If I’m being honest with you right now, writing this post is intimidating.
It’s the first of periodic Debt updates that I’ll be posting on the blog.
By going public with my debt burden, I’m not only sharing personal details about my finances, but I’m also opening myself up to criticism and accountability.
It’s even more intimidating because I currently have a fairly large amount of debt.
Yes, I’m running a finance blog and I’m currently in debt.
Who am I to write about finances?
Yet on the other hand, writing this post is exciting because I’m finally doing something that I’ve been thinking about doing for a while. I’ve been attacking my debt for almost two years now, and I’m excited to “go public” with my Debt Destruction progress.
As of June 1, 2017 I am officially HALFWAY DONE with paying off my debts. My hope is that you will follow along and that my story will help some you on your financial journey as well!
How It Started
In 2014, I stumbled upon a blog about minimalism and fell in love with the concept. I felt like a whole new world was opening up for me. After poking around on minimalism blogs for a few months, I somehow landed on a few blogs discussing Financial Independence.
I was fascinated! I felt like I’d just awakened from the Matrix.
It took me longer than I’d like to admit to get started putting what I was learning into practice, but better late than never right?
I knew that if I was ever going to achieve Financial Independence, then I needed to start by getting out of debt. In September of 2015, I buckled down and got to work.
In September 2015, I had $73,000 worth of debt between student loans from graduate school and a car loan. Now, there are two prevailing methods of paying down debt – the Debt Avalanche method and the Debt Snowball method. With the Debt Avalanche, you pay off the biggest loans that are costing you the most interest money first. This way, you will pay off your loans faster overall and you will pay less in the long run. The Debt Snowball method suggests that you pay the minimum on all of your loans except your smallest loan, and you put all your money toward paying off your smallest debt first. Once you’ve paid off that debt, then you apply that debt to the next smallest loan and continue the trend.
Proponents of the Debt Snowball say that the psychological boost that you get by paying off a loan will help you stick to your plan and actually follow through with paying everything off. Proponents of the Debt Avalanche say that it is the mathematically correct option and that you’ll save more money in the long run.
Both of these methods are great if they get you to pay off your loans. Scientist actually side with the Debt Snowball method as being the best for most people due to the psychological side of things.
I chose the Avalanche method and so far it has been the best option for me. I’ll go into more detail in later posts, but here is a quick summary of my Debt Destruction progress thus far.
By January 1, 2016, I had gotten my debt down to right at $70,000.
By January 1, 2017, I was down to $46,600 in debt.
Now, as of June 1st 2017, I am down to $36,000 in debt.
I’ve been on my debt free journey for a total of 21 months, and I’ve paid off $37,000 of debt!
If I’m able to continue at my current pace, I’ll be completely Debt Free by December 2018.
I’ve still got a long way to go, but I know that getting out of debt is the first hurdle to overcome in order to get to financial independence. I’m excited to keep Destroying Debt, and I can’t wait until all of this money stops going to debt payments that cost me money and starts going into investments that make money for me.
What about you? Where are you on your financial journey? Are you still in debt? Have you achieved financial independence? Are you somewhere in between? Let me know in the comments!