Book Review: Living Beyond Rich by Jen McDonough

Living Beyond Rich is a fabulous book detailing the journey Jen McDonough and her family took to get out of debt (to the tune of $150,000) while also paying for some significant medical issues.  The prevailing message is that if they can do it, so can you!

Living Beyond Rich

Jen starts out describing her life as one of living the dream.  They knew how to handle money.  They weren’t “those” people that have money problems.  What they discovered through a series of unfortunate events was that they were broke and inches away of complete breakdown.

If there was a place to borrow money, they used it to the max.  Credit cards, 2nd mortgage, Personal loans, credit lines, 401k loans.

How did they get out of debt?  They had an “I’ve had it!” moment.  Their son was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes and they were hopeful to get that under control.  They entered him into a research study that required several overnight trips to Denver for treatment.  They resolved to make it happen.  They knew it was time to get under control.

Jen and her husband Bob both worked full time and each had a part time job.  On top of that, they would do short term temporary work, odd jobs, and anything else they could do to increase their income.  They had a big hole to fill and needed a bigger shovel.

Throughout this whole ordeal, they learned how to manage their time to be able to reach their goals.  This is a hard skill to master, but once you have, it can be used anywhere for anything.  They were intentional about how they spent their money and their time. The journey is not over yet.  There are still goals to be met, but that’s how it should be.

Jen has a very engaging writing style and her personality shines through.  She genuinely wants to live a life that is full of fun, awesomeness, prosperity, and joy.

Aside from the McDonough family story, you’ll find short stories from several other people who have made the journey to debt freedom, and a whole bunch of tips and advice to help you complete your journey.

As a family that has been on the free side of the debt wall for a few years now, I can tell you that the hard work is worth it.  The world opens up with new possibilities when you have the freedom to choose.  When you have debt, you are at the mercy of your creditors.  They hold the cards.  When you kick them out, you hold the cards.  Play them as you wish.

Pick up your electronic copy of Living Beyond Rich by clicking here.  Or, if you’d prefer an autographed copy, click here.

Jen McDonough live in Lindstrom, Minnesota with her husband, 4 kids, and 2 dogs.  She’s a motivational storyteller and Ironman Triathlete.  Visit her website at  Follow her on Twitter @TheIronJen

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About Raun Lauterbach

Optimistic realist, life enthusiast, outdoor cook, Midwest traveler, husband, father... Follow me: Twitter | Facebook | Get updates in your email
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  • Jen McDonough “The Iron Jen”


    YOU inspire me! So proud of you being on the other side of where most people are today, especially as you expand your family tree (LOVED the recent baby announcement pictures on FB).

    Yes, the hard work definitely is worth it as you mention. It makes me incredibly sad to think of others going through the pain, embarrassment and fear that our family once went through, however, I have so much HOPE that they can take charge of the future with intentional action.
    Raun, thank you for your encouragement and support. My family and I are incredibly humbled and honored!
    MANY THANKS my friend!
    Live Beyond Awesome.

  • Raun Lauterbach

    Thank you, Jen, for being so willing to share your story. We didn’t have nearly the scale of debt to work through. From the time we really started until we paid off the last debt was only about 9 months. We had projected that it would take about 12, so we were happy about our pace. The strange thing is the constant nagging feeling that the whole thing is just going to blow up. When are we going to have that catastrophic failure that ruins everything. I can’t tell if that’s rational or not!

    Keep moving forward, Jen. You’re almost there!

  • Jen McDonough “The Iron Jen”

    Raun, that fun when you start out you thinking it is going to take FOREVER and then the time comes and you are DONE faster than you think. I agree, on the constant nagging feeling – it really is amazing however when we put intentional action and faith towards our goals. I can’t believe some of the “disasters” that came our way through this journey, however, it is even more shocking the blessings that followed right along with them.
    Raun, THANK YOU for your words of encouragement. We are SO CLOSE to being there – even though WE KNOW the time is going to go fast and we have already done so much, it still FEELS so far away. ha ha. Can’t wait to visit Dave Ramsey and his staff next year for our debt free scream. Our family is REALLY, REALLY excited!!
    MANY thanks Raun!

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