About Us

We were featured on Good Morning America!

I’m not sure we were ever educated on how to handle credit properly. Although my parents seemed to manage okay, financial education was never a topic of dinner table conversation.

Fast Forward to September of 2014 we are debt-free! Paying off $109,000, in 50 months, two months ahead of our goal and it feels great! We shifted gears and now turned our attention to building wealth. Our goals are set on a fully-funded emergency fund, retirement savings, and college funds for our three children.

In early 2015, we took a bit of a step backward, after being downsized from my IT position with a company I was with for over twenty years. It was a bit of a shock, but luckily we had our finances in order, and an emergency fund in place, because if we did not, it would have been a stressful situation.

In 2016 I landed a new role with a better work-life balance. We track our money each month via our net worth updates, using tools like personal capital and Excel to track our progress. We continue to be prepared our children for their financial futures. Teaching them not to make the same mistakes we have made with money.

Our twins are currently in their junior year of college. My son is studying computer science and my daughter’s digital art and social media. My daughter recently started a 6-month internship with Disney.

They have been working part-time jobs for over three years, and both have good savings accounts. Both work full-time each summer. Our youngest son, a senior, in high school, just landed his first part-time job. Before working, he used side hustles when there was a big-ticket item he wanted, and he’s also volunteered his time over the last few years.

Since we are at this point in our financial lives, I have begun to help others with their money. I have coached many family and friends, initiated a financial wellness program at my former company, and I’m a committee chair on my local school board.

A full K-12 personal financial literacy curriculum for a student body of 6000 students has completed its second year of operation. It will continue next school year. The financial literacy committee is finalizing a proposal to be reviewed by our school’s board of education to add a half-year financial literacy class to our district. The goal is to make it a local graduation requirement, so all students received financial literacy education.

I have also begun speaking and sharing our own story with debt at libraries and High Schools to educate others.

brian brandow and family

About Me

I’m a Dad, husband, and an IT professional by trade. I’ve been described as being sarcastic, funny, cranky, moody, and some other four-letter words I’d rather not write here. Laughter and sarcasm rule our home. I’m a pet person, too. I love animals, especially dogs. We have two Shiba Inu’s, Mushu and Meeko.

I’ve been working professionally for 25 years. I want my three children to handle money better than I ever have, and have been teaching them as much as I can. My goal is to continue to champion the financial literacy message to anyone who will listen. I hope my and my family’s story will inspire and motivate you to take control of your money.

How Can This Blog Help You?

The goal of the blog is to share stories that someone in debt can learn from to help improve their financial situation. I share content and information I believe will help improve your financial IQ.

I’ve been featured on:

U.S. News – How This Family of 5 Paid Off $109,000 in Debt in 4 Years

Interview @ Business Insider – How This Family Got Into $109,000 Of Credit Card Debt While Earning 6 Figures — And Paid It Off In 4 Years

Where are they now? @ Yahoo Finance – The most inspiring personal finance stories of 2014

Interview @ A Debt Free Stress-Free Life – We Quit Credit Cards {How Brian from Debt Discipline Paid Off 109K of Debt in 50 Months}

Interview @ Nerd Wallet – Clear Purpose Keeps Couple on Track to Erase Debt

Expert Opinion @ Huffington Post – 37 Ways Dads Can Make and Save More Money

an Brandow Paid off $109,000 of Debt to Become Debt Free

San Diego Financial Literacy Center – Cutting Expenses and Earning More Income, the One-two Punch to Financial Success

18 thoughts on “About Us”

  1. Great looking family! It’s great to find like-minded people who write about their experiences while achieving freedom from debt. With a family of five, that has to be a monster challenge. Congratulations on your progress so far. I believe you’ll reach your 2014 goal. I, too, am paying off a super large amount of debt (rental houses), $177,650 in 3.5 years and blogging about it. Stop by and visit. You might be encouraged as I have been visiting and milling around your blog. I think I may add you to my blog roll. Great work!

  2. Just found your blog…and Im loving it. Thats quite a story – and congrats on taking things into your own hands and getting that debt monster under control. A beautiful family – and I wish you the best. I will make sure to follow along your journey.


  3. Hey DD,

    Its great that you’re taking the time to help family and friends. I recently also helped my girl friend and a friend of mine clean up their financial mess and it felt great! It part inspired me to create my blog as well.

    Look forward to your articles, I signed up.

  4. This is the site I have been looking for, I need to take a few pages out of your book Brian. Thanks for posting this information. This is real life changing material.

  5. Love that family picture – so cute!!! Wow – you’ve really gotten around! 🙂 Thanks for letting us interview you on Fruclassity and Well Kept Wallet. You’ve got a great story, and it should be shared!

    • Thanks Laurie! Just want anyone and everyone to know the information we know now about money. 🙂 Sharing our mistakes I think is a great way to help someone else.

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