Six years and four months.
That’s how long we worked, saved, scrimped and worked even more to pay off our house. At one point in time, Kelly and I were working five jobs between the two of us to earn extra money to pay off the house.
It was exhausting. It felt never ending. But we gave ourselves a goal – when we paid off the house, we were going to Nashville to scream “WE’RE DEBT FREE” live on the Dave Ramsey show.
We planned to run the Nashville Marathon (in late April) and wanted to do our debt free scream at that time. When I emailed to schedule our visit, we learned the show only scheduled debt free yells within six months of paying off your last bill. And we were outside of the range.
But Shannah doesn’t give up so easily. When the show’s scheduler/screener Kelly mentioned the cutoff date was just a few days away, I realized that we would be in Kentucky – just one state away – at that very time. And we could drive down to Nashville within two hours. So I asked if there was an opening for us. There was!
That’s how we found ourselves in Nashville. At Financial Peace Plaza (which is much smaller of a building than you’d expect). We saw Martha’s Place!
We had coffee – or Kelly did, anyway – in a mug marked by one of the Dave team core values.
We were able to watch Dave do his show live. Lots of people drive in just to watch the show from the lobby – in fact, the whole building is a total hive of activity.
The lobby displays a countdown for the show, along with the schedule board. It didn’t take long for us to feel nervous as we waited for our segment.
The Dave team prepped us – mic, headset, where to stand…we were go to go.
I should mention my beloved nerdy husband listened to hours of Debt Free Scream calls, noting all of the questions Dave typically asked, and wrote up a Word document with all of our answers. Then he made us practice our answers as we drove to Nashville. He also made us practice the night before.
Do I need to mention that I’m a communicator by profession? Yet he made me practice. (I was so proud!)
And then, suddenly, we were on the air…
The segment lasts forever and is over in a flash. We told Dave our story, answered his questions (all of which were ones Kelly had researched and prepped responses for) and we even managed to make Dave laugh. Oh yes – Kelly did forget how old we were. Practice doesn’t help with everything.
Then it was time to countdown and scream “WE’RE DEBT FREE!!!!!” We did remarkably well and high-fived to celebrate afterward.
During the next commercial break, Dave came out to meet us and sign whatever autographs we wanted. We had him sign our countdown chart. That chart was the key to our paying off debt faster than we expected – we put it up in the bathroom and stared at it every day.
We also signed the studio wall.
Was it worth giving up a day of our unexpectedly snowed-out Kentucky vacation to drive to Nashville for a Debt Free Scream?
If you’d like to watch our debt free scream, click on the video below: