Episode 23

How to Give Yourself a Raise This Year


Transcript

- I'm so excited because, in this episode, I'm gonna show you how you can give yourself the raise you always wanted. Hey, guys, welcome to The Rachel Cruze Show. I'm so glad that you are tuning in, because this episode, I'm really excited about. We're going to talk all about how to give yourself a raise. That's right, how you can have more money this year, and we all love money, right? So it's gonna be good. In today's episode, I'm going to give you three ways that you can give yourself a raise, and the first one is something that you may not think of, but it's a huge mistake that almost everyone makes, and trust me, it's a good one, so prepare your hearts. It's about taxes, so tune in. Then we'll be bringing on my friend Annie F. Downs. She's an author and a speaker, and she is brilliant when it comes to the subject of being content where God has you, because this is the key to everything else we're gonna talk about. Last but not least, I'm gonna bring someone on who has given themselves a huge raise, and she's gonna show us how she did it, but budgeting and getting your money all together, I understand that it can feel overwhelming, it can be stressful if you haven't started this whole plan, because a lot of you think that your money situation, it's working, and it's going, you know, you're in this rhythm, but you'd rather just stay in the messiness that you have, and just put things on credit cards here and there, and it's not a big deal. You're not gonna be intentional, and you're not really gonna do anything with purpose. You're just kind of floating, you're just comfortable in your mess. Well, that's you, so sorry. I can't help you. I'd love for you to stay though, keep watching the show. Hopefully, that'll change, but those of you out there who have gotten to a point and said, "Something has to change in my life. "I can't keep doing this," when that is you, then you're gonna start to feel the progress, but the true freedom comes when you start being in control of your life, and that is what changes not only your whole situation, but also your money, 'cause all the crap you're buying, and all the stuff you're doing that's not working, all that stops, and you start to work a plan, and you start to create freedom, but you have to be intentional. Now, you can live a mediocre life, or you can be intentional, and do something different, do something that's uncomfortable, and for me, I did something really uncomfortable, something that I love. There's something in my life, it's one of my favorite things in the world. It's something that I just really felt like I couldn't live without. If this was removed from my life, I think I might just be in a tailspin, and I might be sad Rachel, and no one likes sad Rachel, but that is TV. I love TV. You guys know this. I talk about it all the time. I feel like I give Comcast half my paycheck because I'm like, "I just want TV." I love TV, I love to watch it, I love to watch movies. It's my place where I can just binge, I can check out, and I just, I love it so much, and it became so much of that in my life that I decided to give it up for a full month, so I gave it up for January, and I'm gonna be honest, right now, like, this second, I'm filming in January, so when you're watching this, I'm gonna be out of that. I'm gonna be out of the depression, and the terrible state that I'm in right now, and I will be binge-watching TV when you see this, but right now I haven't watched TV in weeks, but let me tell you, it was really hard at first. It's amazing, when you have a habit in your life, and I come home, and I watch the news, or every morning, I turn on the news, or at night, Winston and I turn on the TV, we'll binge watch Netflix, or whatever it is, when you have a habit that may or may not be the healthiest thing for you, and you extract it, you take it away, it's miserable for the first little bit, it really is. It's hard, it's not fun, but after a while, it starts to be your norm, and while it is hard, and I talked about that earlier, right now, I'm telling you guys, I am way more productive. My dishwasher has been unloaded so fast. When it beeps, I'm like, "Well, "I have nothing else to do. "What else am I gonna do? "Unload the dishwasher." I'm reading now, like, a lot. Like, I read a lot of books, mm-hm. Probably a good thing, 'cause I'm an author, and I probably should be a reader, but I really am, I'm a reader now, and it's great. Fiction, non-fiction, you know, people getting murdered in one book, learning about taking control of my life in another book. I mean, it's just, it's crazy what happens when you read a lot. I mean, I just have really felt this freedom where, now, I will probably go back to TV a little bit, but something has changed in my life for the better, and I can tell you, any aspect of your life, when you do that, you just become, I believe, a more holistic healthier person, and here on The Rachel Cruze Show, we really talk about your money, that part of your life. I would love to talk about TV with you, 'cause the fact that I have not seen The Bachelor this season makes me want to cry, but it's good, it's good. In this show, what we talk about is removing those bad money habits for you so that you can have freedom in your life. We're gonna kick off the first way that you can gain control of your money, and ultimately give yourself a raise, and again, it's something that you might not expect, but I promise, it will put money back in your pocket every single month. Guys, let's be real. Being a parent is hard work. Now that I have two daughters of my own, it feels like the to-do list never ends, and as every parent knows, your priorities change, and you have to make important decisions for your child's future. That's why term life insurance is a must for every parent. It's so easy to get, and it's affordable. What you're looking for is 10 to 12 times your annual income to make sure everyone in your family's taken care of. Winston and I use Zander Insurance. They do all the work for you to find the best prices and options. Go to zander.com to get started on a quote today, because that's who we trust to take care of our family. All right, guys, one of the biggest ways to give yourself a raise is to not get a tax refund. Mm-hm, that's right. Yeah, most of you, you get a check in the mail from the IRS, and you're like, "Woo, let's go on vacation. "Let's go out to dinner, babe," like, "We're gonna spend all this free money." You have no emotion attached to it, you have no idea the pain and the sacrifice that you worked to get that money, 'cause guess what, you guys, that tax refund, that is your money. Yes, it is. It could be hundreds of dollars, maybe some of you, thousands of dollars, and it's your money. Worse than that, it's your money that DC has been holding onto that is not in investments, or not going towards paying off your debt this year, or not saving up for an emergency fund, or not funding your kid's college. Mm-hm, that's right. That money could be working for you all year long, and it wasn't. Uncle Sam was just holding onto it, and then they're like, "We're gonna pay you back months later." I mean, terrible, you guys. I'm kind of crazy, where I hate having a tax refund. I almost go as far as to say that I almost would rather owe the government money, I mean, a little bit, not a lot. Let's don't get too crazy here, but I would, I would rather save up and just know I may have a little tax bill, and I'd rather have that, and have the money saved to pay it than to have Uncle Sam holding onto my money. Here's the deal. You get a really big raise every single month if you do your taxes correctly, but taxes can be confusing, 'cause you're gonna hear words like deductions, and withholdings, and dependents, and it's all of this, and if you own your own business, or you freelance, it gets even more complicated. If you have multiple sources of income, I mean, it gets really, really crazy, so a lot of people make mistakes on their taxes, which is kind of understandable because it is so confusing. What I would say to you is to maybe get with a tax professional, or go and really research, and learn this topic because when you can learn to take the right number of deductions, and you get to a point that you're paying the right amount of taxes, that could be money back in your pocket, and in your budget every single month. Now, the more complicated your situation, I'll say this, the more likely you are to need a tax professional, okay? Go and sit with someone who lives and breathes this information all the time. These people, if you have kids, again, multiple source of income, if you have a bigger life, if you will, and all this stuff, you really will want to sit down with someone. Now, if your life is, I'm gonna say, relatively simple, even though we all have lots of complications in our life, I totally get it, but if you're single, maybe, maybe you don't even own a home, maybe you're renting, or maybe you just have one source of income, if it's kind of a simple situation, more than likely, you could totally file your own taxes and be fine, but the more complicated your situation, the more I would lean on a tax professional, but if you don't know what that is, if you don't know where you are, or where you stand, then click the link in the show notes, and take a quick quiz to see if you need a pro. Remember, you guys, don't get a tax refund. Don't let Uncle Sam hold your money when your money is really yours, and it's not working for you all year long. Great way to give yourself a raise, love it. Don't love taxes, but love what it can do for you in your budget if you do them correctly. All right, coming up next is another way to give yourself a raise, and that is to learn to be content. You guys, this allows you to stop spending money, and thinking that, if you just buy more stuff, this void that you have, that you're gonna be happy, being content is a really powerful principle, and something that I want you to put in your life. One of my best friends, Annie F. Downs, she travels and speaks on this topic, so I can't wait for you to see our conversation. Well, I am beyond thrilled right now, because Annie F. Downs, you are here.

- I'm here, we're together.

- On The Rachel Cruze Show.

- I'm thrilled about it. It's one of my very favorite shows.

- Oh, it is?

- I watch them all, I love it. I think it's so fun. I'm just sorry we're not doing a cooking segment.

- Oh, have you seen mine?

- Next time, can we do a cooking segment?

- 100%.

- Like, how do you cook if you don't cook? That would be my cooking segment.

- That's basically my cooking segments. Okay, so Annie is a speaker, and an author, and actually, a friend, a real life friend of mine, so we were talking, I was like, "Annie, you have to come on the show," 'cause a lot of you know who Annie F. Downs is, you listen to her podcast, and all of the above, but for people that don't know you, Annie, what do you do? Who are you?

- What I want to do with my life is communicate who God is through my story, so sometimes, that comes out in book form, and sometimes, that's in the podcast form, and sometimes, that's speaking on stages. My pastor just taught about this a couple days ago, but taught about your spiritual gifts, and why you're on the planet, and the joy you find. He was saying, so many people feel selfish when they've found the thing they're really good at because they go, "I didn't know "it was supposed to feel good. "I thought, if I was doing good for the planet, "it would feel like I was sacrificing, "or it would feel hard." There are pieces of that, right? But there's also this, "Man, "is this supposed to be this much fun?" You know my life very well. I cry a lot, things go wrong a lot, it's not a perfect existence by any stretch, but there is this, "Man, who knew work could be this fun?"

- I love it, and your books are just phenomenal. You just had one released last year, Remember God, and just fantastic, and your podcast, that sounds fun.

- Oh my gosh, you and Winston are still one of the best episodes.

- No.

- Oh my gosh, y'all are top five of 180 or something. Yeah, people love it.

- It's the only thing Winston, if you want to hear Winston Cruze, 'cause he won't be on my show, but he'll be on Annie's podcast, go.

- It was so good.

- I know, when Winston and I were on your podcast, we were talking about EveryDollar.

- Yes, because I used it.

- Did you use it?

- And I was able to buy a condo because I used EveryDollar, for real. I would never lie about this. It's the best, and I like it, and it really helped.

- What'd you do, you saved money every month? What was your goals? Talk to me about this.

- My goal was to save my down payment, and then, once I had half my down payment, then I started looking, 'cause I knew that, once I started looking, that I had a little more time, and then it did end up happening a little fast, so I had to readjust some things, but it's been really helpful. Now that my house is there, I need to redo some of the saving. You might need to help me, 'cause I need to redo so I can decorate.

- You need to come back on, and let's do a budget makeover for Annie F. Downs.

- Yes, I need it, I need it, let's do it. Then I can buy what I need for my house, I can do some things.

- [Rachel] Be grateful and content all at the same time.

- That's right, that's right, and have a cute house, all the things.

- Very important. We're in February now, and the stats are that 80% of people give up on their New Years resolutions in February.

- That's awful, it's so sad.

- I think, kinda what we're talking about a little bit, if you're not satisfied of where you are in life, in your job, or not, what do you do? Where do you find contentment? Where do you find joy when life doesn't turn out the way you thought, right? It's February, and you probably thought, "This is gonna be a new year," and you're two months in already, and you're like, "All right, it sucks just like it did last year." Whatever, it's like, how do you find contentment and joy when things are not going quite like that?

- I don't know that you and I have ever talked about this, but do you know I don't do New Years resolutions?

- You don't?

- I do New Years experiments. What I say is, if I did this for a whole year, what would be different? It is really hard to quit an experiment. It's a lot easier to quit a resolution because you're like, "I'm gonna do this. "No, I'm not," but because it's an experiment, I'm not willing to quit on it.

- It's good.

- That's one part of that. The other part is, we are never, I'm sorry to bring this news to you in a February day, we are just never gonna have everything we want.

- I always say, the finish line always moves.

- It always moves.

- And that's it, and that's true even with salaries. I know I've talked about this, but there was a study done which I think is so fascinating, and they talked to people that made $100,000 a year. They said, "Is that enough? "Do you feel rich?" They were like, "No." They're like, "Well, how much would you need?" "$200,000." They went to someone that made 200,000. "Do you feel rich?" "No," "How much would you need?" "500 thou--" It's like, once you get there, you're right, it keeps moving.

- It just keeps moving.

- How do you think you got there? 'Cause there's a lot of people that have jobs, and they're in a career, they're in this state of mind, this life cycle, and they're not having fun. They're in this moment of, maybe it's their jobs. How did you find your lane?

- Our friends who are with us that are saying, "Man, my job is not working for me, "but here are the four things "that make me feel really alive at my job, "and then here are the other things. "In fact, all my jobs have this one central-- "Oh, oh, I really like to help people."

- Interesting, yep.

- Then you go, "Okay, is there a different career "where I can still express my calling "that looks different than this?" You know, I used to teach elementary school, and it is literally the same gift. I entertain people long enough that they learn something. I just did it with fourth-graders, and now I do it on Sunday mornings at churches, or at conferences, or in books. I think, how I found it is, I laid out my whole life in front of me literally on note cards, and I went, "Oh my gosh, I like entertaining people, "but it can't be purposeless."

- You took the time and intentionality to put it on note cards, you just have to do it. That's the thing, it's true with your money, it's true with your career, your family, your friendships, all of the above, you have to be intentional.

- What is the thing you say about budgeting? It doesn't tell you how you can't spend your money, it tells you how you can.

- Yes, a budget doesn't limit your freedom. It gives you freedom.

- Thank you, phrases. That's it, and that's the same, that is the same when you're figuring out your calling. It isn't gonna limit you to look at your life. It's gonna actually expand. With things like what you say at the beginning of the new year, A, I would say you can just start over today. Just tell yourself, "Who do I want to be "at the end of the year, "and what would it take to be that?" Also, it's like, it is okay for you to not be content with this. What's actually true is, we shouldn't tell ourselves not to want, we should just learn, what does it look like to want well? How do you want things that you don't have without making them an idol? How do you find contentment even if you haven't been who you always wanted to be, and even if you've stopped your New Years resolution? What does it actually look like to, "Okay, how do I build a life "and a story where I want things, and I'm honest about it?" You need to have a list of, here are some things that I want that I don't have, and there are people on the planet who know that. Here are the things I have I do not deserve, and I am thankful for those. I think making yourself only choose one of those lists will make for a more painful life.

- I think that's so true, and I've never thought about that before, holding both, 'cause we talk about gratitude a lot, 'cause gratitude leads to contentment. Those things that you are, you're so grateful for, but there are gonna be things that you're like, "I'm not okay, I want something different." Sometimes, that's good, 'cause that stretches you. That lets you find that goal that you're like, "Okay, I want to reach for that," or, "Here's something I'm gonna pray about." It's like, "God, you have to show up in this," so having both. In the disappointment camp, I think some people watching who know you, and they're like, "She has this podcast and books," or some people may look at me and think, "Oh, she has this great show," but there's disappointments in life. It's gonna happen.

- Yeah, I think it's as easy as, when I don't get the flight home that I want to get home, and I miss out on a wedding, or a dinner, or whatever, and I get frustrated, and I'm disappointed that that didn't happen, it's going on a first date that doesn't lead to a second date. How book sales go are great, but they may not always meet some expectation that you've set, so work stuff can always, you set out books after you've been speaking, and you bring 100, and 95 of them sell, and you go, "Oh, I needed 100 to sell."

- Or five sell, and you take 95 home with you.

- Right, I mean, listen--

- 'Cause that's happened too.

- Let me tell you about a heavy suitcase, is the one that's full of books you're bringing back home. I have to work to go, "Man, this didn't work, "and that is okay."

- Kind of owning it, and saying it out loud. I think that's so good.

- What I've seen in my life, I can't speak for anybody else, what I've seen in my life is that owning my wants, and owning my disappointments, and owning my joys has made me more connected with me. I've become a more unified Annie.

- One of the things I love about you, and out of all my friends, you're probably the highest on the list for this, is, you dig into yourself and who you are. You've done so much work, but when you understand your wants and desires, you're able to, in a very healthy way, just like you were saying, I love the two pictures of having that gratitude, and then having the discontentment of, sometimes it's a good thing, 'cause it pushes you to what you want, or has you trust in the future in that sense.

- Luckily, I have people in my life that remind me that the reason we do all that work on ourselves is to be better for others. Remember that there is more to this, so it means a lot you say that, thank you.

- Yeah, so where can everyone find you?

- Anniefdowns everywhere, Instagram, Twitter, Facebook. That's my website, all the places.

- I love it, so good.

- Love you, I love your show.

- Thanks, thanks for being on here.

- I'm glad to be here.

- Seriously, thanks. Everyone, check out everything she's doing. Buy the books, listen to the podcast, follow her on social. She's awesome.

- Thank you.

- Thanks, Annie. Annie F. Downs, one of my favorite people ever. Seriously, she's so great. I'm so glad she came on the show. I know so many of you love her podcast That Sounds Fun, so the fact she made an appearance on The Rachel Cruze Show just warms my heart. All right, last but not least, you guys, the last way you can give yourself a raise is to budget, mm-hm, yep. I know I beat this drum almost every episode, but seriously, it's one of the most effective ways that you can get more money, because you have no idea how much money you are spending when you are not on a budget. Those of you who have never budgeted before, or you're super overwhelmed by the idea, make sure you download EveryDollar. There's great videos, and the app, it's a budgeting app. They will walk you through exactly how to budget, and past episodes of The Rachel Cruze Show, we go into depth on how to budget, so check those out, but I wanted to bring someone on who proves this point, someone who was not budgeting, and now they are, and they can truly say they feel like they got a raise. Coming up next is Tracy, and she is wonderful. I'm so excited for you guys to hear her story, her struggles, and her wins.

- Money was just confusing. I didn't know, really, how to make ends meet that I had created for myself. I knew there had to be a better way. I would go to work every day, and I would get paid on every other Friday, and it just, it wasn't enough. That was just the biggest thing for me. I knew that there was some way that I could enjoy my life better than just going to work every day. When I came across Financial Peace University, it was the first time money had ever made sense to me. My life started to open up, but I definitely had to work hard to get to that place. Just doing the steps, no matter how hard they were, finding an accountability partner, he forced me to get a second job. "You have to have another job, Tracy. "You're $10 away from disaster." It was true, but I feel like, once you get it, the budgeting piece of it, you find money. This is the first time I knew what to do with the finances, and everything is changed, everything is completely different now.

- Tracy, thank you so much for coming on the show.

- Thank you for having me, I really appreciate it.

- Yeah, and sharing your story, 'cause this whole episode is about how to get a raise, and we say around here all the time that, when you first start to budget, it feels like you got a raise. I want to know from you, 'cause you're a budgeter now, which we'll talk about in a second, but what was life like before you started budgeting?

- I was just confused all the time. I would work Monday through Friday, every other Friday, get a paycheck, and it just would be gone by Friday afternoon, and I just didn't know where it went, or I just didn't feel totally good about my life. I just felt like there had to be something else. There had to be a little bit more.

- Yes, were you stressed a lot, do you find?

- Always, always trying to figure out. There were so many days, the choice was between, do I eat, do I feed the dog, or do we pay the utility bill, or do we go put gas in that car? They were always trying to choose one over the other.

- Yeah, and that's your basic needs, that you had, so I guess I could put you in that percentage, that 78% of Americans live paycheck to paycheck.

- Absolutely.

- You are the tried and true living to paycheck. Did you ever think, when you were in that, the thought of not being like that, did you think that was possible? Or was it like, "All those people can do it, "but there's just, there's no way "that my situation can change," 'cause it felt, in the moment, so stressful?

- It definitely felt suffocating for sure, but because I worked in the medical field, I knew there was a cure, I just didn't know what the cure was. I just knew there had to be a better way, because I would see the people who were not living paycheck to paycheck, and that was my true inspiration.

- What was the moment that you're like, "Okay, I gotta change." What got you on a different path?

- I always say YouTube is the new Encyclopedia Britannica. I just started researching, and researching, and researching, and I had come across The Dave Ramsey Show, and I found The Rachel Cruze Show on YouTube, and I just started watching it. I moved to Nashville, and the first year I moved here, I was so excited when I realized I was actually in Nashville, and that the studio that I have been watching on YouTube was in Brentwood, so a friend and I went on my birthday two years ago, and we got to see the studio. I got my picture taken with Dave Ramsey, and Anthony ONeal, and I got a quick shot of you leaving out of the studio that day.

- Running out.

- Out the studio that day, and I just thought, "I'm gonna change my life." I had the visual now. I had the vision board photo of standing next to Dave Ramsey. I'm like, "I can do this. "I'm too close now." It took four paychecks, and that's where I always get breakdown in my story, because it took four paychecks for me to save the $100 to go to Financial Peace University, and it was the best four paychecks I've ever had, to spend on that. That's when my life began to change. I went every Sunday morning, I did not miss a session, and all the pieces fell together there.

- I think that's so powerful, 'cause I think a big part I feel doing my job is, I see people, I'll be at a big speaking event with thousands of people, and I'm like, I just want to give everyone everything. I feel like what you just said, though, the sacrifice you made to save up, it took four paychecks, and you remember it like it was yesterday, you said four paychecks to save up the money to change your life, and do something different. When you have skin in the game, things start to change a little bit. I think that that's important, that you made the sacrifice to start the sacrifice, if that makes sense.

- Absolutely.

- In Financial Peace University, you started to learn to budget. Talk to me about the first couple of months you started budgeting. Was it perfect? Were there some mess-ups? What did life look like then?

- First, I had to find an accountability partner, because I'm single, and I sat down, I had a budget meeting with him. I mean, I was really doing the things that you have to do. The first budget meeting, he was almost like a principal. He was like, "Tracy, what is this?" You are $10 away from losing everything. I was like, "I know, Travis, I know." He was like, "You have to get another job." I was like, "No, I can't get another job, "because I'm single, and then I can't be, "to walk my dog at night," and all these, oh my goodness, every excuse in the book. Finally, he put his foot down, and I was like, "Okay." I went out, and I found a part-time job. I had to increase my income. It just would not work for me and what I had because it was such a mess. It was such a mess. I had to do something else.

- Thank God for Travis.

- I know, I love Travis.

- We all need a Travis in our lives. Seriously, and that's huge to say, 'cause we do talk about it. It takes a village to help, and getting people that isn't your shopping buddy, not your girlfriend that you lunch with, but legitimately, someone that is willing to say to you, "What is this?" Loving you really well, maybe a little harsh, but worth it, and that's it, so you had to get that second job, which was probably a big sacrifice. You're still in that second job, right?

- I am, I am.

- That's because you are on baby step two?

- I am on baby step two.

- You're paying off the debt.

- I am, I have done amazing, I think I've done amazing this past year, because I only have two debts left. I will, Friday, be able to pay off my car early.

- Yes, you do, Tracy.

- I'm so excited.

- Seriously, three months early. You won't have a car payment.

- I will not have a car payment anymore.

- Then you'll only have one debt left?

- I'll have one debt that is extremely sizeable, but the great thing about it is, in Financial Peace University, because that debt is so big, I have the tools of really how to get that done in one year. My goal is, this time next calendar year, I'm debt-free.

- I have people on the show all the time that are just where you are, and I always tell them, come back on the show, and tell us what it felt like after your debt-free scream. So you're gonna be able to get a big raise once you have no payments, 'cause that income will come in, and that'll be yours. Do you feel like, now that you've been budgeting, and that you're intentional with where every dollar's going, obviously, you've made incredible progress in so many ways, do you feel like you got a raise?

- Absolutely. Purchasing things without guilt, to me, was a huge raise in itself too. It's just been truly mind-blowing and amazing just not even having late fees.

- Incurrent, yes.

- Is a raise in itself.

- For sure. What categories in your budget, I know you're saying a couple, were you able to adjust?

- Absolutely, absolutely, I am vegan. I'm able to do $50 a week, and that's the sweet spot. I feel really good doing that.

- See, and I love that, because we talk about all the time, that you can eat healthy while on a budget, but that is a priority for you. That's the other thing about budgeting that I love, is when it's your budget, it's your life, and you get to shape it around not only being wise with money, but around what your lifestyle needs and requires. One of those, for you, is being vegan, so you're able to up your grocery category more because other categories were in control, and you could lower. You're such a testament, Tracy, of how to do it well. What would you tell even yourself or someone watching out there who thinks, "I'm living paycheck to paycheck. "There's no way I can turn my situation around"?

- I would definitely say, make the decision to go to Financial Peace University. It is very uncomfortable, and I could say, I do feel like a gazelle, that I've run a true marathon, but if you actually do the steps the way they are designed, you will see success.

- It works. From the marathon, has it been worth the run?

- Oh, goodness, yes. Feel like I'm still running, but maybe just a 5k now.

- That's right, yeah, and you can see the finish line, you can see it, and it's worth it. All right, awesome. You guys, if you want this progress, I mean, tried and true, here's an example, that you can do it, but you know what, first, you have to decide, "I'm going to do it." She took four paychecks, that sacrifice was so intentional, and it completely change her life. If you want to go through Financial Peace University, click the link below. Not only is it the proven plan to guide you and help you guys gain control of your money, but it also opens up so many other ways to have conversations with friends, and family members, and to get you and your family on the right track, so Tracy, girl, I'm so glad you came on the show, seriously.

- Thank you for having me, I appreciate it.

- Thanks for sharing your story.

- Thank you.

- Wasn't Tracy so great? I mean, seriously, she is doing such a great job, not only giving herself a raise by budgeting, but working to pay off all that debt, she's so awesome. All right, up next, my favorite part of the show, you guys, you know this, where we get to celebrate you all, and what you're doing to work hard saving money. She works hard saving money is here. Marcy said, "I printed off the three- to six-month "emergency fund coloring sheet, "and my seven-year-old daughter decided "she wanted to use the $100 she saved "from her commission this year "to stock her $1,000 emergency fund, #sheworkshardsavingmoney." A seven-year-old is saving for an emergency fund. How amazing is that? In fact, we teach, if you're 18 years or younger, you actually only need $500, but hey, if she's an overachiever, I love it, stay with it. Whitney said, "Just drove this baby off the lot "after paying all cash for it. "Hubby's old truck bit the dust "around 250,000 miles, and we needed a replacement vehicle. "I'm so thankful that our hard work and saving "allows us to be stress-free "when the unexpected happens. "It feels great knowing that she's all ours. "#sheworkshardsavingmoney." Whitney, amazing job. Paying for a car in full, you guys, it is so possible. I love that, Whitney. Heidi said, "My husband and I saved up, "and paid cash for our entire trip "from Kansas to LA, to Zion National Park. "Such an amazing one-year anniversary vacation. "#sheworkshardsavingmoney." Way to go, Heidi, seriously, so great, you guys. If you have some stories about what you're saving up for, post it on social, and just use the hashtag sheworkshardsavingmoney. All right, hopefully, you found some encouragement this episode and ways to give yourself a raise this year. Thank you so much to Tracy and Annie F. Downs for coming on, and make sure that you guys subscribe to my new podcast, The Rachel Cruze Show, on Apple or Google Podcasts, or wherever you get your podcasts, 'cause I'm a podcaster now, and I'm so excited. I don't want you to miss out. Thank you so much for watching this episode, you guys, and remember to take control of your money and create a life you love.