Who are you?
John and David of the Debt Free Guys are the foremost authority on LGBT finances. Not only did they get out of $51,000 of credit card debt, but they are also a great resource for the LGBT finances community, and love supporting their fellow LGBT community. They travel all over the country, and stay very busy with David still working a traditional job and trying to run their business.
David and John met in the early 2000s, when a friend of John’s introduced the two at a club (on the dancefloor!). Just three short years later, they decided they wanted to be together forever.
Were you always financially savvy?
Even though both John and David worked in financial services for about 15 years combined, both agreed that they were financial messes. They were so busy helping other people with their finances, that they weren’t helping themselves. They lived in a rented basement apartment in downtown Denver, and had $51,000 of credit card debt between them. For John and David, that started the process of Debt Free Guys.
What was your come-to-Jesus moment like?
When John and David went on vacation in the mountains with friends, they decided they wanted to build a home on the mountains themselves. But as they went home after vacation, they realized that with their debt, building a home wouldn’t be very feasible. As doubt washed over them, they thought that maybe their dream home in the mountains would just be a home they rented for vacations.
As they asked themselves why they weren’t getting the things they wanted in life, their come-to-Jesus moment hit them. They realized their finances weren’t working, so they decided to change it. David created an Excel spreadsheet and the two decided that they wanted to pay off their debt within 3 years.
How long did your debt payoff take?
John and David were able to payoff their debt in 2 ½ years, and they were able to do it on a middle class income. Combined, they both took home about $51,000 a year, so the payoff was an incredible feat for the both of them. On top of all of that, they were able to add an extra $10,000 to their budgets because they weren’t paying interest on the credit cards anymore.
John and David admit that LGBT finances can sometimes take a hit when LGBT peers are living fabulous and amazing lives. It instills a sense of “keeping up with the Joneses”. But all John and David were getting was debt and temporary gratification, both of which they realized weren’t worth trying to keep up for.
What made you start Debt Free Guys?
Towards the end of paying off their debt, John and David wanted to share what they failed at, what the learned, and what they did right during their debt payoff journey. They first started with writing a book focusing on their LGBT finances and debt payoff story. It took them 10 years from start to finish, and from there they reached out to publishers.
As they were pitching their book to several publishers, they were being told that they didn’t have enough influence. One of the publishers they spoke with told them to consider getting a blog or podcast and to start creating a social media following. John and David took her seriously, and created their first blog “Debt Free Principles” on Blogger. Six months after that, Debt Free Guys was born.
Why did you decide to focus on LGBT finances and LGBT money issues?
John and David realized that their was a gap to be filled with helping their community and peers learn to manage their LGBT finances. Taxes, retirement, and even dependents (i.e. children) are different for the LGBT community. John and David wanted to not only help their peers, but also raise awareness within the community and LGBT supporters.
Once they decided to really focus on Debt Free guys, John quit his job so that he could spend more time on their website and really making an impact. Since then, they have traveled to speak at different engagements, started a podcast, and even helped with different studies on LGBT finances.
While John and David are aware that you don’t have to be LGBT to have financial woes, they want to highlight the financial nuances and differences that their community faces and deals with on a regular basis. They take on the bad and celebrate the success, and they have become one of the number one resources for LGBT finances.
What is one financial tip you have that could help the readers improve their finances right now?
John and David’s number one tip is to cut your social media usage in half and to instead use that time educating yourself on your financial situation. He encourages at least doing it once or twice a month, but you can do it as often as you like.
How do you make money your honey?
John and David make money their honey by giving back to their community, and talking more about LGBT finances. They consider it one of the greatest opportunities that they could do for their happiness and money.
Where can listeners go to find out more about you?
Resources that are mentioned or add value to this episode:
- John & David’s LGBT finances article on Forbes “How To Get The Queer Community To Think More About Bigger Things”
- Queer Money Episode 54: Why Gay Couples Should Get Married ASAP
- Mass Mutual
- XY Planning
- Personal Capital