I want to start off by saying I am about to be completly honest and transparent about my journey to becoming debt free at 27 years old. Please know I am not writing this blog post to brag about this accomplishment, but to shed some light on how YOU, yes YOU can do this too. I am speaking to the people who think paying the minimum payments are good enough. Who believe that being in debt will last forever. If you are so SICK and tired of being broke, then please read on…
I graduated from Slippery Rock University in May of 2014 with a Bachelors Degree in Communications, with an emphasis in Public Relations. I was blessed that my parents paid for half of my college but after graduation I was $50,716 deep in loans from Sallie Mae and Nelnet. I didn’t work throughout college so I was fresh out of school and broke. I got a job and was able to lower the minimum payments for my loans based on my salary. 5 years later, and I have a great job at Capital Bluecross in Small Group Sales and own my own photography business.
Nick and I both had debt and we knew we wanted to be debt free, but we had to save money for our wedding on December 15, 2018. Once we were married, we were ready to tackle our debt head on…
Total debt starting January 21, 2019: $56,092.33 (both our student loans and our 2018 Toyota Camry)
January 2019 my mom bought me Financial Peace University for my birthday. Financial Peace University is the proven plan to pay off debt and build wealth that’s helped over 5 million people start winning with money. Nick and I went to one class every Monday for 9 weeks at LCBC in Harrisburg. This program completely changed our lives! Here is how we got out of debt:
Download the FREE Everydollar app. Get yourself on a budget ASAP. Sit down with your spouse and have a budget meeting every month. Every dollar you make should have a name and a bucket to go into. This will open your eyes to what your spending your money on. Cut up your credit cards!
TIP: Nick and I both have sales jobs where we get a base pay AND commission so we based our budget off just our base salary. All of our commissions went straight to debt.
Put $1,000 into savings as an emergency fund and put EVERYTHING ELSE towards debt. This felt bold to us….it honestly made us so scared to put the nice chunk of savings we had and throw it at our debt. TIP: If you live pay check to pay check, start selling things in your house that you no longer use. We used LetGo and FB Marketplace to easily sell clothes and household items we no longer use.
Paying all your debt except your house using the debt snowball! Attack the smallest debt first while making minimum payments on the others. Once you pay off the first one, you’ll move to the next smallest debt, taking your freed-up money, new-found motivation, and momentum with you—until you pay off the last, largest debt! Its so exciting to chip away one debt at a time. TIP: You might think its smartest to pay off the biggest debt or the one with the highest interest rate. I promise you, this system works! Follow the plan and get aggressive with paying it off.
Be consistent and be intense with getting that debt paid off! You will have to make some sacrifices like not going out to eat all the time, or postponing your vacation to Hawaii… but if you really want to be debt free you’ll have to live like no one else so later you live and GIVE like no one else.
here are some quotes and podcasts that helped me stay motivated:
Nick and I drive a lot for work so we are ALWAYS listening to The Dave Ramsey Show , we even went to his studio in Nashville to do our Debt Free Scream!
“Don’t try to keep up with the Joneses. They’re broke.”
“Don’t give up what you want most for what you want now.”
“If you can’t pay cash, you can’t afford it.”