Hey everyone. Today marks the start of my debt payoff series. Come back every Thursday to hear about how others are trying to pay off their debt or how they’re debt free! If you’d like to contribute to this series, please send me an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org
Hi! My name is Jessica and I blog over at Mo’ Money Mo’ Houses. No, I am not some rich property tycoon (not yet at least), but my last name is Moorhouse and I do love me some 90’s Notorious B.I.G. I also love writing about money and trying to grow my net worth every year. Feel free to follow my personal finance journey on Facebook and Twitter.
Unless you were born rich, the likeliness of you going into debt at some point in your life is…well…very likely.
And I’m not talking about you cracking under the pressure of being frugal and racking up a bunch of credit card debt after a blackout shopping spree at Nordstrom (though that very well could happen to you). Debt comes in a number of different forms, be it a mortgage, car payment, student loan, or one of those mattresses that you don’t have to pay for until 2016. Debt sucks no matter what form it takes, but you don’t always have to live with a negative balance in your bank account.
I was in debt once. It may not have been a lot of money (only $5,000) but at the time it was a heck of a lot of money to me. I was 23, a newly minted university graduate, living with my parents with no car and unemployed. 2009 was not my best year to say the least.
Although my main priority at the time was to find full-time employment so I could move out on my own, my other big priority was to get rid of my student loan debt as fast as possible. So how did I do it? And in less than a year? Well, let’s just say I did everything in my power to get rid of it.
How I eliminated my debt
Instead of complaining about my situation and feeling sorry for myself (okay fine, I did do some of that too), I got an on-call job at a TV station to make a bit of cash. I also spread the word to friends and family that I was looking for work, in any form, and in so doing worked a few random gigs here and there on film sets to make some more dough. I also started reading books and blogs about how to get out of debt quick, and then started finding ways to cut my bills in half and stop any frivolous spending.
Simple things like just having water at a restaurant instead of ordering a drink made a world of difference! I also started finding activities and hobbies that were free to do (like running, hanging out at the library, and donation nights at the art gallery) so almost every dime I made was put towards paying off my debt.
The day I was able to go to the bank to pay off my debt completely is still one of the proudest moments of my life. And to this day I’ve made sure to not go into debt again. Well, that is until I buy my first place, but that won’t be for another couple of years anyway. For the time being, I’m just going to enjoy being employed, renting my own place, and living a debt-free life.
What’s your debt story? How did you or do you plan on kicking that ugly debt monster to the curb?