Bye Debt

How We Paid OFF $10,000 in 6 Months!

  1. We Are DINKS (Dual Income No Kids): I am so thrilled for all of my family and friends who are popping out babies and giving this world cuteness overload; however, paying off debt is significantly harder when you have more human mouths to feed. Having no kids right now is the best thing for us. We can focus on making our family situation better when we do decide to expand the Hill Clan.

  2. We Live On ONE Income: James and I live off of ONE income. When I get my check I immediately divide it in half and put it towards the current debt we are working off. The rest of my check goes to my student loans, gym membership, and gas.

  3. We Cut Things Out: We have ONE streaming service (Amazon), Eating out is reserved for once or twice a month and we don’t indulge in the movies unless we have a gift card. We stopped buying each other presents and we quit buying our favorite beer every weekend. Paying off debt means sacrificing and saying no to a lot of things.

  4. We Work Hard: Up until a month ago I had two jobs and James worked (on average) 16 hours of overtime per month. The biggest advantage you have over your debt is your income. You have to make money to put towards your debt. This may mean getting extra jobs (babysitting, dog walking, delivering pizza, etc.) or working extra hours at your current job. Either way, the only way out of debt is to work off your debt. There’s no magic wand that will erase it.

  5. Cut The Plastic: That’s right. I cut up ALL of our credit cards. Best Buy, REEDS Jewelers, Wells Fargo, and USAA… they all died and went to plastic heaven. The whole point of paying off debt is to get out of it. That’s hard to do with a) temptation and b) credit cards. Cash is King and credit is the #1 revenue stream for the banking industry. How do they make that money? Off of YOU.

  6. The Debt Snowball: I follow Dave Ramsey’s philosophy of paying off debt. My sister-in-law mailed me his Total Money Makeover book and my life has changed ever since. We listed our smallest debt to our highest debt (ignoring interest) and started to load on all the extra money we could. Within two months we had gotten rid of one of my UNC Student Loans AND my personal credit card. It’s all about momentum. Now we are on our last credit card EVER!

  7. We Keep It Fun: I have a debt chart that I made in February and we fill it in every month. Filling in every thousand we pay off is the most fun I have had as an adult. The chart is in my face all of the time and it’s the biggest motivator in the process. Visual reminders are a great idea when you’re changing your lifestyle. We also follow people who are on the same path. Instagram has a huge community of people who are working their way out of debt. We all support each other and watch the successes.

  8. Budgeting: The big ‘B’ word. I mentioned before that we cut things out — but not everything. We budget for our fun. We are meticulous with our bills and where our money goes. We have a trip to Texas this summer that will be a huge chunk of our budget, but we intend to have a blast while we are there and still pay off debt in the process. There are SO MANY personal finance apps that this is actually the easy part. Every Dollar. Mint. Personal Bank Apps. Level Money. And so on. Mint is my personal favorite. I’ve been using it for years and nothing else has worked as well as that. As I said, Instagram hosts many people who are doing the same thing and have tips and tricks to make it easier.

  9. Long Term over Short term: It’s not like we want to live this way for the rest of our lives, but we got ourselves in this mess and we have decided that we want out of it. When you are sacrificing and living frugally and freaking out over spending more than $10 it’s because you care about your LONG TERM GOALS and not immediate satisfaction. The small steps we are taking right now will set us up for a very prosperous future. You have to keep this in mind when you want to get coffee at Starbucks or spend spontaneous money on a day trip. Just think… in a couple of years ALL of the money you make will be disposable income. How many people can say that!?

  10. Haters gon’ hate: People have told me I am crazy. People have told me that this won’t work. People have gotten frustrated when I’ve told them that I can’t afford to go out and do x, y, and z with them. You know what? I totally get it. This is INSANE. This is the hardest thing I have ever had to do… but it’s worth it. In order for this to work, you have to keep telling yourself that this is the right path. With hard work, determination and the right support, ANYONE can do this.

–VH

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