I’m Gazelle Intense

On July 1, I put my last $200 into my savings account to fulfill my $1,000 Emergency Fund. Dave Ramsey was right, I could do this in less than a month.

Now, it’s on to Baby Step 2: Pay off all debt (excluding the mortgage) using the Debt Snowball Method. 

Lucky for me, at this point in my life I don’t have to worry about a mortgage. Also, lucky for me, my parents are saints at a time when they truly don’t have to be. Billy and Stacey Pruitt are wonderful, and I don’t say that just because they let me live at home even though I’m a grown ass woman who should be out of their house. I say they’re wonderful because their tremendously supportive, especially as I’m going along my debt-free journey. I’m blessed, and I hope they know how grateful I am that they’re my parents, and not anybody else’s.

Anyways, Baby Step 2. I have a secret… And once I type it onto this page, it’s no longer a secret, and that terrifies me. I can feel your judgement through my computer screen already, but here it goes. Be gentle with your criticisms.

Between credit cards, medical bills, my car loan, and school loans I’m slightly over $100,000 in debt. $110,000 to be exact.

I cried a little on the inside while typing that for the whole world to read (or my mom and the 3 friends I have who actually read this blog). I am ashamed. That number is astronomical. And I’m not even married! It’s just me, all alone, who racked up that ridiculous amount of debt.

That number makes me feel ashamed. That number makes me cringe when I think about how financially irresponsibly I’ve lived my life. That number lights a fire inside of me to tackle my debt and be done with it – FOREVER.

The Debt Snowball Method is as follows: I list all of my debts from smallest to largest and write down their minimum payments. I then start with the smallest debt and pay the minimum payment plus throw every dollar that I can at that debt to make it go away as quickly as possible. After that, I roll over the minimum payment from the smallest debt into the next debt and attack it with all of the extra money I have using my “Gazelle Intensity” (which is a Dave Ramsey phrase that illustrates being extremely focused and determined to escape debt like a gazelle escapes being eaten by a cheetah for lunch). This process continues until I’m completely debt free and no longer have any payments.

I have 15 debt snowballs. And guess what? I’m 5 days into the month and I’ve already knocked out two of them! They were small, they were easy, but they were victories and they made me feel great. I know this isn’t going to happen quickly. At the rate I’m going, debt free by 30 is the current goal. But it’s a goal, and I’m already making progress. I’m Gazelle Intense.

2 down, 13 to go.


  1. Alyssa Plata

    July 6, 2017 at 12:52 am

    BUT he forced you to sit down and break it down! So now it doesn’t have to be as scary AND you know how to tackle it! Way to go lady!

    1. cayla

      July 20, 2017 at 12:54 am

      So true! It sounds so cheesy, but it’s really been life changing. I’m loving the progress I’ve made and how my mindset is altered after the last 7 weeks of Financial Peace!

  2. Annie D

    July 6, 2017 at 4:26 pm

    Good for you!!! You are not alone. I remember doing something like this in my early thirties. I kept a spreadsheet of my debt and was laser focused on paying it down. It was a game. It was weirdly fun. It was so satisfying to watch it crumble! Congratulations on doing nothing this. You CAN do it! You are fortunate to have your awesome parents and to be able to live at home and get the debt cleared. It will take time but you’d be surprised at how fast it actually happens! You’ve totally got this!

    1. cayla

      July 20, 2017 at 12:54 am

      The concept of it being a game is SO true. I have a big posterboard on my wall that tracks my progress. I color in the debts I’ve paid off, and I color in lines on a thermometer when I pay off a percentage of my total debt. Just seeing all the lines and snowballs that need to be colored in keeps me going!

  3. Katie Durrante

    July 7, 2017 at 4:06 pm

    Congrats to you!!! Those 2 victories will only keep you motivated. We are in the same boat I’m in the process of saving and cutting debt too so I’m looking forward to keep up with you. Subscribing now! 😊

    1. cayla

      July 20, 2017 at 12:52 am

      Ahh! Thank you! It’s definitely been a rollercoaster ride, but I’m determined to stick with it and get myself into a better position! You can do it too!

  4. Tisha M.

    July 11, 2017 at 11:26 am

    I love how real this is!! So many people are in this boat, or have been and yes, it can be frightening. But running is scarier. You gotta face it to erase it. In the infamous words of Martin Lawrence, “You go girl!!”.

    1. cayla

      July 20, 2017 at 12:52 am

      Thank you!! The endless support and motivation is such a great feeling! Miss you!!

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