Meet Natalie Bacon a blogger who writes about money, career, & lifestyle for young professional women. Natalie used student loans to fund her entire undergrad and law school education. As a result, she ended up graduating with $206k in student loan debt. She then she decided law was not for her! She's now paid off over $90k of that student debt and is focused on getting rid of the rest. She is also is pursuing a new career to become a CFP. In her story, Natalie shares her enough is enough moment, her mindset and how she stays motivated! I hope you are inspired!
Instead of thinking "I can't have that." I think "how can I make more money and get that one day".
What was your "enough is enough" moment that made you decided it was time to focus on paying off your student debt?
My "enough is enough" moment came with my career, not with money. With my career as a lawyer, I was working from 7 am until 10-11 pm at night on a regular basis. I knew I had to quit no matter what it took. It was clear that I wasn't enjoying my life as a lawyer. I had had enough of that lifestyle.
With money, it was different. I was so shocked that I didn't know anything about money when I graduated from law school with $206k in student loan debt. So, I started a journey learning everything I could about personal finance.
How much debt did you pay or have you paid off in total?
I've paid off about $90k in student loan debt so far! I put as much money per month as possible toward my loans every month. My blog is one of my income streams so the exact amount I put as extra towards my student loans depends on how much I make from my blog. I'm hoping to increase it even more in the future and repay my remaining student debt over the next few years.
How are you keeping yourself motivated on your journey to paying off your debt?
I am constantly listening to podcasts, reading books, and staying active in mastermind groups. The best way I know how to stay motivated is to surround myself with other motivated people and to constantly learn. I have a growth mindset and learning is what keeps me motivated.
How do you manage the days where you just want to go out and spend money?
I don't come from a scarcity mindset, so if I want to go spend money get something nice for myself, I refocus my energy. Instead of thinking "I can't have that" I think "how can I make more money and get that one day". When I think about my online business, my thoughts about spending go away. I'm so excited to be doing something that I love. I know my "why" and my purpose, so material things aren't that important anymore.
What would be your money advice to your 21-year old self?
Don't go to law school, you learn being a lawyer is not for you and you'll end up pursuing a different career path at the end!
What steps are you taking to ensure your debt freedom is permanent?
I'm not struggling with getting into more debt as I consider myself very disciplined in that regard. I just didn't know to get out of student loan debt until I started working on my plan. I've never had a credit card because I'm not a spender, so the temptation is never there. Instead, I focus on growing my assets and building wealth. I don't feel tempted to get into debt at all. Once my student loans are paid, I plan to stay debt free permanently!
Natalie, you've accomplished a major feat by paying off this much in student debt. You are almost half way there! Thanks so much for sharing your story!