When I was deployed to Iraq, I was an E-6 Staff Sergeant, otherwise known as a squad leader. I was in charge of nine other guys making sure that our squad was a well-oiled machine. As their leader, I had to give them proper guidance, tools, and motivation to keep the morale high and get the job done. As their leader, I also had to learn to delegate some of the important tasks and have the confidence that they would complete the task laid out before them.
With The Debt Movement, I was in search of finding key members that I knew would share the same passion and the same mission in helping people get out of debt.
What you see below are the key personnel that I have selected.
They are the Debt Squad.
The Debt Squad – Attention!
Jeff Rose is tired of debt running people’s lives. He was witness to his father being consumed by debt. Even though he told himself that we wouldn’t do the same thing he did, acquiring over $20k of credit card and student loan debt before he even started his career. Finally fed up with himself and his reckless spending habits he vowed to be pay it all off – and he did! He now seeks to empower others to take charge of their lives and enjoy the same financial freedom he does.
Adam Baker is the founder and owner of Man Vs. Debt and, most importantly, a husband and father. His wife, Courtney, and their daughters, Milli and Charlie, are the core of his life and his deepest passion. In 2008, after their older daughter’s birth, Courtney and Baker decided to sell everything they owned, pay off their consumer debt and spend a year traveling abroad as a family. Their journeys since have taken them across the country and beyond and have explored personal finance, consumerism, clutter, travel, minimalism, passionate entrepreneurship and even movie-making. He’s the author of Sell Your Crap, the creator of the You Vs. Debt course, the co-founder of Only72.com and the producer of a feature-length documentary, “I’m Fine, Thanks.”
Joan Otto has been the editor and community manager for Man Vs. Debt since late 2011. In addition to sharing her family’s journey to pay off almost $90,000 in non-mortgage debt ($30K down, $60K to go!) via MvD and facilitating the You Vs. Debt course, Joan is passionate about her family – husband Chris and 12-year-old daughter Sarah. Her mission is to prove that there’s no mountain of debt “too high” to conquer if you’re willing to change your mindset, take action and track your progress. (She’s also the master of the side hustle – once working about seven part-time jobs at once to get more cash to throw at her hated credit card, which happens to bear as its acronym the name of a constricting snake.)
Brad Chaffee is passionate about debt freedom and takes his mission very seriously. After leading his family out of the pit of financial slavery he vowed never to borrow a single penny ever again — not even for a house. He has forsaken his FICO score for a life of total freedom and simplicity and has never regretted the choice to do so. His mission now is to educate people about why debt is the enemy, help them eradicate it forever and join the elite rank of freedom fighters willing to die for the cause.
Home Base: Enemy of Debt
Meadow DeVor is a Master Certified Money Coach who has devoted her practice to helping her clients create a healthy relationship with money. She believes that everyone has the power to transform their lives, find their own financial freedom and create a better relationship with money by changing the way we think. She has been a guest on The Oprah Winfrey Show and her articles have been featured in Women’s Day Magazine. She is known for her take-no-prisoners approach to coaching, her radical authenticity, and most of all… for her giggle. She is committed to doing serious work while making it as fun as possible. She’s the author of Money Love – A Guide to Changing the Way You Think About Money. She writes a popular blog, about money, love, life and other stuff.
When Will graduated from law school he was clueless about personal finance. Influenced by the fancy lifestyles of his fellow lawyers, he was spending more than he was saving. Like Dr. Bruce Banner, Will was his own worth enemy. In 2006 Will got tired of his flimsy bank account and cofounded personal finance blog Wise Bread with his friends Greg Go and Lynn Truong. What began as a way to educate himself about personal finance became a lifelong crusade to help other young people achieve financial freedom.
Will’s newest top secret project is the New Graduate Help Center, a special online school that teaches recent college graduates how to pay off debt quickly and find great jobs. It’s like the Xavier’s School for Gifted Youngsters, but without the lasers.
Primary Specialty: Finding part-time money making opportunities
Philip Taylor doesn’t want money (or debt) to rule his life. He has a history of managing his own money well and brings valuable experience as a CPA to the table. PT is also passionate about finding ways for people to make more money, especially in their efforts to pay down debt. But he doesn’t just help people make the money, he assists his readers in spending it and saving it wisely as well.
Code Name: The Money Coach
File Name: Tresidder, Todd
Primary Specialty: Coaching ordinary people to achieve extraordinary financial results
Secondary Specialty: Making complex financial issues simple
Todd Tresidder hates debt almost as much as SPAM… well, almost. Todd departed college with the dreaded student loan debt monster haunting his early career and waged war to overcome the enemy. He ruthlessly cut every expense so that he lived like a broke college student while earning a fat career salary. All surplus resources were deployed in a full-frontal assault on the enemy leaving no survivors. It was a war of attrition: not pretty, but highly effective. As a wealth coach, Todd noticed that his debt clients and his wealth clients lived according to mirror-opposite habits and attitudes causing him to realize debt is usually a symptom and not the problem itself. He’s expanded those early insights on his blog at FinancialMentor.Com into a long term, permanent solution through behavioral change so that you can convert your debt problems into wealth and never fight this battle again.
Home Base: Financial Mentor
Carrie Smith is an accountant by day and side-hustle sergeant by night. In earlier 2012 she finally became debt free, and her 14-month journey is featured in The Huffington Post. She firmly believes that life after debt is possible for everyone who applies this formula [hard work - debt = freedom]. She currently juggles her accounting clients, blog CarefulCents.com, and freelance business projects. Her ventures have taken her all over the country, meeting new people, doing speaking gigs and networking with other like-minded entrepreneurs.
Code Name: Jen the M.D. (Money Doctor)
File Name: Hemphill, Jennifer
Primary Specialty: Providing prescriptions to money ailments that best suit an individual’s needs.
Secondary Specialty: Coaching women on money matters.
Jennifer Hemphill aka “Jen” is the creator and owner of Got HarMoney? LLC. She is a mother of 2 boys and a military spouse. She is known for making money simple & giving practical approaches. Jen is passionate about empowering women in personal finance. She considers debt a huge nuisance and wants to change people’s view on debt from being a norm and “ok” to have to the exact polar opposite view. Jen is also on a mission to change how people think about money and her message lies on making sure each dollar to the penny has a job. In other words, the individual would be” the employer” and the money would be “the employee.”
Code Name: Debt Hacker
File Name: Edwards, Ben
Primary Specialty: Writing cool software to help beat debt & other money obstacles
Secondary Specialty: Breaking big hairy personal finance challenges into simple, bite-sized steps
Programmer by day and personal finance evangelist by night, Ben Edwards has been addicted to personal finance since he was 12 years old. In 2006 he started sharing money tips for a better life on his site Money Smart Life. Since then he’s built a system to help people beat their debt and other money challenges by spending under ten minutes a day. After his 3 little kids are tucked into bed he’s also been working on a Debt Heroes book that profiles the inspirational failures & successes of people who tackled overwhelming debt and won.
Home Base: Money Smart Life
Steve “Radar SOS” Stewart sees debt as the #1 financial adversary of our country today. He is tired of seeing fellow comrades falling from the attacks of skilled credit card marketers and savings accounts decimated from lack of strategic planning. He has been training the average American to identify spies and secret agents attempting to fool you into believing their lies by using double-talk, like “good debt – bad debt”, and attempting to trap you in the “build your credit score” myth.
His most remarkable gift is the innate ability to fortify your citadel from creditors while tactically positioning you on the offensive for eliminating debt! You would be wise to have Radar SOS in your camp to answer your call for help with a moneyplan.
Home Base: MoneyPlanSOS
File Name: Rhode, Steve
Primary Speciality: Beating debt into submission
Secondary Speciality: Chasing bad guys that take advantage of consumers in debt.
Steve Rhode has lived through tough money problems himself. In 1990 he and his wife went bankrupt. After living through the experience he decided to dedicate his life to helping other to find better ways to deal with money troubles. In 1994 he started the first website to help people with debt problems. Then he founded a nationally recognized non-profit credit counseling group that had a unique holistic approach to helping people deal with debt problems, including the first in-patient treatment center for compulsive spending.
Years later he decided that life was too short to have to deal with managing 70 employees and not having fun anymore so the decision was made to give everyone great severance packages and close the company down. He then moved to the UK for a couple of years to help people over there with problem debt and lived in the country and watched the sheep. In 2008 he moved back to the U.S. where he and his wife now live in Raleigh, NC. Steve continues his mission of helping people for free through the GetOutOfDebt.org website. Steve has been seen on ABC, NBC, CBS, CNN, Fox, was the money coach on the television show Starting Over and was asked to help people on the Dr. Phil show. Steve has written a number of books and one was named the Washington Post personal finance book of the month. You can download Steve’s books for free through the site.
Home Base: GetOutOfDebt.org
Code Name: The Life and Finance Optimizer
File Name: McNay, Shannon
Primary Specialty: Discovering how we can improve our finances through other aspects of our lives
Secondary Specialty: Adding the “personal” aspect to personal finance
Shannon McNay is the Community Outreach and Customer Support Manager at ReadyForZero in San Francisco. She also writes a great deal about couples finances and career and finance. After graduating from college, she struggled to find a job in Ohio, finally found a job (and frugality) in New York City, and is now writing about her experiences and accrued lessons at ReadyForZero. Her MO is to share her experience so college students and young professionals can avoid the mistakes she made along the way.
Benjamin Feldman works at ReadyForZero, a startup company that is helping people pay off their debt. He knows about debt from personal experience: at the beginning of 2012 he had over $3,000 in credit card debt and he vowed to pay it off before the end of the year. He accomplished his goal, and along the way he learned a lot about how to manage his money and accomplish financial goals. He shares those lessons while writing about ways to get out of debt and get better at budgeting at the ReadyForZero blog.