$35k in college scholarships Loan Debt Paid Off in 30 Months | My Debt Free Journey

$35k in college scholarships Loan Debt Paid Off in 30 Months | My Debt Free Journey

all right so it’s time to get up close and personal about my debt so if you are joining me for the first time my name is Justine and I run the debt-free Millennials channel and I talk about all things millennial money and debt-free living and today I’m surprised I hadn’t shared this before but I am going to talk about my journey with debt and how I paid off thirty five thousand dollars in two and a half years on a thirty seven thousand dollar income now this all actually started back in 2008 which we all know was the start of the housing market  crash and the Great Recession and

I was a sophomore in college at that time I was living in my sorority house working on my homework when I received a phone call from my mom she was laid off from Sprint after more than 25 years and my dad was working overtime he’s an HVAC worker working in really dangerous situations she told me that they no longer could support me financially and at that time I was really relying heavily on my parents and just not really having an understanding of of money and how I was supposed to earn it and what I’m supposed to do with it and I remember freaking college scholarships out silently and feeling really embarrassed because at that time I was really shy talking about money especially being in college and being in my sorority which I love my house and I love the women that I met in there but I felt like I was the only one struggling financially and I couldn’t talk about

it so I freaked out and then my mom told me to go get a job so I got my first job working at this god-awful buffet called sirloin stockade and then I ended up getting a waitressing job at Chili’s and it’s really kind of crazy because I still kept taking out loans throughout my entire time in college and then it was until it wasn’t until after I graduated and I moved back in with my parents I got a internship at an ad agency in Kansas City working for $10 an hour and I was getting my first loan repayment notifications in the mail from the federal government saying that I owed them $230 monthly minimum payments for the next ten years and I remember thinking to myself like there’s no way there’s no way I can afford that on a $10 an hour paycheck and I really started to get upset with myself and really blaming myself for putting myself in this situation financially and that I was going to do everything in my power to get rid of that debt so that I could start working towards a debt-free lifestyle I wanted to live in a high-rise apartment in an urban city

I wanted to do the happy hours and go on all the sushi dates and travel I loved traveling and I wanted to do more of that and I knew I just couldn’t do that with $35,000 and I started reading books my parents had given me Dave Ramsey’s book actually and I read that cover to cover and I told myself you know I can do this I read other articles I started talking to people about my goal to pay it off in five years and I started tracking my income for the very first time using a budget a spreadsheet that I built and actually you can access that if you go to debt-free Millennials comm slash toolkit I’ve I’ve created it so that anybody can use it now and it was then that I was like okay I’m I’m not gonna go out to lunch with my coworkers I’m only going to do happy hour drinks and like order the cheapest drink possible if I’m gonna go out and just really look for ways that I could get creative raid my sister’s closet versus going out shopping for new items it was those little things that I started to incorporate into my lifestyle so that I could pay off

the debt so at one point I got so laser focused that I was putting more than a thousand dollars per month towards my student loan debt after that $10 an hour job I was promoted into a full-time position making thirty three thousand dollars and during my debt free journey I switched jobs twice so I moved from a 33 K and come to a 40 K to 41 or 42 I think is where I ended and two and a half years later I was debt-free and I was so so incredibly humbled by the entire experience because I was debt-free shortly before I got engaged and my husband and I were able to pay for our wedding in cash and actually I did apply for Dave Ramsey’s debt-free scream and I was on his show in 2014 and since then I have evolved with debt-free Millennials and it had really been on my mind to do this to talk about personal finance and then also do in a way that do it in a way that was authentic to me I use credit cards and I’m okay with earning cash back rewards and frequent flyer airline points I’m okay with that lifestyle because I pay it off every single month

I’m okay splurging on sushi dates and I’m okay taking trips to Puerto Rico or Jamaica or Cancun to have a fun-filled experience in my life with my husband with my friends and these are the things that I like to teach about and I can’t tell you how much living a debt-free Lively well so I’m getting emotional I don’t know why I’m trying to keep together Justine keep it together but I can’t tell you how much living a debt-free life changes you you get to move up in the world in so many different ways and I’m not talking about income I’m talking about making changes to to better yourself I actually was able to move from small-town Kansas to San Diego we did not have debt payments I was able to get married to my husband without bringing any debt into our marriage we were able to pay cash for our subaru forrester that was $25,000 which is a lot of money but

we paid for it in cash because we had the idea that we were going to do this together debt-free for the rest of our lives and if you’re in to a debt-free life if that’s what you want jump into the comments let me know if there are others out there especially Millennials like I felt like maybe it was our parents generation that had the credit card debt problem and honestly there are so many of us that are now ridden with student loans and credit card debt so I want to know if you’re ready to make changes like let me know in the comments cuz I’m right here with you cheering you on I hope you stick around this channel hit subscribe if you want to learn more strategies I love talking about this stuff I’m so thankful for you listening to my story here and thank you so much for being here [Music]