1. What kind of debt did you have? How much was it? And how long did it take to pay off?
My wife and I both graduated college with a small amount of debt, and no repayment strategy. Fortunately, our debt story was short-lived. We managed to pay off over $40,000 in student loans and a car loan in 2 years.
How did we do it? In short, we limited our expenses and were super aggressive in paying down the debt. Some months we paid 10 times the required minimums!
2. Why did you decide to pay off your debt?
I wanted to pay off the debt ASAP. I felt the burden and couldn’t stand giving more of our money away in interest. Additionally, I knew I needed to be saving for our future, but couldn’t justify saving and investing with outstanding debt (as it turns out, this would have been OK… but different strokes for different folks). So, my solution was to pay down the debt as quickly as possible and move on to what I’m really passionate about, saving and investing.
3. What strategies did you use to pay off your debt?
My background in math predisposed me to choose a strategy based on the numbers. Our strategy was simple. We always paid the minimums on all our loans, and dumped any extra money we had towards the loan with the highest interest rate (Debt Avalanche Method).
4. How has your family been impacted by your financial journey?
Debt can be mentally draining. We are enjoying life without the added stress of debt and taking full advantage of our current financial situation. With that said, we learned a few things from having debt and subsequently paying it off; I’m grateful for that. In general, we’ve learned a lot from our personal finance experiences and continue to learn more everyday.
Today, we are enjoying a lifestyle that is allows us to live debt-free and work towards our goals for the future while not sacrificing what we value or the experiences that bring us joy in life.
5. What was the hardest part about getting out of debt?
Being persistent! It’s easy to get off track. It’s like when I take my dog Randy for a walk. He does an exceptional job following a scent trail until he smells something else or sees a squirrel, and then all bets are off.
Like Randy, we had our fair share of distractions and there were times we had to refocus and remind ourselves that persistence would pay off in the end!
6. What are your goals now that you’re debt-free?
We’ve been debt-free for a while now, but our current short-term goals revolve around our growing family. We are expecting the 4th member of The Wealth Hound family to arrive mid-year, so we are preparing to flex our budget and savings accordingly to ensure the newest member of our family is taken care of as well.
In addition to my personal goals, I’m really excited about sharing my passion about personal finance with others. I want to help others achieve their financial goals!
7. How has your life changed by being debt-free?
Fortunately, we only had debt for a short period of time, but being debt-free has enabled us to continue to be purposeful with our money. Additionally, we’ve been able to put a larger percentage of our money to work for us.
Like I mentioned, I have a passion for saving and investing, so we’ve been able to allocate additional money to saving and investing which will help us achieve our personal finance goals sooner. It’s a sweet feeling to know the money we work hard for is working hard for us.
While money is an important aspect of life, I’m keenly aware of the fact there are more important things. I’m looking forward to being financially independent and focusing more energy toward what really matters!
8. Tell us about your blog! What’s it about and why did you start one?
The Wealth Hound
) is a blog about personal finance, investing and everyday money tips. I explore a variety of topics and expose my readers to the full spectrum of money nerdery.
At the end of the day, I’m happily learning, sharing my passion for personal finance and sharing the pursuit of wealth and happiness with everyone that checks out my site!