How We Paid off $42,728 in 12 Months

We Paid off $42,728 in 12 Months

Do you have a plan for that extra $1000 your side hustle will bring in every month?

Vacation fund, upgrading your apartment, fluffing up your savings account?

My last 12 months have been laser focused on knocking out as much debt as possible with every extra dollar my husband and I could find.

Flashback to November 2016

Lee and I were days back from our honeymoon in Barcelona & the whole “what’s yours is mine” scenario really started to sink in. His law school student loans were coming out of deferment and we knew that being numbed by the {very, very large} number was not an option. It was too much debt to attack without a plan.

So we merged our finances and established some financial goals for ourselves. It was probably the first real “married couple” thing we ever did.

marriage and money and paying off debt together

Looking back at that night, I cannot believe we’ve paid off $42,728 in debt in the last 12 months.

How We Paid off $42,728 in 12 Months

It wasn’t on accident. We realized that this massive amount of money owed was in the way of living our best lives. So we made some intentional {and difficult} choices.

We stopped using credit cards.

The easiest change was to just get rid of credit cards. On a practical level, this was simple because we just threw them out, and that was that. No more temptation.

But this was an important first step to changing our mentality. We couldn’t get out of debt while adding to the pile. Everything we wanted, we needed to feel the impact of how much that cost.

That means when we went to Madrid this past June, we paid with REAL MONEY instead of throwing it on our credit card. It was painful to watch those dollars fly out of the bank account — but that’s the point. It’s supposed to hurt a little.

We stuck to a budget.

EW I hate that word. I’ve written before about how I run my business’s finances and I let you in on my little secret: I HATE IT! Accounting is my least favorite thing to do for my business.

So to my surprise, I look forward to doing the budget with my husband every month.

On the last day of every month, we order take-out and we organize our income against expenses. Every single last dollar that we didn’t spend on ourselves goes to debt. 

We’ve never done anything like this before.

To be honest, prior to this our “debt payoff plan” was just looking at our bank account and feeling that we were okay parting with an extra $100 or $500 or some amount that month.

Now it’s so simple. We brought in X, we spend Y, the extra goes to debt. No questions asked.

FYI: We use, a Dave Ramsey product, as our budgeting tool.

We increased our income.

The reality hit a few months into our plan when I realized that our ENTIRE minimum payment was going to interest.

Oh my f*cking God.

There was absolutely no way we were going to get out of this hole unless we paid A LOT extra each month.

That actually was just the reality check I needed as an entrepreneur. While Lee is on a salary, the sky is the limit for my income & I felt so empowered to create more money for our family.

For instance, at the beginning of this year I started my 1:1 Coaching, which has not only helped me increase my monthly income but also fueled most of the content for this blog. My main sources of income are as follows:

  1. Real Estate: As a Realtor, this is the biggest part of my income & where I dedicate most of my working hours
  2. Retail: I run an e-commerce boutique and I co-founded the pop-up shop collaboration SHOP BUZZED
  3. Coaching: I work with new business owners and bloggers 1:1 who are in the process of boosting their income

create income and pay off debt in 12 months

Paying Off Large Amounts of Debt

For me, blogging has become as much about creating actionable content for your business as it has been about my own personal self reflection & growth. This is definitely one of those moments for me.

12 months down, a lot more to go.

To be frank, we’re not even close to the end and it is daunting to realize how much longer we will be working hard at this goal. That’s why it’s even more crucial to acknowledge the process so far. $42,000 is not a humble amount, regardless of the road ahead.

The fuel behind my side hustles over the past 12 months has been getting out of debt. What is your motivation for working on your biz?


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