My Experience On The Dave Ramsey Show

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At first, I was going to make this post a digest solely about the highlights of my trip to Nashville where I shared my testimony on the Dave Ramsey show. I will get to that, but I want to start out with the ripple effects of sharing the unembellished truth of my story to millions of viewers and listeners.

What It’s All About

If you know me or have read any of my posts, you know I hit a pretty hard bottom.  By the grace of God, I am on the other side of things. My life has been totally transformed and I now get to help others who are trying to overcome similar things.

When I decided to go on the Dave Ramsey show and share my story, I decided to give the full picture – the good, the bad, the ugly and the transformation. In an effort of being real, I shared:

Here is the good news – this story has a happy ending (hint: I am now writing to track my progress in achieving financial independence while being sober).

The sole purpose of being raw is to help people. If it helps even one person, it’s all worth it. It’s painful to remember the darkness. It’s s humbling to admit defeat. But, alas it’s redeeming to talk about how God has totally transformed me and my life.

I cannot change the painful parts of my past, but I can live the life I want to today. That life involves using what once was my greatest weakness, to help others find freedom. Because God has comforted me in my time of trouble, I am able to comfort others in their afflictions.

Since I was on the show, I have had strangers reach out to me via this website to connect. There were tons of congratulatory messages on the socials. Most importantly several women have reached out to me for help – both for recovery from substances and for gaining control of their finances. I consider it a big privilege to walk with another on their journey to overcome. I don’t take it lightly either. Service to others is what it’s all about. 

Gratitude

When I got the call to come to Nashville and do a debt-free scream, my friend, Tricia offered to accompany me. She was the first person to sit with me and teach me some fundamental things which helped me gain control of my fiances. It seemed apropos to bring her with me.

This trip gave me the opportunity to pay homage to some of the mentors who walked with me on my journey.

Now onto the highlights…

Nashville

I’m not going to make this a post detailing cost so I can focus my energy on the phenomenal highlights of my experience. I will, however, throw in some frugal hacks 🙂

What a fun town! The Broadway scene was a little too touristy for my taste. Fortunately, Tricia felt the same. We did like the live music and in Nashville, there is no shortage of live music. Our hotel was close to Printer’s Alley which has a great little blues bar called Bourbon Steet Blues and Boogie Bar. We stopped in one night and got to enjoy a funky blues band called the Stacy Mitchhart Band. Phenomenal!

Being that I don’t drink, I am a cheap date. My friend that went with me is not a big drinker so stopping to hear live music was free.

Our biggest expense was eating out and we managed to eat well and stay within our allotted budgets for the trip. When you are willing to split things and drink water, you can keep your dining out costs low.

We found a great little Brittish pub, also in Printer’s alley, called Fleet Street Pub. It was a dark little pub in a basement but the food was to die for and cheap! Um, let me just copy & paste (from their menu) the description of a dessert we split:

Yeah, it was A M A Z I N G!

We were given recommendations by locals to try restaurants in Germantown and 12 south. Both were outside of downtown, a little slower paced and populated by locals. In Germantown, we ate at Butchertown Hall. Oh my goodness, get the pickled vegetables & brisket tacos!
At Butchertown Hall
In 12 South we at a restaurant called Burger Up which has, you guessed it, delicious burgers and fresh cut fries.

Some Hacks

Our hotel was located in downtown Nashville so we could basically walk most places; however, we did take Uber or Lyft when it was too far of a walk. We found that if we selected the pool ride option, we saved a good percentage on rides. More times than not you still get the ride to yourself. Travel hack!

We stayed at the Marriott downtown on rewards points thanks to our boss who let us use our company’s points. While the Marriott did not have a pool, we were allowed to use the pool at the Renaissance two blocks away. Be sure to ask about these opportunities. Each day we lounged poolside for a few hours and ate the complimentary apples.
When in Nashville…

Ramsey Studios

Now I am going to bombard you with a good amount of photos. That is because a Ramsey team member, Kat, made sure to capture every moment.

Something that I was not expecting, is how the culmination of everything hit me. It happened once we got inside the studio and settled down. The tears started flowing as I reflected on five things:

  1. I am here
  2. My debt is paid off
  3. I get to meet Dave
  4. I get to share my story on a national radio show
  5. Now I can really focus on building wealth and being generous

I wasn’t sure I could pull it together to talk, but God gave me peace before I went live. The pause was profound and I highly recommend doing this often on your journey.

High Energy on The Uber Ride to Ramsey Solutions
Tricia, I, Kelly & Kat. The Latter Two are Amazing Ramsey Team Members
Telling My Story
Post Debt-Free Scream. Looking at My Friend Who Was there From the Beginning of My Financial Journey
Hug From Dave
Me and My Equally Tall Mentors
Rachel Cruze! #1 NY Times Best Selling Author and Dave’s Daughter
Chris Hogan – The Man, the Voice. I Got a Signed Copy of His Book Which is Currently on My Night Stand Dying to be Read
Kind Guest Watching the Show. He Brought Some of His Hot Sauce to Give to Dave

Dennis is the name of the man above who came to watch the show. I didn’t get to try his hot sauce yet, but I will pimp it with the disclaimer that you should try at your own risk. He said it has a kick but is not too hot. Find out more about it here.

I Got to Sign The Wall!
Don’t Forget to Pause and Let the Tears Flow

In case you missed the link above:

YouTube Video of My Testimony on The Dave Ramsey Show 

Podcast of My Testimony on The Dave Ramsey Show 

(My testimony starts about 10 minutes and 38 seconds in on the podcast)

Final Thoughts

Life is short and precious. A lot of us work really hard to achieve our goals. My hope in sharing this experience is that you are inspired to:

  1. Reflect and Pause
  2. Celebrate
  3. Pass It On

We all have a different path with different mentors but as I have discovered, the key to achieving any goal is intentionality. I have also learned that when the student is ready, the teacher will appear. Cheers!

27 thoughts on “My Experience On The Dave Ramsey Show”

  1. Wow, that video was powerful! And congratulations! With your amazing story you deserve to get as much attention as there is.
    You’re a celebrity now. Do I get to say that I *know* a celebrity?

    1. Haha, I’m hardly a celebrity! But you can definitely say you know me 🙂

      Thank you so much for the congratulations! I am glad to be on this side of things reflecting back.

  2. Congratulations on being debt-free. Well done!!
    Though we only have our mortgage left, I can’t wait till it’s finally gone. And I hope to get to Nashville some day, and to see Uncle Dave of course.
    I enjoyed reading this write-up, and I hope that you continue to share.

    1. Thank you, Chris! Yeah, paying off a mortgage is a whole other ballgame. Good for you that you are working on it and no doubt you’ll get there. You’ll have to tell me what it feels like to walk barefoot in the backyard of your paid for house. Yep, definitely make that trip! It was a blast and the energy in his studio is amazing. Thank you for reading.

  3. I am so grateful to have been blessed to share this once in a lifetime opportunity with you Deanna! So proud of you. Love, Tricia

  4. Hahaha I too know a celebrity! Congrats my friend. Thanks for allowing me to witness your journey to 🔥!

    1. Haha, and it’s not me (meaning I’m not famous)! Thank you and I am so glad we get to do this journey together.

      1. Actually this reminds me of a great song…I don’t need my name in lights, I’m famous in my Fathers eyes by Francesca Battistelli (and I have the t-shirt) 😜

  5. Powerful post Mrs.FI! I’m sure when you were in the trenches, time just seemed to drag on and it was hard to see progress. But now with something like this to provide the opportunity to reflect on how far you have come, it is obvious how much you have changed. I’m so proud of you for making the big changes to your life and financial house, despite hitting rock bottom. You have come a long way and its awesome to see the pictures to document this experience in your journey. Congrats on the DR show!

    1. Thank you for the thoughtful comment, Mrs. Wow. Yeah, it probably could have been easy to gloss over this milestone and just keep marching forward. Once I understood the concept of FI, I knew that was my next goal and became dogged about it. However, I am so glad I choose to celebrate this and meet Dave. Thanks!

  6. yeah, it’s a brave thing to do. I would never dare to show my face + name on a national radio show admitting my past mistakes publicly. Dave Ramsey’s talks helped me lots too. esp. boundaries with family, cos personal finance is personal.
    You go girl now on to Baby Step 7!

    1. Well, thank ya! That is totally fine because, as you said, this stuff is personal. It’s the message that needs to get out there, not necessarily the face 😉

      Yeah, Dave has some really good advice on boundaries. Have you ever read the book Boundaries by Dr. Henry Cloud? Dave is always recommending that book to people (it is on my list!).

      You are exactly right – onto step 7!! I have my 6 month ER fund, I am single so no kids to put through college and I am maxing out my retirement accounts plus some. The other thing that might come into the picture in the next few years is buying a house…

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    1. Hey Jason! Thanks so much for the congrats. Yeah, I get the criticism, but I also recognize that Dave has helped millions of people who had no plan, get control of their finances. I think when a person (myself included) is drowning in debt, they may not have the bandwidth to formulate a plan. Having a simple method to follow can free up your headspace to focus on execution. In my situation, as time went on I started to see/hear different angles and was able to tailor the plan specific to my situation.

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