Your Story

Tell Your Story
Tell me your story! How you got out of debt, went into debt, never use debt, whatever. Have you had a recent victory with your finances? Are you struggling through a tough time economically speaking?

Share with others your tips, tricks, and tools for financial freedom. Let the world know how you learned to live on less. Did you go from rags to riches or riches to rags? What happened and how has it changed you?

Be as creative as you like. Send me an email, video, or audio file. I’ll use it in a future podcast episode. The world wants to hear your story!

Give us a call on our voicemail feedback hotline at 615-200-7189 or drop Greg an email.

15 responses to Your Story

  1. I just came across your youtube talk about what a bad idea Home Equity Lines of Credit (HELOCs) are. I always expect financial advice to include the pros and cons of the options rather than opinions. In this case you offered that in your opinion, HELOCs are a bad idea and that they being promoted by banks for their benefit. In my case I had two unexpected and significant health issues in my nuclear family that left me with $13k cash in the bank and $25k on my credit cards at 9%-12% interest. It was a simple cash flow issue since I had $500k equity in my residence. I got a $50k HELOC at 4.9% and ended up using $27k. I paid if off six months later without incurring more than the $170 initial fee and the 4.9% interest on any outstanding balance. My next best option to raise the short term cash would have been to take the money from mutual funds that had been growing at 12%-15% at the time. The HELOC was the perfect option for me and if I simply listened the well meaning but overly simplistic opinions of some I would have been worse off financially.

    • Hello, and thank you for the feedback! Personally, a major medical expense is the only time I’d consider using a HELOC. Glad to see you exercised wisdom with your choice. And yes, I often offer my opinion and nothing more. And I’m very glad to see you realize an opinion when you see it. I’m not a “hand it to folks on a plate” kind of guy. I think internet advice can create a lazy population of people. I’m glad you made a decision that worked for you and you knew exactly what you were doing. In that case a HELOC served you well. Most people don’t have $500k in equity and the HELOC can become more of a credit card for frivolous spending. The whole underlying point of the video is, we shouldn’t be borrowing money from banks in the first place. The only reason we do, is because we lack financial discipline. You obviously don’t lack the discipline. And I say bravo to that!

  2. You really make it seem so easy with your presentation but I find this
    topic to be really something which I think I would never
    understand. It seems too complicated and very broad for me.
    I am looking forward for your next post, I will try to get
    the hang of it!

  3. Can I simply just say what a relief to find a person that
    genuinely knows what they are discussing on the net.
    You definitely know how to bring a problem to light and make it important.

    A lot more people must read this and understand this side of your story.

    I was surprised that you are not more popular given
    that you definitely possess the gift.

  4. I like this! I started looking around for a way to explain to my colleague at work that a HELOC to buy a car…and then to buy tires was NOT a good idea. I’m going to send him your talk on that.

    For me, I have no debt. I paid it off several years ago after a job loss meant that I was in danger of not making the payment on my mortgage. I thought I’d been smart in getting only 1/3 the house the bank said I could afford…but it still meant that my house was tied to my income. So, fortunately I got another job, across the country, and was able to sell my house for slightly more than I owed ($8000 profit). I used that profit to pay down school loans. Moved into a cheap rental within walking distance of the new job, and started paying off debt. I was debt free in 2-3 years, and rather than upgrading my lifestyle, I stayed in that cheap rental (still there…9.5 years later), walk to work, kept the old paid off car (until I could pay cash for a newer used vehicle), don’t pay for cable or movies, cook from scratch, dress from thrift stores, and so on. I do spend money on travel and still manage to save about $20,000 a year above and beyond retirement and the rest, just in the bank, since paying off the debt. There were a couple of years where family obligations meant I couldn’t save as much, but still, right now I’m in a position to buy a small home or a piece of land for cash and am looking to do so.

    Friends and family do not understand and think I’m deprived or that I feel deprived. I don’t. I have so much less stress than those around me it’s pretty astonishing. If I lose this job, I can live for over 10 years with what I have in the bank. If I buy land, I may be able to cut back on work hours, as I will have no utility bills or rent, and still live very well.

    • Hello Maggie,

      Great story. Living below your means is a sign of a disciplined mind. Speaking of which, I just broke a 12 mo. fast from chicken/pork the other day. Anyhow, thank you for the details and isn’t it awesome you have lots of money to travel?

      I love your comment “If I lose this job I can live 10 years with what I have in the bank.” Now that’s freedom! May I suggest a book? The Man Who Quit Money by Mark Sundeen. It may just be right up your alley. I’m sure our listeners would love to hear your story. If you’d like to be on the podcast, let me know. I’d love to interview you.

      Greg – greg@debtshepherd.com

    • maggie maggie, just listened to your story on the podcast (cheers Greg), thanks for sharing. wow what an inspiation! its an instant validation of the lifestyle i’m leading (although not as hardcore) and fantastic to hear from other like minded people. thank you again and hope you continue to prosper. to hell with what people think.
      cheers

  5. Hey Greg,
    I want to thank you for the inspirational podcast shows. Most of the time when I talk to people who live in a fantasy world of high interest credit card debt where paycheck to paycheck is normal and having a new car smell to show off in order to keep up with the Joneses is the “hip” thing to do I always seem to get these two sentences that absolutely grinds my gears:
    “Life is short” and “You only live once”.
    I find this cop out to be extremely distressing. In fact I really despise the misuse of these two sentences “Life is short” and “You only live once”. Sometimes I get the oddest stare from these consumerists who live the high in debt life when I retort with, “Life is short. So why should I live it wrong” and the one they roll their eyes at “You only live once. So why not live free”.
    Greg I am no preacher nor do I like preaching. But I feel obligated to throw these lines back at them. I am disturbed how people find living beyond their means normal. Worse, I can’t believe some of these people prefer to stay alseep rather than live life wide awake. You are a breath of fresh air man. I live in NYC where plastic has wings to fly out of wallets and purses and mannequins in a store front window get more looks than artwork in the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
    Thank you for all of your dedication and keep up the good work. I have turned a few people on to your podcast.

    • Hello John,
      I can’t tell you how gratifying it is to get great feedback from folks who listen to the podcast. Thank you for sending the info along to others. We actually don’t live once. We live forever. And HOW we choose to experience that is where our true power comes from.

      I’ve been frustrated like you mentioned. It comes and goes. As long as I’m teaching truth to one person at a time, I’m content knowing I’m doing what should be done. Keep listening and if you’re interested in doing an interview (audio/no video) via Skype, let me know. It’s very easy and can be a lot of fun. I’ll post it on the podcast page. – Greg

  6. Wayne Garcia April 4, 2013 at 09:45

    Love your show. Listen to every podcast from here in Norway.

    I got into a financial mess, brand new car loan, all the latest electrical products, holidays etc.

    I then one day decided to make changes. Met the finance companies and made a payment plan. Being honest and upfront helps! One credit company even chopped off 35% of the debt as I was willing to fight off the debt at a regular rate.

    I sold all the stuff I did not need. Car, decided to take buses, taxis now and then still cheaper than car fees. I eat cheaper food, buying in bulk on offers. No processed food. I even grew my own vegetables

    Clever with electric usage. Turn all off. Just use what I need.

    Instead of evenings out in bars or movies, I meet friends at home or we play soccer, walks etc. for free!
    After all, friends and family are good company and interacting is more important than material things.

    Gym membership I quit it. Saved 800 dollars a year there. As I said above I walk, jog, play soccer, swim.

    No more impulse shopping. In fact most the stuff I buy is second hand.

    I decided to buy old soccer shirts, and sell them on for more on auctions, often making 100% profit, as I know about them.

    I am not shy to ask for discounts for cash in stores. 50% of people will budge a bit. Sometimes you get free items added to a purchase( only when i need to buy something I must have).

    These are just examples off the top of my head. I am close to paying off the $25,000 dollars of debt. Has taken me 3 years.

    • Hello Wayne!

      Great testimonial. I appreciate you listening and giving such great details of what you’re doing and how it’s working for you.
      Keep up the good work. Doesn’t freedom feel great? Share the link to our podcast with friends/family as you are lead. We are here to help people help themselves and open as many minds as possible.

      Greg Whitaker

  7. Greg, I caught your show on The Matrix 2012.12.29. 1st time listener. Very interesting word smithing is indeed a powerful tool.Biblical term babel for example.
    I did hear you say you are working on paying off your house, please understand you are a tenant on your land. You may transfer that title on tenantship for fiat currency which only puts you further in the matrix. The Matrix is an inverse equation the less you possess the freeer you are yet the more difficult your standard of living will be.

    • Tony,
      Excellent point! I’m aware I’m just a tenant on the land. That sucks big time. I really dig the way you described The Matrix as an inverse equation. The less we possess the freer we are yet the more difficult our standard of living will be. I’m married and walking away from the mortgage and house wouldn’t be something my wife would agree to or accept. So it’s one foot in The Matrix, one foot out on some things. I’m definitely doing a podcast episode based on your feedback and the inverse equation specifically. Thank you. Wholeness and balance.

  8. Dear Greg,

    Let me start by saying that you are truly a breath of fresh air! I first learned about you from those crazy guys over at Truth Militia and it’s nice when you’re on. Your calm, confident tone balances them out nicely I think. I admire their enthusiasm but they should try to steer away from the ad hominem style that they tend toward. That’s just my opinion of course but I suspect their listenership wanes when they go off on rants. I hope I’m not stepping out of line to suggest that you could contribute something so unique and wonderful to their network. I know they’ve asked you. In the world of negativity that is the alternative (‘truth-seeking’) media, God knows we need a few more optimistic voices like yours.

    Here’s my story:
    I am a 35-year old, self-employed, mother of two and like yourself, I have been on a truth- seeking journey for the past decade or so. But it wasn’t until my husband and I hit rock bottom back in ’08 that I really started to get my S*** together! We were still licking our wounds from a failed attempt at restaurant ownership when we found ourselves in a brand new community, drained of our savings, but slowly getting back on our feet when my husband got “downsized” out of his new job after one month. To say the least, we felt pretty bowled over by life!! But…I was driving home in tears one day when I heard a vibrant voice of hope on NPR (I was still stark-raving lib back then;). It was the voice of John Commuta. I was very skeptical at first and my husband was completely unconvinced of it’s power. In fact he was furious that I’d put us $300 further behind to purchase the program. But as soon as we gave it our full attention we knew we’d make it work for us.

    Unfortunately, we did have to go further backward so my husband could go back to school. But he was smart enough to get a technical degree in the civil engineering field and has found himself an awesome niche that I’ve no doubt he’ll be well compensated for in short time. He’s the BIM manager for a small company that contracts with John Deere and he’s making a good name for himself there. And I know in my heart that we’re both on the right path professionally now. I am a self-employed massage therapist and health coach and I’ve just moved into a great new office here in downtown Cedar Falls, Iowa. I’m excited because I have very unique services to offer my community but have been limited in scope until recently due to the fact that we’ve chosen to home educate our kids. But our children grow more independent every day so one of my goals for their education is for them to witness firsthand the power of entrepreneurship. I will teach them all about how the real American Dream is freedom from the oppressive state of hyper-consumerism that is life in the western world.

    Not to be too lengthy here, but I really do LOVE your message, your style, and the fact that you’re hip to much of the “truth” about things unlike many of the other personal development coaches I’ve encountered through the years. And I like the fact that your tone is unquestionably sincere. I also appreciate the fact that you tie a fair amount of philosophy, spirituality and psychology into your message. For these reasons I WANT TO DO MY TITHING WITH YOU! I don’t have a lot to give right now but I believe in the power of that concept. However, until now, I’ve not been inspired enough to practice it. I really hope you can appreciate what I’m saying. We’ve tried dozens of churches and not a one resonated with us. I’ve also been through a long line of online coaches and gurus that ultimately disappointed me. Believe me, I’ve looked long and hard to find a message that’s as complete as yours. Please tell me the best way to donate. I’d like to do so soon.

    Sincerely,
    Erin C. Norin, LMT
    Lover of Life & Freedom

    • Hello Erin,

      Thank you for the amazing testimonial! I appreciate your listening and the feedback. Hearing from people and knowing the teaching is reaching is the most gratifying thing possible. Congrats on getting back on track with your financial plan and hanging in there despite setbacks. Setting an example is really important. A lot of folks need to know your story. Thank you for sharing it here. I look forward to hearing from you in the future.

      With Much Gratitude,
      Greg Whitaker
      Debt Shepherd

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