The Money Mindset Podcast

#25 How Bobbi Paid Off $50,000 in 2 Years

February 24th, 2020

How Bobbi and her husband changed the way they think and handled their money and were able to pay off $50,000 in 2 years. She started using the debt snowball and realized it was easier than she thought it would be!

Resources mentioned in this episode:
[Free Debt Snowball Starter Pack](
You Need A Budget Book by Jesse Mecham (aff link)
End Financial Stress Now by Emily Guy Burkin
Budgeting 101 by Michele Cagan

Full Transcript:

Welcome to the money mindset podcast where you will find the inspiration and motivation you need to manage your money better so you can stress less and live the life you want. Today we are talking with Bobby Olsen from the sensible chat podcast and we're going to talk to her about her favorite budgeting tips and how she paid off $50,000 in about two years. So she gives us some really great advice on how to budget your money better so that you can pay off your debt fast and work on that money mindset so that you can do it without being miserable. Uh, but before we jump into her interview, don't forget you can get your free debt snowballs starter pack. So debt, snowball worksheets, spreadsheet, checklists, everything you need to get a jumpstart on your debt snowball. It is free and you can grab it at and I will link to it in the show notes as well. So welcome Bobby. Hey Bobby, thanks for being with us today.

Thanks so much for having me, Ashley.

Thanks for being here. And you know, we've been talking, chatting, so that my hug, I can't get my kids outside and have it be quiet for you guys. So I feel like I've already learned so much about you, but, um, you know, for our listeners that haven't heard you before, I know you have a podcast too, but can you tell us just a little bit about yourself and kind of, um, what you do to help people right now?

Sure. Well, my name is Bobby Olson and I'm the host of the sensible chat podcast and I'm also a budget coach. And so, um, I'm really focused on helping people with their money obviously, um, for the podcast that we definitely say that we're committed to helping people learn positive money mindsets, destroyed debt, reduce financial stress, and break the paycheck to paycheck cycle. So that's what we're focused on.

That's awesome. And tell us a little bit about like, how did you get started with, um, wanting to help people break the cycle of living paycheck to paycheck?

Well, you know, I've lived paycheck to paycheck all my life. And as most of us, you know, think at least at a certain time in our lives, I, I always just thought it was normal. Yeah. But I spent, you know, my younger years, I'm working in radio and actually my first job was for a, um, financial radio station and I, but I was just so bored with it, uh, that I didn't want to listen to any of the information. And so I went about my life and kinda got [inaudible] kept getting stuck back into financial radio for some reason. I don't know why. I guess it was my calling, I don't know. But, um, eventually I was, uh, producing a financial radio show, which I actually still am at this point. And, um, you know, we were just, we had had our own audio production company prior to me and my husband, and, uh, it had failed.

And so we were in a lot of debt. And so now I'm working this job, which should be my dream job because radio was what I was always passionate about. [inaudible] I just hated it. Um, and I really wanted out, I wanted something more, but we were so far in debt that I couldn't afford to take the pay cut. And I was just so frustrated and it seemed like we were never getting ahead. We were paying everything on time, but you know, and even paying a little bit on top of everything, but it just felt like we weren't getting anywhere. And so one day I actually ended up opening up one of the books that was sitting around my office cause we were all, you know, interviewing authors left and right for hinder views on this financial radio show. And so I opened up the book one day and she was talking about the debt snowball method.

She didn't call it that, but I found out later that's what it was. And she, she explained how it worked and I thought, no way could it be that easy, no way. And so I actually did it on paper for our situation trying to prove her wrong and I couldn't, I mean it worked on paper. I thought, Oh my, this is like a lifesaver. How could it be this easy? And I was so excited. I told my husband, we got to do this. And he's like, all right, cool. You know, whatever. You just like, my husband is like, yeah, whatever you want to do. Yeah, that's good. So I did it. We, you know, we went on this path and Oh my gosh, it just changed our lives and it was so easy and it was so exciting to me that this could be done and just relieve by stress.

And, and I, I finally had hope that was the biggest thing. It gave me hope so I could see the light at the end of the tunnel at which kept me going through the whole process. And so it was just such a huge life changer for me that I just wanted to scream it from the rooftops and say, Hey, you know, anybody else that's feeling this way, I can help you stop. Look, it's this easy, you know? And so yeah, that's where my passion to help others with it came from. That's awesome. So how much did you end up paying off? Yeah. Uh, we paid off about it would probably be, you know, I, I was so excited when we got started and everything. I'd never really looked at the numbers, but, um, I would guess it was about $50,000. Wow. And how fast did you do that?

It took us about two years. Wow. We really got serious. Yeah. Yeah. And so now you said your husband was like, sure. Whatever, you know, was he, I'm like, how involved was he did or did you have to like kind of like drag him along? You know, I know I hear so many stories about like, you know, people not being on the same page and everything. We were, I mean, he was all for it, but it was like, okay, I'm all for whatever you're doing, but you take care of it. Yeah. That sounds like my husband. Yeah. Which in some ways is good because you're like, okay, I'm just going to create this budget. If you're telling me you don't want to be a part of it, I'm not even gonna ask your opinion. We don't have to fight about it. I'm just going to create it and you're going to follow it.

That's fine. You know? And he's like, okay, I'm good with that. You know, it works out in that way and it's great. There's some times when I wished he was a little bit more involved because, you know, then it'd be like, it'd be less stress. Like he's always asking me do we have money for this or that? And I'm always like, ah, gosh, I hate that question. You know? I mean, it's so much easier to answer now cause I can just go to the budget. But I, I, it really took me a long time to quote, train him, for lack of a better word, to just, you know, cause I kept having to say, just go and check the budget. Don't, don't ask me that. Go and check the budget, you know? And so, but yeah, he's been totally on board with it, very supportive and uh, we've really worked together to make it happen.

That's awesome. So what were some of the things that you did to pay off this debt? So you made, you know that you use the debt snowball, it sounds like, and you know, worked on a budget and everything, but what were kind of the, some of the practical steps that you did to make it go so fast?

Yeah. Well, one of the things that I did, the biggest thing was I budgeted high for every bill and every expense. So I just took like the last, I looked at my electric bill and I said, what's the highest amount it's been in the last 12 months. Okay. 130 bucks. So that's what I budget every month, even though, you know, during the summer it would be half that. And so every time that that money came in under budget, I could save the difference towards, yeah, I could put the difference towards my debt snowball. Awesome. Yeah. And so that really worked for me in all my bills, all my expenses, you know, our grocery budget, whatever it was. If there was money there that didn't get used, it went towards our debt.

That's awesome. And so did you, um, you don't track your spending like before whenever you got started and were you like shocked about any category that was higher than you expected? Yeah, we totally, well, we've always done that. We've always tracked our spending. Um, that was the one thing that we did even before we got on a formal budget because we were just always, you know, didn't want to be negative in our bank account. So we were always very good about that. But, and so it wasn't shocking, but it was just the biggest change that we had to make was like everybody else. It was the eating out. Yup. Same here. I'm still like struggle with it. Yeah. Yeah. It's the biggest struggle for sure. And so that's what we had to reign in the most. And you know, we knew it, we just didn't want to do it. But once we were able to get on a formal budget, the good news was, this was the other thing that we did to, um, really follow the budget and, you know, pay off things quickly.

Is that right? Instead of, because before we would just, we would pay the bills, everything needed to be paid and then the rest was our play money and that was it. And so we paint it. When we actually started budgeting, do now we give ourselves an allowance. So every week we got a certain amount, but that was it. If there was extra money quote laying around, no, it went to our debt snowball. It didn't go to our eating out or whatever. And so that was the other way that we curved it and still had so we could still, you know, go out once in a while here or there, but only if we stayed within our budgeted money for that purpose.

[inaudible] awesome. So did you, um, do anything like, um, cash envelopes or,
yeah, um, I actually started with that because, um, when I first made the budget I didn't know about that. And then when I got really excited about making a budget and paying everything off, I found out from my mom, she, she lived, um, you know, across the country at the time. And so, you know, I wasn't right there next door, so we weren't interacting every day. So I didn't know that somebody had given her financial peace university. Yeah. And I was like, mom, why didn't you share this with me? Yeah. And so one time when I was visiting her, she actually gave me the program and so I, I went through that program and yeah. Then found out about the cash envelope system and I thought, wow, that was, that really, really helped us a lot to stay on target and especially, and the ending. But what I found out through the process was it was really great.
The cash envelope system is a really great concept, but we kept like, we would go to the grocery store and they go, Oh, we forgot the Pash. Oh no, carry it with us. We had it like in our, in our, um, filing cabinet home. We had all these envelope filing because we didn't want to carry all this cash all the time. Oh yeah. We kept going places and we were like, we don't have the cash. What are we going to do? We drive home. Who used the car and it got really complicated for us and not positions. Oh, okay. We, I, I was perfect for, I'm like [inaudible] there's gotta be something where we can do this digitally, like a digital cash envelope system. And then I found why NAB, you need a budget. And that's what worked for me and just totally [inaudible] change things because now we still knew the quote, passion envelope system, but it's just digital and full of cash.

Oh, awesome. Yeah, I've run into, I still run into that for certain things, but I actually have like, um, cash envelope wallet and so I just carry like certain categories with me all the time, like food. Um, but yeah, th the, it'll be like, I'll leave one here because I didn't, I don't want to carry that much cash and I don't need it right now and then when I need it, I've
forgot it. Yeah. [inaudible] yeah, definitely.

Um, so how has your mindset changed since you started changing the way you budget and you've paid off your debt?
Oh my gosh. I mean, it's like night and day. Um, I mean the mindset changed for me as soon as I found the hope, then it was like the world is my oyster. I mean, I really bought into, you can afford anything, just not necessarily everything. And so how, you know, having the freedom to decide what I really wanted and going for that because I was raised with a poor mindset. I mean, I just, you're poor. You can't afford anything and not the way it's always going to be, period. End of story. And so when I finally figured out that that wasn't the case, it was just so freeing and so exciting and Mmm. You know, discovering all these different [inaudible] that's tricks on, on how to make it work just really freed my mind. And, um, yeah, so, so the mindset just went from, okay, you know, hopeless to hope. That's the biggest thing.

And that's really what I try to, um, help people with is get them to realize that there is hope and then everything else will follow. So that is, that's awesome. Um, what tips do you have for somebody that's wanting to pay off debt or manage their money better? Like what are some of your top tips?

Okay, well, the, the top one is, you know, the one that we talked about earlier, just budgeting high for everything so that you, you know, have that money all the time. It's kind of tricking yourself into saving, for lack of a better term. And then of course, the allowance that I mentioned, that's been a really good one for us. Um, um, also, you know, budgeting low for your income. So if you have, you know, if your income, Barry's always low. Um, and I, I've found that that works on two levels because not only does it, you know, it just, it stops you from not having enough money. You know, if you have a budget in place and your paycheck comes in lower than expected, then you're kind of freaking out, always at least that amount, then higher is always gravy. Um, beyond that, let's see, what else have we on?

Mmm. Yeah. I mean, you know, we went, we didn't really there. There's a lot of things that you always hear, like, you know, take your lunch to work and don't buy coffee out and everything. And we were already kind of doing that. Mmm. So those things didn't change for us, but really focusing on the goals because [inaudible] getting out of debt. I mean, when you're trying to get out of debt, obviously that's your first priority. Okay. Mmm. And so just throw everything chords that that you possibly can, but you also have to have a reason why. Like what do you want beyond that? Because if you don't, then you know, easy to fall off the track and just say, forget it. I want what I want and you know, so I'm just gonna no, not get out of debt. And then of course you, you add it later. Oh, absolutely.

What are some things that you did to kind of stay motivated the those two years?

Okay. Really focused again on, well, for me the biggest motivation was just knowing that when I finally got out of debt, I could decide whether I wanted to stay at this job or take another one. It was freedom for me, my biggest motivator was the freedom that was going to come out of it. And really that's been a motivator, know for everything. And I, I mean, I tell people that all the time. It's like, I mean, if you control your money, then you control your life. And I just felt so out of control over my whole life that that was the biggest thing I wanted to change. And so, yeah, really just Oh thing on how much freedom I could have if I just had or resources to decide how I was going to live my life.

[inaudible] I always say that it gives you options, so like if you want to quit your job, you know, your story is very similar to mine actually. And so, um, you know, I just always tell people that it just gives you options like, and it gives you, like you said, freedom, but it's like the freedom to make the choices that you want, whatever they are. Like, it gives you that opportunity, so. Absolutely. That's great. Um, do you have any last words of wisdom or advice for somebody? Like, just, uh, get them to do it. Just get them moving. Just really focus on what it is that you want out of life. You know, I've decided, I mean, I've, of course you read this everywhere. It's not me that decided it, but I've really bought into the mindset that money is just a tool that's the resource. You know, there's all this shame around things and you know, I wish that I could just take that away from people because no matter what, you know, the place you're in today, you can change it and it doesn't make you a bad person. Oh, made financial mistakes. I mean, it's just the same thing as using a hammer wrong. You know, I mean, it's that simple. So I don't feel shame when I use a hammer wrong. And I don't think anybody should feel shame when they, you know, use their money wrong. We all knew that stuff.

And you know, but wrong is relative. It's all about what you want out of life. And so if you can focus on what your goals and dreams are, then [inaudible] budget is just a plan to help you reach that goal. And that's the [inaudible] the biggest thing, reason that I tell people, you know, to budget and, and do spending plans and everything is because that's the best way that you're going to reach your goal and get what you want out of life. It's not about restricting what you do, it's about the freedom to choose in your life.

That's awesome. Um, and I did not warn you of this, so you've added thinking about it for a second, but I always ask people what is their favorite nonfiction books? You've probably heard that, you know, most millionaires read like one book a month or something like that. And so, you know, I always like to motivate people to, um, find a book to just improve their lives and stop wasting so much time watching TV and things. So do you have a favorite nonfiction book?

I actually do. And I was prepared for that because I've been listening to your podcast, so I know it's asked that question. And so I thought a lot about it and I was like, wow, I actually have free. So have you [inaudible] they all serve different purposes for me. Why NAB new need a budget? It was a book that changed my life because I had sound the app, what? I couldn't figure out how to use it. I didn't understand the mindset behind it. Different from really traditional budgeting. There a mindset is that you can only budget money that you already have today in your account. And so for me, there's a difference now between budgeting and and a spending plan because the budget is where your money is today. That's in your account. That spending plan is a plan of what you're going to do with the money that is coming from your neck.
PayTech Oh, that's interesting. That's good. I didn't even know there was a book app obviously, but I didn't know the right, the book totally changed my life and like I said, I could not figure out how to use the software or the app before I read the book. When I read it, Oh, it was like [inaudible] I get it. And it helped me really understand budgeting in a way bigger, ah, like longer term than just month to month because month to month budgeting cuffing me up, you know, the oil paint is come up every quarter and things like that. I just kept forgetting the budget from them and so why not really helped me focus on, you know, long term budgeting, how to break it down and just, you know, there were so many wonderful tools in there.

It changed my life and I recommend that book to everybody regardless of whether you're going to use their budgeting app or not.

It just changes your mindset about money and my view. Oh awesome. Yeah. And then the second one is a book called N financial stress now by Emily Guy Birken. And I read this book a couple years ago before I started the podcast and when I started it I reached out to her and she actually responded and I was so honored because I got to interview her for the podcast and it's, her book is just for any income level because I was at the, you know, low income level and sell. That's who I kind of target with my podcast and her book is just so freeing for anybody at any level because it's not about know hips and tricks that you might only be able to do if you have this much money or that much money, whatever. No, it's about money mindsets and strategies. It just helped you think differently about your money and figure out how to, it empowers you instead of being feeling like a victim about your money, like there's nothing you can do about it. It changes your mindset to what can I do about it regardless of what money I have or do not have. And I thought that was a fabulous tool. That's great. Yeah, that's, that's exactly, you know what we're trying to do with this podcast and what you're doing with your podcast and everything, so I think that is awesome. I'll have to check that out. Oh, and what was the third one? Oh, and the third one is budgeting one Oh one by Michelle Kagan.

She's written a ton of great books, but budgeting one Oh one is, it's, it's like your toolbox. It really gives you the specific, uh, strategies, different methods, um, and really great tips and tricks for creating your budget and following your budget, getting out of guts, smart spending, all of that stuff. Oh that's great. Cause you know, there are different methods to do it. And what I try and tell people is just find what works for you. It may be a little bit of what I say, maybe a little bit of what Dave Ramsey says or what you say. You know, it's really just finding a system that will work for you. Cause that's really all that matters is that it works for you and that it'll help you do it. Yeah, exactly. Achieve your goal. There's no right or wrong way. Yeah, I agree. Because Dave Ramsey, I love Dave Ramsey and, but there's so many people that are so willing to go gazelle like that.

And then there's other people that just, you know, can't, I mean I felt like, nah, I need a little bit of a Slack in there. Otherwise it's like a crash diet for me. I'm just not going to do it, you know? And so, but yeah, I mean, whatever works for you is just, that's fabulous. And look, go down that road, you're out what it is. Yeah, exactly. You know, and everybody processes information different. Like, um, you know, I always recommend to have people write their budget down, especially at first just because it ingrains it into your mind, but some people like spreadsheets, you know, some people like apps. So it's really just finding what works for you. So that's a great book as well. And just finding different, you know, researching different methods to see if there's something that if you can take a little bit from each one and kind of put it together, make your own thing.

Before we go, where can people find you and learn some more about you? Oh, they can go to my and that's sensible with a C. so it's like, since [inaudible] awesome. We'll chat back up and we will link to it in the show notes as well. Are you, um, do you have a favorite social media platform? Are you on anything? Yeah, I'm on Facebook. Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn so you can find me all those busy. Yeah, I love Instagram. I've just really, um, you know, I'm on Facebook all the time and so I never really got into Instagram until maybe the last couple months I think. But I really, I'm enjoying Instagram, so, wow. I just got on Instagram too at my husband's B house. He's like really got to get on it. I'm like, I'm still struggling with it because you know, it's just so different and I don't have a lot of pictures and videos so I know that is hard cause then I'll be like, Oh I want to post this but I don't have a picture so that I have to like try and figure out a picture to post to with it with what I want to say.

But yeah, I'm enjoying it though. And so, um, yes, go check him out on Instagram as well. So, um, and I will link to everything in the show notes so that you can go to her website and check it out as well. Awesome. Thank you so much. Thanks for being here. Thank you. Thank you so much to Bobby for being with us today, and don't forget to go grab your debt snowball starter packs so that you can get started on paying off debt as well.

Go to and I will link to it into the show notes as well. I will talk to you next week. Bye.