Don’t Let Money Control Your Life with Jen McDonough
- Written by Candice Elliott
Jen McDonough paid off $212,000 in four years. She works now as a motivational speaker and has authored three books. Meet The Iron Jen.
Jen’s world changed when one of her children developed a chronic medical condition. As the medical bills piled up, other bills fell behind. Jen found herself unable to afford $20 worth of groceries. That’s the low point that caused Jen and her husband to really tackle their debt and change their relationship with money.
The first step is to assess the reality of the situation. Open every bill, check every account. Jen and her husband also attended Dave Ramsey’s Peace University to learn how to handle money and pay off debt. It took them about six months to get on the same page.
Jen advises us to be patient when starting a budget. It takes about three months to get used to it. That first year, Jen and her husband took on ten jobs between them. And most of them were $8-10 an hour jobs. They began to look at every purchase in terms of how many hours of work it would cost.
Every extra dollar that came in, went straight to debt payment. They paid off about $50,000 of debt each year for four years.
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Once the stress of debt was removed, Jen and her family were also to focus on more important things. What direction they wanted to take their lives in.
Inspired to help others, Jen shares her story so people who are where she once was won’t feel alone and ashamed. She particularly enjoys speaking to and working with public servants, like police and firefighters. Jen travels as a motivational speaker, has written three books, and hosts a podcast.
If Jen and her husband can work ten jobs, I think you can work one extra job if you have some debt that is hanging over you.
The Iron Jen: Leveraging adversity to reach your potential. You can also find Jen’s books here.
Mint: The easy way to budget.
Betterment: The smart way to invest.