I no longer update here at Budgets are the New Black. The “About” below was last updated in 2011… A couple of years later I filed for divorce and in 2015 moved from California to be near family in Kansas with my two younger children. My oldest currently attends college on the east coast where his dad is also assigned. The kids are racking up the frequent flyer miles and already becoming quite the travel pros. I continue to look for the silver lining.

If you want to know what I’m up to now, you will eventually be able to find me at annjolyn.com, currently a work in progress.


Hi! My name is Jolyn. I am married to one Air Force man (currently deployed / recently returned from a deployment to Kyrgyzstan) (currently living in California while the kids and I try to sell our house in Ohio), the mother of three well-traveled children, and the CEO of our financial household, for better or for worse.

In the Spring of 2009, my husband and I decided to pay off our consumer debt Dave-Ramsey style and stop the cycle of credit to support our lifestyle. We are a military family that moves a lot, and it seemed like there was always a good reason to reach for that credit card or apply for a new loan.

We paid off almost $20,000 of debt in ten months.

I have been documenting our debt-free, credit-free journey since that Spring of 2009.  It started out as my accountability program.  My readers have turned it into a motivational documentary. I think we would all be in a better place if more of us were open about our financial journeys, with all their gains and setbacks. This is where we can share and confess, motivate and inspire — all in the name of our daily finances: a taboo topic for polite conversation, to be sure. I get that.

This isn’t about sacrifice and doing without — it’s about conscious spending, intentional living, and being good stewards of what we already have. I strive for a balance between learning from yesterday; enjoying today; and preparing for tomorrow.

I’m just a real person, in a real world, trying to do the best I can with the time I have left on this earth until we all see His Glory by and by.

We’re all going to be doing something tomorrow… Why not strive to live debt-free?

Why not control our finances instead of letting our finances control us?

My family currently lives in Centerville, Ohio Monterey, California.

Welcome to my domain.

4 thoughts on “About Me

  1. Hi Jolyn, I recently came across your blog and I have to say that your story is very inspiring. I too agree that financial journeys should not necessarily be sacrifices, but rather encompass conscious spending and intentional living with what we already have. I noticed that you have a guest post section, and I was curious if you would like to check out our personal finance tool (Planwise). I think that there are definitely some correlations between our two philosophies.



  2. Hi!! Just dropped in to see your blog from Erin at $5 Dinner blog’s site..recommended. You look cold in that photo by the lake, which I’m sure it is. Both my hubby and I were in the Air Force, which is also where we met. We weren’t career, just 4 years and glad we had a chance to serve our country in the late 1970s. I’m on the band wagon of getting our credit cards down to nothing and not putting anything on them unless I have enough money to pay back card right away, like if I order something off internet. Hope to keep up with you. I follow quite a few blogs but I need all the inspiration I can get. Take care and hope you are doing well without your hubby for awhile. That’s no fun!! God bless!!


  3. I saw your name on Erin’s $5 Dinners blog today and just HAD TO say hello! I’m a Jolyn, too, and though I’ve heard the name a few times, it’s usually spelled much differently! There are so few of us around that I just had to let you know! :)

    I’m from Michigan and currently blog about grocery deals at Macomb Money Savers.

    It’s nice to meet you!
    Jolyn Felten


    jolyn Reply:

    No, “Jolyn”, I really can’t believe that! I feel like I’m talking to myself. I’ve never met another Jolyn spelled the same way. I’ll be checking out your blog shortly!


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