Ready to learn how to pay off debt?
I’m 32 years old and my husband is 35 – and I’m happy to say that outside of our mortgage, we are debt-free. This was not always the case, though. Today, I’m sharing our story of how we paid off all of our debt (car loans, student loans and credit cards) in two years and how you can do the same!
When my husband and I first started dating almost 10 years ago, we both had a good chunk of debt to our names. Let’s look at the numbers:
- My Car Loan: $15,000
- Husband Student Loans: $16,000
- My Credit Card Debt: $1,500
- Husband Credit Card Debt: $5,000
We paid all of this off in less than two years ($37,500 total). During this time, I gave birth to our first daughter and quit my job. My husband was running a handyman business. Things were tight, but we were determined to start our marriage and family off debt-free.
How to Pay Off Debt
When my husband and I got married, we decided to get very serious about paying off every single item of debt to our name. This is exactly what we did (during this time, we were newly married and had just found out I was pregnant!).
These are the exact steps we took to pay off our debt:
Moved to a smaller apartment
Our current apartment was $1150/month for a one-bedroom. To help with our debt pay-off goals, we moved into a smaller one-bedroom for $750/month. With a smaller apartment also came cheaper utilities.
Downsizing is not ideal, I totally get that. But if you’re in debt it’s a small sacrifice to make. Home expenses can eat up so much of your income. And, honestly, part of me misses the simplicity of our small-living days!
Lived off of one income
I was making $45,000 per year at my full-time job and my husband was self-employed. We tried to the best of our ability to live strictly off of his income. Within nine months, we saved $17,000 to put toward our first home and had paid off all of our credit card debt and a good chunk of our student loans and car loan.
I’ll totally admit we used my income for extra food and other random items we probably didn’t need (remember, I was pregnant during this time). I really think paying off debt should involve sacrifice but you shouldn’t be miserable. We sacrificed by switching apartments and doing the best that we could with our variable expenses. We weren’t perfect, but paying off debt is a journey – not a race.
Started side hustling
This was key for us in paying off our debt!!! Once we bought our home and had our first baby, I was no longer working. We were living strictly off of my husband’s self-employment income which, at the time, wasn’t much. We definitely had to make a few transfers from savings to get by.
This is when I decided to start freelance writing. Within four months, I was making $1,000 and a few months after that I was consistently making $2,000+ per month.
If you’re interested in freelance writing, check out this post >>
This money supplemented my husband’s income and completed our debt pay-off journey! If I can do this, so you can you!!!
To this day, I am still hustling away. Side hustles are amazing and life-changing. I highly recommend everyone find something they love to bring in extra money. You can use the money you make from your side hustle to:
- Pay off debt
- Save and invest
- Spend more freely, and more
Side Hustle Ideas: What I Do Now
I was a freelance writer for four years before stopping. If you need money now and can write, I really think you should give this a shot.
My side hustle right now is blogging. Actually, this blog allowed me to quit my full-time job a few months ago because my blog income basically replaced my job income. Crazy!!
So, I now am a SAHM to my three little girls (added two more since paying off our debt!) and I blog when I have the time. We still live off of my husband’s income and use the blog money for savings.
You can read my latest blog income report here >>
If you’re interested in starting a blog, I encourage you to go for it. I started this blog in September 2014 and quit my job after 2 1/2 years. I probably poured 10 hours or less per week into my blog for the first year, and then slowly reduced my time. I now spend about 2-3 hours per week on my blog and am still making over $3,000 a month! That’s the power of passive income!
Bluehost is offering a discount to my readers: You can start your blog for just $2.95 a month and that includes a FREE domain name. Check to see if your domain name idea is available here:
If blogging isn’t your thing, check out these five ways to make an extra $500 per month.
But really, anyone can have a side hustle! You just have to find something you love to do, make time for it and go for it! Blogging takes time to start making money, but I promise you if you stick with it, you WILL make money.
Are you trying to pay off debt right now? How do you make extra money on the side?