and we just felt like, “Oh, we’ll just get a raise. We’ll make more money,” or, “We’ll figure it out later”.
Andrea: Or every two weeks we get paid and it’s all going to be okay.
Chris: We just always had to step back, remind that if we don’t look at it, it will get better. And so we did this over and over and over again, and it was February 2011 at the grocery store. I’ll let you take this part here because you were there.
Andrea: We had a baby, our first baby and he wasn’t even a year old and I’m there at the grocery store and I can’t have a bad day at the grocery store because I had to always be nice to people. I don’t need… The one day I decided to have a bad day and take it out on somebody, someone say back lady on TV, she’s just awful. And so of course people are so kind and nice and they would talk and ask all about the show and, “Oh, I watch you and at the time my co-anchor Rick,” and so I’m paying, the groceries are all loaded up into the bags and they’re in the cart with Carter, my baby, our baby.
And she asks, “Swipe her card.” I put it in, I swipe it and it’s declined. And I’m like, “Well, that’s weird.” And so of course, immediately too, I think, Oh, it’s in my wallet, the magnetic strip is worn away and that’s probably it. So let me do it again and declined again. So, now I’m starting to get a little bit frantic inside and a little embarrassed and it didn’t work a third time. So I was like, “Oh, I’ll just try a credit card.” And I use that and that didn’t work. So we’re now on four times and now I’m just dying inside, but I’m trying to be super positive and “Oh,” and of course they’re not thinking the girl has no money. They’re thinking it’s some sort of tech problem.
Chris: No, I think they realized-
Andrea: Well, I’m hoping they don’t think that about me because I-
Chris: I think they realized the girl on TV was broke, is what happened there.
Andrea: Well, I was embarrassed. And so I said, “You know what? I have cash at home. I’ll just, can I just leave the groceries right here and I’ll run home and get the cash and come back?”
And they’re like, “Oh, of course.” So I grabbed Carter out of the cart and I bolt to the car and I am so mad. I’m livid.
Linda: Oh man.
Andrea: I’m mad, and I don’t have cash at home. I just am going to leave all those groceries and I hope there’s a shift change. And Susie that was helping me out is not going to share that with Heather that comes on shift and we are not going to be embarrassed up here in Arizona. So he’s on shift and he gets a hot and bothered call from me, and not the hot and bothered that he wishes he was getting.
Chris: She was one upset Andrea.
Andrea: I was mad. I was like, “How would you… Why would you let this happen?” Of course you, you, you, that’s all I said. I was so mad at him. I was.
We’re Going To Be Fine
Chris: Yeah. And I was like, “Don’t worry about it. We’re going to be fine. I’ll figure this out.” Because that’s what you know, “We’ll be fine.”
Andrea: That was all that word, “We’ll be fine.”
Chris: I remember, the next day I came home and it was a Wednesday and I knew we got paid on Friday. And so we look at everything, we print out our bank statements. And that’s when we finally looked at it and we realized that we had been living paycheck to paycheck for so long that we had no savings. We had nothing put away for anything. We had $52,000 in consumer debt. We had overdrafted our bank accounts. We were maxed out on her credit card. And I remember sitting there and that’s when I personally felt this overwhelming shame, because for me, I’m supposed to be the leader or the man of the house. And I’m sitting there and I’m looking at my 10 month old in the high chair, realizing if he needs food, I have to go call my mom and dad.
And then we started thinking, what our mom and dad’s going to think of us? What are our friends going to think of us? Our neighbors? They’ve seen us live this lifestyle with the new cars, new house, vacations, fancy clothes. We’ve done all these different things since day one. We put on this fake and now it was all going to come crashing down and everybody’s going to see what was really going on, right? That whole saying is “No one knows you’re skinny dipping until the tide comes out”, like, here we go, everybody’s going to see this. And I just remember, for her she was angry. But for me it was just total shame and embarrassment because as the man of the house, Bob, you don’t want to call your parents for money, right? You don’t want to have to ever go through that humiliation.
And that’s what we were facing. I was like, “Thank God we get paid on Friday.” What if this was another week and a half? We can’t get gas. We can’t get groceries. We can’t do anything. And I remember, we sat there and I just… It didn’t happen right away but I remember thinking to myself, this will never happen again. Never again are we going to make this much money and sit here and feel this broke. Well, not feel this broke. We were that broke.
Andrea: Not feel these feelings ever again.
Chris: Never again, and I remember hearing, I started tuning into everything I could finance. And I remember hearing this quote that the number two cause of divorce in North America was money problems and money fights. Number one is infidelity, if you’re wondering. And number two is money problems and money fights, and I remember thinking we’re going to be a statistic if we don’t get this figured out, because I know this. It was bad, it was bad.
Andrea: And the thing was is we didn’t necessarily fight leading up to that about money. We just never talked about it. And when I look back I’m like almost fighting would have actually been better because it was some sort of communication, maybe not the healthiest communication. But no communication about something as important as that was really to the detriment of that portion of our life, which money is everything. I mean, it touches every aspect of your life, whether you want to believe that or not. And it was affecting every part of our life and now our marriage. Yeah.
Bob: All right. So I’m curious, where was God in all this, in this whole equation for you guys?
Chris: God wasn’t there yet.
Andrea: God was not.
Chris: God was coming a few years later.
Letting God Guide Our Life
Andrea: I mean, God was there. We were believers, but we did not turn to God and we did not let Him guide our life. We tried to control it all.
Chris: I would say it was a couple of years later when we basically just opened our hands and we were like, “All right, your turn. We’re tired of trying.”
Andrea: Your way has got to be better.
Chris: When we do it our way we have some success, but it’s never going to be at the level that God can create. And we’re not very smart over here. We got to go deep into debt and then we had to make a bunch of mistakes. Finally we were like, “All right God, we’ll just do what you want to do. I promise you your plans going to be better than mine.”
Bob: It’s always the best course of action, right?
It Was All God – Hands Down
Bob: All right, so I want to dig into the paying off the 52,000 in seven months. Like that’s-
Linda: Yeah, that’s crazy.
Bob: Unbelievable. Talk through a little bit of what that looks like.
Chris: During that time, and now looking back, I mean, I’ve thought about this too.
Andrea: Yeah, when you go back and retrace His faithfulness, even though we didn’t give all the glory to Him at the time, because He wasn’t front and center. Now we look back and it’s like, it was all Him, hands down.
We Need To Live On A Budget
Chris: So what it looked like was February, we go broke. Right? Well, we didn’t start doing anything until April because we didn’t know what the heck to do. So for two months you basically just pointed fingers at each other and said, “No, it’s your fault”-
Andrea: Or just not talk about it.
Chris: And not talk about it for two months. We are just in this idle state because we didn’t know what to do. And I remember I came home and I said, “I think that we need to live on a budget.” You looked at me and you’re like, “You can.”
“It’s going to be fun.” And so the first step we basically came to the decision that if we don’t have changes, we’re never going to find success.
Andrea: But you just have to give just a tiny little background is when you said that and I wasn’t willing, it’s because I wasn’t listening. I heard budget, and what that felt like, and what I heard from that was, “You are going to live well below your means, the means that I’m going to say you have to live within. You can’t go to Target anymore.”
Chris: Yeah, I did say that.
Andrea: Yeah. And I’m like, “Take me now. My whole life’s over if I can’t go to Target. No!” And so it took me about a week for me to come back to you and say, “All right, what will this budget look like? How stricter are we going to have to get?”
Chris: So in April we decided to get on a plan, and we didn’t know what a budget was. And I have screenshots that I’ve shared with the students in our class of our first budget and it was terrible. It was on a white piece of paper and it looked ugly. It was $900 over that month and we were trying. But once we got on a budget we realized that the pain of remaining in debt any longer was more than the pain of living on a budget and sacrificing. And so like that teeter-totter effect, it finally became, “Okay, the pain of being broke sucks and it’s now more painful than anything else.” So now was time. So I remember we got on the budget and it was once we got on a budget, we started seeing how much money we were spending frivolously.
Chris: And it became this game where it was like, “Okay, we can always go back and get that stuff. Well, what if we just turned everything off? What if we turned off cable? What if we turned off-
Andrea: What if we sold that car and got a cash car that was much cheaper, not as nice, not as new, but reliable.
Chris: And of course, we’re normal. We’re upside down in our cars. So it was weird to sell a car and still make payments on it. But I remember telling her that we owe 36,000 on this car, or 34,000 it was, so we can get 30 for it. So I think it would be a lot easier to pay off six than it would be to pay off 30, or 36. And so we just made these decisions, and so we got crazy. So she wasn’t allowed to work overtime because she was salaried employee, so she started selling everything. You sold pictures off the wall, he sold sunglasses, purses, shoes. And the thing is since she spent so much freaking money on clothes, these clothes still sold for pretty good money. I mean, it was actually a pretty little side hustle.
Andrea: I’d meet people too, because that was when Facebook-
Chris: There was no Facebook Marketplace.
Andrea: There was no Facebook marketplace, but there were those swift swap groups on Facebook. I don’t know if they’re still a thing here. So basically online garage sales and I would meet people at the grocery store parking lot, and I was like, “I’m exchanging shoes. This feels wrong, but it’s not drugs. It’s not illegal. I’m just selling shoes. Like, it’s fine.”
Chris: Well, then for me, the blessing came in three ways for me personally, how I could contribute. So number one, the fire department hadn’t hired in a while because the economy was just… The government is always a couple of years behind the economy shift. So we didn’t hire and we had retired people. So there was this shortage in workforce. So there was non-stop overtime. If I wanted to work every day, I could. So I was working as much as I possibly could over time.
And so then when I was in college, one of my jobs was I had a pool route. I would go clean pools. So I finally remember I told you, it was like, I think June, May or June, and I was like, “You know what? I’m going to go to Google Earth, because remember this is 2011. So I went to Google Earth and I printed off a map of our neighborhood and I highlighted all the houses that have pools. And so we put our 10 month old in the car, she drove me door to door and I’m like, “Stop!” and I’ll get out and I had a one minute-
Andrea: An elevator speech.
Chris: Yeah, a one minute sales pitch. And I would say, “Hey, my name’s Chris. I live in the neighborhood. I noticed you have a pool. I don’t know if you have a pool technician, but I’m a qualified pool technician. And I would like to clean your pool. If you’re wondering why I’m actually a firefighter here in Arizona and I’m trying to earn extra money to pay off my debt. And I’d love to be in your neighborhood. If you need me day or night, you can call me.”
And I don’t know, one out of five would be like, “Yeah, let’s get started.” So that brought it in, there was one month I brought, I think it was $2,000 a month in there and overtime, we sold everything. And then I was also playing football all the time and I played at a tackle football league for public safety. And so-
Andrea: Because he still felt like he was 18.
Chris: This is another God thing. God gave me a pool route. God gave me the ability to work nonstop over time. And then God put me on the field at a certain moment where I broke my leg. So the pool route day was over, but here was the icing on the cake. I was so dumb with money that I had forgotten that I had signed up for an Aflac injury insurance policy. And so I think they paid us like 10 grand. And we just went through all that debt. So-
Andrea: But he got a broken leg out of it, then God humbled him and was like, “Those days are over. Go pay your debt off and start stewarding it a little bit better.”
Chris: Imagine having a, at the time a one-year-old, a two-story house, a broken leg-
Andrea: A full-time working wife that left at 3:30 in the morning.
Chris: Yeah, I would say if we can get through that, we can get through anything.
Linda: Well, you’re a firefighter too. It’s like, you need to be rescuing people. You’re sitting there.
Chris: The fire department wasn’t too thrilled with me breaking my leg playing football either.
Linda: I guess not.
Chris: Look, it was better than working overtime. No it wasn’t, actually. I’d rather work overtime. But I remember, we worked the plan and every month it seemed like how much more can we squeeze? What else can we do?
Andrea: It was momentum we gained.
Chris: It started getting more crazy, more crazy.
Andrea: And we were getting excited because we were seeing a small win after another. And when you get that wheel going, it won’t stop.
Chris: We had a great income, we just reallocated our income to debt. We still were making the same amount of money. And then I remember it was November 17th, 2011. And we were sitting, I think, in this office right here, and I said, “Andrea come here.” And I look online and we had more money in our checking account than our last debt. So I knew on paper, we were debt free. We still have that debt. So I was getting ready to pay it and she was like, “We need to…” I don’t want to say the bank. We went to Bank of America. And so we drove it to Bank of America. And I’ll never forget, it’s just a couple miles down the road, we drove up to Bank of America, we walk in, and I’m like… I mean, you got to remember, if you go this radical, just imagine what your friends think of you when you’re selling your cars, you’re buying beater cars, you’re not going out to eat, you stop drinking coffee out with friends, you don’t go to bars. You don’t do anything.
You Say No
Andrea: You say no to a lot of things.
Chris: To everything. No gifts, nothing. We were just, no, no, no, no, no. People that we were crazy. And I remember we were walking into the bank of America and I remember thinking to myself, we’re going to show them. They thought we were crazy. And maybe we were crazy, but we did it. We did what everybody thought we couldn’t do.
Andrea: And that fuels the fire.
Chris: It felt so good.
Andrea: And it fuels a little bit.
Chris: We walk into Bank of America and I’ll never forget. I wrote the check out, handed it to the teller. And then she tears off that slip and it tells you your account balance. And it said $0, zero cents, paid in full. And that moment was… I always say in life, getting married to her was the best decision I made. The two kids, depending on the month which kid we like the most, but that was right behind it. And I remember thinking to myself, “Andrea, we have to tell every single person we know how to do this because this just saved us. This changed our lives. This is forever. This is going to allow us peace. When we go to bed at night, our head hits the pillow, we go to sleep, we don’t stress.
One Hundred Pounds
All of these things, it felt like… People, someone had asked me, what does it feel like? I said, imagine you’re walking around with a backpack full of a hundred pounds, and you’ve been doing this for 10 years, and that’s all you know. And all of a sudden, somebody just reaches over and grabs it off your back and you’re like, “Oh my gosh, that’s what that feels like.” And so since that moment, that’s why we’re here right now. We have non-stop made it our mission that we are going to tell everybody we know.
Changes And Commitments
Andrea: And I think as you make commitments and you stay consistent with habits and that’s living this way is a lifestyle now. It’s a habit that’s so deeply ingrained in us. And it’s one of those things that is a non-negotiable. So we never, ever miss a month of doing a budget, of sitting down and yeah, they don’t take nearly as long now. We’ve been doing them over and over and over and not a lot changes every month. But the consistency of that, plus it’s the connection too, of where are we on our mindset, our goal set. Are we still steadfast to this? Is this the next thing? And it keeps that communication line really, really open and money just is a topic of conversation that’s really easy and it’s not taboo for us.
It doesn’t need to be. In our opinion, it just does not need to be. And so there’s a lot of things I think when you get… You just get going so hardcore on a goal. And I always say, it’s like you start out on a diet, right? And eventually you have to find that middle gear because for it to become a lifestyle, it’s got to be something sustainable or something that can be consistently done over and over. As far as our budget and this lifestyle, that is one thing just can’t let go of. And so we sometimes go into that sort of middle gear because as you start, when you’re out of debt and you’re just investing and things like that, you don’t have those rapid wins all the time. It feels long, but we know we can’t let off the gas because this is one of those things that we can’t stay too far in middle gear, or we will just let off the gas too much and then I don’t think it will stay consistent.
Bob: That’s good. Yeah. I think we very much felt exactly the same way as we paid off our debts.
Bob: Right? Don’t you think? Like what you’re talking about that a hundred pound backpack, yeah, that’s exactly how it feels. That’s a great descriptor.
Linda: I felt like it was something on my chest. It was like somebody sitting on my chest and just, it’s hard to breathe.
Back In Debt Regret
Bob: Yeah. And so an interesting thing, so we paid off our mortgage and then we moved to Tennessee and real estate is a lot more expensive here. And so we were having a really good year with the business and I was like, “Well, let’s get a little mortgage, everything will be going great and we’ll get it paid off within a year or something. No big deal.” So we got that mortgage, business did not continue going as well. It started trickling down, ended up having that mortgage for another, I don’t know, two or three years or something. And man, it was so much worse, so much worse than the first time.
Linda: Bob was like, “I’m so mad at myself. Why did we get back into debt? This is the stupidest thing I’ve ever done.”
Replacing A Hobby
Bob: So having tasted the freedom and been completely out of debt and then going back in, it was even worse. So anyway, I want to touch on something that you guys were talking about, or I think Chris, you’re mostly talking about this, but I think you both were doing this. One thing that I’ve observed is for a lot of people, I don’t know, I feel like most people who accomplish really great financial goals like this, like paying off this much debt in this short a period of time, it is a hobby for them. So it replaces X hobby over here. And this becomes not just the thing that you have to do, but the thing that you get excited about, the thing that you nerd out on the thing that really is an obsession of your time, in a good way. And that’s what it seemed like for you guys. Is that accurate to describe it that way?
Chris: I think that’s what happened is after we paid off our debt, the non-stop… we didn’t know how to slow down at first. I remember we were like, we just did something great. We need to take a break. We didn’t know how. And I think what happened is we just transferred this energy, and this was 2011. Money Peach started in 2015. So there was a three and a half year period in there where we weren’t thinking, “we got to start a business.” We were just thinking, how can we tell people about this?
Andrea: We would have 6:00 PM dinners at our kitchen table and a couple would come over and we would share a meal and we would simply show them how to set up a budget.
Chris: And then it turned into, “Well, can you show my friend. He’s struggling. He’s going through a divorce. Can you show my brother?” And then it became, I was showing more and more people.
And then we go to CrossFit and the owners of our CrossFit gym at the time, we helped them with their budget and they go, “We want to offer this to our members. Will you teach classes out of our gym on Sunday night?” Yes. And it just became this addiction hobby that all we wanted to do was talk about money. And we chose to do it in a better setting because it turned into “Oh, here comes Chris and Andrea again. They’re going to talk to us about fricking a budget. No one wanted to hang out with us. We were the budget couple. But then when you are hosting a class and you’re inviting people, “Come to the class, we’re going to talk about getting out of debt and saving money,” then it was like the freedom to do that.
Starting A Blog
And that’s when I realized, we’ve got to do this in a different way. And so we did that for three years. And then long story short, but somebody in our class said, “Hey, you should start a blog.” And I was like, “Oh-
Andrea: What’s a blog?”
Chris: Isn’t that where women share their recipes? I didn’t know. I didn’t know what a blog was. I remember people talking about recipes and they’re like, “no, no.” And then, so somebody knew a mutual friend of ours, this guy named Deacon Hayes, and he had a blog for, at the time, about five years. And so I remember I went to coffee and I told Andrea, I’m like, “I’m going to go to coffee with this guy named Deacon. We’re going to talk about blogging.”
She goes like, “What are you doing?”
And I go there and I came back and I’m all excited. I’m like, “I can talk about debt and budgets and saving as much as I want. And I can just put it out on the internet and it doesn’t really cost any money. I can do this nonstop.”
Andrea: Yeah. That was the start of it.
Chris: Yeah. That was the start..
Bob: Yeah. That’s funny how it’s addicting. It’s funny, also I had that same conversation, but in 2007, but yeah. And most people didn’t know what a blog was then, but that’s crazy.
Talking About Money To Our Kids
Linda: I have a question for you guys. So you talked about just the shame aspect, Chris, you touched on this about just feeling really ashamed. And then you talked about how you talk about money now, which is without any shame. I wonder, is this conversation going on with your kids? Do they hear you talking about this stuff and how are you talking to them about it? Because I feel like people feel so ashamed about money and it’s all because there’s a lack of education and how should we be talking about it so that we don’t feel that? Because that is not from God. That shame is not from God. And so I feel like, yeah, I would love to hear your thoughts on that.
Chris: I’m extremely passionate about this. And I would say that societal standards are that children are kept in the dark about mom and dad’s finances sometimes forever. There’s adults out there that have no idea what’s going on with their parents, and more is caught than taught, right? We could sit there and we could teach things all day long, but I look back to moments and I would challenge any parent to do this.
Turn Off The Lights
Look back to a moment that was impactful with a conversation with your mom and dad or something like that. And I’ll never forget, I looked back to, I was probably, I don’t know, a teenager in high school, I remember my dad came home, and everybody can relate to this. “Chris, turn off the lights. You leave the lights on all the time and it costs money.”
Well, if you would’ve left it there, I probably would’ve kept the lights on. And I’ll never forget I was working my first job, I think at Jamba Juice. Do you guys have that in Tennessee?
Chris: I was making smoothies, people, I was doing it. I was making smoothies, all right? And so I remember my dad was paying bills cause this is in the mid nineties, you sent checks in the mail and he’s like, “Chris, can here and take a look at this.” And he showed me the electric bill, and it was $240 in 1995. And I remember thinking 200? I don’t even make that a month slinging smoothies at Jamba Juice. That right there caused me to go turn lights off. He didn’t have to tell me any more. That impacted me. So I think, okay, I look back at that and I go, okay, how can I now impact the kids the same way?
We have a 10 year old and a seven year old. So the ten-year-old is working really well, but I show him everything.
Andrea: We’re very transparent.
Chris: He knows how much mom and dad make each month. He knows how much our bills are. He knows what the mortgage is. He knows what our utilities are. He knows everything.
And the fear that people have is, Oh, this is private. Well, I just tell him, “Son, don’t go out and advertise this to the world.” And if he does, that’s a small price to pay, to have a little open book, if he learns about money.
Keeping Up With The Joneses
Andrea: Well, what I am already seeing happening with a ten-year-old and a seven-year-old is this idea of keeping up with the Joneses and this comparison trap that is already so prevalent in a young child’s life.
And so for us, we have these conversations all the time. And one time, this was just last year, and when you talked about how you took the mortgage out, the business was doing great. You were like, “Oh, it’ll be fine. We’ll have it paid off.” Well, that was us.
And that was about a year and a half ago. And we had made some investments that we had plans to do really well with, plus his business. And then there was a shift in all of that. And so we had these plans for these two big vacations to take the kids on.
Well that now doesn’t align with the priority of how we live. We will never go into debt to take our kids on a vacation. We will never shelter them from the word “no, we can’t do that” just to keep them comfortable and keep them sheltered from the reality of how life truly is.
And of course we want them to have experiences, but I never want them to think that those experiences just happen no matter what is going on financially. And so we had to have this conversation last year with them and I think we were more worried too, because we’re like, they’re just going to be in tears. And we said, “Guys, that cruise that mommy and daddy planned to take you guys off for spring break? Well, you know how we are with money and we have to make sure that God gets His money and we have to make sure we do it right, and they have to save for you guys, and all of these things, we have to pay the bills, the lights that are on to the house?”
And I said, “Some of the things with mommy and daddy’s work didn’t go as planned. And so we have to take from something that is a want, and we really want to go on vacation, but this year we’re probably going to have to do something small. Maybe we’ll just go up North here in town instead.
And they were like, “Okay, that’s fine.”
Chris: “Sounds good.”
Andrea: “We can go stay in a little cabin up North?”
And we’re like, “Yeah.” I mean, they were totally, and I think it’s because over the last several years they’re being groomed to understand that this is how we will always steward this money. We will never say yes to things just because your friends have it. I mean, we had the conversation not that long ago, he had a friend over and he is Carter, my son, our son, his friend waw like, “Why do you guys not have brand new cars?” And we’re both looking at each other.
Chris: And we didn’t say anything. Carter goes, “Well, my mom and dad are real serious about their money and they just want to make sure that all the important things were paid. And if we have money left over for a new car, maybe they buy one. But my dad, he likes to make sure he gets a good deal.”
Here, I’m like, “We’re doing it right.”
Andrea: It’s not always like that. So I don’t want to paint the picture like our kids are-
Chris: Just the other day. So we live in an area where we have some friends that are very, very high income earners. And so one of our friends got an amazing, amazing truck. And so, he was over and I was like, “Dude, I want to go see your truck.” We were looking at it. And I mean, it’s nice. It is talk-
Andrea: All the bells and whistles.
Chris: Everything, right. And Carter’s getting out of the truck. And looks at, at the time we just sold it. We had a 2011 Kia. Oh yeah. And he looked at the truck and he goes, “Dad, our car kind of sucks, huh?”
And I go, “Yeah, it does kind of suck compared to this truck. But if we compare it to something else, it’s awesome.” I said, “Compared to your bike, it is awesome.”
He’s like, “No, that’s true, Dad. It’s really good compared to my bike.” No comparison here. Yeah.
Is Being Debt Free Worth The Struggle?
Bob: That’s so smart. I love that. All right. Yeah. This is so good. All right. Here’s how I want you to end this. I want to hear, for people watching, people listening, who are like, “Man, that’s awesome. That’s good for them. Bob and Linda got out of debt, Chris and Andrea got out of debt. I don’t know if it’s worth it. I don’t know if it’s worth the fight. I don’t know if it’s worth the struggle.” What would you say to that?
Chris: Oh, I get asked this all the time. Is it worth it? So here’s what I will say is if you continually, every single month, live in debt, that means your debt is going to go up over time and there’s going to be a time whether you like it or not, you’re going to hit the wall. We hit ours in February, 2011. So maybe your wall is next year. Maybe it’s in five years. Maybe it’s in 10 years. But the point is it’s coming. It’s definitely coming. There’s no way to continue to live in debt and not hit destruction.
God Doesn’t Want Us In Debt
And biblically speaking, we all know that God doesn’t want us in debt. God doesn’t want… the borrower truly is slave to the lender. And so if you believe that, if you believe debt is bad, if you are in debt and you don’t like it, which I’ve never met anybody that’s like, “Yeah, I’m in debt. It’s pretty cool.” I’ve never heard anybody say that. I promise you, if you don’t make a change, it only gets intensified. It only gets worse.
And so you get to make the decision. The decision is not is it worth it or not? Is, do you want to live the life that you plan on living? The dream that you have for your life in the future? If you want to do that, no one dreams about, “I can’t wait to retire, be completely broke and cash it all in”, right? No one dreams that.
If you have a dream one day to be able to take your grand kids out or be able to give or to be able to start a foundation or do whatever you want, everything in life that we do is attached to money. Sorry, I didn’t make the rules, but that’s the way it is.
Stress And Money
There is nothing out there that’s not attached to money. I challenge anybody on that. I’ve been doing this long enough where I’ve tried to come up with something, it’s all touching money. So then just take that and say, “Okay, if everything in my life touches money and money as stressful and everything in my life touches money, then there’s going to be stress in my life.”
There’s going to be fear. There’s going to be that ongoing worry of, are we going to have enough? But if you can relieve that stress and get out of debt and stay out of debt, then wouldn’t it make sense that everything in your life that touches money, if money is the good part of life, then it just elevates your life? I promise you it’s one plus one equals two. It’s not rocket science. So just keep that in mind. Is it worth it? I think the question isn’t, is it worth it, is where do you want to be in life?
Bob: Yeah, that’s so good.
Consistency And Habits
Andrea: Yeah. It’s completely worth it. And we say this all the time. It’s not easy in the fact of it being having to stay consistent and continuing to build that habit upon habit upon habit of really sticking to what that original goal and that dream of your life was. Is it easy, math aside? Yes, like you said, it’s a numbers thing. Once you get that all figured out, I would say that the numbers part is the easy part-
Chris: It’s fifth grade math.
Andrea: It is staying consistent and persistent. And we want to be so persistent with this because we know how radically it’s changed our life, living this way and honoring God in our finances. And it changed every scope of our life, from the way we parent to the way we show up for friends and family and the way we show up for our community. And I feel super called to continue to always walk forward with that sort of mission.
More On Chris And Andrea
Bob: That’s great. That’s great. All right, guys. Well, I appreciate you taking the time and chatting about all this. Yeah. Oh, one last thing. One last thing. So moneypeach.com, Money Peach podcast, anywhere else people can find you?
Chris: So you can find me at Money Peach, like you just said. And then Andrea has her site. She was, I would say if you’re a female watching or listening, you’re definitely getting more tailored to her, but she has a weekly encouragement, funny faith-based newsletter that goes out every Friday, right? And it’s pretty amazing how fast this thing’s grown.
Bob: That’s awesome.
Chris: I would say, you know out there there’s so many people like, “Another newsletter?” But her newsletters actually get shared. People share her newsletter with their friends and I’m like, “Wow, you’re doing something crazy because no one shares money-related newsletters.”
Linda: I didn’t realize that you had a newsletter-
Bob: I didn’t either. That’s awesome.
Linda: But I follow you on Instagram which, what is your handle there? Because-
Andrea: Just AndreaRobinsonTV.
Linda: Because she’s, first of all, hilarious. And second of all, so encouraging and not… What did you do? The other day you were talking about, “Let’s just go on vacation for a few minutes and not decide, not have to think about our kids going back to school.”
Andrea: I was like, “I don’t want to think about that. Let’s just pretend like we have a drink in our hand and our toes in the sand.” I was playing [crosstalk 00:34:43] for a minute.
Linda: Yes. So definitely check her out.
Bob: All right. Well, appreciate you guys. We’ll see you soon.
Chris: All right. Take care.
Andrea: Bye, guys.