For my 30th birthday, my mom blessed me with an unexpected gift: Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University. I always thought I handled money pretty well, before I did the at-home study; but after I read the book, watched the videos (with my then, boyfriend, now husband), and listened to the CDs, I realized there was definitely room for improvement.

In 2017, right after the birth of our first child, my husband and I paid off our final debt–the student loan I took out for my Master’s degree–and were completely debt free. (Since then, we’ve purchased a house, and plan to pay it off as quickly as possible. Making our mortgage our only debt.)

But, wherever you are on your financial journey, I recommend that you pick up a copy of Dave Ramsey’s Total Money Makeover, and begin working on a monthly budget. And be sure to check back here for updates on my family’s debt free journey, and for advice on living within your means, and planning for the future.