I’m not going to pretend I know anything about debt since I’ve been fortunate enough to avoid it for most of my life (outside of mortgages, ugh…), BUT, I’m 100% convinced that anyone who truly wants to get out of debt can do it. It may not be tomorrow, or the next year, but it’s VERY much possible to do if you prioritize and hustle your sweet little asses off.
And I know that because of these people:
1) Travis, from Enemy of Debt
Travis just learned what it feels like to finish paying off $100,000 of debt in 4 years. And not just any old debt, but CREDIT CARD DEBT! The worst of them all! Here was my favorite clip:
“I’ve told our story countless times, and each time there’s a voice in my head laughing, reminding me how absurd this sentence sounds: “We racked up $109,000 in credit card debt.”
Maybe it’s because with four months to go the end finally feels real…It’s taken a lot of work. A LOT of work to get to where we are with our communication and budget system. It’s been much like fighting your way against the wind in a driving snowstorm. You just tuck your head into your chest and keep moving forward. You know that over time you will get to your destination, but all you can do is look down at your feet and focus on putting one foot in front of the other.”
I’ve known Travis for a few years now, back when a large chunk of that debt was STILL THERE, and I’ve never met anyone so damn passionate about killing it once and for all, haha… And every week that passed he was there chipping away while we all were doing whatever it is we do in our time :) So congrats, Travis. You did it buddy!!!!
2) Stephanie, from The Empowered Dollar
Stephanie also recently killed off all $34,579 of her debt, and did it in exactly 3 years and 11 months – two months ahead of our set goal. It seems October was a good month for people :)
“3 years and 11 months later, and it’s here. The day I’ve been waiting for. The day this entire blog has building toward. The Christmas morning of personal finance. I am now officially 100% debt free… I’m so happy, I could cry. Or laugh. Or drink a bottle of champagne. Or do all three of those things :)”
She later posted on HOW she did this, and how YOU can do it too.
3) Jordann, from My Alternate Life
Jordann is the newest debt-free person I know. Just last week she sent in her last payment and completely wiped out all $38,000 of this financial devil. 24 months of making it the most important financial goal of her life. Or, as she later put it, “Heck, it’s been the number one most important goal of my whole existence.” I’m sure some of you can relate :)
What she said about the future-her really struck me the most:
“I don’t really feel that different, just free. Like there’s a load off my shoulders. No matter what, I don’t have debt. No matter what happens in the future, at least I have that…. From now on, all of my money is mine. Every single dollar I earn is either going towards things that make me happy, or towards savings (to make future-Jordann happy).”
And lastly, #4) Maria, from The Money Principle
Maria is very special to me for a number of reasons – one being we’re good friends outside of blogging – but another because she’s like a teenager stuck in the body of a world-renowned professor :) That’s no exaggeration either – she literally teaches at one of the top business schools in the world.
I make that distinction because despite being (obviously) smart with all her degrees, and accomplishing a lot in her professional life already, Maria still found herself in a heap of debt. To the tune of £100,000. Or, in US dollars: $157,000 (!!!).
And that’s while having a DAMN good salary too – I was shocked. I asked her how, and she simply told me that she hadn’t a clue. In fact, she told me she didn’t even KNOW she was in debt until one day it hit her!
“Money never mattered to me. I was not interested; and while thinking that all is well, I made a lot of money so I didn’t pay attention. Everything was just kinda taken care of.”
Now the plus side of making a lot of money, and being smart, is that you then have an edge on nixing it all off faster than another might (it only took her 3 years to kill it), but still. It just goes to show that DEBT CAN HAPPEN TO ANYONE. Or rather, ANYONE CAN WELCOME DEBT INTO THEIR LIVES – because we all know debt can’t just “happen” to us. We usually bring it on ourselves (certain situations excluded).
Four different people from all around the world who racked up debt, and then swiftly kicked it all to the curb. $329,579 in total – all being paid off within a number of years. Pretty incredible stuff. And you’ll notice a pattern if you read any of their stories further. Words like “hustle” and “not easy” and “prioritizing” are scattered throughout. All stuff we know, but is pointless unless you ACT. And these people are the kings and queens of that.
So, again. I’m no expert myself in debt, but everything here is proof that getting rid of debt is not only possible, but PROBABLE. Everyone mentioned here are normal people like you and me, so I have no doubt some of you will be debt free soon as well :)
Keep working hard and you’ll be a story someone tells one day too!
Photo by the lovely – and now debt-free – Stephanie from The Empowered Dollar
Bonus tip: Find a good "balance transfer" offer to help pay off debt faster!
If you’ve been making payment after payment (on time) and still haven't been able to get your debt under control, snatching up a good balance transfer credit card offer may be the ticket to try. That’s where in order to gain your business - credit card companies will let you transfer your existing debt to a new card and let you pay ZERO PERCENT interest on it. Saving you tons every month!
What's the catch? Usually balance transfer cards charge a fee (around 3% of your debt balance) to let you transfer your balance to their 0% interest offer. But we've found a great credit card that will let you do a balance transfer absolutely free. Click here to learn more and see if you qualify!
PS: If you don't trust yourself with another credit card, ignore this! This strategy is to help you get out of debt quicker, not risk adding more to it.