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Radical Financial Transparency

Note: This is a post from Adam Baker, Man Vs. Debt’s founder.

Early on here, Courtney and I decided to publicly expose the details of our finances!

Since starting our financial turnaround, we’ve:

  • Paid off just over $18,000 in consumer debt (all our non-student loan debt).
  • Paid off $10,500 on our student loan balances.
  • Grown our assets by over $28,000 (all paid off).
  • Launched and built Man Vs. Debt from scratch.
  • Spent just under a year in Australia, New Zealand, and Thailand.
  • Spent most of another year RVing around the United States.
  • Spent about a year in Asheville, N.C.
  • Traveled around the U.S. for much of another year filming, editing and promoting a feature-length documentary.
  • Settled (at least for now) in Portland, Oregon.

Where do we stand?

With the transition to some different business ventures that are partnerships rather than “just ours,” as well as the addition of full-time team members to Man vs. Debt, we’ve at least temporarily stopped the monthly transparency reports. You can read more about things at “Chapter 5: Asheville and the Evolution of Man vs. Debt.” One thing that hasn’t changed: We remain committed to our motto of Sell Your Crap. Pay Off Your Debt. Do What You Love.

In fact, we believe in the concept so much that our community manager, Joan, is now sharing her family’s OWN monthly transparency reports. Check those out here!

What it Cost Us to RV Around the Country:

In early 2011, we toured the U.S. via our new-to-us RV and listed all of the expenses related to our travels in our monthly financial transparency reports.

How Much Income Man Vs. Debt Generates:

In 2010, we began directly monetizing Man Vs. Debt with the launch of our first guide, Unautomate Your Finances. Since then, we’ve shared full breakdowns of all the income and expenses of this blog through monthly detailed reports.

Old updates involving our family budget (2009):

Share your thoughts!

{ 90 comments… read them below or add one }

Russ Smith October 1, 2009 at 10:33 AM

Wow, awesome.

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Matt Jabs October 1, 2009 at 10:43 AM

Like you said… this WILL greatly increase your ability to “stick to it” Baker. You will question every purchase, which is what we should all be doing anyway. Bravo.

Thanks be to PocketSmith for their hard work in helping you implement this system, it looks sweet. Bravo again.

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Baker October 1, 2009 at 11:12 AM

That’s what I’m pulling for!

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Tyler Karaszewski October 1, 2009 at 11:06 AM

Not to be discouraging, but to give you a viewer’s perspective. Here’s my checking account transaction sheet (as a screenshot showing the last couple weeks or so):
http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2538/3971304351_7f0972e909_o.png

If I made it update automatically, showing you all transactions from the current date back through whenever I decided to start it, would you come back and look at it regularly? If so, why? If not, why not? What could I add to it that would make it useful to you? I’m thinking there might be a correlation between what you find interesting about my finances, and what I find interesting about yours.

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Baker October 1, 2009 at 11:17 AM

Actually this is a fairly good perspective. If you were to only show a log of your expenses and nothing else, I’d probably never check back. However I’m hoping to offer more than that. Also, my goal isn’t to have you come back on a daily basis (that’s kind of freaky).

Having people stop by every month or couple of months, or having new people stumble upon this page and get inspired IS more of my goal. Also, I’m planning on getting some accountability just from knowing this is public.

If I felt personally close enough to you to care about your financial goals, etc… (which isn’t too unrealistic), I’d definitely check back in. Although, you’d need to make that checking log a little more pretty ;-).

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Tyler Karaszewski October 1, 2009 at 11:29 AM

Well, ok, I based it on your current page, not your planned future page, which pretty much only has a log of expenses (and % budget used, which is oddly all 0, even though there’s obviously purchases that fit into these categories in the expense log).

And blame Washington Mutual/Chase for the ugliness. It’s a screenshot of their site :P

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Baker October 2, 2009 at 12:41 AM

%’s start in October! So they all start fresh each ‘event cycle’, which for me is monthly.

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Wayne October 1, 2009 at 11:48 AM

I like this concept. It creates more accountability (or percievedf accountability) for you and may generate productive discussion for everyone.

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PT Money October 1, 2009 at 12:33 PM

What’s up with those internet cafe charges, Baker? Can you not find internet service?

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Baker October 2, 2009 at 12:41 AM

Don’t freakin’ get me started, man. Just suffice to say, I do not have internet at the apartment yet… o.O

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Ginny October 1, 2009 at 12:41 PM

I wish that you were more like us… this is inspirational, but with your travels, it is hard to draw the parallel to our life. We’re more run-of-the-mill – my husband is a teacher, I have a corporate job, we live in a 1967 ranch home, send our first of 2 kids to public school, the other to daycare… I would REALLY be interested the transparency of a similar family and in seeing what someone more like us could accomplish while applying your techniques and tenacity – who knows… maybe I just descibed our financial picture in the next few months.

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Baker October 2, 2009 at 12:43 AM

I know what you mean, Ginny. Our finances were much more ‘normal’ 18-24 months ago, like you’ve outlined. All that we’ve done to pare them down in on purpose, though. We aren’t sure where the future will lead us, so before you know it things might ‘settle down’. ;-)

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Jill MacGregor October 1, 2009 at 12:47 PM

I am fascinated to see what the results will be from this new project you’re beginning. I’m also hoping to gleen ideas on how to enjoy more of life on less.
Thanks for the transparencey!
Take CAre,
Jill

Jill’s latest post: Making Fear Your Bitch–Turning Fear Into Challenge.

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Financial Samurai October 1, 2009 at 12:48 PM

Good stuff Baker! Transparency is key, and will hold you accountable for your actions. Being transparent will also peak the interest of a lot of folks too. I’ll be rooting for you!

Will you have a “Net Worth” or Goals page to share with us as well?

Best

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Baker October 2, 2009 at 12:44 AM

Yep, coming soon! PocketSmith actually has a cool goals feature (just helps you project based on cashflow when you’ll hit defined goals. My net worth is just these two account balances (US + NZ) – my outstanding debt, which is the next big project!

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Financial Samurai October 2, 2009 at 1:33 PM

Sounds good Baker! Looking forward to seeing the new goals. I put a $1 million cash goal myself on FS to keep me accountable and honest!

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MoneyEnergy October 1, 2009 at 1:03 PM

Very interesting. I like the PocketSmith interface. Smart stuff!

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L October 1, 2009 at 2:16 PM

Wonderful! Great way to make yourself deal the the truth about $. I just started a new way to hopefully stick closer to a budget in Oct. I have a “budget” with projected cost, as the month goes by I just subtract what I spend in each area. Hope it works!

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@owingmoneysucks October 1, 2009 at 2:22 PM

Wow…scary, but real. I’ve always thought that the most tell tale piece of someone’s life is their check register. Know what they spend their money on and you’ll know a whole lot about that person.

I wonder if Mint.com has the ability to create widgets like this for Wordpress.

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Credit Card Chaser October 1, 2009 at 11:03 PM

I agree – you can tell a lot about someone by what they spend their money on (much more than you can just simply by what they say). I was also wondering if Mint.com had something similar to this for WP as I am a huge Mint.com fan. PocketSmith does look pretty cool though and it will definitely be interesting to keep checking back on this page.

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Diggy - Upgradereality.com October 1, 2009 at 2:34 PM

Awesome Idea Adam!
Best of luck and I’m going to enjoy following this, I think it’s something I can really learn from!

Cheers
Diggy

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Ramona October 1, 2009 at 3:02 PM

So what I’m thinking? One, you’re truly brave to show us everything. Two, lol-ing like a teenager at your choice of the category “Blow”. Too funny.

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Baker October 2, 2009 at 12:45 AM

Gotta keep it fresh, ya know? ;-)

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Kirsty October 1, 2009 at 6:39 PM

Very nice idea! Thanks for putting me on to Pocketsmith as well, it looks like a great way to get my finances in order. Things are a bit chaotic at the moment!

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fazz rahman October 1, 2009 at 8:43 PM

wow. this is truly radical!

i believe this will work as nothing drives accountability as full transparency.

i’ve been doing some reading on the subject (but only in an organisation context). do check out the concept of beyond budgeting at http://www.bbrt.org

fazz

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Dave - LifeExcursion October 1, 2009 at 9:55 PM

That’s Awesome Adam….Quite the concept and very open about it. I think showing people that you are living by what you preach is awesome.

Good job Baker…

Dave
LifeExcursion

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Kelly October 1, 2009 at 10:19 PM

Interesting stuff.
I think there needs to be more info, or is that elsewhere?
Like networth, and debt amount, savings, etc.

And $500 for food and $300 for blow? That’s a lot!
We spend about $500-600 on food, but our family is twice the size of yours!

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Baker October 2, 2009 at 12:50 AM

Working on adding this in Phase 2! Because our finances are fairly simple our two accounts (US & NZ) minus our outstanding debt is everything. We are adding the account balances soon and I’m working on a outstanding debt page as the next project!

As far as food goes, I’ll say this: First, we could find more ways to cut it down.

However, don’t forget about the exchange rate (about $350 U.S.), the fact that we are still really mobile (we can’t take advantage of a lot of bulk savings), and our experience has been NZ has slightly higher costs overall than the Midwest. ;-)

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Mama Bird October 2, 2009 at 10:39 AM

I definitely think $500 for food and $300 for blow is about right for NZ. They are similar to Australia in respect to the costs of grocery, dining out and just regular goods. Probably more expensive in some cases since the population is less. Granted, I was only in NZ for a month, but the costs in Australia are often twice or three times that in the States. We (in the states) are extremely spoiled with respect to the cost of goods (among other things).

And just forget about buying organic unless you want your grocery budget to double. I went into an organic store last year in Australia was literally laughing at the prices. OMG, it was just unreal. Luckily I don’t mind as much buying non-organic there since they seem to put in less preservatives and crap to start with into their foods.

Plus, there are also no coupons, like in the U.S. So, until you learn all the tricks for saving money on groceries, you will need to allow a bit more wiggle room. I know there are some websites for tips on saving money in Australia, so I’m sure there are some for NZ as well.

Looking forward to seeing how you finish up this page. I was thinking about doing this myself a couple of months ago, but have lost momentum lately due to other commitments. Maybe I will take it up again after our trip in December.

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Thekla Richter October 2, 2009 at 12:30 AM

I am impressed by your willing to be so open and will be fascinated to see what you learn and teach as you go through this process. Good luck!

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Michael Harr @ TodayForward October 2, 2009 at 12:52 AM

Love it! PocketSmith is one of the emerging budgeting technologies that I’m really happy to see get a decent stage. Their forecasting method is the right way to go, as I’ve seen far too many sites that dedicate their efforts towards past expenditures. If I spend a lot of money at the bar or on travel, I already know it. What matters is the future and that’s why budget forecasting is the way to go.

Opening things up for unparalleled transparency is a terrific way to stay accountable, and I’m sure this one step will put you well ahead of the game. As always, nice work.

BTW, props to PocketSmith as they’ve come a long way in a relatively short period of time.

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Baker October 2, 2009 at 12:56 AM

Dude, you nailed what I really dig about PocketSmith. It’s that focus on the future and not just a bunch of past data. I feel like I’m being pushed to plan and project, instead of analyze. Great point!

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kenyantykoon October 2, 2009 at 3:25 AM

i gotta commend you man, i would never release such information to anybody at all. this is a whole new level of transparency. but its different and this has permanently hooked me to your blog :)

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Suzanne October 2, 2009 at 1:39 PM

Great site! I like the “radical transparency” approach, and though I’m sure it’s uncomfortable for you, it feels helpful on the other side. I have also recently started tracking every penny that I spend. I used to have some categories that I left open to interpretation each month, but not anymore! One thing that I think would be inspirational is to see how you are paying down your student loans. That’s the ultimate payoff here, right? Exactly what I am trying to do as well.

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Foxie | CarsxGirl October 2, 2009 at 4:08 PM

Best of luck! We’ll be watching. ;)

I wouldn’t want to open myself up so much, I’m already feeling bad about how much splurging I do! (Then again, it’s fairly balanced… But it can still look awful!)

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Will @ Cheap Date Ideas! October 2, 2009 at 6:21 PM

Hey Adam,

What you’re doing is so out there and unconventional, that it’s awesome!

Thanks for mentioning PocketSmith as well. I’m excited to use it to its fullest potential.

Cheers!

Will :)

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Ben October 2, 2009 at 7:18 PM

Congrats on the launch Baker. Yet another great example of stepping away from “normal.”

I’m saddened that discussing things like money, pay, and personal finances (not personal finance mind) is considered extremely taboo. They have been repressed to the point of not even being discussed within most families, almost on par with the topic of sex.

Props on pushing the transparency envelope. Keep it up.

Ben

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L October 2, 2009 at 11:12 PM

Love the updates on spending. Today I paid a total of $2700 towards my credit cards! $12000 left and a plan to pay it off by March 2010!

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Simon October 3, 2009 at 5:58 PM

For ‘Eating Out’, the widget shows $12.90 spent out of a $60 budget as 20.00%, when it should be 21.50%. Are the figures being rounded to the nearest 5% or something? In which case they shouldn’t show 2 decimal places.

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Baker October 4, 2009 at 7:54 AM

Awesome, thanks for pointing this out. I’ve notified the PocketSmith team and they are working on a quick fix. You rock!

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Financial Samurai October 4, 2009 at 10:43 AM

Morning Baker – Just wanted to double check something so I understand bottom row called “Balance” in the top Account Transactions page. Is the Balance of $2,874.49 NZ the total you guys have for the month, or for everything?

There are a lot more red rows than the one green row for teaching. Is this just initial start up costs cause negative cash flow? And will your future income be the Teaching + a new row for Online income?

Best

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Baker October 5, 2009 at 6:11 AM

FS, That’s the whole she-bang. A lot of what you see was move in cost for our new apartment. Initial bonds (deposits) on all utilities, the lease, and even the library. We have no credit here, so everyone wants a deposit! :-)

Our projected cashflow is actually positive now that Courtney is teaching (that was a partial paycheck above). I think you’ll see more of this as the month plays out! Although, I’m already convinced our projections were low this month ;-).

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Stacey October 6, 2009 at 1:47 AM

This is me being inspired to start nerdy budgeting again. I am ashamedly obsessed by budgets, and I am not someone who is ‘into’ accounting or even into having a lot of money, I just like it as a ‘game’ as such, where I can prove to myself I can beat my records and reach goals!

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Little House October 6, 2009 at 9:57 AM

Okay, I have to get PocketSmith, I love these graphs! Can this work with QuickBooks? I already use this accounting program and would like to just use PocketSmith in conjunction with QB.

thanks for sharing your budget!
Little House

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Beverley October 12, 2009 at 3:51 AM

As a NZer I have a few tips…Are there farmer’s markets near your apartment? Fruit and veges at these markets are often considerably cheaper than the supermarket, and more often than not, of better quality. Woolworths.co.nz is quite useful – we do a big grocery shop online once a month (and have it delivered!) and then supplement this with weekly-ish visits to the markets. All up our food bill is around $300/month for two. Finally, if you eat out semi-regularly you might want to look into an entertainment book. They cost $50 and have vouchers for the sorts of places you have listed (pizza, movie rentals). Good luck!

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John Love October 16, 2009 at 2:05 AM

Hey Baker,
1. What is HipHop Dance?

2 I’m also trying to increase positive cash flow and reduce positive fat growth.

3. Been reading GRS for at least a year now, and ManVDebt for 4 months, and gotta say that you got serious balls. I’m impressed that you’ve uprooted yourself to have a pandemic life.

3a. Hey dude, we moved to NZ in (I’m from Kansas and my wife’s an Israeli) 2002 and have a place the opposite end of the country in Invercargill. If you make it down here my wife and daughter (she’s 15 mos.) have an extra room and a bed. It’s not much but it’d be cool to hang out with an American and talk about PF (my wife is kinda sick of hearing about it).
4. Keep it up and kudos on making your personal finances so irretrievably public. It’s a marker against others trying to achieve similar goals, which is helpful when people aren’t very forthcoming with their own personal finances.

5. I don’t normally post comments in list form.

6. Ever.

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Baker October 16, 2009 at 5:11 AM

1. Courtney does a Hip Hop Dance class for fun and exercise

2. Awesome!

3. Hehe, thanks!

3a. We are touring the South Island in December for two weeks. I’m not sure if we are visiting Invercargill, but if we do, I will DEFINITELY contact you!

4. Thanks, man. It’s been a big help to us and I hope it rubs off just a little. ;-)

5. Me neither.

6. Well, once I guess. ;-)

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Suzanne October 20, 2009 at 10:30 AM

So what’s your plan when you go over budget?

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Baker October 23, 2009 at 5:53 AM

Cry. No… I’m going to post about this towards the end of the month! Great question.

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Moneymonk November 19, 2009 at 2:49 PM

Why don’t you consolidate your debts?

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Moneymonk November 19, 2009 at 2:50 PM

consolidate your student loans debts, I meant

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Irene Suwarno November 26, 2009 at 5:53 PM

Thank you very much for being transparent about your financial situation, also for sharing the great tool you are using to manage your budget.

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R. Carter November 27, 2009 at 11:11 AM

So with PocketSmith do you need to budget every penny into a forecast event? Like if I budget all my bills and what not what happens with the money that’s left over?

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tanyetta January 16, 2010 at 8:16 PM

I am new to your blog. You have a really beautiful family!

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Budgets are the New Black January 18, 2010 at 1:15 PM

Are you going to nudge your readers here with a regular post when you’ve made updates? Or just assume people will check back as they want to? (I’d kinda like a nudge…)

I’m getting ready to do a post — today — on a similar concept, just not quite so detailed. At the beginning of the month I gave a figure of how much $$ we would be able to put toward debt based on our initial budget for the month. I’ve kept track of every tranx that “came up” since we did our budget (as in, it wasn’t factored into our budget). The plan is to do a mid-month “Budget Buster” post and one at the end of the month, and compare the projected numbers with the actual numbers and how that affected how much $$ ACTUALLY went toward debt.

In other words, how well are we doing in projecting and our month’s expenses and keeping within our budget? Hint: as of now, not so great ;)

The idea is that, say, 6 months from now, we’ll be a lot better at it! Time will tell:)

I personally think it’s interesting to see how much $$ is spent on a transient/traveling lifestyle, with a tot in tow. Even though you aren’t living like I am, your midwestern American values are reflected in what you choose/need to spend your money on, no matter where you are. It’s also a valuable snapshot of realistic expenses for any other family who’s thinking of doing the same thing. It’s impossible to know how to get the best prices/rates on everything in a brand-new locale. I’m sure in retrospect, you see yourself where you could have saved money. Kudos to you for putting it all out there and being transparent.

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Candice February 8, 2010 at 10:29 AM

You have no freaking idea how excited I am to find this site. Can’t wait to dig through all this info.

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Brooke March 9, 2010 at 1:11 PM

Like Candice above I too am very excited to find your blog! I found you through Frugal Dad (which I love too) and can’t wait to scour your website of every piece of info I can find helpful.
I am curious about which Pocketsmith you use? Are you on the free one or do you pay monthly for the subscription? Would you recommend a different one for different goals or would the free one suit all goals?
Thanks for doing what you are and sharing your journey with us all!!!

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Bee June 11, 2010 at 3:51 AM

I am very impressed with your site, but this level of $$ transparency is not only rare, it is to be applauded for so many reasons! I keep myself from taking the International Lifestyle leap because I think I have to pay off those pesky school loans first. And then I read your blog — WOW, that’s not true. You’ve found a way to live the life you want while still paying them off. This has been a huge paradigm shift for me, and I am ever grateful. Additionally, I celebrate the Nation Comparisons on Cost of Living Abroad. Not only am I able to quantify Scotland vs New Guinea, but this list also gives me more like minded bloggers to read. In that one topic post, you create and celebrate community. Thank you for all that you do! May your adventures continue to bring you joy!

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Free Debt Help July 4, 2010 at 4:52 PM

Great site, just found you thru stumbleupon… I’ve been helping people with their debt for years in the states, and I love the fact that you understand that there isn’t a magic bullet. Getting out of debt takes time, strategy and hard work. My sites help with strategy.

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abby August 17, 2010 at 10:14 PM

Great website man. I’m with you on the “tsunami” I’ve been going with what is emotionally the most exciting choice at any given moment. As of last November, it was to get rid of the 5,500 balance on one of my credit cards (which had been going on for years), with 1,000 to 1,500 pymts. over 4 months from my savings (even though I only had around 6,500 in there). I got so tired of carrying a balance that I wanted to make a big impact, as you say, and get me back on track to eliminating ALL my debt for good. We still had a great christmas paid in cash. Just made a final payment today to pay off a tv that was put on a card. That’s it for my credit cards. Am not using them. Now I’m focusing on my mortgage. I still don’t have my savings back up, (only 1,500 in there) but it feels GREAT to have 0 in credit debt!!!! Now on with “sell your crap”. I like the way you think!

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Lynne September 12, 2010 at 8:48 PM

My favorite part about money, is learning how others spend their money. We don’t have any money and a ton of debt. I’d love to not have debt and we are working towards that by living in a RV full time with 3 small kids. It’s the only thing left that I can control. Food and Rent are the hardest in my life.

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Barbara Saunders September 23, 2010 at 12:21 AM

I love it. Love that you are paying off the debt. Love it even more that you are not letting being in debt keep you tied to a life you don’t want.

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amanda September 23, 2010 at 3:44 AM

Don’t see the umbrella listed on your “stuff” page. =)

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Megan October 13, 2010 at 1:11 PM

This may seem a silly question, but how did you make the table in which you stuck all your debts? I was incredibly inspired by your example, and want to post my current debt situation to my blog, but can’t make my table look as good as yours. Any tips? Is it a widget, or are you just that awesome? ^_^

Love this site. It’s very inspiring.

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Jose January 24, 2011 at 5:54 AM

You might want to look up “equity” in the dictionary because later on it might matter to you. At some point, take some of the money you’ve saved and buy a house, even if all you do with it is rent it out.

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Denise February 11, 2011 at 9:02 AM

Hi Adam. Great site. Great message. Bored at the moment? (as if) Can you drop by my site for writers and add a comment? The post today is right up your alley: How to Find your Passion. The answer, of course, of course, is to do what you love. I’d be glad to hear from you, your wife, your child. (Surely she types?) Thanks.

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Kendall April 6, 2011 at 2:55 PM

We love what you are doing! This is something that people only wish they could get the guts to do!

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Matt Soreco April 12, 2011 at 1:46 PM

Do you own a home? I’m just wondering if you are missing home equity in your net worth…

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Nico May 18, 2011 at 8:59 AM

Wow, your initiative is just great! It’s nothing like the power of personal example to inspire people! The change should start from within, from each and every individual, and then the financial problems will become no problems at all! It is a matter of perspective…

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Dawn May 26, 2011 at 3:33 PM

Wow! Good for you and your family! What a great way to see the country and beyond! Jesus used a rock for a pillow! We are all so spoiled!!! Continued success!!

Dawn
Cincinnati, OH

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Mya June 2, 2011 at 8:01 AM

Sallie Mae is the rope that holds you down. I’m glad you got it paid off. How long did it take to pay off the student loan?

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WineDineDivas June 2, 2011 at 10:55 AM

Congratulation Baker for taking charge of your live! Wishing you and your FAMILY all a the BEST:)
Judit & Corina

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Brittany June 2, 2011 at 12:10 PM

Wow, congrats on paying off so much debt!

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Kelli June 2, 2011 at 1:35 PM

I commend you guys for trying to be debt free and going on this incredible adventure BUT I don’t agree with your “no credit card” stance. I believe it’s ignorant and not educating people on how people can make credit actually work FOR them. Just ignoring credit and cutting up all your cards is no solution except for those who just know 100% they can’t control themselves. Most cannot live on the road, never having to use credit. MOST people eventually buy a house or a car, both of which require good credit. I learned the hard way that closing your credit card accounts can actually HURT your credit score because doing so lowers your credit available to credit being used ratio. Another factor is how long you’ve had the cards, so when you cut them all up, you end that relationship. Right now, my husband and I have 4 credit cards and we mainly use one. We COULD cut up the other 3 but what would that serve? Instead, we put a small recurring charge on each (like our monthly Netflix subscription at around $10/month) then pay each off every month. We use the 4th one (a platinum rewards card) to put almost all of our monthly expenses on then pay it off every month. This means that we actually MAKE money (i.e. the rewards) by simply buying things we would normally. By doing this, consistently and responsibly, we raise our credit scores because we understand what goes into creating that score. It empowers us and makes us feel completely in control of our financial destiny. The credit card companies don’t own us nor do we live beyond our means. Instead, when we do go to buy that new car or new house, we will get the very best deals because of our diligence. We recently sat down to get pre-approved for a mortgage & the mortgage guy said he’d never seen a credit score that high. We were approved for far more than we’ll ever spend on a home, but it felt good. It validated to us that we’re making all the right decisions for our family financially.
Again, I applaud your effort but I personally believe in educating people about how to make credit work for you….not running from credit.

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Gonzo June 2, 2011 at 3:11 PM

How is that finding a job thing working out for you two so far?

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Carissa Trost June 2, 2011 at 3:33 PM

This is blowing my mind–Congrats to you! Reading some of the recent posts I remember that a person/family has to REALLY be angry at debt to get at such lenghts to abolish it in their lives. I applaud you and your efforts. My husband and I are going to be debt free in August 2012 and reading about people like you keeps us motivated and ready to continue to do the work and strive for success! God Bless!

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Cortney June 2, 2011 at 11:11 PM

Just saw your yahoo article.. clicked the site AND friended you on FB. Love what you are doing!! We are a young couple who keeps going through the cycle of rack up debt.. pay off debt… promise not to ever do that again and then here it comes.. the debt is racked up again! I have read the Dave Ramsey book- but am loving how you are making the commitment even with a little one and one on the way (Congrats!) I am really interested in giving to charity and having a purpose filled debt free life. My husband and I are about to turn 30 and recently put our home up for sale to downsize. Do you recommend buying again or living in an apaartment to save up to pay cash? Just curious. :) The RV life isn’t for us right now.. maybe in our 50′s..We are leaning more towards small house, lots of country land, to be more self sufficient. Just thoughts,, Again.. congrats on your fame and good luck with what you are doing! Its great!

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Tim June 2, 2011 at 11:35 PM

I am very impressed, I am swimming in debt, i don’t know what to do and i feel lost. I have lost three cards and have two more, help.

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Cecelia June 3, 2011 at 6:37 AM

Where is the income to support your lifestyle? Would be fun to do what you are doing, but would be hard to give up a house that is paid for.

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ron June 11, 2011 at 2:21 AM

we’re in the same park currently. no debt. cdn. good luck on your way of paying the bills. hopefully the method brings you knowledge, wisdom & a source of income.

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Giselle June 11, 2011 at 10:02 PM

Maybe I missed something but if he has $28,000 in student loans why not pay that off first and then travel?

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Robinson July 12, 2011 at 11:14 PM

Thanks for the transparency. Reminds me of what Pat Flynn is doing on his blog. This is a very bold me and challenges all bloggers to be transparent in their own way.

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Brent December 20, 2011 at 3:43 AM

Awesome guys. But may I ask how long do you plan to go on?
Milligan would have to go to school soon and this is not such an ideal way to raise a child.
(Not saying homeschooling or living in a car is that bad, but it’s Milligan’s life too. Don’t you guys want to give her a better life?)

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Jolyn December 20, 2011 at 9:10 PM

Oh, wow. Forgot I signed up for comment email notifications on this post and this comment in my inbox made me cringe. Brent, this is ALL about giving our children a better life. I don’t know if you meant it to come across as though Baker and his wife are being irresponsible by traveling and exploring and stretching themselves and always seeking improvement and personal growth… even though they are parents? but that’s how I read it. Schools do not a happy child make. But happy parents do. And I am sure Baker and his wife have nothing but the best interest in mind for their daughter and any future children they are blessed with in this lifetime.

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Lindsay Downs December 21, 2011 at 1:08 AM

Thanks for sharing your journey. We’ve decided to do something similar (though on a MUCH smaller scale) by sharing the details of our debt on my blog and asking our friends and family (and readers) for support. It’s been such an encouragement to us – and we’ve only been at it for one month! 2012 is our year, though!

Congratulations on your success – I hope you see much more of it in the next year.

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jack foley January 9, 2012 at 9:48 AM

Great Philosophy man..

and a great slogan..

clear out the clutter and concentrate on having a great life..

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Alison F. April 9, 2012 at 9:52 PM

Hi there! I just came across your site and am excited to learn more about your journey. This is kind of random, but Matt from No Meat Athlete (www.nomeatathlete.com) just moved to Asheville, NC and you guys might have some things in common. You’re both pretty awesome. I hope you can meet up.

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BTCCS July 10, 2012 at 9:21 PM

Kia ora from Auckland New Zealand!
I love your blog. What inspired me was joining Debtors Anonymous. Keep up the great work, I will link to your site from my beginner blog.

Best
wishes, Buffy.

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ryan g August 9, 2012 at 10:53 AM

Debtors anonymous changed my life.

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Sibo September 18, 2012 at 11:24 AM

Hey Mr.Baker. It has been a nice reading on your blog posts and I will surely come back often. I didn’t understand why some of you (I follow Pat Flynn and Corbett Barr as well) are showing your family finance online at the beginning – I always thought that’s something private ( well, I worked as a financial advisor in banking industry for last 5 years), but I see that’s a great way to keep you guys on the right track. Good job, sir!

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