Five Reasons to Take Financial Peace University

To us, Financial Peace University is a life-saving game changer. In case you haven’t heard of it before, Financial Peace University is a class created by Dave Ramsey with the intention of helping people gain control of their finances. The class focuses on baby steps to help you reach financial freedom, and there is a high level of group involvement and accountability.  It’s like having a personal financial advisor (who actually makes sense) as well as a team that supports you and cheers you on.

Cody and I first took the class in 2015, when we felt overwhelmed with our student debt. The class changed our lives!  Since then we have facilitate the class multiple times, and we recommend it to nearly everyone. Here are our top five reasons to take a Financial Peace University class.


You get a reality check.

In general, I always assumed that Cody and I did pretty well managing our money. Neither of us had any weird spending habits or extravagant indulgences. However, once we sat down and saw how much we were spending a month on “miscellaneous” and how much of our income SHOULD be going to certain things, it was a reality check. Our money could be handled better. 

You get a raise!

Okay, so we didn’t ACTUALLY gain any money, but it felt like it! Once we knew where our money needed to go each month (rent, food, utilities), we realized we had a lot more “leftover” than we thought. It was nice to be able to assign that money to more fun things like shopping and date night! 

It saves your life.

This one is almost literally true.  We didn’t know about all the different insurances we should have (or which ones were a waste of money). Our health, renters, and life insurance policies are all a lot better now and keep us in a good place if something terrible were to happen. 

You can stop paying for college before you retire.

We got married with a combined $110,000 in student debt. Some of my loans were 10k+ with interest of up to 12%. It was INSANE. By the looks of it, we were going to be paying off my loans for a solid 20-30 years. Financial Peace University taught us how to get rid of debt quicker, and currently we are on track to be debt free in less than five years from our graduation date!

The community will keep you on track.

We still stay in touch with people who were in our original Financial Peace University class. The bonds that sharing financial struggles brings is something special. Our friendships from being both students and facilitators for FPU keep us accountable even years later!

If you are interested in taking a class, you can find out more here.  To share your financial journey with us (and learn more about our journey) you can contact us here.

How to run an online business (without driving your friends crazy)

How many messages have you received like this . .
“Hey friend I haven’t talked too since high school. How are you? You would totally love this new product and I want you to try it and host a party for me.”
Ugh. Ew. Block. No thanks.
I know people feel that way when they find out that I run an online business, which is why I don’t talk all that much about it, unless I really have a reason. I’ll post about it here or there if I have big news to share, but I definitely don’t “cold call” people (anymore). No one likes those messages, especially me.
Here are some key ways to run an online business and still keep your friendships alive and well.


. . .add people to your Facebook group without their permission. I know what you’re going to say, “But what about my friend who I already know LIKES the product I sell?” Nope. Not even her.

I’ll admit I made a mistake with this one when I first started. I added EVERYONE. This was bad for a few reasons. It brought my engagement down because I had people who didn’t want to be there AND it hurt those relationships and my brand by making my brand look spammy.


. . . shoot them a quick message to introduce them to what you’re doing and ASK if you can add them. Or better yet, send them the link so they can join themselves. This way you know the people who are in your group are there out of their own free will, not because you forced them in (that’s called kidnapping, folks ? ).


. . . cold call (or cold message) people. This is a tough one for a lot of people. If you are in direct sales, you likely get told all the time by your upline or corporate office to make a list of 100 people and message them all about your opportunity, but spontaneously contacting people will not put you or your company will likely put a bad taste in people’s mouths.


. . . focus on building relationships. Sure, 100 people could lead to great things to your business. Instead of randomly messaging someone who you haven’t spoken to in a decade, work to build the relationship. Treat people like people, not numbers for profit. If you do have a friend from high school that you truly believe would love your product, get to know her again. Spend time finding out more about her and rebuilding that relationship. After you have a relationship, you are in a better place to determine if your brand really is something she might be interested in. This allows for you to bring it up in a more natural way.


. . . post constantly about your business on your personal page. First off, this is a legal thing with Facebook. You can’t sell things on your personal profile. Secondly, it’s great that you sell women’s clothing, but do you think Uncle Tom cares enough tosee your posts every single day? Probably not.


. . . use Facebook pages or groups for your business posting. This allows people who WANT to be a part of what you’re doing to opt in, and people who don’t can avoid being constantly bombarded with your business posts. It’s fine to post every once in a while about your business on your profile page, just not any more than you would post about a typical 9-5 office job. Otherwise, you’re likely overwhelming your friends and family with spammy feeling content.
These do’s and don’ts will help you to run an online business professionally without making your friends and family crazy! For more tips on running a business, or just to follow our crazy antics, you can find us here!

Meal Planning in (literally) no time at all!

When Cody and I got married in 2014, I was an embarrassment in the kitchen. I seriously knew NOTHING about cooking or meal planning. My best kitchen skill was boiling water, and my frozen pizza game was on point, but beyond that? I had never used a grill. Plus, I didn’t know how to steam veggies unless they come in the microwave steamer bags. Raw meat made me cringe, and I avoided touching it by any means possible. I couldn’t cut anything, or even use a grown-up knife. Literally, I used one of those giant plastic lettuce knives to cut everything from meat to tomatoes.

The victim? This poor, innocent tomato. The murder weapon? An impressively dull, fat, plastic knife. How it manages to even break the skin is a miracle in itself.

Cody on the other hand had worked as a cook and bartender at a restaurant for a number of years. Ladies – marry a bartender/cook. Trust me. However, because of our schedules, I was left making most of the meals, so I had to learn and learn FAST.

For the first few months, we would just make a few random things that I could figure out and maybe one or two complicated recipes that would leave me almost in tears while Cody finished them when he got home. I felt like a failure of a wife. Not only that, but we were spending SO MUCH on groceries and had no idea how to fix that.

Changing the focus to the budget

Cooking clearly didn’t come naturally to me, but I liked the idea of budgeting, so I figured out a plan.  Each week I would follow these meal planning steps to saving us money.

  1. Check to see what we had leftover in the fridge and pantry and what meals we could make from that.
  2. Pull together all the ads from local grocery stores to see what was on sale.  Zucchini? Great. We’ll have zucchini boats.
  3. Add in a few other low-cost meals. You know, rice and beans and such.
  4. Make a list of all the ingredients we will need and cross of what we already have or what we can make do without.
  5. Grocery shop, often at three places just to get the best deals.
  6. Inevitably forget something and have to send Cody out to the nearest store (which was crazy expensive).

It worked. We were spending $50 a week on groceries. The downside? This whole meal planning process would often take three or more hours plus shopping time. It became exhausting, and I knew there were so many other things I could be doing with this time. I started to resent Cody for it, because clearly he didn’t appreciate all the work I was doing to get halfway decent meals on the table without breaking the bank.

We followed this process for a few years. It worked, but it wasn’t super enjoyable. I did get faster at prepping the meals, but that was mainly because we rotated through the same 10-15 meals all the time. We were also only eating “healthy-ish” – it was all homemade, but not super nutritious. We spent all this time making homemade meals, but in all actuality, they weren’t much healthier than just eating out. Our lack of a balanced diet left me 25lbs heavier than in college and Cody 25lbs lighter (the man needed some protein).

Taking back the kitchen (and our health)

Now we are a part of an amazing program that gives us brand new meals each week, created by a registered dietician. She sends us the meals, a grocery list, and a list of what we can prep ahead of time to make dinner run more smoothly. That’s right – I do no meal planning!  We are getting a balanced diet with lots of protein. After one month, I am down a few pounds and Cody is building some muscle, just because we are getting the nutrients we need. We are spending a little bit more (roughly $80/week), but the health benefits and time saved is SO worth it! Plus the recipes are incredible and make me feel like my kitchen skills are amazing. We are taking back the kitchen, one healthy meal at a time!

If you would like more information on this way of meal planning or want to join us (we have a Facebook group with a week of free recipes you can test out), please contact me.  I’d love to help you take back your kitchen as well!

How to Conquer the World before Walking Out the Door

Mornings always felt rushed to me. I would see other people seemingly conquer the world before dropping their kids off at school. They had worked out, read their Bible, eaten a balanced breakfast, had fantastic hair and make up, packed a healthy lunch, and made it out the door in time to grab a coffee at Caribou.
Then there was me who could barely get up, grab some cereal and half-watch an episode of Friends while throwing my hair in a messy bun, quickly grab some carrots or something for lunch, and stumble out the door. My mornings looked like this whether I had five minutes to get ready or a ninety minutes. Oh, and I didn’t have kids to get out the door – just myself!
I decided enough was enough. I made changes to be able to get LOTS done and in just an hour and a half in the mornings. It’s not by any magic in the morning; instead, I learned to better manage my nights.

Nighttime Routines to Fix Your Mornings

  1.  Do the dishes. If my kitchen is clean in the morning, it is easier to find dishes and cook breakfast without getting sidetracked. I even have time to make eggs and bacon now!
  2. Lay out clothes for the next day. It only takes a few seconds to check your weather app to see the forecast. When your clothes are already out, it eliminates the need to make a decision early in the AM before your brain is ready for it.
  3. Have lunch ready to go. I put some leftovers in my Pyrex containers so that everything is ready to throw in my lunch bag. (This is a SUPER useful set of containers I use on a daily basis from Amazon. The sizes work great for portions and for packing into lunchboxes! This is an affiliate link, full disclosures here)
  4. Make a pile by the door. Shoes, keys, anything else you bring with you (for me it’s a backpack).
  5. Charge your phone far from your bed. The only way my morning “email check” doesn’t turn into 10-15 minutes of scrolling Facebook and responding to texts is by charging my phone on a different floor of our house than our bedroom at night.
I am amazed at what my mornings look like with these changes in place!
5:45 Alarm goes off
6:00 Workout
6:30 Shower/get ready
7:00 Breakfast/Devotions
And I can be out the door by 7:15/7:30!
How does your morning routine compare? What things make your mornings run just a little bit smoother? I would love to hear what is working for you.  Comment here or let us know over on Facebook!

A License to Try

“Nothing will ruin your 20’s more than thinking you should have your life together already.”

I have very mixed feelings about this quote that I see all the time. On one hand, it is reassuring. I am 25 years old and don’t have life figured out. Currently, I work four jobs, with no particularly strong pull towards or away from any of them. I still think that filing taxes is the most confusing thing ever (although four jobsmay have something to do with that). So many of my fellow twenty somethings are married and having babies. But me? I’m still content borrowing other people’s kids. There are so many different paths and choices that it can all seem overwhelming sometimes!

Look at these 21 year old babies . . .best choice we ever made, but why stop with one good choice in our twenties?

Too many choices make it easy to give up

Sometimes, I feel like I’m not at all where people told me I “should be” at 25. The world is telling me to have it all and do it all right now. The pressure to keep the house clean, volunteer, have my dream job, be an awesome wife, take trips, and have babies all while knowing how to cook perfect meals, read every book, and stay caught up with “This is Us” is so intense. Can’t I just go to work, come home, and watch Netflix?Life will still work out fine, right?


Some would agree, saying there is no point in trying to have it all together in your twenties. After all, at this stage we’re all just figuring things out, and we’ve barely outgrown our high school and college days. In fact, some of us still live with our parents. We’re barely looked at as adults by the people around us (we’re just those “millennials” that cause so many problems), so is it even worth the effort? We may as well take life one day at a time, right?

But what is the alternative?

People rarely work to fail; we want to be our best! We hear a lot about how setting goals and making wise choices every day helps you be the best version of yourself. The preschool students I work with talk about what they want to be when they grow up with such excitement, yet it seems that many of us lose that drive when we finally reach adulthood.

I can’t help but wonder, what stops us from at least trying to have our lives together in our first years in the “real world?” Is it a fear of failure? The fear of the unknown? Or is it the desire to be carefree children again? It is probably a mixture of all these reasons. Regardless, I don’t think we as twenty-somethings can justify not trying our best with every single day we’re given.

The turning point for me

Eagle Brook Church had a sermon on this subject a few years ago. One quote in particular really jumped out at me:

“The decisions you make from ages 14-25 will absolutely affect what kind of life you will have from ages to 25-95.  So decide right now, in broad daylight, to avoid the things that would damage your character and handicap your future.”

We often think that these early years as adults can be throw away years. That’s silly! If you want to be a doctor, you don’t start studying anatomy the day before you begin a new practice. Successful athletes train for months before big events, not just a day or two before. We know how silly those things sound. Still, we think that someday we will suddenly make the most out of our lives with no preparation.

So what other choices do we have?

We don’t have to have it all figured out right now, it’s true. However, we should be conscious of the choices we are making. Today’s choices affect our future. Shaping our futures in the way God wants us to live is a constant decision-making process. Will we make mistakes? There’s no doubt about that. Instead of living carelessly, I believe we ought to choose every day to make wise decisions. I want to make purposeful decisions that will create a better life for me in the future.

With this, I am pledging to do my best to be a real, functioning adult. I am setting goals, stepping outside my comfort zone, and living out God’s plan for me. It’s guaranteed that I will face setbacks and failures, but there are also lessons to be learned and successes to celebrate. The version of me I hope to be down the road won’t just happen! Dedication and discipline will be key.

Are you willing to take a step today towards being your best self, even in the mess of life? If so, I hope you’ll subscribe to this blog and follow Cody and me here.