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The Debt-Free Scream That Made an Entire Audience Cry

In October 2016 at the Smart Money event in Dallas, single mom Stephanie joined Dave onstage to do her debt-free scream. She paid off $66,000 in three and a half years!

But this debt-free scream wasn’t just for her. It was for her five-year-old daughter Victoria and the “village” of single moms and relatives who helped care for her while Stephanie worked overtime as a nurse.



As Stephanie took on more hours at the hospital, she missed out on evening meals and bedtime snuggles with Victoria. The mom guilt built up. With the burden of being away so much, Stephanie asked herself a hard question: Is paying off my student loans really worth all this effort and separation? 



Ultimately, she decided it was. The short-term pain of getting out of debt was worth the long-term gain of living without it.

Short-term pain is worth the long-term gain.

You see, back when Stephanie was getting her nursing degree, she noticed how the other students’ parents were able to pay for their tuition. They got a great education without the burden of debt. She wanted that for Victoria.

But the reality of changing her family tree was hard—and exhausting. From stage, she recalls a tear-filled memory of a night away from Victoria.

“One time, when I worked the night shift, I called my daughter to tell her goodnight and she said, ‘Momma, I want you to come home and be with me,’” she says, struggling to speak.

That’s when sweet Victoria—onstage in front of 3,000 audience members—reached up and wiped the tears from her mother’s cheek. It was the very definition of love.

“It made me emotional that my daughter wiped my tear off my eye,” she says later. “It just touched my heart that she heard me. I hope that she heard that I did this for her.”

Scripture also encouraged Stephanie when she was feeling frazzled and exhausted.

“During this time, I was reading Ecclesiastes about toil,” she says. “I learned it’s about my perspective and it’s about working as unto the Lord . . . I’ve got to get rid of my mess so I can enjoy the work I do and not have to work so much.”

In December of that same year, Stephanie took the opportunity to come to the Ramsey Solutions office in Brentwood, Tennessee to do her debt-free scream on the radio. Watch below!



After becoming debt-free, Stephanie was excited to shift her focus to new goals. She changed careers, becoming a school nurse to coordinate her schedule with Victoria’s. Now she’s saving for a down payment on a house—and eventually wants to be a foster parent.



It’s all finally possible because she never gave up. That’s the power of a mother’s love.


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Ramsey Solutions has been committed to helping people regain control of their money, build wealth, grow their leadership skills, and enhance their lives through personal development since 1992. Millions of people have used our financial advice through 22 books (including 12 national bestsellers) published by Ramsey Press, as well as two syndicated radio shows and 10 podcasts, which have over 17 million weekly listeners. Learn More.

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