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The Spending Strike Day 29, Tips for Paying off Debt

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It’s Day 29 of The Spending Strike! Are you still going strong??? Because, in all honesty, I am REALLLLY startig to fizzle out. I’m looking forward to a big grocery shopping trip to Costco on Saturday! 🙂 To give you some motivation to stick with the no spending challenge for just a few more days, here’s another real life, get out of debt story!

The Spending Strike Day 29, Tips for Paying off Debt

30 Day Spend Nothing {or as close to nothing as possible} Spending Strike

*This post contains affiliate links which means I earn a small commission on your purchase.*

Head over to The Sustainable Couple to read Part 1 of Lindsay’s and Randy’s story – how they paid off over $31,000 in THREE YEARS!!

Here’s Part 2 of their Story…

Continued from Part 1 here – Instead of going on and on about our story, here are the highlights:


July 2009 – Randy and I attended Financial Peace University, which is a nine-week class that meets for an hour and a half each time. Each week is a new lesson which is an in-depth look at what all goes into becoming debt-free and obtaining financial freedom: Budgeting, the Debt Snowball (paying down your debt), having an Emergency Fund, Saving for Retirement and  Kids’ College, Insurance (all types), and Giving. These are all the baby steps that Dave goes over in the book Total Money Makeover but takes it to a whole new level. We made so many changes over the course of that class that only added to our momentum. It was inspiring and geared up our intensity. We changed home and auto insurance, found term life insurance, canceled whole life insurance policies, canceled our home phone number, ditched the expensive satellite package (TRUST ME – you and/or your spouse WILL SURVIVE without the 150 channel package!!!), started shopping at Aldi’s… the list goes on and on. These changes may be small standing alone, but put them all together and pair them with smart budgeting and you’ve got yourself a hefty savings each month.

July 2012 – After making the last payment on our van, we were DEBT-FREE!!!!!!! We had taken care of just over $31,000 of debt by following this plan. Unbelievable. WE are THOSE PEOPLE in the book! It is possible. We may have taken longer than others might, but you know what? It doesn’t matter! We made over $31,000 go away in three years. We did it! It’s better than the alternative had we done nothing, I can say that much.

Well, I’m such a “nerd,” that I actually joined up with one the girls who led our FPU and became a Coordinator of the FPU classes. It is simply wonderful to be a part of something that could ultimately change people’s lives forever. This fall was the third group we’ve coordinated together and we are planning to start another in the next month or so.

I highly encourage all of you to either read the book, Total Money Makeover or spend just a little more money and take a Financial Peace University class. Click here to find one near you! I promise you, it will be the best $109 you will ever spend in your life. AND, I’m willing to bet you “earn” that money back after the first time you budget and “find” money you didn’t think you had before.

We are just a regular, average-income family of five that has made this plan work. Is it hard work? Yes. Does it take self-discipline and teamwork? Yes. Is it really possible? MOST DEFINITELY! Trust me, if you can commit to this, you, too, will become debt-free. I’m telling you, it’s an incredible feeling.

One last thing, I would love to give away a copy of Dave Ramsey’s Total Money Makeover and get someone started on this journey to financial freedom!! Everyone who leaves comments or has questions here will be entered to win a copy!

I really hope we’ve inspired some of you to get motivated and tackle your debt. It’s never too late. It takes some serious commitment and you must be willing to do some things that might “sting” a little bit. If you read Ally’s story, read Dave’s books or listened to his radio show, then you are familiar with his popular saying: “Live like no one else, so later you can live (and give) like no one else.”

Please feel free to leave questions here, or if you’d rather, you can send an email to [email protected]

Thank you, and good luck!

Don’t forget to leave a comment here to be entered to win a copy of Dave Ramsey’s book Total Money Makeover. All you have to do is comment and Lindsay will choose the winner and ship out your book! Easy Peasy! But hurry! Comments need to be received by THIS FRIDAY, Friday 31, 2104 at 11:59 pm.

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About Michelle Marine

Michelle Marine is the author of How to Raise Chickens for Meat, a long time green living enthusiast and rural Iowa mom of four. An avid traveler, Michelle has lived on three different continents and has driven all four kids across the entire USA (by herself!). She loves sharing farm-to-table recipes, their family travel adventures, and gardening and homesteading tips on her popular lifestyle blog, SimplifyLiveLove.com.


  1. blankDeb says

    We buy what we need without going on a spending strike. if there’s a good deal on a whole food I won’t skip stocking up jsut to go on a strike. Buy what is needed or on sale to stock up. Not buying on sale would be a much bigger waste in the end by habving to buy it at full price. Buy used for almsot everything. We never in 30 yr.s had any debt except a mortgage and paid down way early. ALWAYS buy used cars as you save on payments and insurance. Cannot figure why someone cares if their car is new and paying full covergae and having those payment and more likely to be stolen. NEVER had a car payment, we saved and paid cash for used. I wouldn’t take a new car if it was given to me unless I could sell it and buy a used one. We lived on one income all those 30 yrs. Don’t need to waste money on a class to do something we’ve did our entire lives together. I’d use the money to buy whole, healthy, organic food instead of a book or class. Raised 3 kids on one income doing all of the above. They paid for college or are paying so no bills there. If they have to pay they will go to school and learn not play. I jsut buy some fresh items each week and staples when I run low or there’s a good sale. Also milk of course. Some weeks it’s more and others not so much depending on what I need and if there’s an extra good sale on staples or what little meat I purchse in the store. Buying alarge quantity of grass fed meat is expensive but I wouldn’t miss it for a spending strike. The gal psoting her story did great but jsut don’t have debt to begin with except mortgage. So easy peasy. The commercial that says hwy folks get into troubel with credit cards…. It’s very simple, NEVER use one.

  2. blank[email protected] There Baked That says

    Congratulations, that is a huge accomplishment and you should be so proud of yourself! My husband and I are getting started with Dave’s program. My dad’s office had to take FPU for work and he let me borrow everything. I just finished reading Financial Peace. I would love to read Total Money Makeover and have our own copy to work with.

  3. blankJenn says

    Thank you so much ladies! This spending strike that a couple of you are on and then with your story about the Dave Ramsey program, is very encouraging! I have just started to log our families grocery bills and such. It’s quite eye opening to see what we think we “need” to get by! I’m finally starting to change my ways and realize there is a better life then spending money on things that don’t “matter”. I applaude you all!

    • blankMichelle Marine says

      Way to go on logging grocery bills! I’m terrible at keeping track of receipts which is one reason I really like paying with cash. 😉 It’s easy to see how much I’ve spend and what I have left. !! Good luck, Jenn.

  4. blanklyn moon says

    Congratulations on your accomplishment. It’s nice to see a young family live this way. Would love to read Dave’s book. I have heard him on the radio before and he’s very interesting. Thanks for the opportunity to win this book.

  5. blankLinda Gilbert says

    I have tried over the years to track every thing but get frustrated and give up. I have heard a lot of great stuff about Dave Ramesy’s program. I would love to have the book. Thank you….

  6. blankJulie says

    I’m probably older than most of you at 53 and my children are grown up but we had hard times when they were babies. My husband is a lorry driver and I have always worked albeit part time, since I started work at 17 I have kept a cash book for every year of my life. It seemed simple to me, a no brainer, I had a budget, I still have a budget, we have always stuck to it. I sat down when we bought our first home worked out how much the necessities were going to cost each month and although we didn’t have an ‘envelope’ system as such the money was put aside under different headings such as food, bills (water, electricity, council tax, insurances), mortgage, fuel for car, savings (when there was money left over) . This money was untouchable it paid for what it should and my husband and I had cash each out of the account to live on once a month and we made it last, like your first commenter, apart from our mortgage we have never been in any kind of huge debt. We have played the field with our utility providers over the years in order to get the best deal and when we needed something large we put it on a nil interest credit card divided the amount by the amount of free months, paid it off and then cut up and cancelled the card! It’s worked for us and we have managed to pay our mortgage off early and save for our retirement. BUT, after all of that, I have learned something with the spending strike, I can live out of my cupboards and freezer for a month, actually probably two… I can spend less on food …. I do need to watch what I spend at the supermarket! I think I have become a little lazy so for me it’s been a good experience and as I have said before I’m going to try and do it twice a year. Thanks for sharing your spending strike I’m glad I joined in!

  7. blankHeather says

    Would love to win the book – thanks for the chance. And for all the inspiration. It helps to know we aren’t alone.

  8. blankCassandra says

    We didn’t do as well as we could have this month, but we have made HUGE improvements on spending. So much that when my husband asked me to pay daycare from my account ($300) I didn’t even hesitate, when normally I would have had to have him xfer the money right away. I’m so excited to use this as a lifestyle, not just a challenge so I’m happy that you and Kelli decided to do this!

  9. blankSue Stuns says

    I have read bits & pieces of Dave Ramsey books but would really love to have my own copy. I have been frugal all my live but haven’t saved enough. I would like to learn to snowball savings! Love your site!

  10. blankMarisa says

    I loved your thoughts on who cares if it takes longer than others, the end result is that you accomplished what you set out to do!! Thanks for sharing your story!

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