Do you know what’s absolutely crazy? That today, being in debt is more normal than not being in debt!
When I told coworkers that I was completely debt-free – none of them believed me or denied that this was possible for someone so young to be debt-free.
It was harder to tell them, due to the fact that in our society, it is so common for someone to have huge sums of debt than to be debt-free.
Interestingly enough, they gave excuses for me (like the fact that I don’t have kids, etc., etc.) instead of congratulating me. (Maybe due to being in a toxic work environment or…) Maybe because it’s the fact that being in debt is more okay to our society than having freedom and being completely debt-free!
WHAT?! I’m here to show you it’s time to normalize freedom and especially financial freedom!
$200k of Debt Paid Off in 3 Years
So in this post, I want to tell you all about paying off my $200k of debt in 3 years!
Because that’s a lot of debt! I’m also going to explain how minimalism can help you with your money and at the end I’ll be giving away my secret to how I paid off my debt SO fast and how you can start too.
Now, $200,000 is A LOT of Debt.
So how did I end up in SO much debt?
For a long time, I didn’t know what kind of job or career I wanted. Like many millennials I was checking off the boxes, the “should” boxes.
You know what they are:
✔get good grades so you can…
✔go to a good college/university so you can…
✔get a good job so you can…
✔buy a car and…
✔buy a house and…
✔have a good retirement.
I started checking off all these boxes and was fully in it. And also, fully in $200,000 in debt from student loans and a mortgage…
But now that I had this house and life, I realized I wanted out of this societal trap of shoulds. I realized that I was only checking off these boxes because I should and not because I wanted to.
Debt by Generation
- Gen Z: -$9,593
- Millennials: -$78,396
- Gen X: -$135,841
- Baby Boomers: -$96,984
- Silent Generation: -$40,925
As shown in the graphic above, it is very apparent that our parents (I’m a millennial) have a lot of debt whether or not they are okay with it. Influencing the next generation (us, millennials) is not cool – especially not with something like debt!
Due to the fact that it is so normal to be in debt, a lot of people are okay with having a mortgage to pay every single month or a car loan payment for the rest of their lives. This was not the case for me!
Not another statistic!
I was not okay with being another stat. Once I realized that I was doing all this because for some reason I thought I should – I wanted a way out!
I wanted to be free. Free from the ‘shoulds’.
I wanted freedom. I didn’t want to be stressed out by this debt. And I surely didn’t want money to stress me out. I wanted to be in control of my finances.
I also didn’t want to have to be limited when going out to eat or when deciding between having something or not – whether it was a plant to decorate my house or (expensive) avocados for my favorite avocado toast! #classicmillennial
I started by getting into self-help books and all the books on money management to self-educate myself (even though I did work at a big bank). And I decluttered my whole life after reading The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up – which kickstarted my minimalism journey!
Clarity and ACTION
Because I was so clear that I didn’t want to be another person in debt forever. I took massive action, this included everything from educating myself to selling the things I didn’t want, taking on extra shifts, and also diversifying my income!
I was clear about the fact that I wanted to be free to travel and free to not have to choose between one item and another based on a budget.
What helped me on this debt-free journey
I was so determined to no longer have debt after five years of deciding I wanted to be debt-free. So I gave myself 5 years to get it together and make things work!
Some of the things that helped me on this journey included:
- Having a positive mindset
- Believing in myself (but also taking the steps to prove to myself that I could do it)
- Making good early decisions (For example, I did not get into more debt. When needing a new car, I purchased a used one instead.)
- I diversified my income! By getting a second job!
What did I want?
Due to the fact that for so long I was following society’s shoulds. I lost what I actually wanted for myself. So at the same time that I was trying to pay off my huge amounts of debt, I was also trying to figure out what exactly I wanted. I became obsessed over figuring this out, so *insert a lot of self-help books, courses, and learning from all the money gurus!*
One thing was clear:
I wanted to not have any debt as soon as possible.
And I wanted to learn about how I could make my money work for me! Now, let me tell you it wasn’t easy but I figured it out.
If you are also craving this..
You can download my secret to see what I figured out. >>> MY SECRET
Because I was able to learn so much, diving headfirst into all the books and courses I could get my hands on.
I was able to pay off my debt of $200,000 in 3 years!
And ALSO because of this, I was able to have the freedom to quit my (“career” type) job, backpack throughout Australia with my boyfriend, and go on last-minute trips to places like New York and Costa Rica!
I was also able to explore new passions that allowed me even more freedom like working online and finding other things I enjoy. And ultimately living the way I want to live.
I discovered that through my experience I actually really love all things money, money management, and minimalism – all the things that helped me on my journey to becoming debt-free.
The catalyst to my freedom was my money management, but I truly believe that having your finances in order and feeling good about them will help create more happiness and fulfillment for you too!
Related article: Money Lessons I Wish I Knew In My 20s
What I now teach others
Using all of the information that I learned over the years, my corporate experience and my experience, and my knowledge working at a bank – I now help new online entrepreneurs create personal and business finances that complement each other.
Because I believe that your finances ultimately determine how you can live your life, run your business, and have the freedom to pursue your dreams.
In my coaching, I focus on how your money management can spark joy (money minimalism), create more happiness for your life and so you no longer feel limited or intimidated by your finances.
Money and minimalism
Why I teach about money and minimalism, other than the fact that money minimalism played a huge role in my debt payoff success – I also believe the techniques and methods taught about minimalism will help you too!
Minimalism isn’t just about having zero possessions. I believe the blog Becoming Minimalist, defined Minimalism so well:
“It is marked by clarity, purpose, and intentionality. At its core, being a minimalist means intentionally promoting the things we most value and removing everything that distracts us from it.”
The Ways in Which Minimalism Helped Me Become Debt-Free
- I got clear. I knew what I wanted (to be debt-free)
- I got rid of A LOT of things. I was able to sell these things too. Thus, I was able to appreciate more of what I had and also not want to purchase more things.
- And overall simplifying things!
Beyond the Money
Money was a huge catalyst for my growth, happiness, freedom, and overall improving my quality of life as well as how I viewed my life!
Because I was able to quickly pay off my debt, I am living breathing proof that your current money situation shouldn’t feel impossible. If I can do it, so can you!
I was not a high-income earner, I had two minimum wage jobs for most of my debt payoff!
But what I did have was the determination and willingness to make some sacrifices and learn more each day, and the belief that I could do it!
Although what I did lack was guidance, support, and accountability which is now what I provide my clients along with my knowledge and expertise!
My hope is that my story will inspire a spark in you to better your money situation! :) Whether someone’s in debt, living paycheck to paycheck, or if you just want to make your money work for you!
If you are looking to get started right now, you can learn my secret and how to begin your financial journey.
Download my secret debt-free blueprint.