I’ve been waiting for this moment.
It’s been 17 months since I decided I would pay off my student loan debt before my 30th birthday. As 2012 wrapped itself up, I decided to move some savings around in order to enter the new year completely debt-free. The deadline was in four month’s time; mid-April. I’m excited and relieved to have finished early but it wasn’t accomplished easily.
The loan balances stood at around $15,000.00 when I first decided to tackle them violently. Since graduation in 2007, I had only paid a little over $4,000.00. In seventeen months, I was all over the charts with the monthly payments. Some data…
- An average of $882.35
- All leftover discretionary cash
- A maximum of $1,100.00
- A minimum of $150.00 (what they expected from me monthly), done on months when money was tighter than usual
- Any “found” money; bonuses, tax returns, etc.
- When I stopped drinking, what I used to spend on wine
Everyone says, “You must make more money than I do / I wish I could do that / my loans are higher / I have more expenses.”
Untrue. I don’t make a lot of money (sorry, David!) and it’s about priorities. As I silently repeat to myself during the grueling portion of thigh in Bar Method classes: Whether you think you can or can’t, you’re right. If it’s important to you, you will find a way. If it’s not, you will find an excuse.
Where the freed up money will go instead of loan repayment:
Short -term emergency savings, a Roth IRA with Fidelity, a mutual fund with INGDirect, some investments at Betterment, and an ImpulseSave account. Oh, and definitely a nice dinner out with Drew to celebrate not owing anyone anything. He’s been living with a pauper girlfriend while I funneled money in the right direction and was a total champ about it.