Living Debt Free Wrap-Up

Hi Friends!

I hope you have enjoyed my posts from the past few days — it is an overwhelming amount of information, but I hope you learned something!

I have wanted to write about this topic for months now, but I never knew how to fit it in with the rest of my blog. I usually write about my marathon training, or trying new recipes, or books I have read, etc. But I think part of healthy living is taking care of stress, and guess what — when we had tons of debt we were STRESSED OUT!

We can relax more, now that the credit card debt is gone. We aren’t debt-free now, but we have a plan and we are on our way — and that relieves most of my stress.

In case you missed one, or if you want to look back on them, here they are:

Monday: Steps to Financial Freedom

Tuesday: Budgeting and Paying off Debt

Wednesday: Getting your Debt Snowball Rolling

Other good resources to check out:

Dave Ramsey’s Website

Baby Steps to Financial Freedom

Cathy brought up a good point yesterday, which was about using CASH.

I totally forgot to mention cash when I explained the budgeting process. Jason and I use cash forΒ  most purchases. We also use cash for our “fun money” — we take it out either at the beginning of the month or on payday — and that way, when the money is GONE it is GONE and that means no more spending. We use the same method for food: I take out the budgeted amount per week (let’s say we budget $400 for food/toiletries each month, so about $100 per week) — and that gives me 1-2 shopping trips and then we make due until the following week. Some weeks we have money leftover and we go out for dinner. Otherwise we only use our check card — that way it comes directly out of our account, but we have the convenience of plastic (used mostly for pumping gas!)


Back to somewhat regularly scheduled programming πŸ™‚

I have been running and I’ve been feeling GREAT — Tuesday I had a short 3 mile run and I finished in about 28 minutes. I played with the speed on the treadmill and that made the time go by so quickly. I want to start switching up the incline, but I’m worried that my knee will start hurting again, so I’m going to continue to run on flat surfaces this week. Next week I should be able to run outside (hopefully!!!) or I’ll start upping the incline.

On Wednesday I ran 6 miles:

And after some foam-rolling and stretching I was good to go! I made some “Shamrock Shakes” after our run:


1 scoop vanilla protein powder
2/3 cupΒ unsweetened vanilla almond milk
handful of spinach (for color and nutrients!)
1/4 tsp peppermint extract — I will use 1/8 tsp next time since this one was really minty!
1/4 tsp guar gum (to thicken it up – could omit)
5-6 ice cubes

We also got to babysit this beast all night:

He loved watching Top Chef with us!

*What are you doing for St. Patty’s Day? Today is actually the anniversary of our first date — 4 years ago! I’m still not sure what our plans are.


27 Responses to “Living Debt Free Wrap-Up”

  1. Matt @ The Athlete's Plate Says:

    Thanks for all the budgeting tips! I am definitely going to implement some of these.

  2. Kylie @ A Hungry Spoon Says:

    I’ve been following your money posts all week and have really enjoyed them! Adam and I have been living by Suze Orman’s money-managing mantra since we got married and we’ve absolutely loved it–being debt-free is the WAY TO BE πŸ™‚

    Happy anniversary! Hope you have a fun time celebrating!

  3. 1970kikiproject Says:

    happy anniversary! wow, you get to celebrate st patty’s AND an anniversary!! yippee!
    i LOVE top chef!! glad to see your whole family (doggie baby, i’m looking at you!) watched!
    i’m a really visual person so cash totally works for me: i know that when it’s out of my wallet, that’s it. i do think twice about making purchases (essential or extra??).
    thanks again for all your wise words this week, holly!
    and congrats on your training thus far!

  4. Stephanie @ The Cookie Battle Says:

    Happy anniversary!

    I have really loved these debt posts! Thank you for sharing!

  5. Beth Says:

    I’m so glad you did this series on the blog! I have to tell you I reached out to my credit card company yesterday and they said I am eligible for reassessment of my interest rate so I’m calling them today! I’m so excited because you were a huge catalyst in me finally doing something about it!

  6. leashieloo Says:

    Ooh yum, I would love a Shamrock shake about now.

  7. Katie Says:

    Thanks so much for posting all these tips – I know how long it probably took. I am sure so many people benefited from the info though!

    Shamrock shakes….the only good thing to come from McDonalds!

  8. mostlyfitmom Says:

    Actually, I totally forgot it’s St. Patrick’s Day, but if my husband gets back into town early enough, we’re going on a date. It’ll probably be a movie. I’m hoping to fit a run in there (with or without him).

    Happy Anniversary! πŸ™‚

  9. Sara @ OurDogBuffy Says:

    He is so cute! (The dog) and wow, your first date was on St. Patrick’s Day? How cool!

  10. Lisa @ Thrive Style Says:

    I loved the budget posts! I need to consider doing the cash thing…it’s so easy to just hand over the plastic and not think about how much I am spending.

    I think I’m meeting my mom and her friends out tonight to listen to an Irish band, but I’m mostly just interested in relaxing for a little while!

  11. J3nn (Jenn's Menu and Lifestyle Blog) Says:

    Peter Sam is SO adorable! πŸ™‚

  12. IHeartVegetables Says:

    Haha that shamrock shake is super cute! And a great idea to get in some greens πŸ™‚ I really enjoyed your financial posts!!

  13. Dorry Says:

    You just reminded me to go foam roll- thank you. I hope the weather allows you to start running outside asap – I’m sure it will be a welcomed change. Happy Dating Anniversary. πŸ™‚

    I’m off to foam roll!

  14. Parita @ myinnershakti Says:

    I’ve heard of a lot of people who basically have no credit cards and operate on a cash/debit card only basis. I love that you have a plan and are sticking to it! Great job!

  15. emily (a nutritionist eats) Says:

    Thank you for all of the Debt Free posts. My major problem is actually STICKING to my budget. 😦 I’m not very good at that!

  16. Hollie @ Lolzthatswim(andRun) Says:

    Nice Work Holly! That is such an awesome run! πŸ™‚

    I actually did a 5k road race today and I’m just preying that my heels don’t hurt tomorrow. πŸ™‚

    I agree with Emily-my biggest problem is sticking to a budget.

  17. Angela (the diet book junkie) Says:

    that’s so awesome you remember your first date, i have NO IDEA when me and my husband first went out, although i think it was march/april 2001. (holy, i just realized 10 years!!!)

    great job on the run! hope you’re knee is feeling good!:)

  18. Averie (LoveVeggiesAndYoga) Says:

    love the shot of jason just chiiling!

    and the shamrock shakes…cute name, great color πŸ™‚

    and this whole week of posts and debt and money talk…thank you for bringing it to light, holly! you know you are helping TONS of ppl by talking about it all…even if they dont comment, you are helping πŸ™‚

  19. Laury @thefitnessdish Says:

    Ohhhh I love that you put peppermint extract in your green smoothie! What a great idea!!!

    Awesome job on the 6 miles! You’re doing so great!!!

    Thanks again for all the financial posts this week…they were def helpful! You should create a tab on the blog with all those posts so people can reference back! they were all so good!

  20. Toni Says:

    I read all your posts this week and loved every one! Thanks so much for all this amazing information!

  21. Ellie Says:

    Hi! awww congrats on your date anniversary! my fiance and i like to celebrate that one too πŸ˜€ your dog is adorable aahhhh

  22. the neurotic yogini Says:

    Love Top Chef! and what a CUUUUTE puppy!!!

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