On this episode of The His & Her Money Show, Danesca, a single mother and woman of faith, shares her story of debt freedom. The consumer debt of $38,833.09 included credit card bills, a car payment and medical bills she incurred due to Hyperthyroidism. Danesca paid it all off in only 16 months.
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What You Will Learn In This Episode
✅ How a single parent can become debt-free
✅ What the difference is between needs and wants
✅ How to include your children on the debt-free journey
✅ Different ways to save money
✅ How your attitude can help or hinder you
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Disclaimer and Disclosure – Talaat and Tai McNeely are not licensed insurance agents, nor insurance coverage experts. Legal & General America is full of information and resources to help you learn more about life insurance. This is a sponsored video from Legal & General America. However, all views expressed and opinions are our own.
hiden ESCA welcome to the hizzoner money show are you doing well super glad to have you on the show today because you have recently accomplished a major goal in that you have become debt-free and so we're super excited that you're on so you can share your story with the audience but before we start talking about your story can you just say hello to everybody that's tuned in and let them know what you are all about hi everyone my name is anezka and I'm basically just going to share my story my journey with you I'm all about being a woman of faith so that's definitely something you guys are gonna hear today awesome so let's talk about the debts specifically okay let's talk about let us know how much debt you were in talk about the type of debt it was and how long it took for you to get rid of it okay so I had a total of thirty eight thousand eight hundred and thirty three dollars and nine cents of that the type of data was was well at first I just had two things to pay off and that was credit card bills and the other one was my car payment but when I then I incurred ten thousand ten thousand two hundred more dollars worth for that when I started adjusting my bills and what I did was I went with a high deductible because in my health insurance because I was a healthy female and my children were healthy and we would only spend the co-payment for our physicals every year we would we were just bending spending a lot of money on our insurance premiums for no reason so I decided to go with the high deductible and man that backfired so I ended up paying ten thousand two hundred and two and medical bills Wow so after you made the adjustments on a medical situation arose yes yes ended up finding out that I had hyperthyroidism the same year that I cut down my premiums and was paying the minimum on my health insurance premium and landed me in the hospital twice because it produced like tachycardia in my heart because my metabolism was too fast and my sitting heart rate was 165 beats per minute and I was just sitting so they had to regulate my heart rate and I was so upset because I'm like this is money like it's horrible that you think that way you want to care about your home but I knew I had to pay for these visits right so you ended up your total went over what 40 and we cannot forget the nice so how long did it take for you to get through from start to finish out of your life so it takes 16 months Wow months yes but I included my children in the process what I did was I knew I was gonna start being very frugal and that I had to cut some stuff out when I sat down and I looked at all the things I were spending not being wise with my money and I sat them down and were like no one Samara Mommy has to change a lot of habits and I want to include you guys in this journey because I might need your help saying no it's a thing and so I told them about the process and they became my accountability partners in the beginning all they hated me because I didn't get name-brand foods so instead of Oreo cookies I'm going to have these I'm not spending money on name-brand sneakers and we're going to thrift stores and they're like mommy we hate the smell of this place oh wow you got a deal with for now is just a sacrifice until we get over it and then towards like the end of the day my children they were keeping me accountable because then I started getting tired of this journey and I was like you know what I want to buy something like I want to do something with it and then whenever I will go to the store and like try to grab something my kids will be like mom but do you need that is that something that you need or do you want to buy a house and I'm like yeah so take us back to what even caused you to want to attempt to get out of debt because I think a lot of people are comfortable with their debt because it's just for you know for better for worse it's kind of the norm in society to have this type of debt of that type of debt but for you you at some point came to the conclusion that you want it different talk to us about the process of even get into the thought that you wanted to become debt-free alright so this basically this is where I share my faith so I am a woman of that and I share my beliefs with people and I don't think any other any other thing can be better than to share about that so God spoke to me and I know a lot of people don't um don't have this type of relationship with God but I had a dream and in the dream I was no longer going to be with my company and I've been with my company for 12 years and in the dream I'm trying to clock in to work and my badge wouldn't let me clock in and I'm like what's wrong with his badge why can't I swipe in and I just see a big pair of scissors cut my badge off in the dream so I wake up and I'm like what is what was that so at the time I was reading this book from Priscilla Xiuying priscilla shirer called discerning the voice of god and she talks about like if you feel like God is speaking to you ask and you but you're kind of confused ask God for confirmation so I excited said God if this dream was from you please confirm it and three other times he confirmed it in a dream that I was no longer gonna be with my company so that that really struck me the I came from a group home and so I've been in shelters because of my mom's you know lack of taking care of us right now we're restored we're good so that's in the past but I don't want my kids to ever suffer lacking anything or being homeless or so I said okay well I need to sit down I need to look at my finances and I need to see where I am financially and that's when I was like oh my god like so the first thing I did was actually I didn't even want to start paying off that my whole thing was you need to save because you don't got you don't have anything to show for this so I just started saving checks like one check would be for my bills and just saving the rest when check would be for the bill saving the rest save save save then I started listening to Dave Ramsey and I bought his book financial peace and I was like oh god I'm supposed to pay because even if I was to lose my job and I have all this money in savings I still have a lot of debt that's under my name that I'm gonna be worried about if I don't have a job and so I was like you know what if I really want peace I'm going to have to pay off his debt so I went from saving to reading his book and just tackling debt so I would do the same thing with my debt so instead of saving it I will pay my bills with one check paying off them with the other check pay my bills with one check pay off those without a check and my kids were included with that as well and we wouldn't buy anything like we would I would say no to go to birthday parties and people wouldn't like me I'm not gonna go and if I did go it was because those friends were really special or family members and even in those times like I would say birthday bags and I would tell the kids pick a toy from your mom day you're not playing with and put it in this bag like because that's what we could afford right now so I took that literal and I really but one thing that I that God had to work with me on and this is I want to share this because people talk about you know not sacrificing stuff that they not sacrificing the amount of money to get rid of their dad so I lost my job one month before I knew like I had to pay off like $12,000 $12,000 and but I already had the money say because I would save my income tax instead of paying off the debt with the income tax I had two income tax checks that I saved and I was really like struggling with like using my income tax money to just pay off the $12,000 and I had just lost my job and I'm like god I'm playing like a war with Jesus I'm like I don't want to I want to save this money because I don't know how long it's gonna take me to fight another job and God was just really like telling me trust me and this trust me you've been faithful you've been tithing trust me and paying off the amount you have left and I took that twelve thousand dollars that I had in income tax six thousand from each time and I just paid off the rest of my debt so yeah now you talk of this journey as you reference your your children a couple times you did this as a single parent yes so talk about the nuances one was it was it a scary undertaking even in the beginning when you consider the fact you know everything's on me I have children take care of a dog to take care of talk about the the uniqueness that or some of the things that you faced as a single parent trying to get out of debt because there are some single parents listening right now so talk to us talk to them about you know the considerations that you had to make the strategies that you had to use being that you were not just a single person but a single parent yes okay so there was a there's a lot of things that play into being a parent so I like to have my kids involved and um the YMCA they're both in sports they're both in basketball they're in church and I have them in Bible study as well so one of the things that I had to do and they did not like me was cut off the cable and they were like my why are you cutting off the game like that like our source of like you know just being sane and just being quiet for a few minutes and I'm like because we're gonna do different activities we're not gonna be home sitting on our behinds we're gonna go out there we didn't do different things so I looked into sponsorship programs at the Y and you have to prove how much you're making and they ask you for your your bills as well so they ask you for how much making your bills and everything and I showed them how much I was making so I was able to get them sponsored at the Y for free for groceries coupons coupons coupons coupons come on that was my best friend every time I think oh sorry my kids were included in that then I would tell them whatever okay so you don't like the Aldi's Oreos because they're not the ruins so help me find coupons that's gonna get me this pack of Oreos for less than what it's worth and they will help me we will go through the through the newspapers or I also have a BJ's membership I don't think the whole thing I split half with a friend and we do BJ's coupons plus manufacturer coupons so use your resources there's so many resources out there so they did got sponsored for sports I did other activities in church with them they were included in my couponing and like to be honest it changed their mindset too because they learned a lot they were like man mom like they started looking at prices instead of looking at what they wanted they were like oh we can't get this because it's how much we have oh we could get this because this is how much we have so it taught them to get what they needed because there's so much we got instead of what they wanted so so I'm sorry I did not get a lot of people ask me about alimony or if I had child support I did not have child support no financial assistance I did not get alimony any of that because me and my ex he needs to just get his life situated and that's a whole other ha the radio show that I don't want to get into but no I did this with the only finances that Wow I mean that is super super amazing kudos to you now it sounds like you got to the point where you were all in from from a mentality standpoint so how did you how did you get there so fast because at one point you know you were accumulating debt and there was no big deal then you had this sudden switch and for some people it's not an easy like thing to change your mindset around money so help everybody understand how you were able to just like flip the switch and you were like coupons and YMCA the no more Oreos like they're from a mentality standpoint um well for me it was like really looking at my dad and looking at how the interest makes an increase and by me making the minimum payments I wasn't getting anywhere and that it was gonna take me a longer time to get there and so I just felt this urge of my heart like I need to do this fast and get this out of the way because I'm not gonna be paying a lot more so I did a lot of research about interest rates I was just googling like how much do I really pay if I have this my mom and dad these interest rates and I was just like oh no I'm gonna be I think I'm gonna end up paying fifty or sixty thousand dollars versus the amount that I really have so I even called my bank and at the time I had two separate credit cards one for five thousand and something the other one for four thousand is something and I said you know what because I did some research because I'm like one when you're debt free according to people that buy like statistics and research that your credit score is decrease and I didn't really care about my credit score but I was like my goal is to get a house for the kids being debt-free and but I probably won't get a good deal with a low credit score so I looked into it and they said like a percentage of your credit score is based off of the amount you owe so if you're maxed out on your credit card your credit score goes really low because you're maxed out and they want you to be at a certain amount of debt not too much so I they said to bring it below there five percent or 25 percent and I was like well I'm gonna see if I could get a 0-0 percent interest rate with my bank I've been using their credit cards for a long time I haven't been late I just have been paying the minimum so let me give them a call so I gave him a call and I said you know I wanted to merge all my credit cards to your account but I wanted to see if I'm eligible for a 0% APR and they ran everything and they say oh you're and I said okay well I want a credit increases because I need this to be under 35% so nine at nine thousand eight hundred and something I haven't written down here my credit cards below nine thousand six hundred and thirty two dollars and 81 cents everybody counts I got a fifteen thousand dollar credit increase even though I'm not using the money because my my thing is to tackle it and get out of it I didn't even know that my credit score was gonna shoot like my credit score right now is eight ten it's time to get your life insurance together with legal in general America as one of the nation's leaders in low-cost high quality life insurance to over 1.3 million families we know how to protect you for nearly seven decades we've been the first and only carrier to add ten more years of security to our policies for a total of forty years of life insurance coverage if you need basic protection until retirement that deal is perfect legal and general America makes understanding and applying for life insurance easy our agents are standing by to help you determine the best coverage to fit your family's needs visit his at her money.com /lg a to get started on your journey toward financial wellness now you talked about again your daughters or your children they were like when you were making these changes you see it a couple times oh they hated me okay so for some parents you know that experience or that you know kind of pushback from their kids will kind of make them say okay maybe maybe this isn't the time but you didn't give up right so in that moment whether you're a single parent or marry couple with kids and your kids are like what mom but dad how did you maintain and not you know acquiesce to their you know complaints well for the most part I always focus there back to our end goal like we're gonna get a house do you want to stay in this apartment forever or do you want do you want to have your own room or do you want to have like a basketball court outside in the yard like I don't mind the community that I live in is nice but I don't want to be complacent so I will always focus them back on what's the goal what is the goal and it's using credit good or is using credit bad you know I showed them about credit and I showed them about debit and I showed them about you know when you use your credit card I'm like if I buy this after use the credit card and I if I use the credit card I have to pay interest and then I had to explain that to them they're like what's interest like what is them like okay let's say I give you five dollars right I might give you five dollars but because that's not your money as my money you have to pay it back to me with more money because I'm charging you interest so instead of five dollars you have to give me eight or ten dollars depending on the type of interest rate that there is and he was like oh and I'm and he was like so what's debit and then I explained to them Oh debit is your own money that you make and you're using it wisely to get out of debt but at the end of the day like I didn't share the gym with them during my debt free journey inside of me I was like animal I might not be working soon so I have to make sure I stick to this and I would also like do like little hacks to this is a good tip so they really like Ritz crackers right but the rest crackers in my store is like maybe three something or to something depending on the price for the family pack and the Pena was sorry for me so all these has it for 85 cents so I'm like why am i spending almost $3.00 it's women 85 cents here so when they finish their risk factors the pack I will open up the end looks just like it it just feels a little bit different I would put it right right in there and they will eat it and there was they would say like it's kind of different but I'm late so I just eat is crackers cheese and crackers but you know little things like that like they don't they've got accustomed to it they didn't know the difference but I wasn't hurting them or doing anything I loved it so what did happen you you left up the story with your job you you find it out that you know things are about to change how did you bounce back how did you persevere through the job loss really I'm struggling with that to be honest like it's hard not not to be working especially if you were always working I've been working since I was fifteen years old never once if anything I've always went from one job to a better job so I got to my company which was in the healthcare field and I did 12 years and I went from a volunteer to management so I work from the bottom up to get there and just to be like separated like that like even though I knew was coming I cried I cried a lot but to be honest God gave me the strength to get through it and I went to to two months without being on social media not looking at anything just like really praying and asking God like where do I need to be right now wait where do you want me right now and what do you need to teach me because obviously I'm applying for jobs and not one door is opening so weird what do you want me to learn through this lesson and just really being throwing him learning how to trust him and know that says in Psalms 46:10 be still and know that I am God I will be exalted in the heavens that would be as also a mother earth so I'm just really trusting God through my weakness because this is a big to me this is my weakness like trusting God with him opening a door and not me working for it but and then I 2nd Corinthians 12:9 like my strengths is sufficient for you something Paul because pause I take this door and away from you my god take this away from me I don't like this and God is like no don't worry about it you've learned how to be frugal you have some savings and you're gonna continue in this path until it's time and I don't know what God is doing but I know he's doing something good to me what's wrong you know I want to talk about because this is such a real situation you know the mean where and and you were warned God warned you through a dream but some people they're not gonna they're just gonna catch a pink slip or catch your email or catch a meeting with their supervisor and find out that their job is coming to an end how or why is it so important because this is the path this is this is how your story played out why is it so important to not find safety in our nine-to-five jobs and why is it important for because what you did whether you realize it or not is you gave yourself power to be okay because right now somebody else in your company that got the pink slip their stress level is much different than yours because they didn't go on the path to eliminating their debt and freeing themselves up so talk about how to have the right mindset about jobs and job security and how debt freedom financial freedom should play a part okay so I would definitely say that when we're when whatever is given to us in this earth it's all gonna be like when you pass away it's all gonna go away like you own even though you own your house you really don't own it because guess what if you were to pass away tomorrow and that house has to go up sister go up for sale is no longer your home so I really believe that everything on this earth is lent to us because when we pass away it's all gonna we don't take it with us so look for the peace and things that are eternal for example when God okay so if God doesn't speak to you and you lose your job then be good stewards of the finances that God has placed in your hands so I wasn't being the steward I had a lot of that and I was saving thinking thinking that the minimum just make barely making the minimum payments was going to help me but no be a good Stewart pay off your debts have some savings so that you can have some peace if God forbid something was to happen to you and I knew that having too many bills was not going to help me I would be real stressed out right now if I had all this if I had $38,000 look for that and I didn't have a job and I didn't have money to save and I wasn't working towards it you're not gonna have peace you're not gonna sleep at night okay you need to have peace just in case so just be good stewards of your finances and administer it wisely that's what I would Southern as you were going through the process of getting out of debt what we're like family and friends saying were they supportive where they cheering you or would they question you like what are you doing like how did that play a part well I did have a lot of supportive family members and friends like I told them that I wanted to do I remember when I sat in my sister's house and I told her like I'm gonna tackle this I'm like I'm seriously gonna do this like she knew about my savings and she I told her I'm gonna start saving I'm gonna and I was like you know why I need to talk with my dad because what good is it to save and the more distance that they have the more conviction I feel like I need to like really do this and she's like um well you gotta start saying no because I'm like I was this really social butterfly like there's a party I'm there if there's a birthday I'm their baby shower I'm there and so I had her I had her like support and her best friend also was like well you're gonna take the classes I saw her yes I know for the classes she was like well I have the book and the work by god the workbook at home how about you skip paying for the class and you start with just the book in the workbook and it was like okay so I didn't like seriously and I even paid for the class and just reading the book doing the workbook but really applying those principles to my life and then I had other friends that didn't like me anymore because they were like what do you mean you're not coming I will get my envelopes open envelopes my gas money I don't know so I did the envelope system so I would look at how much I have for gas money and how much I have for spending and I don't have it so if I didn't have I would say no and too bad so sad for whoever didn't understand I'm sorry you're not gonna help me pay my bills so bad so there were people that were for it and people that were against it and if they're truly your friends they're gonna love you no matter what if they're not your friends then their God is gonna move remove them from your path nothing you know you did a whole lot of fighting and scraping and cutting and saving and explaining yourself to a lot of people but then the day arrived where you are able to make the very last payment on your debt and I'm sure that there are people listening who are on their journey and they're wondering what that feels like what it looked like so can you kind of describe that day for everybody for me like oh my gosh I could definitely feel I died when I thought when I paint when I took $12,000 $12,000 $12,000 but it was of course income tax return money from both from 2018 and then 2019 when I got some I saved them but when I take those $12,000 and I paid up the rest of my debt I literally felt like a big heaviness like come off of me like breathe like that's not a worry and then to sit down and tell my kids like The Frugal is like it's still not over because I'm still applying these principles especially not that I'm not working but that there's no dead there were like like there was so excited they were so happy this is like so much happiness there's peace because I can sleep at night knowing that I don't have all those extra bills to worry about I don't have a car payment or worry about I don't have insurance premium to worry about I just have my rent my cell phone though in my life is like a relief oh man that's all so that's awesome so I'm curious what did you learn about yourself that you didn't know prior to going on journey well to begin with I didn't know how much that I had like I knew I was using my credit cards and you I had a car payment I knew and why did I have any has to go to those at the time but then I got a spittle it's gonna hit you something's gonna happen during your journey and I would just say prepare for it because something might happen so just be ready for it but the good thing is that you have I've learned new principles like how to the power over perches like Dave Ramsey talks about his book like I don't need it like I've learned that I was an impulse buyer as well like even though I didn't make big shopping sprees but it's like if I didn't need to use my credit card or go out to chick-fil-a like why was I using the creek like why was I doing these things like I was just being very irresponsible with my finances and I really saw that my finance was really taking over me I had no control over it and then once I started to sit down and really analyze everything I was like well no no getting your nails done no getting your feedback like you better do your own nails it was the old me hair products because my hair is curly for women you know especially if you're going natural those things are expensive like and I was trying every everything why was i spending so much money on things that didn't matter so I learned how to control myself have self-control I learned how to say no to people and I try to please them I'm sorry I don't got it too bad so sad and say no to my children and thing and then they started saying no to me like mom you don't need that so I learned so much during this journey and I'm just grateful to be here today and just say I'm debt free how important was it for you to learn how to budget and how difficult or easy of a task was it for you to figure out it was pretty easy to figure it out but to apply it when I first was hard like I was like okay this is my budget this is how much I can use this is how much I can spend but to really in the beginning I think it took me like two months to really adjust to it and I go over and I go back to the bank and take my money out because I was in the envelope system it took me like two months like to say I can't really use this money because this is your budget why are you going back to the bank so I was being intentional I had to be ruined since you know on leaving my depakote home and training myself to really use the cash that I really have don't use your debit card because that's something that I needed to learn like self control but what was the question again did I go off or what I just wanted to know about how how the whole budgeting process was for you and you answered it well I'm also curious or could you kind of expound on why you chose to involve your kids and is that something that you would recommend for others to do if they are going on this journey and they have children you know because sometimes you can be like you know this is this is adult business you know a cute should stay in a kid's place you know all these type of mindsets but you chose to have them all the way in helping you knowing the progress stand posted on the journey so talk to us about that well for my children I felt like their lives were gonna change too not just my life but their lives were gonna change dramatically like my kids are used to the name-brand sneakers like I said Oreos in the Pisco cookies and I was like all of that is changing like everything is changing so I thought it was important for them to know that your life is about to change because we're gonna tackle this that I also wanted them like a big deal for me to was breaking generational patterns my mom never taught me how to budget so I downloaded the every dollar app and I showed them look you can put all your bills in here cuz one day you you guys are going to be grown in off to college and you guys are gonna need to learn how to budget so I showed them had my son is 13 my daughter is 10 so I showed them how simple it was just to plug in your money in here basically because I want them to be okay one day god forbid I die you know and I don't think they're gonna figure out their whole life you know if God forbid I die but at least they'll know that some principles that I've taught them like you can download that every dollar app if you need to work use the bare minimum save some money you know I wasn't taught this when I was little I was never taught how to budget I was never taught how I had to figure it out and I think God for resources and Dave's book and you know that every dollar app but I think it's important for us to instill what we learn in our children as well so that they don't get lost in the journey of life because life will happen great great advice so what would you say to somebody if they you know they've they've had thoughts about starting the journey to debt freedom but they I just don't think they can do it because of this situation or that situation or maybe they've started it and failed and just gave up all together how would you encourage that person I would tell you do it do it now today like you should have started yesterday mostly because like there's no peace oh my gosh this is I literally felt like a weight lifted off of me like I weighed 250 pounds in my way like my actual weight because it was such a burden and like if you're a single mom I want to speak to you like you can do this include your children make them excited I didn't do graphs because I get anxious and then I'm very competitive and I can't I'm very competitive and I'll try to just go crazy but if you ask you if that will work for you to like do it and include a minute and children are very like they can adapt to things quickly they they adapt really fast more than adults and I and I guess because I don't know they have this crazy faith like that anything is possible they haven't been down as much as adults that we take care of them so I would say include them and it's very important to do it because like who wouldn't know they would have kept me accountable and so me mom you don't need this like you told us this and now you're doing that like no sorry they were my accountability partners and it could if your courage and you feel like you can't do it they can be your soup awesome so I'm sure people loved your advice loved your story so if they want to keep up with you where you ad on the internet and social media so my instagram is danesco underscore seven and i have a youtube channel the name of the youtube channel is called waiting makes you go and I started that being like I talk about everything in my youtube divorce I talk about singleness don't settle I talk about my debt free journey I have what happened after I lost my job which I got everything but it's basically I'm waiting on the Lord and learning how to be ho in him no matter what circumstance you're in alright we'll be sure to have links to all of that in the show notes of this episode in Eska this has been incredible your story is super inspirational so thank you so much for taking time out of your schedule to share your journey with our audience today thank you for having me I appreciate it