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Team members throughout Dave Ramsey’s office gathered in the lobby to support team member Mike Pappas as he and his wife Sarah made their debt-free call recently.
Becoming debt free is an impressive feat for anyone, but what the Pappases have done is nothing short of remarkable. In just three years, they had a $122,000 turnaround. To break that down, they paid off $82,000 in debt and saved up over $30,000. So now, at ages 31 and 34, they are debt free—including the house!
How did they do it? After all, Sarah stays home their two kids, and Mike is in school and working full time. It wasn’t easy. But as Dave told them, what they accomplished in just 36 months has changed the course of their future for good!
Dave had some questions for them when they called into the show.
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How did you do it?
Mike: We actually took a total of four jobs. We sat down three years ago as a family and committed to do whatever it takes. We got our children involved and explained that we wouldn’t be going on vacation for the next few years, but their reward would be a cruise when we became debt free, so they were totally on board. Sarah has been able to stay home with the children but has a couple of jobs she does from home. It’s been amazing! It’s been an act of the Lord.
What was the hardest part?
Sarah: It’s kind of like running a marathon, which I do, so it’s hard but it’s awesome and totally worth it. We got rid of our television three years ago. We don’t have anything fancy—no fancy toys, no iPhone or Xbox. Our house isn’t even that fancy, but we feel pretty awesome that we own it. I think our friends think we’re weird. Every few months they have a full-out uprising that we don’t have texting plans on our phones.
Mike: And I’d say being patient, understanding that it is about the Baby Steps. Every small little act adds up to the cumulative end result.
What will you be able to do now that you don’t have any payments?
Sarah: We’ve adopted our son, and we’d like to adopt again. We have a few more on our hearts. And we’re taking our kids on a cruise. They want to go on one that has characters and an ice rink!
You could hear the freedom in Mike and Sarah’s voices as they shouted, “We’re debt free!” as a family. “The kids have been practicing for months,” Sarah said.
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As Dave told the Pappases, this is just the beginning. By becoming debt free so young, they will be able to build wealth over the years to come, and they’ll get to experience they joy of having plenty to give away.
You may have heard it said that “money is not important.” Well, it isn’t—in and of itself. But don’t give in to the toxic belief running rampant in our culture that there’s something wrong with having money.
Money isn’t important—but adopting kids is.
Money isn’t important—but feeding kids is.
Money isn’t important—but lights and shelter are.
It’s what money does that’s important. It allows you to live your dreams. It allows you to bless others in amazing ways. You can’t do that when you’re broke.
The Pappases have laid a solid foundation for their future. They have changed their family tree. And that’s living like no one else!
This can be you, too! Get started now with Dave’s Seven Baby Steps.