In just 18 months, two Arizona newlyweds were able to pay off about $52,000 in debt that formerly had them living paycheck to paycheck. Deacon Hayes shared the story of how he and his wife, Kim, accomplished this with CNBC.
Deacon, at the time a wood floor salesman, began by researching various financial gurus. He said he came to “really love” the “debt snowball” technique promoted by Dave Ramsey, which calls for paying off debt balances in order of smallest to largest, regardless of interest rate. Minimum payments are made on every debt every month, while the smallest debt is paid down as much as possible.
The couple also sold a car they had bought for $16,000 using a $17,000 loan, digging themselves out of the $1,000 hole by selling purses and a game console. They paid off some of their $8,000 credit card debt, then secured a $7,000 loan from Deacon’s grandmother for the rest and paid her back with 5 percent interest.
To keep from falling back into the debt, the couple quit using credit cards and switched to a cash envelope system. They put a limited amount of cash in envelopes to be used for specific purposes and stuck to it. Also, they relied on deals and coupons to save on what they did buy.
“Typically, we would do something like Applebee’s two for $20, two meals for 20 bucks,” Deacon said.
Deacon eventually turned to a side job delivering pizza for $15 an hour, bringing in about $1,000 per month.
Deacon now generates a six-figure income by running three different websites, and Kim is pursuing a master’s degree in history, CNBC reported. One of Hayes’ websites, WellKeptWallet.com, offers a “5-Day Money Masterclass,” as well as content about making and saving money.
The site also includes a rap video called “Everyday Millionaire,” with lyrics including: “I buy most of my clothes slightly used on poshmark/Make my own birthday cards no need for hallmark/Get my haircut at Great clips so I dont drive far/When it comes to saving money, I am a rockstar.”