the lively show – debt reduction & motivation with eric williams


Listen and subscribe via iTunes.


Today I’m sharing one of the most inspiring and action-oriented Lively Show episodes so far!

Eric Williams is a blogger ( and author who – along with his wife, Kelsey – eliminated almost $40,000 in debt in under 23 months! 

In his new book, It’s Your Money, What Will You Do With It?, Eric details exactly what it took to make such dramatic progress in such a short amount of time.

A few months ago, Eric kindly offered me his book. After reading it, I was so inspired by his story that I spent the rest of the day with Mr. Lively reevaluating our finances.

Since then, we have killed two(!) student loans and are now substantially saving for a new home in the next two years.

Which means I can quite honestly say that his story has made a profound and positive impact on our financial future… and I have a feeling this interview (along with his book) will do the same for many listeners as well!

(Plus, at the end of the show I explain how you can enter to win one of 10 It’s Your Money books for free.)

So if you have debt, or if you simply feel a little “iffy” on your money situation, this show is for you!




  • The program that helped the Williams craft a debt-free plan to pay off almost $40,000 in loans in under 23 months (without being “rich”).
  • The single motivator that helped them stay consistenteven when things were tough.
  • The one store they refused to shop at while paying off their debt.
  • The emotional toll of this aggressive plan.
  • How the Williams approach intention as a family.
  • How to talk to your spouse about finances. (42:00)
  • The best way to approach student loans after graduation.
  • The money and budget tools Eric recommends.
  • What Eric would tell someone just starting out on this journey.



It’s Your Money, What Will You Do With It?

Financial Peace University

Debt snowball calculator

You Need a Budget






Want more? Check out past Lively Show episodes here.


PSEnter to win one of 10 free It’s Your Money ebooks!

To enter: (1) Subscribe to The Lively show on iTunes, (2) leave a review on iTunes, and (3) comment on this post to let us know that you left a review!

The winners will be selected and contacted after next Thursday (3/6/14).

This Post Has 0 Comments

  1. Jessica Freeman

    Another killer podcast, Jess!!! I’m about to do FInancial Peace University for the second time. The first time, I was still in college and not married – I think it will be a good refresher course, especially since my “stage of life” has changed. Subscribed and left a review 🙂

    1. That is so great to hear, Jessica! It sounds like you have somewhat mastered this whole FPU concept. But I’m sure it will be fun to go through as a married person with new goals and finances. : )

      Thanks for leaving the review!!

    2. Great to hear Jessica! I’ve heard they recently re-shot all of the FPU lessons. I’m anxious to go through it again too to see what else we can pick up and implement.

  2. Hi Jess – I have loved all of the episodes thus far! I do subscribe and have left a review on iTunes after the very first episode. Great work and thanks for the continued inspiration!! XX – Melanie

    1. Aw, that is so great to hear, Hun!! : )

      I’m glad you liked this episode, too! Best of luck on the giveaway!

  3. Aw man, this looks like fun. My boyfriend and I collectively have about the GDP of a small country in student loans — I think I’ll save this episode until he can listen to it in the car with me.

    1. Very nice!! I am glad you will.

      (And if you’d like to enter to win a copy of It’s Your Money, please follow the directions I mention in the podcast to enter to win!) : )

  4. K Schuler

    Fantastic Podcast! I’ve been following you and the Williams for a while now and you both are so inspirational. Subscribed and left a review!

  5. Jennifer Snyder

    I kind of can’t stop listening, Jess! I subscribed after the first episode with Erin and just left a review on iTunes. Can’t wait for next week’s episode!

    1. Aw, thank you so much, Jennifer!!! I appreciate that so much. : ) Good luck on the giveaway!

  6. April

    Hi Jess! I’m a huge fan of your blog, and I am loving the new podcast series–thank you, thank you! By the way, I already read Eric’s (awesome and inspirational) book at your recommendation, so feel free to leave me out of the lottery for the giveaway 🙂

    1. That is so great to hear, April! Did you make any changes financially after reading his book?

      1. April

        Yes! My fiance and I are expecting this year, and just recently started saving to buy a house. Luckily, we are debt free. However, we are both self-employed entrepreneurs, and weren’t really in the habit of saving (at all). For us, it was figuring out how to manage fluctuating incomes, and finding a balance between goals for saving vs. reinvesting income into our businesses. We spent some time reviewing our expenses and spending to set up some budgets (our weakness is really food/restaurant spending) and set up automatic drafts on a weekly basis from checking to savings. We definitely need to follow Eric’s lead on banning trips to Target for a while though–we live less than a mile away, and he’s not kidding that store will get you into trouble 🙂

        1. Congratulations April! You only have a few months to stay away from Target until the baby comes!

          Thanks so much for reading the book, and I’m glad it’s helped in some small way.

          Food is still our weakness too… I think we may need a support group…

          1. Jess Lively

            Hah. If you need a support group we need to be in rehab. ; )

  7. Erin S

    I am a subscriber! Really looking forward to reading the book! Thanks!

    1. Hi Erin, That is so wonderful!

      Just in case you haven’t already, but would like to be entered to win the book, please also leave a review on iTunes. : ) If you can comment back here and confirm that, you’ll be entered to win!

  8. paigehewlett

    Just letting you know I left a review & subscribed. This week’s episode is so on point for us – I can’t wait to start applying lessons to our day-to-day life! Thanks again!

    1. Thanks so much, Paige!

      I’m happy to hear Eric’s story is helping you take action in your life, too! : )

  9. Thanks so much for featuring our story, Jess! It’s been a few years since we paid off our debt so it’s always fun to think back to those days and have others get excited about it, too! It was a really big thing we did, and sometimes we forget that!

    Eric did a great job on the podcast (!!!), but I do want to add that we were making between $65,000-$75,000 in take-home pay during the time we paid off our debts, just so no one thinks we’re millionaires. 🙂 We have that info on our blog, so I’m not giving away anything super secret here.

    I get to work 32 hours now instead of 40 and I know that if we still had debt, it wouldn’t be possible. That extra day with my daughter every single week is totally worth everything we gave up during those two years.

    Also, I love the last questions of yours. Is it what we thought it would be? NO. We still struggle to spend within our means (I want to eat out EVERY NIGHT and buy all the chairs and rugs and decor I see on blogs) and still have to budget every single month. We are not at “the end,” which I think is what I expected at the beginning. I naively thought we’d never have to worry about money again after our debt was gone. Haha. But, is it what I was hoping it would be? DEFINITELY YES.

    You’re awesome!


    1. Thank you so much for sharing these extra insights, Kelsey, I think they add a lot to this podcast and help round out a few things people might not have gathered straight from the interview if they hadn’t already been following your blog.

      I also appreciate your take on the ‘happily ever after’ part of it. I think it’s so helpful to know that some things are more than better (getting to work one day less a week, for instance) and others are still a struggle (not eating out every night – Amen!). : )

      Thanks for being awesome yourself, Lady!

  10. Erin S

    I wrote a review on iTunes! Please enter me for the book drawing! 🙂

  11. YAY! This is JUST the podcast I needed right now for a gentle push in the right direction. A special thanks to Kelsey and Eric for taking the time to be honest and helpful, and thank you to you, Jess, for your spunky self – always ready with a great question, support, and inspiring attitude about life. Have fun in the warm climate!! It’s going to be gorgeous this weekend where I live (Austin, TX) – I’ll toast a mojito to you :). Oh, and of course, a review on iTunes has been written!

    1. Ps. I’m originally from Iowa and went to school in Missouri, so a shout-out to my fellow midwesterners! I just went to the blog and saw that the Williams family is from DES MOINES!! Here’s to hoping they’re Hawkeye (not Cyclone) fans 😉

      1. Rachel!!! So many things to comment on… I’ll make a list…

        1. Doesn’t Jess ask great questions? She’s so good!!!
        2. We were just in Austin last August! Ah!
        3. Go Hawks! (Although, Kelsey is a Cyclone fan, womp womp)
        4. And last but not least… Go get those financial goals!!!

        1. Ooo, I LOVE LISTS.
          Yay for Austin – hope you guys had a great time!
          Glad to hear one half of your family is cheering for Black & Gold! 🙂
          Just signed up for your newsletter and will fill out the budget excel sheet tonight! Can’t wait!!

  12. Justine

    Loving your new show Jess. Only four weeks in and I’m hooked! Off to check out – snowball calculator. I’ve been working hard to pay off my student loan and the effects of being a little too extravagant in years past. I’m about 50% there and I’m determined to be 100% debt free by December 2014 and ideally, pulling this forward however I can. This episode was perfect timing for me! Thank you. (p.s. Subscribed and submitted itunes review)

    1. That is so wonderful to hear, Justine! I’m sure Eric’s story only stoked your fire for this awesome accomplishment! Best wishes on the goal – I hope the calculator helps!

  13. Alison Burkhart

    Another great episode! I just subscribed and commented in iTunes. I’m already excited for next Thursday!

  14. Another great episode. So far, I”m really enjoying these and finding inspiration. This one was interesting, but I’m interested in knowing how to apply it to my life, when my income is less than $30k/yr and I’m single with a student loan and less than $2k in credit card debt (thank goodness I paid off my car last year!).

    1. That is a great question, Rachel. I would consider perhaps diving into the archives for posts with advice or perhaps even working with the Williams one-on-one if you are looking for a personalized action plan. : )

    2. Hi Rachel,

      My best advice (if you’re not already doing this) is to start budgeting. By getting all your finances in one spot and reeling them in, you’ll be amazed after a few months how money just seems to appear once you focus on.

      Make sure to set up some clear financial goals for yourself and work toward them month by month. Feel free to email me if you have other specific questions.

  15. Jessa

    absolutely love your podcast! it’s like we’re all chatting in a coffee shoppe, sharing stories (and laughing!). you have such a gift for encouraging others!

  16. Katie

    Thanks for another great episode, Jess! I was happy to subscribe and leave a review because I am loving your podcast–I look forward to it every week! Xo, Katie

  17. Emily

    I’m loving the show and was happy to give you a 5 star review on iTunes! Keep the great work coming, I so appreciate it

  18. Loving the Lively Show!!! All the episodes have been so enjoyable. This one really got my husband and I pumped! Guess who got her debt snowball in order this weekend!? Feeling good about getting a handle on our money situation!

  19. Danielle

    I don’t comment very often but I just wanted to say how MUCH I am enjoying this weekly podcast. I am a stay at home mom/co-owner of a business with my husband and this is one thing I look forward to every week!

  20. Kate Robinson

    Loved this episode! Subscribed and review done! xx

  21. Elena

    So excited about going on a debt-free journey. I crave being financially stable, and understanding where I’m at financially. This latest podcast really helped me start visualizing my own plan and “why’s.” I left a review… Thank you to Jess, Eric & Kelsey!

    1. That is awesome to hear, Elena! Best wishes on the financial journey and thanks for leaving a review!

  22. Phoebe

    I’d already done all of these things! Keep up the great work, Jess.

  23. Had already subscribed (of course!) and just left a review. Am totally loving each one of these podcasts.

    1. Thank you SO much, Dacy! That means a lot and I’m so glad you are enjoying all of the episodes. : )

  24. Hi Jess! I just had to pop in to let you know that I am LOVING these podcasts. I’ve been listening to them on my long commute and they are so much more entertaining than listening to the radio. I’ve even listened to a few of them twice. 🙂

    And Eric, this is such awesome advice. Thank you for all of your insight!

    1. Thank you so much, Jackie! That is awesome to hear.

      If you’d like to enter the book giveaway too, please respond and confirm that you subscribed on iTunes and left a review. Thank you!

  25. I think my favorite part (okay – favorite lighter part of the conversation) was the truth of Target. It is IMPOSSIBLE to get out of that store spending less than $100! Great interview, Jess!

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