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I know talking about finances with your spouse isn’t always easy which is exactly why I turned to Ashleigh and Jason Mayfield. These two have had to talk A LOT about money. They have built a business online through social media and Youtube – and used it to get out of more than $60,000.
In this episode we talk about having those awkward, maybe contentious, conversations with your partner about getting out of debt and changing your spending habits. We also chatted about starting a plan to get out of debt as the holidays approach. This is exactly what the Mayfields did.
Plus, you’ll hear about how the financial burden of debt paralyzes us, the three things they did right at the beginning of their journey to set themselves up for success and how to start building wealth.
THE DEFINING MOMENT
In 2014, on Thanksgiving Day, Jason and Ashleigh Mayfield were driving across Michigan for the holiday. At that point, Jason says he floated the question, “What would it look like if money wasn’t a factor in anything we did?”What would it look like if money wasn’t a factor in anything we did? - Jason Mayfield on the Happiness in Progress podcast Click To Tweet
They had started realized they were dependent on his employer, a ministry, for their financial support.
“We had put our financial wellbeing into the hands of someone else. That could be JCPenney, McDonalds, the bank – wherever you work where you have put your financial well being into someone else hands.”
At that moment, the two decided to go debt-free. At that point, they had about $50,000 of debt.
However, the first attempt wasn’t perfect.
By November 2017, they went public on Facebook announce they were more than $63,000 in debt.
Yes, they had actually accumulated more debt since the 2014 revelation of the need (and desire) to get their finances straight.
6 months later, the two of them had climbed out of that $63,801.99 of debt.
A DEBT-FREE LIFE
The Mayfields say, “The more money you make, the more options you have, the more problems you can solve, the more risk you can take.”
Ashleigh says their relationship has seen a huge change – they argue less, but when they do the arguments look different. Their stress points are different, they sleep better and even make love better at night.
They point out how financial stress touches every part of your life. Maybe you’ve felt this way – when it’s not just an awkward conversation about money, but the big bad wolf hovering over you.
The constant pressure is so strong, Ashleigh says so many of us are bound by money. She says generally speaking, humans are having a harder time being creative, dreaming and casting their faith to have hope that their tomorrows can be better than their todays.
Jason talks about recently getting an oil change and reminiscing on when something like an oil change was a big deal – with money that wasn’t readily available.
HOW THEY GOT OUT OF $63,801.99 OF DEBT
Like many people before them, and more to come — they followed Dave Ramsey’s Total Money Makeover plan.
Jason details the first three baby steps.
- Have a $1,000 emergency fund in place
- Limit lifestyle and throw all money at your debt using the snowball method
- Build a savings account that would cover 3-6 months worth of expenses
You guys. The hardest thing to hear out of Jason’s mouth is how he got this plan into action. The two of them had $10,000 in savings when they started this.
They literally took $9,000 out – and put it into the first debt.
Hear more about the day to day lifestyle changes they made to throw money at their debt.
HOLIDAYS ON A BUDGET
The Mayfields started their debt free journey in October, just in time for the holidays. That year, they literally cut coupons to buy their children gifts from Walgreens. The two of them exchanged washcloths.
Ashleigh put it best, “Yes. Your kids want toys, but you know what your kids want – Your kids want two parents that don’t argue and fight, your kid want two parents who have a happy marriage, your kids would rather care about their future and the car they’re going to drive when they’re 16 and their college education and setting them up for success than the newest fastest gadget that they’re just going to throw away in three weeks.”
They urge you to stay focused on the long game during the holidays. One Christmas, one holiday season is just that – one holiday season. They say sacrificing the good for the great will be worth it.
They also urge you to sit down with a paper and answer this question. What would it look like if you could spend $5k on Christmas without money being an issue? Keep that as your motivation (PS – the Mayfields are spending $4k on Christmas this year).
HAVING THE MONEY CONVERSATION
One of my favorite parts of this episode is when Ashleigh explains Jason getting all up in her business when she bought one too many sushi meals. She said she’d say to Jason, “Get up off my back, bro.”
Hahaha – but have you ever felt like that?
A wonderful tip from the Mayfields – let your spouse pay the bills for a month. There might just be a disconnect between what’s happening and what your partner thinks is happening. By handing over the budget for the month – you’ll be able to open their eyes without any awkward – or contentious – conversations.
1) “You can’t defeat it until you define it.” – Ashleigh Mayfield, write down debt by debt so you can truly see how far into debt you are
2) Answer the question: What would Christmas look like if we could easily spend $5,000
3) Let your partner pay the bills for a month to get on the same page
MORE FROM THIS EPISODE:
– How the financial burden of debt paralyzes us
– Three things the Mayfields did at the right of the beginning of their journey to set themselves up for success
– How to start building wealth
HOW TO LISTEN:
You can listen to the podcast by clicking the play button above. You can ask Siri or Alexa to open the “Happiness in Progress podcast” for you. Or check it out at the Mail Tribune, Youtube, Apple Podcasts, Stitcher or anywhere else you like to listen to your favorite podcasts.
CONNECT WITH ASHLEIGH & JASON
If you liked this episode, check out Jessica Garbarino’s story of getting out of more than $50k in debt.