Zeros for heroes: How one couple discovered the power of a debt-free life
Newlyweds Drew and Beth Goldie hadn’t given much thought to what the Bible says about money.
Both of them had asked Jesus into their lives as children, but they had never taken ownership of their faith until they started attending NewSpring Church in 2005.
Within months, the couple took the first step of trusting God by tithing — giving to God the first 10 percent of their income. And they never looked back.
“God has blessed us so much, and the sacrifices we had to make along the way have been worth it,” Beth says.
When you are not a servant to a lender, you are free to embrace God’s purpose for your life! - Drew
At the time, Beth was still in graduate school racking up what would become $26,000 in debt, and they were financing a car to the tune of $12,000, along with a mortgage of $63,000.
They were paying their bills, but they also knew that their long-term goal was for Beth to be a stay-at-home mom.
During a marriage series in the fall of 2006, guest speaker Joe Sangl challenged married couples to sign an agreement committing to work on their finances together and have a plan for getting out of debt.
The Goldies took that seriously and came up with a plan they’ve been working ever since.
Now, more than 10 years later, Goldies have zero debt. They have no student loans. They own their cars. They own their home outright.
The Goldies have witnessed God’s faithful provision all along the way, and they know their marriage is stronger because it hasn’t suffered from the financial conflicts many couples face.
Their debt freedom also is a blessing that has overflowed into generosity to the church and others.
“You hear the words financial peace tossed around, but it’s true,” Drew says. “We do not live with the financial burden of how our bills will be paid. It truly helps our marriage be better, and just our general day-to-day life. It’s hard to explain the peace that comes from that.”
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Drew and Beth pose with Dave Ramsey, a financial expert whose financial principles helped them get out of debt and stay that way.
Working The Plan
The Goldies’ day-to-day decision-making was guided by principles taught by Joe, along with Christian finance expert Dave Ramsey.
They cut up credit cards, lived by a written budget for each pay period. They sold things. They made sacrifices. They paid off $28,000 in debt in the first eight months.
After Beth took a new job, she dedicated the entire amount of a five-digit pay increase for three years as an offering to help the church open a new campus in Greenville and beyond.
When Beth had their first child 18 months later, she was able to give up her job — and still make good on their pledge.
“We had to trust that God would provide for the pledge, and He certainly did,” Beth says.
In May 2012, just five years after making their goal to be debt free, the Goldies had paid off a total of $130,000, including their last mortgage payment on their three-bedroom, one-and-a-half-bath Pendleton home. They also had saved six months income for emergencies.
Beth was still only 29 and Drew was 30.
“We have learned to be content with what we have,” Drew says. “We have also learned that when you are not a servant to a lender, you are free to embrace God’s purpose for your life!”
The freedom of a debt-free life is a hope they are eager to share with others as financial coaches at the Anderson Campus.
Drew’s job as a utility contractor provides the Goldies an average, middle-income lifestyle, and it proves what is possible when couples put God first in their finances.
“We’ve seen couples walk in freedom and kept in touch with them,” Drew says. “It’s a cool thing to be a part of.”
We love being able to honor the Lord with our wealth - Beth
Blessed to be a Blessing
The Goldies’ discipline continues to this day.
When they needed more space to accommodate two more children, they simply added onto their existing home. Construction of an extra bedroom and bathroom were paid for in cash, and Drew and his friends took care of about 60 percent of the work.
They drive 15-year-old vehicles. They take annual vacations in South Carolina. And Beth is not above buying used clothes.
The Goldies have continued to make it a priority to contribute to NewSpring’s fundraising campaigns, believing the local church is the greatest investment they could make with their money.
Their eldest child, Aaron, has already asked Jesus into his life, which they attribute in part to KidSpring’s fun, creative teaching, created especially for children.
The Goldies also donate regularly to other organizations, and they dedicate a set monthly amount to help individuals when they see a need, such as buying someone’s groceries or food at the drive-thru.
They even keep an old vehicle licensed and insured so they can loan it out to someone who needs emergency transportation.
“We have been blessed by others’ generosity and countless examples of God's faithfulness,” Beth says. “We love being able to honor the Lord with our wealth.”