Ep. 129: Marcus Garrett­ – Debt Free or Die Trying

Marcus Garrett was born and raised in the great state of Texas. He obtained a Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration after surviving the mean streets of the inner suburbs. A decade of professional experience as a Certified Internal Auditor, combined with freelance writing on topics ranging from current events to love and relationships, helped Marcus develop a unique qualitative and quantitative writing style. His book and website, Debt Free or Die Trying, keep readers entertained with cautionary tales and helpful tips for living debt free. Marcus’ mission statement is: To make a difference in the lives of others by helping people develop sustainable plans for staying out of or getting out of debt.

No plan, no budget, and no ideas:

Can you imagine accruing $26,000 of debt in ONE weekend? Marcus can, because that’s really where his debt story really takes a turn for the worse. That few hours of free spending took him 7 years to pay off. He knows exactly how and why it happened: “I had a detached recognition of money because money just ‘happened’ around me.” He was a young man with no budget and no plan, so a consolidation loan check sent him on a drinking, partying, and shopping rampage. Marcus uses this part of his story to tell us all “what NOT to do.”

TWEET: If there is a hustle for a get-rich quick scheme out there, I probably did it, tried it, or tried to get a friend to do it to see if it works. #ChasingDreams

How Marcus ended up doing a podcast:

Are you holding yourself back, afraid to take that next step? Marcus and his podcast partner, Rich Jones, started their podcast, but were afraid to tackle personal finance and debt, so they started out talking about “everything else.” Marcus explains how they finally overcame “analysis paralysis” and jumped into the podcast. Marcus says, that with any new endeavor, you need to fail as quickly as possible so you can move on the “next great thing.”

TWEET: I thought I was OK since I was covering the minimum payments on my debt. #ChasingDreams

The Plan:

Do you find yourself too focused on the end—the championship? Marcus explains why so many people don’t realize that significant changes and decisions are made along the way of your journey. His advice is to acknowledge the problem, put a plan together, and then follow the plan. Marcus says, “Just do it and demonstrate the outcome!”

TWEET: I had no budget and no plan. Money was something that came in and went out. #ChasingDreams

Guest Recommendation: ONE action for a dream chaser to take—“It comes down to having a plan or creating a plan. Most people don’t know what the debt-free dream looks like. Put action items in place for your dream to happen. The plan will tell you how to get there.”


  • [2:03] Marcus’ interesting story of his background in debt
  • [2:46] “How I spent $26K in ONE weekend!”
  • [8:39] Marcus’ “Aha” moment, several years later
  • [13:22] Helping people through books and the podcast
  • [18:30] What Marcus and Rich talked about on the podcast, tiptoeing around personal finance
  • [24:02] The painful experience of debt reality
  • [30:35] Applying “The Five Why’s”
  • [31:47] Marcus’ recommendations for others
  • [36:35] In our consumerist society, debt is “the new normal”
  • [38:21] Marcus’ ONE action for a dream chaser


Marcus on LinkedIn 

Marcus on Twitter @PayBalances

Marcus on Instagram Pay Balances

Marcus on Facebook Paychecks and Balances

Marcus’ Podcast

Marcus’ Website 

Debt Free or Die Trying by Marcus Garrett 


TWEET: If you are the thing holding yourself back, just STOP. #ChasingDreams

TWEET: A lot of smart people are just bad at managing money. #ChasingDreams

TWEET: If you make $30K or $300K, it doesn’t matter if you don’t know how to manage money. #ChasingDreams

TWEET: If you want to do “normal,” then you WILL be in debt. #ChasingDreams

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