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Wednesday, November 27, 2013

From Date Night to the Katie Couric Show

Katie Couric Show Money Myth BustersWhat started as a simple date night ballooned into a rather elaborate two-week production that culminated with an appearance on Katie Couric's daytime talk show, which was followed by newspaper interviews, radio spots, and... wait. I'm getting ahead of myself.

As a birthday gift to my husband, I decided to give him a year of free dates. Every month he opens an envelope in which is one or two ideas for relatively low-cost date nights. The suggestion for November was to "be famous" by producing a funny YouTube video or fake commercial as a way of spending some fun time together.

Now it had been about a year since my husband and I had completed a money-management course called Financial Peace University, by nationally known speaker and financial management guru Dave Ramsey. Our class was having a one year reunion for anyone who was interested to come and talk about how they've been implementing Dave's steps into their spending habits. My husband and I decided to do a Financial Peace University rap video for our class reunion. (You can click here to check it out!)

My husband Jake loves to write and has three published novels under his belt. Though he's the first to tell you he knows nothing about music, he enjoys writing song lyrics, including rap. He says he enjoys the challenge of rhyme. So I figured this was an assignment he would enjoy.

Two weeks later, with Jake having written some lyrics, and composed some music, we had recorded our music video, and posted it online—including on the Facebook page of Dave Ramsey. The following day I received a Facebook message from Marianne at Katie Couric’s show stating she saw our video, that Dave Ramsey was coming to tape a show with Katie the following Thursday, and that they would love to have us on with him! Within two days all our travel plans were locked and we were headed to New York City to be on national TV. Gulp.

We flew to New York on Wednesday night, enjoyed an evening taking in the sights at Times Square, and the following morning we were headed to ABC studios. Everyone on Katie's crew was super friendly and accommodating—from the time we spent hanging out backstage in the "green room," to our professional hair and makeup session, which definitely made this girl feel like a movie star!

Finally we got to meet Dave Ramsey, who came in with his entourage including his wife, his publicist, his son-in-law, and his daughter Rachel Cruze, who has always been a large part of speaking Dave's message to the younger generation. Jake and I were kind of in awe when we first saw them.

"Should we introduce ourselves?" Jake asked. "I don't want to interrupt them."

"If we were real fans we'd be over there already," I said.

"Then lets go!" Jake replied.

Dave, Rachel, and everyone who was with them were great, down-to-earth people. We took our picture with them, had Dave sign our book, and then chatted with him about our experience with FPU. He shared his heart and vision for his new program, Legacy Journey, and then it was time for him and Rachel to film their first segment. Jake and I were called into the studio shortly after. A quick hair/makeup-check-and-mic-adjustment later and were in the studio audience in seats they had vacated just for us. The whole thing happened very quickly and felt so surreal.

Katie introduced us and showed a portion of our "Penny Pinching" rap video, which was a huge hit with the audience, and then she asked some questions about what we did to get rid of debt and build wealth.

Katie Couric Show Money Myth BustersWe kept hearing from people—the audience and the backstage crew—that we were exactly the kind of people they love having on the show. It's nice having the big celebrities on because they draw in viewership, but the stuff Katie and her crew enjoy the most are the real life problems and the real life success stories.

Katie Couric Show Money Myth BustersAfter a commercial break Jake and I were brought onto the stage to play a game called Money Myth Busters with Dave and Rachel. For each question we got right we were given 10 seconds in a wind machine filled with $5,000 for a chance to grab as much cash as we could. Now there's a situation I never imagined I'd be in—trapped in a hurricane inside a telephone booth stuffing fist-fulls of money down my shirt on national television.

I'm not allowed to report how much we won until the episode airs, but lets just say it's unnerving to go through airport security at JFK with a big wad of cash in your purse.

Keep pinchin' :-)

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