Baby Step Update: Where we are five years after FPU

It’s been a year an a half since we become debt free! Progress at this point feels a lot slower, so we haven’t been great about keeping you updated! You can read about our financial journey up to this point here.

In January of 2015, we first took Financial Peace University. We were so stressed about our finances and insurance and debt and investing. We were in over our head, and it was time to get help.

During the 9 week class, we learned SO much. We also decided that the only way we would stay on track is if we had some benchmarks to get us through the next ten years. We set five financial goals that felt like absolute BHAGs (big, hairy, audacious goals). In fact, I remember being nearly in tears, because it seemed impossible that we could be at that point in ten years.

We want to share where we are at 5 years after completing the class. We don’t share to brag about how we are doing, but to encourage you that these Baby Steps TRULY work. If you’re willing to put in the work and make the sacrifices that need to be made, you WILL see results.

Goal 1: Paying off loans in 8 years – by Christmas 2022

If you haven’t been following our journey, here’s a brief history. We had $111,424 in student loans with interest rates ranging from 3.5% to 12.5%. Cody was working in IT, and I was a part time preschool teacher’s aide at the time. We both took on extra jobs, cut back our spending, learned to budget, and threw as much money as possible at the loans.

3.5 year after getting started, we paid off our final loan in April of 2018! We were able to go to Nashville to celebrate that following August. We even were a part of the Dave Ramsey show by doing a debt free scream! It was SO special to be able to celebrate our hard work that way!

So doing the math here, we accomplished this goal 4.5 years early!

Goal 2: Be able to set aside travel money for one vacation a year

Travel is important to us, but it can also be expensive. We wanted to be able to take at least one bigger trip each year. We’ve set up a sinking fund (setting aside money each month) for travel and have made that dream a reality. We still have to budget wisely for our travels, and have made sacrifices in other areas to make it happen, but it has been worth it! Being able to travel even while getting out of debt has been such a blessing for us.

Goal 3: Have an Emergency Fund of 3 months of expenses saved up

This is SO important to have! Emergencies happen. Sicknesses, illnesses, and disabilities can happen too. The theory behind having 3-6 months of expenses saved up in a nutshell is:

  1. Long Term Disability insurance often doesn’t kick in for 30-90 days. If you are out of work because of an injury, you may still need to cover your expenses until this kicks in.
  2. If you lose your job, having 3-6 months of expenses gives you time to find a new job. And if by terrible luck it takes longer to get a new job, you can often get a part-time job delivering pizzas or something. This little bit of extra income can supplement your emergency fund until you can get a full-time job again.

When we got out of debt, we were both working a lot of extra side jobs, so we were living on under 50% of our income. That meant we were able to finish our 6 month emergency fund in just 5 months!

Goal 4: Increase retirement to 15%

This is baby step 4! There is something unofficially called “Baby Step 3b” which is saving for a down payment for a house. We spent a few months on this, while saving enough into Cody’s 401k to max out the employer match. However, since we are still debating the 100% down plan, we have now moved forward to Baby Step 4. It’s a big step to start saving a full 15% of your income, but we know that future us will thank us for doing this.

Goal 5: Start saving for a car and a house

We actually bought our second car for a steal of a deal (in cash, of course) during our time getting out of debt. Since then, our first car became more of a burden than a blessing. Since we started a sinking fund for a car way back in our first FPU class, we don’t have to worry! We’ve sold the “extra” car since Alyssa walks to work right now, and threw the cash into that sinking fund account. We have the money to get a new-to-us car when we need one!

As I mentioned, we also started saving for a house between baby steps 3 and 4. Our BHAG is to pay 100% in cash, but we also know that will take a LONG time to save for. At the VERY minimum, we will pay 20% down to avoid PMI. We will also buy a house that we can afford the 15-year-mortgage (to reduce interest and time in debt). Our house expenses will also be less than 25% of our monthly income, so that our house stays a blessing and not a financial burden!

Moving on to new things

I honestly can’t believe it. We’ve already accomplished all of these financial goals that we wanted to complete by 2025. It was NOT easy. It took a lot of sacrifice, learning, and budgeting to get to this point.

The craziest part is that we’re not done! We’ve got more to do. We’re planning on saving for another year and a half before we re-evaluate our house plan. We’ve recently switched to 15% of our income going to retirement, so we’re setting goals about where we want our net worth to be in the next few years as well. We’re still working on setting some more firm numbers on our goals, but knowing that we are more than 5 years ahead of where we thought we would be is absolutely incredible!

If you want to learn more about taking a financial peace class, reach out to us at [email protected] or search for a class here!

How to have a Personalized Wedding on a Budget

From day one of our engagement, Cody and I agreed that a wedding is a truly special day – but it is just ONE day. With that in mind, it was easier to set some guidelines that gave us a personalized wedding on a budget.

Our top three priorities when we were planning our wedding were:

1) A wedding is only a day – a special day, but ONE DAY. 
2) We wanted it to be a reflection of us and our personalities.
3) We for sure were not going to spend the outrageous amounts of money we saw as the “average’ for wedding costs.

Compromising on location

The first way we saved money for our wedding on a budget was by compromising on a few things. For example, we really wanted an outdoor reception, but when it came down to it, we weren’t willing to risk the stress of worrying about temps and weather to go for it. (. . .that and all the outdoor places were already rented out on the day we wanted to get married.) The compromise was that we brought the outdoors in by renting a large open space and bringing in fun yard games like this giant jenga!

The Dress

Another way we were able to stick to a wedding budget was by shopping around for a dress!

My girlfriends helped me do some research on dresses and local boutiques to know where I could look for the best deals.

I was able to snag this beauty at a fraction of the cost because it was the last one of that style! And budget-saving bonus tip: we didn’t require a specific dress for the bridesmaids. Instead, they were able to buy their own dress in our wedding colors, in a style they will actually wear again!

I LOVED my dress, and looking back, I’m also glad that I didn’t spend a total fortune on it!

Dessert options

We found out that in some cases, cupcakes are a lot cheaper than cakes! PLUS they are already cut and ready to serve!

My amazing bakery-momma from Wartburg made this for us. She gave us a great deal that helped us keep in line with our wedding on a budget. They were INCREDIBLE and matched our wedding colors perfectly!



I don’t like flowers.

They’re pretty and all, but I’m just a plant murderer, and they sometimes make me a little sniffly.

The mere THOUGHT of picking flowers for our wedding stressed me out, so we went with fake flowers in cute mason jars (I know, I know, but it was toward the beginning of the mason jar craze so it wasn’t totally overdone yet ????). It took the stress out, made it so we could have the flowers ready to go weeks ahead of time, and saved us money!

Timing and Food!

I’m the worst at staying up late. Like, if I could go to bed at 8:30 every night, I probably would. So when it came to planning our wedding, we had an early afternoon wedding! It was perfect timing for me to stay a functioning human the whole reception, but made the timing weird for meals.

That was just one of the million things we considered when picking our meal for our reception: 
1) We wanted it to feel like a picnic since we were bringing the outdoors in.
2) I’m not really a fan of fancy sit down meals. They are fun sometimes, but I’m just not a formal person! 
3) We love Mexican food. Like…a lot. 
4) We wanted to thank our guests for celebrating with us!

After much consideration, we went with a big nacho bar! We made all the food ourselves, with the help of our family and wedding party (including our homemade salsa!).

There was something really special about spending time perfecting our salsa recipe and preparing it ahead of time to feed the people who came to celebrate us!

We were also blessed to have members of the church choir I directed step in and help keep the buffet line running.

It was laid back, fun, and perfectly US!

More thoughts on our wedding on a budget

Some other special touches that were unique to us:

Cody’s brother made us a logo for our wedding (does it look familiar? we still use it!)

-We set out coloring books (including personalized ones we made ourselves) at the reception

-Our table numbers included pictures of us at that age! So for table five, there was a picture of me as a five year old and a picture of Cody as a five year old!

-We lucked out by having dear friends with the skills and equipment to DJ our wedding. It saved us money AND gave us the ability to create our own playlists for the reception!

PS. One thing we did NOT compromise on was photos. The photos will last forever and we wanted them to capture US perfectly. One:One photography is one investment we don’t regret!

Choose Your Hard

Choose your hard.

If I had a nickel for every time I heard that saying.  While it’s become a bit of an overused saying, it is something I come back to frequently in my life when I’m feeling particularly unmotivated.  Slowly but surely “choose your hard” is helping me become more disciplined.

Choose your hard – Lifestyle

I first heard the phrase being used in relation to choosing a healthier lifestyle. It was used something like this:

Getting up to do a workout is hard.
Turning down take-out for a cleaner meal is hard.
But you know what else is hard?
Knowing you aren’t at your best and feeling uncomfortable in your skin. Feeling sluggish all the time because you haven’t fueled your body well.

The saying really got into my head.  I truly dislike working out.  I know that it will be better for me in the long run, but it’s so hard to fit that into my day.  However, you know what else I don’t like?  I don’t like knowing that I’m not doing my best. Having low energy all the time is uncomfortable. I don’t like feeling uncomfortable in my skin when I know it’s something that I can change.  When push comes to shove, I know I would rather choose uncomfortable for 40 minutes a day instead of tired and uncomfortable.

And when I am actively making those healthy choices, hard as they may be, they get easier as they become habit. Eating out all the time and sitting on the couch all day can become second nature.  Working out and eating is becoming second nature for me.

I’d only really heard “choose your hard” in the context of a healthy lifestyle versus a sedentary lifestyle, but it dawned on me that the same is also true of our financial journey.

Choose your hard – Finances

You know what’s hard right now?  Being four years into marriage and still renting places we like but aren’t OURS.  Driving a car that sounds like it could fall a part at any second stinks.  Having to turn down trips with friends because we can’t afford to travel as much as we would like is really hard. Saving a significant amount of our income instead of spending it on supposed “lifestyle upgrades” is hard!

Of course, the first few years of marriage were HARD financially too. You know what was hard about our journey? Living paycheck to paycheck was HARD.  Owing people (specifically loan providers) money plus interest every month was HARD.

The thing is, paycheck to paycheck living, surviving off of credit cards,  and not having enough money saved for retirement has become NORMAL. As a society, we’ve made this hard our normal. It’s become second nature to live paycheck to paycheck and to buy all the nice new stuff all the time because it’s “what everyone does”. 

For us, we chose our hard.  We fought to get out of debt and start saving and to live on less than we make. Why? Because we knew that when you choose your hard often enough, it gets easier.  Now, we live in peace with a hope for our future because we chose the “weird” path  as our hard, and we’ve let these habits become second nature to us.  We let ourselves become disciplined now.

What’s hard now is setting us up for success later on.

Choose your hard.

Our Debt Free Scream!

It’s finally happened – we took our trip to Nashville and were able to do our Debt Free Scream live on The Dave Ramsey Show! We have been looking forward to that chance since we first heard about Dave and the Financial Peace University course. We knew it was a long-shot to actually get on the show, but we are SO excited that we were given the chance. Here’s a little look at what the day was like for us!

Ramsey Solutions

Walking into Financial Peace Plaza is such a cool experience. Right in the front doors, you can see into the studio where Dave records and films for his shows. The wall is covered with hand-written notes from past guests who have paid off their debts. We were greeted and welcomed in true Tennessee fashion, “Y’all”s and everything! We got checked in, snagged some complimentary lattes and cookies at the cafe… Sidenote- if you want to become the Osegard’s new best friends: coffee is the answer. We were there nice and early, so we had plenty of time to chat with our wrangler, Kat, and the video host George Kamel. Everyone we talked to was so kind, caring, funny, and so genuinely excited for us to be there! They made us feel like the celebrities.

Show Time!

When it was almost time for us to join Dave on the air, Kat got us our headset and we were officially tethered to the wall. Like a well-oiled machine, they clear the furniture in the lobby to the sides, and gather all of the visitors towards the entrance. They have a camera on the visitors, and this gives us a clear line-of-sight to Dave in his chair in the studio. We have a sound check with Kelly, and give a wave to the camera to set up the shot. And we were LIVE!

As soon as we start talking with Dave, any nerves we had just kind of disappeared. There’s just something about him that calms you down, I don’t know how else to explain it. He asks a few questions, we tell our story, and before you know it almost 8 minutes have passed. He starts to set up for our scream, and I’m getting excited. Alyssa grabs my hand, so I know she’s ready to YELL! “Count it down, let’s hear a Debt Free Scream!”

We’re Debt Free!

“3,2,1… WE’RE DEBT FREE!!!” We scream it out and the lobby fills with our yell, clapping, and music. What a surreal experience! I just kept grinning like a fool, and leaned down to give Alyssa a nice, awkward don’t-smack-the-microphone-on-your-face hug. We did it – we were out of debt, we made our trip out to Nashville, and we yelled at Dave Ramsey. I’d call that a successful trip!

We couldn’t be more happy for so many reasons. The people we met at Ramsey Solutions were all so incredible, and we can’t wait to work with many of them again! Alyssa and I have led Financial Peace classes 4 times already, and we have no plans to stop. It has given us so much in such a short time, and we want other people to see the same success with money. What would our world be like if even half of us were debt free and able to GIVE without concern for our families or futures? We want to see a world like that!

ps. You can check out our Debt Free Scream on Youtube!

Debt Free to Baby Step 3: Now what?

We just recently paid off $110,000 in debt.  We are 100% debt free! It is an amazing feeling, but it left us with a “now what?” feeling, because from the moment we decided to take control of our finances, our goal has been to become debt free. Learning to go from debt free to baby step 3 is a big shift! 

As you may know, we follow the Financial Peace University principles from Dave Ramsey, so we turned back to our materials to see what was next.  The premise of the class is obviously financial peace, but the journey to get there comes in seven baby steps.

Before we started the class we had unintentionally done baby step one – save $1000 in an emergency fund.   Becoming debt free was baby step 2!

Debt Free to Baby Step 3

Our next step is to save 3-6 months of expenses in an emergency fund.  It may seem like a LOT of money to save – and it is. However, this will give us peace of mind.  If one of us were to lose our jobs, or if we were to get in accident, or something else unexpected were to come up, we would be okay.

To figure out how much to save, we looked at what our minimum expenses are each month. First we added up our TOTAL expenses for a month.  Next, we only factored in our main living expenses. This time around, we opted not to add in things like clothing, fun money, etc. We decided only the necessities in case of an emergency.. We are aiming for an emergency fund that is about 3 months of FULL expenses, which happens to be about 6 months of bare minimum necessities in our case .

A New Challenge

This baby step is a new challenge for us. Being in debt was sometimes easier, because we had a sense of responsibility.  We owed someone ELSE money. I don’t like owing anyone anything, so I wanted that feeling to be DONE. Now that we’ve paid off the debt, all our money is freed up for our own uses!  While we KNOW that this emergency fund is super important (and will become crucial as we get older and gain responsibilities like a house and kids), it feels different now that the money is ours. We can do with it what we wish, and it’s so tempting to use the money for a trip or things like that!  But as Dave always says, “Children do what feels good, adults devise a plan and follow it”.  We are doing the hard work now so that later we can more fun and more freedom!

As we work towards completing the journey from debt free to baby step 3, we are working on keeping the focus beyond that. We are saving now so that we can buy a house, have a family, travel, and GIVE in the future. If we lose focus of that, we are much more likely to waste our money on the little things now. We are determined to keep the same gazelle intensity that we found paying off debt and only keep moving forward!

5 Things Your Budget is Missing

Budgets are the absolute worst to create. No joke. We’ve had a pretty amazing budget for years now, but I will never forget the first few months of making a budget.  It was hard making sure that we remembered everything and had money in the right places to set us up for not only travel and enjoyment now, but comfort and success in the future as well.

After making a budget for ourselves and leading multiple Financial Peace University classes, we’ve seen some common themes in what people tend to forget when creating a budget.   Here’s our top five (in no particular order) commonly missed budget items and why they are important!


  1. Repairs (car, roof, other sinking funds)

How stressful is it to have the car break down and not be able to fix it? Or to have the water heater stop working without warning? Obviously, you never want these things to happen, but they DO happen, and you can be prepared.  This one might take a little research. Figure out what big ticket items YOU are responsible for replacing when they break or need to be replaced. Think things like the roof, your appliances, carpets, tires, and mattresses. Then figure out how much it costs to replace things, divide over the amount of time each is expect to last, and BOOM – you know how much you should be setting aside each month for repairs.  That way, when the roof starts leaking after 20 years as expected, you aren’t scrambling for cash!

2) Giving fund/Holiday fund

Did you know that Christmas is December 25th AGAIN this year?  And that your sister’s birthday happens the same time every year as well? It sounds silly, but how often do you find yourself scrambling to pull together enough cash for holidays and other gift-giving opportunities?  Set a budget for how much you want to spend on gifts. Divide by 12, and that’s how much you need to be saving each month. Cody and I got REALLY detailed with this list when our budget was especially tight, but we’ve been able to loosen up and give more now that we are debt free!


3) Car Replacement

Unpopular opinion: I think car loans are the dumbest idea in the world right behind buying a new car (new cars lose 10% of their value the moment you drive them off the lot). And contrary to popular believe, it is completely reasonable to live your life without a car loan! We set aside money each month for a car fund.  When our junker (a 2006 Chevy HHR that sounds like it might just die at any second) finally goes out, we will use the money we have set aside to buy a slightly less junky junker while we save some more. The logic here is that every time we buy a car, it will be a little nicer, last a little longer, and eventually we’ll be able to drive a really nice car!  Not only that, but we are great at looking for a good deal, like our 2012 Toyota Sienna that we got for $5000 with only 50,000 miles! I would MUCH rather drive used cars for a while and spend my money on other things than throw my money at another loan every month!

4) Travel fund!

Everyone wants to take a vacation – time away, stress-free. . .but so many of us also put that same vacation on credit cards and have to pay it off until the next vacation!  I want my travel to be stress-free, so for us that means it also needs to be debt free. We plan ahead and know what we will spend on a trip, then use our travel fund to pay for it upfront. Saving money each month specifically for travel allows us to be budget-friendly when we travel too.  A bonus is that it often leads us to making healthier choices when we travel as well!

5) Fun money!

A common money objection we hear is that budgets are restricting, but we’ve seen the opposite be true! Owing money to someone else is restricting.  Being in debt and having more payments is restricting. Knowing what you have and where it is going is FREEING. That’s why we tell people to include a little “wiggle room” or “fun money” in your budget. Let yourself buy that pink drink at Starbucks, or a cute top at Target, or have a date with your spouse!  Budgets don’t have to stop you from having fun and living your life! In fact, we’ve seen that when you have money earmarked for entertainment, eating out, or date night – it’s more likely to become a priority!


Do you budget? What’s your best budgeting advice? Share it with us by contacting us here or on Facebook!

Drowning in Debt (Part 1)

It was late 2014 – a big year for us full of college graduation, starting new jobs, getting married, moving to a new state, and more.   As crazy as it sounds, all of that was relatively low stress for us. In fact, we found those changes to be pretty easy to adjust to.  What threw us for a loop that year was the realization that we had to start paying back our student loan debt.

What we were facing:

  • 16 loans
  • $97,935 of loans that had grown to over $110,000
  • Interest rates of 3.5% – 12%.
  • Monthly payments of $1200 (more than I made in a month at the time)

I was sick to my stomach looking at all of this.  It was so stressful to see the numbers and to know that at our minimum payments we would be paying til at least 2024. Instantly we realized that our finances were not in good shape.  We made some changes like cutting some of our spending, getting ridiculously good at meal planning to cut grocery bills, and more, but we knew we needed help.

Someone mentioned Dave Ramsey to us, so we did some digging and found out that January 2015, there was a couple from our church who was leading a class called Financial Peace University.  It made me nervous to spend $100 to take this class, but it was our last ditch effort to find a way to get through the next decade that would likely bring more than insane debt payments, but hopefully some travel, buying a house, and starting a family.

Paying off debt seemed impossible

We started the class in January of 2015 with a “we’re so broke” mindset. We figured that we would probably have to move to a studio apartment, eat nothing but ramen, and never do ANYTHING fun for the next ten years.  During the nine week class, we realized some things we were doing a little backwards.  They taught us how to stay on track with our debt.  We learned that it would be possible to get out of debt sooner if we were truly focused, and we set some goals.  We learned that we could afford to stay in our apartment, and even travel some if we wanted.

Our goals set during the nine weeks were:

Our 8-10 year financial goals when we took FPU in 2015.

1) Pay off all debt by Christmas 2022.
2) Take a vacation at least once a year.
3) Have an emergency fund with 3 months worth of expenses.
4) Increase retirement savings to 15%.
5) Start saving for a car/house.

We set some big goals that we thought we would try to tackle over the next eight-ten years. We learned a lot!! The real question was whether or not we could maintain the intensity we had for the long run!  Only time would tell!

We’d love to have you follow our debt-free journey and connect with us here as you wait for Part 2 (coming soon)!   If you want to read more about our financial journey and experiences, you can do so here!

Financial Peace University Recap (2018)

We had the opportunity to lead a Financial Peace University class at our church.  We first took the class ourselves in January of 2015 and have led it in some capacity four times since! These principles truly work, and it’s amazing to see what happens when you manage money God’s way!

What we tracked

A sweet note left by one of the participants!

The Financial Peace University class is nine weeks long.  On week two, participants turn in an anonymous “financial reality check” that has them look at their non-mortgage debt, readily-available cash, and number of credit card accounts open. These numbers get tallied up and provide a big snapshot of where the class is at. At the end of the nine weeks, they fill out a similar card that asks how much on-mortgage debt they paid off, how much additional cash they saved, and the number of credit cards they cut up.

The Results

We had about 120 participants stick through the nine weeks of Financial Peace University, and their results are astounding! Total debt paid was $244,388.53 (that’s $3759.82 per household).
Total money saved was $130,859.84. Not only that, but o
ur group cut up 160 credit cards – that’s 2.5 per household!!

Stack of final Reality Check Cards!

Stack of final Reality Check Cards!

BONKERS, you guys. Seriously bonkers.  God is doing a mighty work through FPU.

This round has been an especially fun round for us, and the people who attended have really stepped up to the challenge. As a whole, this group has been so committed to truly making a change and being bold in how they manage their finances. It is so inspiring to see so many people in all different walks of life take ownership of their situations, whatever they are, and feel empowered to change them for the better. Not because they want more money or want to be rich, but because they understand that this is God’s money. He created everything, and everything belongs to him. He has entrusted us with some of His resources, and we are to manage those resources the best that we can.

We are so excited to see the continued growth that this group of FPU graduates will have as they continue walking through life following the simple principles laid out by Dave. With the huge changes seen in the span of just this nine-week course, can you imagine what these people will be doing in a year? 5 years? 30 years? What kind of positive impact can we as people and Christians have on the world around us when we are out of debt, financially sound, and able to give generously to those who need it? Wow. Just wow.

Celebratory cake - the last credit card we had to cut up!

Celebratory cake – the last credit card we had to cut up!

Christmas Shopping on a Budget (A Debt-Free Holiday)

Christmas shopping can be a stressful thing for a lot of people. What is meant to be a joyous and happy time of year can cause lots of financial stress for many. Being people who often take time to discuss even a $25 dollar purchase, we get it!! That’s why Cody and I have two big strategies that we utilize to keep us on-budget and stress-free.

Method 1 – A sinking fund

We save up all year for Christmas. According to Statista, the average family will spend $906 on Christmas gifts alone this year. We don’t spend quite that amount, but coming up with roughly $1000 every December (or more likely, having to put in on credit cards that will have to be paid off later) is a lot more stressful than saving roughly $75 each month throughout the year. We have online banking, so we set up an account and each month we set aside money to go into the Christmas account. That way when we get to December, the money is already there!

Method 2 – Set a budget

Set a plan before you shop. Make a list of all the people and occasions you will need gifts for. I often do this right around Thanksgiving. I always pull up my calendar during this time as well to remind me of other gatherings that may require a gift.

Things to keep in mind:

  • Family members you buy gifts for
  • Friends you exchange gifts with
  • Miscellaneous Holiday Giving – do you have a tradition of buying food for the food shelter each year? Consider adding this to your list.
  • Hostess gifts. Does your neighbor host a holiday party for the neighborhood each year? Don’t forget to include a gift for the host!
  • Other gift exchanges/secret santas
  • Other annual holiday giving. Many schools and workplaces have a giving tree or annual fundraiser around this time. If this is something you participate in, put it on the list.

Now, you know my love for spreadsheets, so of course our list in a spreadsheet! In the next column I go through and estimate how much to spend on each person. Perhaps closer family members get a few more gifts than Great Aunt Matilida who you only see once a year. I assign target dollar amounts here; it felt weird the first time, almost as if I were assigning some family members and friends to be worth more to me than others. But hey, it’s not like they will ever see your budget!

Total up your list.  If it’s within your saved amount – AMAZING. If not, you need to decide to either cut back on gifts here or there or see if you can pull money from elsewhere in your budget. It can be tempting to keep spending, because giving can be so fun, but the goal is to have a debt free holiday!

Combining Methods

Here in the Osegard house, we use both methods. We save up throughout the year and never go shopping without a solid game plan. The goal is to never go into debt for Christmas, and these methods make sure we are free to gift and give for the holidays guilt-free and debt-free!

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.