August 5, 2021

People of EarnIn: Jason Campbell

Inspired by his parents’ triumph over $30k in debt, Jason lives a debt-free life and he’s teaching his son to do the same. Here’s his story:

Family Money

I grew up in a family where my parents had three kids and they were very deep in debt, like $30,000 in debt. When I was 14, they took me with them to a financial freedom class from Dave Ramsey. The first thing Dave said was, if you can afford it, only use cash. It kind of stuck with me and ever since then, I just don't use credit cards.

Because of that class, my parents ended up turning it around. They did what’s called the snowball effect. They combined everything that they would pay on their minimum payments for all of their cards, put it on one card, and just continued to pay it off until it was done. They’d close one account and start with the next one until they were completely out of debt.

My mom is now debt-free, owns three homes and she just travels the world, doing her thing. She's a very inspirational person for me to aspire to be. I’m really lucky to have her as my mom.

I Don’t Pay for Money

When I was 14, my parents took me with them to a financial freedom class from Dave Ramsey. The first thing Dave said was, if you can afford it, only use cash. It kind of stuck with me and ever since then, I just don't use credit cards.

My biggest thing is interest. If I pay somebody $28, I'm paying them $28. If you pay $28 on a credit card, you end up paying 36. Why am I paying to use my own money just later on down the road? I don't like paying more money for my money.

I always use the Thomas Jefferson quote: the best way to double your money is to fold it in half and put it back in your pocket. If I don't have the cash for it, I just won’t buy it.

I bought a truck for myself in 2005. I bought it brand new. I saved up $17,000 and bought it.

I still, in 2020, drive that 2005 truck. It's got 198,000 miles on it. It's still going and I will drive it until the wheels fall off, basically. That's just how we live our lives. We're not extravagant. I don't want to keep up with the Joneses. I just want to be the Campbells.

Financial Tips For My Son

If I could share one financial tip with my 14 year old son, honestly, I would teach him to not use money that he doesn't have.

I want to get him in a relationship where he knows that plastic is not just swipe and go. A lot of kids who are blessed with their parent's credit cards or debit cards don’t realize where the money came from.

I have a Chase First account for him. I put $10 a week in there, and I assign him chores. He tells me if the chores are completed, and if they’re done, he gets his money. He can go out and spend his money as his own little debit card.

There's times where my son’s like, “Hey dad, can we get this?” And I'm like, “Listen, let's have a conversation about whether you really need this.” I like to let him know, “You did two hours and yard work for this $20. Is that XBox game really worth four hours of your time?”

If it's not affecting your life to the point where you can't live without it, you don’t need it. Get what you need, get your basic foundation. My step dad always told me, “You can't have a champagne lifestyle on a beer budget.” Live within your means.

How Earnin Helps

I learned about Earnin because I used to work at a Pizza Hut as a delivery driver as a part-time job just to kind of make ends meet. People told me that you can make money in tips, but you don't get your paycheck until two weeks later. They suggested Earnin which was called ActiveHours athe the time.

I went and put my information in and I was like, “Hold on, wait a minute. They'll basically give you your money, you give them a little bit of a tip, and then you move on and then they'll just take it out later? That's really cool.” The way that they do the Lightning charge thing is amazing. You just spin the wheel, hit the button, move on, and the money's there.

So I started using it whenever tips weren’t good that day. I'd need to buy groceries or something for my son or my wife or school projects, money for clothes - whatever I needed, I would just use the app. I'd get my money straight in.

I have my health insurance, my 401k, and taxes all coming out of my paycheck. Even when you're an established person and budget everything out, sometimes, when you get to the end of the week, you’re still short. That happens. Things come up - like car repairs. So if I'm still short, I'll use Earnin.

Did you enjoy reading Jason’s story? Check out our other People of Earnin stories like Donald, Angela, or Tyler!


Jason was compensated post interview for his time, however the opinions presented are his own.

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