In Part One, we confessed that we had $64,000 of debt when we got married. In Part Two, we shared how we were able to move and increase our income to turbo charge our debt payoff but then were thrown a curve ball when we unexpectedly purchased a new home. In Part Three, we described our struggles with the sale of our previous home and the additional debt we incurred to sell it.
Selling our previous home was a major setback to our goals and increased our debt to a total of $48,000. This was a huge blow and very hard for us to swallow BUT the silver lining was that we no longer had to make two mortgage payments each month. The sale of the home freed up $1,000 a month (plus all the extra money that had been going towards repairs) and we used that extra cash to pay down our debts. We also lucked out and Mr. Bug received an annual bonus in July and we put the entire amount towards our debt. We put ourselves on a hardcore spending diet and pushed through and were able to pay off the remaining consumer debt on September 30, 2013. WOOHOO!
Mr. Bug thought this meant we were all done with debt payoff and wanted to celebrate and loosen the purse strings a bit. WRONG! We still had my student debt that had to be tackled. I had recently read the book “How to Retire Early: Your Guide to Getting Rich Slowly and Retiring on Less” by Robert and Robin Charlton and I was pumped up to eliminate ALL of our debt! Mr. Bug and I sat down and had another powwow and he read the book and got pumped as well!
Our plan of attack was to pay off my graduate school loan first since it was the higher interest rate and higher monthly payment. The goal was to pay off the graduate student loan by the end of 2014. We continued to put every extra bit of income towards it. In March 2014 we received a $5,000 tax refund (mainly due to the huge losses on our previous home) and put that entire amount towards my graduate school loan and, to our amazement, were able to pay it off completely! That was 9 months earlier than we had initially planned. Just goes to show how much you can truly accomplish when you set your mind to something.
We figured we were on a roll so we set a new goal to pay off ALL of our debt (the remaining undergrad student loan) by the end of 2014. We kept going and throwing any extra money that came our way towards the loan. We had made a conscious effort to spend less so we could put it towards debt and it was working in turbo gear now! We lucked out again and Mr. Bug got an annual bonus and we took the entire amount of the bonus and put it towards the student loan and in July 2014 we were TOTALLY DEBT FREE!!!!!
Here is a fun chart showing our debt payoff journey:
In October 2013 we set a goal to pay off ONE student loan by the end of 2014 and we were able to pay off BOTH student loans by mid-2014. In a little over one year, we were able to pay off $38,000 of debt.
When we got married we had $64,000 of debt and during a long and bumpy five year road with lots of twists and turns, we are FINALLY debt free! It feels absolutely amazing to not have the weight of debt on our shoulders any longer.
We have finally freed ourselves from the debt monster and it feels fantastic!
We wanted to share this series of our long journey to debt freedom with you to show that becoming debt free IS possible! We had numerous set backs and curve balls thrown at us but we did not let that deter us. If you just stick with it, it is absolutely worth the sacrifices. Don’t give up and keep working to knock out your debts!
Now that we are debt free, we are turning our focus to investing. Stay turned for an upcoming post about our investing/savings goals.