I’M DEBT FREE (how I did it)
“Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t - you’re right.” - Henry Ford
The average student loan debt in America is $27,000.
Do you know what you could do with $27,000?
That’s a 10% down payment on a $270,000 home.
It’s enough to buy a BRAND NEW 2020 Honda Accord in cash.
It would cover your $1000 apartment rent for over two years.
If invested in a stock or fund that has a 10% return, it could make you $167,000 after 20 years. (Which is how long most people take to pay off their student loans through payment plans)
It could even purchase over 4500 Chick - Fil - A #1 meals!!!
$27,000 is a lot of money. But, in the case of us student loan borrowers, it doesn’t get invested, used at Chick - Fil - A or buys a new car. It just gets taken from our bank in small increments every month for two decades. (With interest!!!)
What’s worse is that my student loan amount was even higher at $34,000.
But, praise God, it’s all gone now!
It was a long 11 month journey. It took a lot of work, consinstency and even more support from others.
For those who have debt of your own, whether its credit cards, student loans, cars etc. Pay it off. Don’t let debt destroy your life. It takes away from the good things in life - like the things listed above. With that, here are some things that helped me get out of debt. Take these tips and use them to propel you on your own debt free journey:
Getting on a budget. This is by far the most important thing. You can’t get anywhere financially without a budget. Good news is you don’t have to bust out the excel spreadsheets, just download the “every dollar” app. It does all the work for you. Dave Ramsey says: “getting on a budget is about telling your money where to go instead of wondering where it went.”
Cutting out unnecessary expenses. This is hard because most people struggle with the same issue: entitlement. We feel like we deserve so much. We “deserve” the Starbucks, eating out at restaurants, new shoes, new clothes, new car etc. To be candid though, we don’t deserve any leisure item if our net worth is a negative number. Because you know what is far more valuable than a caramel macchiato or a pair of Jordans? The peace of mind of knowing you don’t have any payments. So, crack open the cookbooks, start cleaning those old shoes and tighten it up!
Increasing my income. This seems like a no - brainer, but most people don’t even entertain the idea that their income is completely within their control. You can do this a few ways: ask for a raise (be tactful about this), start your own side business (mine is blogging, thanks for stopping by) or pick up a side hustle (I delivered groceries). Your income is your biggest wealth building tool - work to increase it.
Giving myself a deadline. My goal was too get out of debt by the end 2020. I had some time to spare, I guess! But, it’s wise to run the numbers and mark down a date that you intend to be out of debt. This will keep you going when the going gets tough.
Providing myself a reward at the end of it. This will motivate you and keep the goal in perspective. You’re not just getting out of debt to be out of debt. You’re doing this so you can be financially free, wealthy and live the life you want to live. With that, my reward has always been to buy myself a new pair of Jordan’s, tip a waiter/waitress $100 and take Danielle (my girlfriend) on a really nice date. This was my light at the end of the tunnel, and it helped me out a lot - especially towards the end.
Bonus Tip: Write down your goal of being debt free by a certain date, put it somewhere you will see it and say it out loud every day. Call me crazy - but, this was the catalyst to me actually getting it done. People tend to start off strong in their pursuits, but fizzle out as it goes on. Not because of difficulty, but because of boredom. Getting out of debt is not exciting in the midst of it. Seeing and saying my goal out loud every day inspired me to continue delivering groceries, keep my budget tight and push forward in the things that I knew would get me out of the hole.
If you’re still reading this, I assume you have to be at the point where you know you need to be intentional about your debt.
But, there’s a large gap between knowing you need to do something and actually doing it. If you’re looking for a sign to get started let this be it.
This isn’t just about you, it’s about all the people you will be able bless as a result. Let’s get it done!
Did this help you out? If so, would you mind sharing on your social media? It helps immensely!