We’re Debt Free And You Can Be Too

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Video production is what I do, but if you ask me what I am I would quickly respond… I’m a storyteller. Today, I’m treating you to a story that has nothing to do with video, but it might be my most heart-felt post to date. It’s a journey Mrs. G and I started four years ago when we got engaged, and it took an exciting turn at the end of last week.


Okay, we’re not totally debt free. We still have to pay-off our mortgage, but other than that we have no more debts and it feels awesome. No student loans, no car notes and we don’t have a single credit card to our names. Zero. Zip. That goes for our business as well. T60 has actually been operating debt free for two years already.

This all started after I popped the question to Mrs. G and we really began digging into what would be our combined finances as a married couple. Katie had a little credit card debt and a student loan. I had some personal credit card debt, business credit card debt… and a whole lot of stupid.

I think I was probably like most Americans. See something pretty, want something pretty, put pretty thing on plastic because me no have money right now to buy pretty thing. Stupid.

We visited a financial adviser… very adult… and he added up our newly combined debts. My heart fell into my stomach. HOLY SH$$$! I couldn’t believe the total. He suggested paying it off before doing anything else, but it was so much. We needed a plan, and that’s when Mrs. G’s sister suggested we read a book, The Total Money Makeover by Dave Ramsey.

The book changed my life… period. I’ve never been a math guy. My buddies used to literally taunt me in math class because I’d ask so many questions. I’m a creative guy… I don’t do math.

Dave’s book and my math nerd wife solved that problem for me. Dave’s baby steps (video) to getting out and staying out of debt gave me the framework I needed, and monthly budget meetings with Mrs. G and her spreadsheets (she’s the Excel Queen) did the rest.

Sacrifice to win

We sacrificed buying things we would have liked, rarely went out to eat, held garage sales, down-sized to driving one paid-for and… shall we say… seasoned car, dumped cable TV (ouch), and that’s just what I can think of off the top of my head.

And a funny thing happened along the way… our perspectives changed on life and money. Saving for the future became more important than spending in the present. We learned to be content with what we have. We discovered a more frugal way of living that agreed with us.

It’s not to say there aren’t luxury items we’d like… there are. Those desires just don’t rule our lives any more.

You’re dying to know how much we paid-off, aren’t you? Well, after some thought Mrs. G and I decided it was a bit tacky to announce that here on our business’ blog. I’ll just say it was a lot and was slightly worse than the national averages for personal debt. We were “normal.”

Well, no more. We’re not going back. I won’t sugarcoat it. It was hard at first, but it’s doable. Meaning you can do it too!

I just can’t tell you how good it feels not to be normal.

–Tony Gnau

Tony Gnau is a three-time Emmy-winning journalist. He is also the founder and chief storytelling officer at T60 Productions. T60 has won 11 Telly Awards for its work over the last eight years.