“It’s amazing how your whole attitude changes for the better once you feel in control of your finances rather than your finances being in control of you.” -Tony Hoffman
In today’s culture you don’t find too many people who are debt-free. In fact, if you were to Google the statistics on the percentage of people who are in debt in North America, you wouldn’t find anything; because almost everything you read assumes that all people are in debt. These articles coin terms like “the average American owes” or “the average household has” and presumably makes people believe that if you fall among the “average” then you are doing okay (compared to the rest of the population). That’s a lie! In fact, that’s precisely what the Financial Matrix is all about – according to Orrin Woodward. So many people are gasping for air because the weight of debt is suffocating them, and most people don’t even know that they are doing it or worse they’ve just ‘accepted’ that they will always have a breathing problem.
This is why the Financial Fitness Program is such a critical product for people to have; it’s like an oxygen tank that is providing air for people to breathe until they can do it on their own again. And the people who are applying the principles from the program are finally able to know what that feels like. Chris Brady recently tweeted, “What you don’t owe won’t hurt you.” It’s painful to be in debt; imagine what it would feel like to not owe anyone anything! Brandon and Chelsea Perry are a couple who know exactly how it feels!
Debt was just a way of life in the home where I grew up. I constantly watched my parents argue about money, spend money without tracking and bounce numerous checks. So as I grew up, naturally I didn’t have a clue about how money worked or that debt was a destructive force in a person’s life. As expected, at 18 years old I went off to college and signed a student loan without any clue what it really meant. Two years later I graduated with an Associate degree and $20,000 of student loan debt and a job in a completely different field than my degree. Upon graduation, I continued down the path of debt by financing a truck and opening my first credit card account.
“By the time I was 25 I had student loan debt, truck debt and by that point I had 5 credit cards that were totally maxed out.” -Brandon Perry
My immediate thought was to invest in new home construction–hoping that I could make more money and eliminate some of my current debt–but unfortunately that was right before the 2008 crash and it only resulted in even more debt.
I had finally decided that enough was enough and I wanted to make some changes in my life; I really wanted to be debt-free and relieve the stress of having people constantly calling me and asking for their money. A defining moment was when I received a call from a late cell phone bill. I literally had nothing to give them, and they had the audacity to ask me to borrow money from my kids to pay it (I didn’t even have any kids at the time).
During that same time I had been part of a community that was teaching people how to think differently about money, I just hadn’t been applying it.
“I finally realized that I should start listening and applying into my life the principles that they were teaching.” -Brandon Perry
At first I couldn’t even afford to purchase the CD’s and books, so I decided to sell my construction tools out of my garage in order to be able to afford the information. I learned that one of the keys to a good offense in finances was to invest in my thinking–so that’s where I started. I knew that I had to apply these principles every day if I wanted to see changes, so I skipped out on doing fun things that would’ve cost me money in order to invest in the books and CD’s.
The criticism I received from my friends and family was constant, but I knew that they weren’t going to pay my bills or teach me how to get debt free–which is exactly what I desired. So I made the decision to no longer listen to my critics (which, in itself, surprises me that people would criticize someone for chasing after a debt-free life) and move forward with my plan of digging out.
The Financial Fitness Program taught me to save 10%, which is what I started to do right away and kept hidden (which came in handy years later). Then I started applying the roll-down method with my credit cards and started chipping away at student loans…Fast forward a couple of years and I met my lovely wife, Chelsea. When we married, we both had 2 credit cards left plus student loans; but strangely enough, we both had a lot of money in savings. I remember Orrin Woodward teaching on an audio that having a big savings account didn’t make sense if I had debt–because the interest on the debt was costing me more money than what I was making with the interest on my savings. Our goal was to be debt-free by the time our first child came into the world, so from February 2014 (the month we got married) to July 2014, we aggressively attacked our leftover debt and became DEBT FREE before our first child, CJ, was born.
A funny part of the story is that, by accident, we overpaid a student loan by $500, and the company took almost 2 months to pay us back!
What has really helped us is that we only have one car between the two of us. I knew that a second car would mean two gas tanks to fill, two license plates to renew and 2 cars to insure–which would slow down our journey toward freedom from debt. Now it’s a year later–and we still have only one car–but now we can afford to pay for another car in cash and we’ve chosen to delay our gratification until we truly need a second vehicle. We have also decided to be non-participants in the financial matrix by staying out of the mortgage scam.
“Being debt-free has allowed Chelsea and I so much freedom in our lives and in our marriage. We never have an argument over debt or money.” -Brandon Perry
Being debt free has also allowed us more time to spend together as a family; and even though our son is only a year old, we are already teaching him the principles of Financial Fitness. We could not have done this without the Financial Fitness Program and the awesome community of people who have encouraged us to chase after a debt-free lifestyle. We are both extremely thankful, and now we are constantly out encouraging others to do the same.
Congratulations to the Perrys on their tremendous accomplishment to escape the Financial Matrix and become debt free!