As I begin my own journey towards financial independence, aka paying down a shit ton of debt, I will be sharing with you stories of inspiration I have found by other financial/budget/frugal bloggers. These posts help keep me on track and moving towards my goal. Feel free to motivate me with a good lash whipping or success story of your own.
Today’s post is brought to you by Debt To Riches. Please be sure to click through to read the whole article.
How I Paid Off $30,000 Of Debt Last Year
My relationship with debt has never been a resolute one. I’ve made a lot of mistakes along the way. I’m not an expert in personal finance and I still have a long road ahead, but I hope my experiences might help you along your own journey.
I graduated with $130,400 of student loan debt, largely from tuition and living expenses during nine years of my undergraduate, graduate, and law degrees but also from a significant emotional spending problem. Fortunately, I landed a full time position the summer after graduation and was able to start repaying my debt in November as scheduled.
At the beginning of the following year, I began using the You Need A Budget (YNAB) app to track my finances. The plan was to reduce my spending and increase my debt repayment beyond the minimum payments, but at the time I felt that I didn’t earn enough money to pay more. Spoiler alert: I did. Over the course of that year, I tracked every single penny I earned and spent. I never fully embraced the budget during that time, but I was starting to get a handle on what I purchased month to month and that opened my eyes to the amount of money I was letting slip through the cracks.
STEP #1: CALCULATE THE AMOUNT YOU’RE BURNING EVERY MONTH (AND EVERY YEAR) ON INTEREST.
Later in the year, I was coming up on one year since I had started my debt repayment process. I compared my remaining balance and my payments and while I had paid $15,000 over the year, I’d only decreased the balance by…
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