Becoming Debt Free
On my third year of college, even with $12,500 in scholarships and a case competition win worth $3,800, I was still $50,000 in school debt. That, does not include medical bills and credit card debt of $66,000 for a grand total of $116,000! What?!?
Oh, yeah! I totally forgot to mention, I went to school for Finance with a concentration in Real Estate. How ironic! I know. If you don’t know already, let me tell you that when you go to school for finance, you are not required to take a personal finance course, which I think is complete BS. In fact, every individual in the USA should be educated on this subject, but if we were, we would not be making the banks any money of course!
It’s funny how one of the reasons we go to school is to earn more money, but we end up in so much debt that we are forced to take a job we might not like just to pay it all off. It’s a vicious cycle if you ask me. At least, I’m not alone. Approximately, 43 million Americans are in school debt with an average of $30,000 in student loans and the average American has about $38,000 in personal debt, excluding their mortgage. That is insane!
By the time I was graduating college, I was so worried about my debt, I could not think about enjoying my starting salary or bonuses because we had to use them to pay our debt and earn more freedom in our life. Alex and I had to have a talk. I told him we needed to pretend I wasn’t working still and use 90% of my income to pay off our debt. No matter what and for as long as we needed to do it.
I graduated in May 2017 and we still have not finished paying off our debt, but we are closer than ever. According to our calculations we should be done in 3 months. Less than two years to pay off $116,000 worth of debt is not bad if you ask me. However, this has taken a lot of effort, discipline, and commitment on both parts and also a bunch of falling down and getting back up again, as it is not easy to know you are making money you “cannot” use or account for.
We know that this is the best decision for our family and that it is one of the biggest decisions we have made in our lives that will set us and our girls free. The girls have witnessed our journey and our struggle. Valentina especially, sees how much of a toll it has taken our family to be in debt. She has learned a lot from this experience as well, and plans on not getting in debt in the future (I hope that doesn’t change).
We have made so many mistakes that got us in this situation. Looking back, we can see how obvious those mistakes were. However, we had the wrong mindset and we were ignorant in many aspects. We have learned so much from this experience that we want to share with you in future posts.
Just picture what your life would be like if every time you got a paycheck you did not have to make any credit card payments, or car loan payments, or student loan payments, etc. Take a minute to visualize what it would be like to have all that extra money to make investments, save for your kids college education, retirement, whatever your heart desires. Wouldn’t it be amazing? Wouldn’t it be worth the effort?
If you have been thinking of becoming debt free, don’t know where to start, are losing hope, or feel trapped, or drowned by your debt, we get you! Join us in our journey and let’s encourage each other to finally be FREE!!!!