Give Away With Curt And Marybeth Whalen

*Give Away has Ended*

As a family, do you often find it tough to make ends meet financially? Has the shaky economy, with its uncertain job situations, hit a bit close to home? Or, do you make plenty of money, but have a nasty little habit of spending much more than you make, thus racking up the ole’ credit card debt? Well, you are not alone!

Meet my friends Curt and Marybeth Whalen.

I met Marybeth ten years ago at a Hearts at Home Conference where we were both speakers. We instantly hit it off and became fast friends, although we live many states apart. In fact, one day about seven years into our friendship, I realized that, even though I counted Marybeth as one of my life-long “keeper” friends whom I could talk to for HOURS and not run out of topics, we had really only seen each other in person twice!!! Now, since I am on the Proverbs 31 Speaker team with her, I get to see her at least once a year. Yeah!!!! And I’ve come to enjoy harassing her hubby Curt, whom I affectionately call “Earl”. :-) (Looooong story)

Not too long ago, the Whalens found themselves in a heap of financial trouble. As the parents of a large family, getting out of debt seemed an overwhelming task. But God helped them to dig out and now they, in turn, are teaching others how to do the same. They join us this week to talk about learning, as a married couple, to live financially free.


Marybeth and Curt are the parents of six children, ranging in age from teen to toddler. They live outside Charlotte, NC. Curt is in sales and Marybeth is a writer and speaker for Proverbs 31 Ministries. They are the authors of Learning To Live Financially Free: Hard-Earned Wisdom For Saving Your Marriage And Your Money. They also have a financial blog you can visit at

Now for our interview:

Not too long ago, you found yourselves in some financial trouble. What happened?

We were $95,000 in debt and expecting our sixth child. We knew something had to change or we were going under. That mountain of debt was a giant in our lives—but we know the Giant Slayer and trusted Him as we ventured forward, seeking the principles in His word as our guide.

What made you decide to dig out of this debt and how did you set about doing so?

We became united in our hatred of debt and our efforts to do whatever it took to get out. In the past, we always lacked that unity of purpose. We had to work on our communication and our heart attitudes about money. Then, we started by taking aim at ridding ourselves of our smallest debt. It was just a small children’s store credit card with a balance of $300, but crossing it off the list was a victory… and we needed a victory at that point. We then rolled that payment into the next debt, and so on and so on. It took us about 4 ½ years, but we did get out of debt, except for our house.

What was it that made you want to write this book ?

To share our experience with other couples—not from a lofty place of what they “should” be doing, but from a place of being in the trenches with them, experiencing what countless other families today are experiencing, yet being able to offer hope to them that if we could do it, they could too.


What do you hope your readers will take away from experiencing this honest and practical resource?

We want to equip them with the tools to change their attitudes about money, the encouragement that living debt free is possible (even with six kids on one income and with $95,000 of debt to climb out of!), and the joy that comes with being financially free, especially in the area of being able to give.

Are there any verses that are especially meaningful to you on this subject? 

One verse we always clung to when we were going through tough times was Proverbs 37:25, “I have never seen the righteous forsaken or their children begging for bread.” This verse was something we claimed when things looked bleak or hopeless, reminding God of His promise to us and our children. He would never forsake us and our children would not go hungry. Sometimes we just need that most basic of assurances.

You’ll be offering a giveaway to our readers this week. What is it?

We would love to offer a signed copy of our book to one of your readers!

Thanks so much for visiting with us here today, Marybeth and Curt and for encouraging us as we strive to live financially free.

Now for the give away:

If you’d like to be entered into the drawing to win a copy of this life-changing book, leave us a comment here. Let us know your greatest financial challenge or most helpful money-saving tip. The winner will be announced mid-week.

Sweet Penny-Pinching Blessings,

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  1. Hello,

    Please consider me for the drawing of the art work it would not matter which one. My children are adults now and it would so grand if they would embrace what is truly important in our lives.

    Their Mom (Me ) is discovering what is making her live different. Thank you for listening.

    Gail Fewtrell

  2. I would love to be entered in this drawing. We could really benefit from reading their insight and tools from a Biblical perspective.

  3. We’d love to be entered for this drawing! My husband and I are finally united in our hatred for debt (after 10 years!), and we can certainly use positive encouragement to keep moving forward on a very long journey.

  4. We have learned that being faithful in our giving is so important. It may seem that if we give we won’t have enough for the “other” things, but God has shown my husband and I over and over that when we are faithful in our giving he always provides!

  5. Our biggest current struggle is to remember that we will not be debt free overnight. That its takes little, faithful steps everyday to get where we are going. One baby step at a time. It can be discouraging!

  6. I would love to enter to win the book. I think my biggest challenge is clothing. I work in a nice office and trying to keep up with other professional women in my office has been a big financial drain and not given me much peace.
    I have about $5,000 in credit card bills I need to pay off. I work near a big shopping mall, and am working hard to stay away from it!

  7. I would love to win this book. My husband a self employed truck driver. The cost of diesel fuel has been HUGE. And we are trying to pay of some things we have had to put on credit cards when his business was VERY slow this winter.

  8. Most of our income comes from self-employment, so it’s not easy to budget. We also have a lot of credit card debt right now. I would love to win this book to help us get out of debt.

  9. The best financial tip I have is to donate your money. When times get tough, that’s when you need to step up your giving or at least keep on giving. When my husband and I first started out, it took 1 1/2 paychecks to pay the mortgage and after all the bills were done being paid, we’d be lucky to have $50 left over. And that money was needed for food and formula and diapers. Somehow we managed to keep donating and you know, that’s when the little blessings would come along. Our health, hand-me-downs, gifts, overtime, the list goes on and on. All our needs got met and we came out of it without digging ourselves into debt. There’s a song that goes “God will provide for all that we need, here at the table of plenty.” I have seen it over and over again in my life and know that it is completely true.

  10. I have read the Whalen’s blog and love it. I would love to receive their book. Right now, income has been cut (our business is struggling) and yet we feel that we should homeschool three of our four kids for the first time next year. I haven’t figured out how we’ll pay for that yet though!! Hopefully, the book will help us figure some things out.

  11. Karen, I love your blog. You are always so POSITIVE and ENCOURAGING ~ love it! It is hard to make ends meet on one income. God called us to homeschool our children and we know that He will supply our needs… Would love to have more ideas on how to pay down debt and be “financially free”.

  12. I would love a copy of this book. I was just notified last week that I am losing my job. As a matter of fact, today is my last day. The good Lord put me here a little under a year ago and has blessed me beyond measure. Within this past year, me and my husband purchased our first home, he lost his job in December and now I have lost mine. However, I am confident that HE will take care us…..He has a plan, I dont know what it is, and as a wife and mother, its scary, but I have the faith. Please remember us in your prayers.

  13. We too are living on one income with a huge mountain of debt. Yes, we have made mistakes and I believe we are finally on the right road. Our biggest problem is that the income we have is from self-employment so there is no steady paycheck. That makes me struggle alot with how to budget???? I am praying for God’s guidance.

  14. I would love to win this book! Would be very useful for us right now! My tip is to save as much money as you can on food by using a site that matches up sales to coupons. Grocery shopping takes a little more time but I am now saving on average 50 percent on our food costs. Makes a huge difference for us with feeding our growing sons!

  15. My husband is in the construction industry and while we are very thankful he still has a job, his income has been cut in half. I only work part-time and do not make enough money for us to live on. We have one child in college and two more who will be going in the next two years. Their college savings were invested in the stock market and that isn’t looking too good right now. We are not extravagant (our cars have over 100,000 miles on them and are paid for), but this loss in income has been very challenging. I would love a copy of your book to help us get through this difficult financial time.

  16. The blessing of the Lord brings wealth, and he adds no trouble to it. Proverbs 10:22

    “Blessings” that cause hardship are not from God. I’ve learned a lot about debt and stuff in the past three years. I would love to win the book and learn even more. Thank you Karen, Curt and Marybeth for all that you do for the body.

  17. My biggest tip is to be thankful for what you have. That sounds really simple, and it is, but it keeps you from wanting MORE MORE MORE when you realize you are already blessed.

  18. My hubby and I are pretty good with our money; well we’ve gotten better. We now only have 1 credit card and we are working on paying off our other ones. This year, when we received our tax money, we used the large majority of it to pay off a lot of our debt!

  19. Thank God for the Whalen’s listening to God’s Direction and sharing what they’ve learned with the Body! Hebrews 10:24-25: And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching.
    Praise Him!
    Lisa in WA

  20. Hubby and I are in debt, my 13 year old minivan died, two of three kids need medical care. We live on one income and could really use a book like this!

    Bobbey, Creedmoor, NC

  21. My husband is in real estate and it has always been tough to live on a commission. You never know when or if (especially lately) he will be bringing home any money. We have buckled down and everynight we make a list of ANYTHING we spend money on. It keeps us accountable to each other and we are less likely to make any purchases or decisions without consulting each other.

  22. My husband and I completed Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University classes. I would highly recommend this course to anyone struggling with finances. Our biggest struggle is staying away from fast food places. We do really well for a while and then old habits come calling.

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