The D-Word

That big, nasty d-word that hangs over SO many of our heads. DEBT. I've read tons and tons of blogs and articles about getting out of debt, frugal living and the like. You name it, I've read it! A lot of times I feel like I can't relate to those people though because they are either A. Much older than us B. Have kids C. Have the ability to take on a part-time job or D. All of the above! Not to say they don't still have useful information on their blogs, but a lot of their problems in debt-elimination were just different than ours.

Enter our new best friends.... Sallie and Perkins.
debt; student loans;

Sallie and Perkins approached us a few months ago about the idea of becoming accountability partners in our goal to financial freedom. Just like us, they were a younger married couple and their only debt consisted of piles and piles of student loans. They'd just paid off Perkin's used car and were ready to make some serious changes in their life.

Both couples knew about Dave Ramsey's plan and while they decided not to purchase his products, they knew they'd use quite a few of his principles to help them jumpstart their debt-free life.

They started out by making a list of ALL their expenses each month and writing down the total of actual income they expect to bring home each month.  Their list looked a little something like this:

The amount of money they SHOULD have had leftover at the end of every month... disgusted them! Sure, things will come up like wedding gifts, birthday parties, a car repair... but they didn't have anywhere CLOSE to the amount of extra money they should. It was an eye-opener and it was definitely time for a change.

One thing they were really excited to do was cancel their DirecTV for GOOD! The 2-year contract they'd signed back in 2011 officially ended and they didn't renew. That's already an extra $95/month they'll have to put towards those pesky student loans! Will they miss cable at first? Of course! But is this small sacrifice going to cut down on their time in debt- absolutely!



For the month of June, Sallie and Perkins have decided to not spend a DIME on anything that's a non-necessity. NO eating out... at all. Not even their favorite Mexican restaurant! No quick stops into a gas station for an energy drink or coffee on those rough mornings. No Target $1 bin shopping. Just say no!!

11 days in and they haven't spend a dime.... can you imagine how great that makes a person feel? It's turning into a game of sorts. How much money CAN we save? What other ways can we cut costs on bills? How can we be creative with our meals based on what we already have?

After June is over and they're able to really measure their progress and see how much extra money they were able to throw at their loans, they'll decide on a very small 'entertainment fund' for the coming months. And when they say small--- they're talking maybe $40 for the month for the couple. Bring on the coupons and the creativity because date nights will be a bit more challenging, but again... worth it!

Are you ready to join Sallie and Perkins in eliminating debt as fast as you can? What small choices can you make THIS week to save money?

Stay tuned for MORE on Sallie & Perkin's progress and watch them slash their debt before your eyes! :)

65 comments

  1. These are some awesome suggestions -- we've thought about doing similar things, and I have to confess that I'm...in possession of, like, zero willpower when it comes to not spending any money. I'm working on it, though, and I like the idea of making a game out of it. :) Thanks for some fabulous suggestions! (Also, I love the pictures -- they're hilarious!)

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  2. STOP IT WITH THE CUTENESS!!! OMG. I love Sallie and Perkins. Anyways, I really like that y'all are talking about this topic. I think everyone could learn from it!

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  3. Haha...I'm dying. This is hilarious and so clever. Drew and I are trying to do a similar plan. We have an entertainment budget, etc. I won't lie thought...the summer months are the hardest because I want to do everything under the sun while I have school off. Go get 'em Sallie and Perkins. ;)

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  4. Haha! There is a reason why you are my favorite blogger! I love this! I can't wait for Rob to get home so we can do this together.. we really need to write down all of our expenses and work out a plan. We've been super depressed lately with my not getting the "big" job I wanted and not being able to conceive so honestly, we have kind of fallen off. I think this would be good for us! xoxo!!!

    ugottahavehart.blogspot.com

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  5. oh my lord, y'alls facial expressions are too precious. My husband and I just started doing Ramsey's envelope system with cash and we're going to see how that goes!

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  6. As if this post in itself wasn't enough to make me love your blog (I always get discouraged when I can't find anyone who relates to our situation), those pictures send it over the top! Our income is going to take a serious hit come Fall so it's time for me to get down to budgeting business. Teach me your ways?

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  7. You are CRACKING ME UP! I could not love this more. Seriously. Can't wait to hear how this goes - I'd love some tips from some "normal" people - you know, a blogger couple who arent buying BCBG on the daily and both work and support themselves? :) Looking forward to this series!

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  8. You guys crack me up! I'm thinking a no spend August because we can't do it now as we have Mexico coming up and there's things I have to get no matter what (however I found a lot I realized I won't have to yesterday). We don't have any type of cable tv, we have netflix and I love hulu! We both were blessed, however, to have no college bills and we don't have a kid now, which is one reason why we aren't having kids right now because we don't have a lot of extra money. However I can't wait to see how this works for you :)

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  9. Erin! I love this! And I almost have my husband on board with the no cable thing either... at least until football season ;) And you've definitely inspired a "no spend" month for us too! xo

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  10. THIS WAS HILARIOUS! I can't believe you talked your husband into taking those pictures.... that's AWESOME! I love this. Looking forward to hearing about your progress! :)

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  11. I love it. I mean you guys are already our best friends, but I think you guys have some competition with our new friends Sallie & Perkins. ;) hahahah

    SO happy to be doing this together. We can do this!!! MWAH!!!

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  12. How hilarious is this? Although, being a new reader...It took me a second to realize Sallie/Perkins were you and Jared. :) I am a fellow blogger from Cincinnati, and we actually know lots of the same people! My husband used to go to Amelia Naz. Anyway, I just wanted to say hi!

    Budgeting is something I'm really passionate about, and I see you and I share the dream of being Stay at Home mom's!

    Tim and I are also DINKY's (Dual-income, no kids yet). :) (Although I will be working for him instead of teaching in the fall). We cancelled our cable several months ago and don't miss it a bit! Something else that has really helped us is setting up different accounts for things like a down payment on a car or future travel plans. Setting up an account for "gifts" was a real game changer for us. That way, we can still be generous with our money even when we are trying to be frugal b/c the money is "already there" if that makes sense.

    GOOD LUCK...sorry...this should have been an email instead of a comment. :) Can't wait to hear more about S & P.!

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  13. THAT PICTURE. I didn't think it was possible to love y'all any more than I already did, but holy ish it happened! You know I LOVE this post, too! Thank you for the amazing tips and for chatting with me about budgeting and all that not-so-fun adult stuff. :)

    Lexa Lou and Glenn Coco love Sallie and Perkins to the ends of the Earth!!! We can conquer this debt thing once and for all!

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  14. This is fantastic. We're going to be facing this task soon, I'm a budget based person. We cut our cable out already, only internet. I'm always looking for coupons. I cannot wait to see what y'all do, excuse me Sallie & Perkins do. I do have to say with the exception of my house loan, that's all the debt I have, but I'm constantly searching for ways to save.

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  15. I am DYING! Seriously, I am so in love with you two! SALLIE and PERKINS? I read a bunch of Dave Ramsey articles and really like his ideas and theories...now to actually follow through on them! I am so proud of you guys for "agressively trying" to get out of debt. :)

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  16. I cannot imagine this post without these pictures...classic! :-) Can't wait to learn more as to what you are doing!

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  17. OMG this is hilarious and fantastic!! You two crack me up...now I totally want...scratch that...NEED to photograph you two!! hehe! :)
    AND...So glad you two are trying to get out of debt!! I'm pretty great when it comes to saving money if you ever have any questions. I had over 60k in student loans and paid them off in 6 years (and NO its NOT because I make good money...its because I did EXACTLY what you are doing right now...I put myself on a strict budget!) Now I'm debt free and it feels great!
    I have some tips here if it helps you: http://jaxandmarbles.blogspot.com/search/label/Money%20Tips

    xoxo!!

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  18. We don't have tv and we (or at least I) love it. We do hulu plus to catch up on the office and other fave shows...it's $8/month and we pay cash 6 months at a time.

    But yeah, little impulse buys are the hardest...that and eating out - it's so much easier to grab Panera at lunch then to do something myself. Glad you're doing so well already!

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  19. I love the pictures! He is such a good sport to do them with you haha but omg we need to start doing this! We were doing the math yesterday and were sickened by our findings. $647 in food alcohol and entertainment in 10 DAYS!!! Gross.

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  20. OMG im dying seeing these pictures of you guys!! I love what you guys are doing and staying on a budget. It is hard at the beginning as that is what my bf and I are doing right now! Its hard to sacrifice things that you want but it is so worth it in the end!

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  21. First of all - good job!! Second of all... I cannot believe y'all dressed up ( and got him to do it!!) love it

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  22. First - I'm ROFL! I love your senses of humor.
    Second - good for you! Keep at it. It's not easy but you can do it.

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  23. I love this!!!! This actually makes learning about saving money fun! can't wait to see what else Sallie and Perkins do!

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  24. I will follow your adventures forever. I LOVE That you both dressed up. Congrats on the progress so far.

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  25. THIS HAS GOT TO BE THE MOST AMAZING BLOG POST EVER! Partly, because Andrew and I are in the exact same boat...partly because y'all look awesome...partly because y'all ARE awesome!

    I can't wait to hear about your savings this month--it's so hard for me not to spend "extra" money...but that's totally our problem!!

    I wish Sally and Perkins luck! :)

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  26. How much more awesomeness can you squeeze into one blog post? I mean, really! This was terrific! Genius! Just the photos themselves have motivated me to jump on board. Thank you for the inspiration Erin! Give us more!

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  27. I am getting ready to cancel my DirecTV... It's up to $95/month. HOW the hell are they charging that much??! Ridiculous.

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  28. I just died! Y'all are too cute! I am completely guilty of spending money on crap...things I don't need, food I don't eat, so on and so forth. The hubs and I are on a budget this summer too after our expensive trip!!!

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  29. This is awesome! And what a great idea! I am pretty good about making a budget but sticking to it is always my problem...there always seems to be something that comes up. And the Target $1 section is always so tempting! Haha!

    Congrats on making it 11 days with no spending! I can't wait to hear about your progress! I'm sure you will be even more motivated once you see how much you have saved in just a month! :)

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  30. y'all are WAY too cute!!! Love it!
    I am excited to see what else y'all do! When my hubs graduates with his MBA next spring we have student loans for the first time EVER! eek! :(

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  31. Love this! This is hilarious!!! Good luck and I can't wait to hear more about yall's success. I need to talk to my husband and get more into this!

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  32. ahahahah you guys crack me up! I love it! I am totally on board for saving money!!!!!

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  33. Oh. My. Goodness. YOU CRACK ME UP! :) I love this so much!! You need to motivate me! Except... I need to spend money on this whole baby thing. But after... sign me up!!!!!

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  34. Seriously you two are TOO CUTE! Stop-it! Y'all have made me REALLY want to get KC on board for doing this!

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  35. Hahaha! I love Sallie and Perkins! They are adorable! And this was seriously us like a month ago. We did the exact same thing and couldn't believe how much money we should have had "left over" at the end of each month! It really is an eye opener! I can't wait to see your progress!

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  36. I LOVE that Jarred did these pictures! Also, I love that you make so much darn sense when you talk about not spending. I read this super early this morning before going to work and I have had these pictures stuck in my head all day!

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  37. I am DYING! Y'all, I mean, Sallie & Perkins are too precious! I'm excited to read about and follow your money saving and debt eliminating journey! Maybe you can give me some fresh ideas.
    I love that y'all are doing the non-necessity thing, we try to do that, only with a little more wiggle room.
    As you said, everyone's "case" is different, but we can all learn from each other & tweak ideas to suit our lives!
    The smartest thing I can to do save money is take Doug's debit card...
    For real though...he's worse than a woman, sometimes. ;-)

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  38. Oh my gosh I am dying. While the concept is great and you guys are awesome for doing the no spend thing, I just can't help but be laughing along with the pictures the whole time! Seriously though, just giving up TV is so awesome.. I would die. Okay not really but it would be SO hard for me!

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  39. THIS IS AWESOME. I adore Sallie and Perkins and I'm totally impressed. Wonder if H and I can do a no-spend month... it's such a hard habit to get out of! And we just love our cable, oh noes!

    Seriously, excellent post Erin. I love this.

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  40. seriously you two are awesome!! LOVE the pictures! And this post was exactly what I needed to read today - it's giving me motivation to get on my budget stat!

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  42. My husband and I were just talking about doing this! Our debt, including his student loans (our biggest monthly expense) is killing us. We just sold his truck as a start, but I needed a new car so we're really only saving on gas. Thanks for the inspiration! Maybe I can finally convince him not to spend for a month!

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  43. Oh my gosh I laughed out loud at the photographs. Your husband is a good sport. on a serious note, I am eager to see how it went at the end of the month. Debt is a pain and I'd love to get a handle on my own...I only have my income (I'm single obv) with no kids, and this should be easier, but not for everything. Good luck :)

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  44. I actually just peed my pants. I LOVE YOU TWO!!!!

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  45. First of all, your photos are AWESOME and hilarious.

    Secondly, GREAT PLAN. I've done two spending freezes since January 1 and I'm already in a MUCH better position than I was on December 31.

    You got this! Please report in on the cable...I want to cancel it but I'm afraid to pull the trigger. My husband is in too, but I wonder how much it'll hurt.

    Stopping by from Gwen's blog!

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  46. GROUPON. Dinner dates, movie dates, go karts, massages, everything you could think of at a discounted price! Highly recommend!

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  47. Beyond adorable!!!! Love this and your plan, I love trying to save $ and will be tuning in for more ideas ;-)

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  48. You all are awesome, that's all!! So funny and I love the plan!! Good luck, Sallie and Perkins! :)

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  49. SO super creative! Love it! Fortunately, I paid off all my debt last year so I am free of it now! Working on maintaining some of my cost cutting standards in order to build savings though. I am interested to go through some of the Dave Ramsey stuff with Chris though....he isn't quite in the same boat on the debt-free status so I'm hoping we can work on that before a wedding happens down the line :) Thanks for the great tips!! And keep up the great work!!

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  50. This is the absolute cutest post ever! I can't wait to follow along! ;)

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  51. OMG!! I died laughing the whole time. We are doing the same thing right now. Can't wait to hear your updates throughout the month.

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  52. I love this!! We are trying to eliminate some debt too!! Thankfully no schools loans, just stupid credit cards!!

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  53. man. you two are THE BEST! hahaha

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  54. omg this is PRICELESS!!! You two are too cute :)

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  55. OMG, I'm dying. I'm amazed that Jared -- I mean, Perkins -- agreed to the pictures. LOVE IT!

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  56. Super cute! Good luck with your budget! Being debt free is such a great feeling.got rid of cable three years ago and never looked back. In a few months you won't even miss it

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  57. Seriously, how did I miss this blog post?! First of all, I love the characters... Sallie and Perkins. Do those happened to be named after student loans? hehe. Okay, so my husband and I are in tons of Debt together too. Lots of student loans. We got the Dave Ramsey Financial Peace dvds as a wedding gift, but it took us a while to get serious about his methods. We are on a really tight budget, and we stick to it every single month. We are finally making some progress on our loans. I can't wait to be debt free. If you get really into coupling (which I love), you might want to check out this website called Southern Savers for advice! :)

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  58. I love this! Avoiding my favorite Mexican restaurant(s) would be quite tricky however... worth it for sure though!

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  59. This is so me! I just found your blog today and have added it to my Blogger list. I'd love it if you'd follow me back: mylifeontheneedles.blogspot.com

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    1. Thanks for saying hi, Marcie! I couldn't find an email address to respond to you at but I'm looking forward to having you follow along :)

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  60. i just read your post on Elle Noel's blog and had to see what your plan was! i am30, married, have 2 kids, my husband is a programmer, and i'm a teacher. since march of 2012 we have been on the dave ramsey plan and we have paid off over $60,000 of debt (no credit cards, just cars and student loans). it's so awesome to say that we are 30 and don't owe a penny for our schooling anymore! stick with it, it's an amazing feeling when it's all said and done!!! we have a couple thousand more to pay off to our last vehicle and then we are DONE! this should be taken care of right before christmas! merry christmas to us!!! :)

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    1. Hi Anessa!! Thank you so much not only for stopping by and saying hello, but for the encouragement. I love to hear other success stories and YOURS IS AWESOME!! Good for you for working hard and paying off that debt! I cannot wait for the day we are completely 100% debt free!!! :)

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Thanks SO much for taking the time to read and comment on my blog! I read each one and love to respond and chat with you! :)