Owning It: Tom Bramhall’s Debt-Free Journey

By Claire Barham Apr 09, 2018

What is debt? “Dumb.”

What is cash? “King.”

These simple questions take many adults a lot of years (and a whole lot of stress) to figure out. For Tom Bramhall’s son Luke, however, these answers already come naturally. Why? Because his dad embarked on a debt-free journey, eventually paying down $167,000 thanks to income earned through N2 and the teachings of Dave Ramsey.

Like most who find themselves in the hole, Tom experienced a few ups and downs financially. One “up” was bringing home more than $300K from a side business at age 23. And being the young, excited entrepreneur-with-a-credit-card-in-hand that he was, he spent money on what he now refers to as “stupid stuff.” Just how stupid the stuff was became very apparent during his biggest “down” – the market crash of 2008. When it came, the debt did too.

“I learned quickly that just because you have things, like a car, doesn't mean you actually own them," Tom said. “That hit me hard.”

Unsure of what he wanted to study in school, he ultimately decided to follow in his father’s and grandfather’s footsteps and became a pilot. And though it paid well, it wasn’t enough to put as big of a dent in what he owed as he wished.

“When you’re in debt,” said Tom, “it’s like you have this gorilla choking you out every day. Sure, you make money, but if you owe a bunch, you really don’t have any money. You’re just filling a big hole with a small spoon. I felt confined.”

He opened up about his desire to free himself from debt to a fellow pilot who, in turn, played for him Dave Ramsey’s podcast. That was it – immediately, Tom knew it was a program he could, and would, follow.

In 2012, two years into listening to Dave Ramsey and the stories of others much like himself, Tom began searching for a better-paying opportunity – not to mention one with some work-life balance. He reached out to successful friends for career ideas and learned about life as an N2 Area Director from his buddy Zane Odom. And just like with Dave Ramsey’s podcast, he immediately knew N2 was a program he could follow.

Turns out, he was right on both counts. For Tom, the merge of income from N2 with the motivation and guidance from Dave Ramsey’s program was perfect. Instead of using a spoon, he now “had a backhoe,” as Tom puts it, to fill his hole of debt.

“With N2, you can definitely make more money than a lot of people. You can make more appointments, offer better customer service… you have control over a lot of things,” Tom said. “But some people don’t thrive as salespeople, and that’s okay. Everyone can become debt-free if you put extra effort into it.”

For others looking to begin their debt-free journey, Tom offers the following advice: You have to be willing to cut up your credit cards – slice ‘em and dice ‘em. And just like with N2, you have to follow the program when it comes to Dave Ramsey’s teachings. But most importantly, you have to really, really want it.

“You have to be at a place where you’re so sick and tired of not having anything to show for your hard work. And you have to know your ‘why’ and know exactly what your finish line looks like. That’s what will keep you focused."

On his way to the beach for a family vacation, the time came to make the end-all payment on his final loan. With Luke in the car, he declared, “this was the last time we borrow money.” Then, he let his son hit send.

To learn more about Dave Ramsey’s personal finance practices, visitwww.daveramsey.com. If you, too, would like an opportunity to control your income and earn more money to pay down debt, learn more about the N2 Area Director role.


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