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MY DAVE STORY

Tawna's journey to freedom from debt!

COLLEGE GRADUATE KNOW-IT-ALL

When I graduated from college, I was like most other grads…I thought I had a pretty good handle on life. With my diploma in hand and a full-time job lined up, the world was my oyster. Then they started coming. Bill after bill after bill. One week I had it all figured out and the next I had a pile of letters from different lenders informing me that my first student loan payment would be due soon. My total monthly combined payment was $410.75…which was more than my rent.

OLDER, WISER BIG BROTHER

My brother had given me a copy of the Total Money Makeover by Dave Ramsey when I was in college, which I thanked him for, then tossed aside to gather dust. I mean, I was pursuing a degree in accounting…obviously I had my financial situation figured out. WRONG!

One day, when I finally got fed up with my lack of cash flow due to sending all my money to Sally Mae, I picked up and dusted off my copy of The Total Money Makeover. I got mad at my debt and decided enough was enough!

LIVING WITHIN MY MEANS

As I created my first budget to actually live within my means, I determined how much extra I could throw at my loans.  I decided it just wasn’t enough. So I downgraded my smart phone, dropped my gym membership and became a master at cooking macaroni and cheese from a box. This created even more wiggle room in my budget. I then picked up two part-time jobs as a server/bartender to increase my income.

BABY STEPS AND THE DEBT SNOWBALL

I was lucky enough to have learned early on to have an emergency fund, so I could immediately check off Step 1 of Dave’s Baby Steps. I moved on to Step 2: The Debt Snowball. I listed all of my loans out separately from smallest total amount to largest. I paid the minimum on all loans except for the smallest one which was just over $2,000. It took me four months to knock it out. SUCCESS! I moved on to number two, and three months later I crossed it off my list. Talk about an increase in momentum! I worked diligently day after day, week after week to increase my monthly payments to knock Sally Mae on her butt!

DEBT FREEDOM (THE FIRST TIME!)

After 16 months of long days and short nights, getting little to no sleep, not seeing my friends or my boyfriend (who became my fiancé six months into my debt snowball), and eating LOTS of mac and cheese, I sent in my final student loan payment, paying off a total of $37,500 and becoming debt free…for two weeks. You see, my wedding day came two weeks later when I married my best friend and his debt. I took advantage of my debt freedom, however, and I called into The Dave Ramsey Show to do my debt free scream! Listen to it here!

TWO PEOPLE, ONE GOAL

Fortunately, my fiance’ Derick was working his debt snowball too, so when we got married he had already knocked out around $19,000 himself. I never once made Derick feel bad about having debt when we got married. We were both on the same page with getting rid of it.  So once we got married, his debt became our debt. We worked even harder to pay it off knowing that we could start out our marriage on the right foot financially. We knew that we were making short-term sacrifices that would have long-term benefits! Don’t get me wrong, toward the end of our debt payoff road, going to work at 8am and not finishing until 2:30am the next morning got pretty wearing. But we kept each other motivated and reminded ourselves how great it would be when we could do our combined debt free scream with Dave Ramsey.

A Trip to Meet Dave

After 22 months of sacrifice and hard work and $86,000 of payments sent in to various student loan lenders…we became debt free! We rewarded our efforts by taking a trip to Brentwood, TN to meet Mr. Ramsey himself.

It was the icing on our cake to shake hands with the person who inspired our debt payoff story. We screamed our debt free scream from the lobby, bought some swag from the lobby, ate cookies with Martha, signed the debt-free wall and got our book signed by Dave. I’ll never forget the Bible verse he left in our Total Money Makeover book.

Romans 12:2 “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is – his good, pleasing and perfect will.”

Dave Ramsey signs his book for Tawna - Transform

TRANSFORM!

Don’t do what everyone else is doing. Don’t copy their behaviors. Don’t try to keep up with the Joneses! Instead, transform! Change the way you think. Go against the grain and be weird! Learn something new every day so you can be well-equipped to make the best decisions for you and your family.

My mission as a financial advisor is to teach Biblically based financial principles and provide sound financial advice while building long-term relationships with my clients. My hope is that through education and support my clients can transform and become financial leaders in their families. Everyone deserves to sign the debt-free wall and change their family tree forever.

A Trip to Meet Dave

After 22 months of sacrifice and hard work and $86,000 of payments sent in to various student loan lenders…we became debt free! We rewarded our efforts by taking a trip to Brentwood, TN to meet Mr. Ramsey himself.

Tawna and husband meet Dave Ramsey

It was the icing on our cake to shake hands with the person who inspired our debt payoff story. We screamed our debt free scream from the lobby, bought some swag from the lobby, ate cookies with Martha, signed the debt-free wall and got our book signed by Dave. I’ll never forget the Bible verse he left in our Total Money Makeover book.

Romans 12:2 “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is – his good, pleasing and perfect will.”

Dave Ramsey signs his book for Tawna - Transform

TRANSFORM!

Don’t do what everyone else is doing. Don’t copy their behaviors. Don’t try to keep up with the Joneses! Instead, transform! Change the way you think. Go against the grain and be weird! Learn something new every day so you can be well-equipped to make the best decisions for you and your family.

My mission as a financial advisor is to teach Biblically based financial principles and provide sound financial advice while building long-term relationships with my clients. My hope is that through education and support my clients can transform and become financial leaders in their families. Everyone deserves to sign the debt-free wall and change their family tree forever.

Tawna Hermanson Tawna Hermanson is a Financial Advisor and has been a part of Financial Strategies Group since 2008.

Tawna serves as a Dave Ramsey SmartVestor Pro for North Dakota and Minnesota.

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Tawna Hermanson

Tawna Hermanson is a Financial Advisor and has been a part of Financial Strategies Group since 2008.

Tawna serves as a Dave Ramsey SmartVestor Pro for North Dakota and Minnesota.

SmartVestor logo

*Tawna’s story is her own. There is no guarantee that you will achieve the same results or have the same experience.

Need some coaching to get out of debt?

Give Tawna a call! 701-234-0103

Tawna is a Dave Ramsey SmartVestor Pro and can help you find a debt pay off plan that works in your budget.

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