Having debt can feel like tremendous baggage you’re carrying around – if you let it get out of hand. Sometimes life can get out of hand and things start to add up. With being recently married and combining two lives into one, things start to add up quickly. In this blog post, I will share with you how me and my husband managed to pay off $60,000 in debt in 11 months, leaving us debt-free.
My husband and I recently got married and we set lofty goals for which we wanted to accomplish for the lifestyle we want to live. Being a combined income household, there were a lot of new things that we had to take care of to become financially free. With a new rental property we recently purchased in one state and living in a different state, our lifestyle is unique than how most people may live. We wanted to pay off our loans and we wanted to be debt-free. The journey took diligence, patience and a keen eye for the outcome.
Below is how we managed to buckle down and pay off $60,000 of debt in 11 months. I share with you our strategy and tips on what we did to accomplish this.
1. We consolidated our debt
What this means is that we took out a loan to pay off the majority of our bills. We went to our bank and they provided us with a loan to cover over 40% of our debt. We took this money and divided it to cover our most expensive loans. With our smaller loans, we paid those off by following a plan we put in place to allow us to pay a small portion from our income every month.
2. We eat in more often
Living on the west coast is expensive. Eating on the west coast is even more expensive. Coming from the Midwest, I’m used to being able to provide breakfast, lunch and dinner for myself for under $15 a day. Living on the west coast will cost roughly $15 for one meal. It was a culture shock to see such high prices but that is another story for another day with why the food is so expensive. #droughtlife
With that being said, we quickly realized it would be cheaper to cook at home and meal prep for the week. We made meals and prepped our food for 4-5 days a week, allowing ourselves the freedom to eat out, 2-3 times a week, versus almost every day. By doing this, we were able to save over $1,000 per month in food expenses alone. Yikes.
3. We purchased only what we needed using our debit cards
Yes. Debit cards. We did not touch our credit cards unless some dire emergency came up. For our daily needs, food, gas, etc. we used our debit cards. If we had to use our credit cards for any reason we paid off the balance in full before the bill was due to eliminate insane interest charges.
Before we decided to pay off all our debt, we used our credit cards constantly. We paid them off at the end of every month but sometimes, we’d overspend and have to pay to interest charges. To avoid making the same mistake twice, we now only use our credit cards to pay for something which we consider an emergency and pay it off in full before the next bill is due.
By using our debit cards for purchases, we became more conscious of our spending. Comparing our spending to now from what it was a year ago, we have been able to save over $5,000.
4. We donated 90% of our wardrobe
Moving on the other side of the country was an eye-opener for me. It was a huge change and also culture shock. I also didn’t want to lug all of my clothes that I probably wouldn’t wear in sunny California. We gave away 90% of our wardrobe and fit our entire lives in 4 suitcases. We left all of our furniture at our house as we rent our home as a furnished rental and started over fresh and new. As we got settled, I gave away even more clothes as I didn’t need them. The need to buy something new every other weekend dwindled away as I got comfortable in a simpler life as far as clothing was concerned.
Beyonce said it best. You can go anywhere in the world and a pair of jeans, stilettos, white tee and aviators will always be in style. She was right. I own several high classed basics that will never go out of style. I stick to what I like and I keep it simple. It also doesn’t take me two hours to get ready anymore. I’ve cut the time in half
5. I started a blog
Starting a blog has been one of the best things I have done in my life. It has allowed me to retire from being a full-time employee to becoming a financially free entrepreneur. By starting my blog, it has helped me to achieve financial goals and it has also allowed me to help other people start their own blogs and their own businesses. That is something I can say I am truly proud about and very grateful that I can help others.
Starting a blog will not make you rich overnight but it will allow you to grow and build a nest egg. The best part is that you can blog about anything you want. From food photography to a fashion lifestyle blog, anything and everything is possible. If you want to start a blog from scratch, I suggest you take my free course on starting a money making blog. It’s newbie-friendly and takes you step-by-step on what you need to do to get up and running as soon as today.
6. We host on Airbnb
We bought a house and now use it as a rental property as we travel and live across the country for work. We list our house on Airbnb so that it pays for itself and generates us a profit as well. If you’ve got an extra room or maybe you don’t mind lending your place to someone to stay, I suggest you host on Airbnb.
Also, if you love traveling and sign up through my link, you’ll get $40 in travel credit once you book a trip that $75 or more on Airbnb.
7. We live in the moment
We have always lived in the moment and I can’t stress to you enough how amazing it is. We always take things one day at a time. We believe in conquering the day. If we slip up on something throughout the day, there is always the rest of the day (or the next day) that can be conquered. We don’t beat ourselves up and enjoy living. We live our best lives. We have fun and truly enjoy ourselves. We believe that living the life you want to live should be a reality. We make our lives uncomplicated. By living in the moment, we get to enjoy the day but also plant seeds for a better tomorrow.
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