Meet Jen! She is a HR/Finance professional and frugal lifestyle blogger. Jen and her husband are working toward what people would call a crazy goal of paying off $117,000 of student loan debt in just 3 years and they are doing it!. She writes about healthy eating on a budget, frugal wedding tips, destroying debt, and living frugally on her blog Frugal Millennial and today she's sharing her amazing money story with us! Enjoy! p.s. If you would like to be featured as part of this series please send an email to [email protected], subject line "My Money Story Feature Request".
My husband and I got married shortly after he finished his undergrad and I completed my master’s. We knew we both had student debt, but neither of us had kept track of exactly how much debt we had accumulated – huge mistake!
"We knew we both had student debt, but neither of us had kept track of exactly how much debt we had accumulated."
Together, we had racked up $117,000 of student loan debt. When I realized that our combined student loan payments would be nearly as high as my parents’ mortgage, I became depressed. I thought about our debt constantly.
I decided that obsessing about our debt was a waste of time – what we needed to do was take action. We came up with a plan to pay our loans off in three years instead of ten, and we realized that this would save us tens of thousands of dollars in interest. In order to accomplish this difficult goal, we needed to earn more money, spend less, and remain disciplined.
"I decided that obsessing about our debt was a waste of time."
After finishing my master’s degree in HR, I was excited to start my first full-time job. The bad news? It paid so little that 50% of my income was going toward my minimum student loan payments.
After gaining a year of HR experience, I searched for a better job and I landed one that pays way more than what I was making before (it’s still not a lot, but it’s a huge improvement from where I was).
In addition to my new job, I am looking into several ways to start “side hustling” in order to increase my income. My husband recently starting a side gig as an Assistant Photographer and he loves it. The hours are super flexible, and he gets paid well to do something that he is passionate about. It will also help us pay off our student loans much more quickly!
"My husband and I both make numerous sacrifices for our future financial peace."
I don’t take a moderate approach to frugality. I’ve been told that I’m “missing out on the best years of my life”, but I couldn’t care less. I love this quote by Dave Ramsey: “If you find yourself in a radical mess, it’s time to make a radical change.” If we want to pay off six figure debt in three years, it will take a radical change to get there.
My husband and I both make numerous sacrifices for our future financial peace, including driving “embarrassing” vehicles and implementing a 3 year spending ban.
Taking an extreme approach to frugality can be challenging at times, but it will absolutely be worth it when our student loans are paid off in three years.
The biggest sacrifice my husband and I make is living with my parents instead of buying our own house or renting an apartment. There is a common misconception that “boomerang kids” have it easy, but that is far from true unless you have the most laid-back parents ever.
Don’t get me wrong – I am incredibly grateful to my parents for allowing us to live with them. It if weren’t for my parents, my husband and I would never be able to get out of debt in three years. We are saving thousands of dollars by not paying for a mortgage or apartment rent.
I am grateful to my parents. That being said, we all live together in a crowded house and it’s not easy for any of us. It’s challenging, but it will be well worth it when our debt is paid off.
"The key to achieving any goal is discipline and consistency."
The key to achieving any goal is discipline and consistency. Being extremely frugal can be difficult and frustrating at times. My husband loves technology, and he always wants to buy the latest gadget. My friends invite me to outings that cost money, and I’m often tempted to say yes.
We deserve to have a little fun sometimes, right?
Whenever I start thinking this way, I remind myself that what we actually “deserve” is to no longer be shackled by debt.
We deserve financial peace.