How to Get Out of Debt | Chris Browning | My Instruction Manual

How to Get out of Debt

As an accountant, Chris Browning was an expert at helping clients balance the books. But at home, he and his wife struggled with how to get out of debt.

“It’s really easy to tell other people what to do and then just turn around and not follow your advice whatsoever,” Browning says.

In 2014, with $27,000 in debt piled up, they decided to get serious about tackling their growing debt. They cut cable, stopped going out to eat, and cancelled vacations. Chris and his wife each got a monthly allowance of about $25 for fun to spend how they wished, but everything else went to pay the debt. Chris also lined up some side hussle jobs to get things paid off even more quickly.

As a result, they paid off the more than $27,000 in debt in about two and a half years.

A few months later, Chris launched the popular Popcorn Finance podcast to teach others about personal finance.

“The biggest issue people deal with is that they have no idea how much money they’re spending, which makes it really difficult to reach any of their goals,” Chris told me in episode 41 of the My Instruction Manual podcast.

Listen to the show here or through your favorite podcast app, then scroll down for complete show notes, and to leave me a comment!

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Episode 41 Show Notes: How to Get out of Debt

Chris Browning, host of the Popcorn Finance podcast, explains how he and his wife got out from under $27,000 in credit card debt. And host Keith McArthur speaks with nutrition contributor Michelle Jaelin about iron in the first of a new series about minerals.

[00:00] Welcome and Intro

[00:57] Featured interview with Chris Browning

Chris Browning is the California-based accountant behind the popular Popcorn Finance podcast. He launched the podcast after he and his wife got out from under $27,000 in debt.

In this conversation, Keith and Chris discuss:

  • What is Popcorn Finance? [1:40]
  • What do most people get wrong [2:53}
  • How Chris and his wife lost track of their debts [4:59]
  • How they got themselves out of debt [7:07]
    • Chris mentions free website
  • Is buying a house a good investment? [11:45]

[15:00] Chris’ Instruction Manual

1. What are the habits you maintain every day to stay happy and healthy? [15:16]

  • Reading

 2. What personal development book do you recommend? [16:06]

  • The Year of Less: How I stopped Shopping, Gave Away My Belongings, and Discovered Life is Worth More than Anything You Can Buy in a Store by Cait Flanders

3. Favorite personal mantra / inspirational quote [17:30] 

  • “The best time to plant a tree is 20 years ago. The second best time is now” — Chinese proverb

4. What’s your one guilty pleasure? [18:50]

  • Technology

5. When your time comes, how do you want to be remembered? [20:35]

  • “As someone who was approachable and giving and someone people could come to as a resource.”

[21:29] Where to find Chris

[22:18] Nutrition contributor Michelle Jaelin on iron

Michelle Jaelin is both a trained artist and a Registered Dietitian who is known as The NutritionArtist. She appears regularly as in newspapers, magazines and on television as an expert in healthy eating.

In this conversation, Keith and Michelle discuss:

  • How a math error led Popeye to each so much spinach in search of iron [22:46]
  • Why do we need iron and how much do we need? [23:32]
  • Where do get iron? [24:05]
  • We need red meat for iron, but isn’t it bad for us? [24:30]
  • Why women need extra iron [26:40]
  • Iron for vegans [28:34]
  • Where to find Michelle:

[31:50] Closing words

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