After getting a really great feedback for our Freelancing (and Small Business) Success Stories series, I decided to create another inspiring collection of interviews with people who have successfully paid of their debt. Our first interviewee is Michele from Making Sense of Cents, who was nice enough to provide us a clear insight into her debt payment strategy and story.
Let’s find out how she smashed 40K in student loans in alomost half an year:
We’d like to know you better: please tell us about yourself.
Hello! My name is Michelle Schroeder-Gardner and I blog over at Making Sense of Cents. I try to help others pay off their debt, increase their income, and more, so that everyone can be more in control of their life. This way, everyone can live the life they want to be living.
My blog is my full-time job and it’s something I really love to do. I also have a husband and two dogs. We are currently driving around the country in an RV we recently bought. We are having the time of our lives and it’s crazy to think about how much life has changed ever since we got rid of our debt.
How did you get into debt?
My debt was all from college. My father passed away when I was 18, so I have been paying for my living expenses since. I also wasn’t very smart with money at that age – I decided to spend all of my money on housing, food, and clothing, instead of putting the money I was earning from my full-time job towards college tuition.
Before I knew it, I had $40,000 in student loans from my three college degrees. While it’s not a ton when compared to some people, it was too much for me.
What was you debt payment plan? Tell us your debt-payment story.
I detail my student loan repayment plan in my post How To Pay Off Student Loans Quickly. Basically, my plan was to earn enough side income so that I could put ALL of it each month towards my student loans. At the end, I was making around $10,000 a month on the side and that greatly helped me to be able to pay off my student loans quickly. In fact, I was able to pay off my student loans after just 7 months from the day I started.
Did you have any setbacks?
I honestly can’t think of any setbacks. I actually learned a lot from paying it off so quickly. Plus, I built my business up so well that I was able to leave my day job and focus on the business that I love full-time. It was a win-win for me!
What do you think were your biggest mistakes when paying off debt?
I can’t think of any mistakes I made when paying off my debt. I am extremely happy I did it and I think everything worked out well.
What would you advise anyone who is in a similar situation?
My top tips would be to look for ways to increase your income and ways to cut your budget. Usually there is only so much you can cut your budget back though, so my top way is to increase your income.
There are so many ways to increase your income. You can find a part-time job, start a blog (I highly recommend others do this!), freelance, ask for a raise at your day job, and more.
This was an amazing interview, thank you Michelle for taking the time to share your story. If you have another debt payment success story, please feel free to contact me and you’ll be featured here.