How We Paid Off $17,000+ in Student Loan Debt in 54 Days

Money can be emotional. Few experiences compare to the joys of earning a long-awaited promotion or receiving a raise. Sometimes those experiences teach us that the grass isn’t always greener on the other side. I learned this lesson the hard way.

In June 2015, I earned a promotion as a public school administrator. Two weeks later, my wife, Megan, secured a new job as a teacher in the same school district. Our new jobs came with significant raises. I thought we had it made.

Before starting our new jobs, my wife and I celebrated with a vacation and spent a week basking in glory. Life finally seemed perfect.
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The 12 Truths About Getting Out of Debt

1. You don’t have to live like a monk to get out of debt.

If you’ve currently got enough money (in theory at least!) to pay all of your bills and still eat, you can get out of debt without living like a monk.

12 truths about getting out of debtFor example, while we were paying off over $147,000 in debt, we lived a normal life with all of its ups and downs. We took trips to some great places, ate out, bought gifts, went to the movies, and did some home improvements. We dealt with a lot of not-so-fun stuff too, like layoffs, medical issues, and car problems.

To make those things possible — both the fun and the not-so-fun stuff — while still gradually paying down debt, we worked to increase our income while cutting back in areas that didn’t matter much to us. Critically, we also lived by the other Truths I describe here.

Could we have gotten out of debt faster by going extremely frugal instead? Maybe, if we could have stood the deprivation without giving in and slipping back into our old credit-filled ways.

We opted for slow but steady while still having fun though, and that made living life without the use of debt into a permanent change. That’s important, because…
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How to Save Money by Spending on Yourself (No, Really)

This is a post from Charlie Johnson, an online entrepreneur who paid off $25,000 of debt in four months doing things his friends thought were nuts. (Go Charlie!)

How to save money by spending on yourself. Really!I know this sounds crazy.

How can you save money by spending money? If you’re rolling your eyes right now or you think this is a joke – I don’t blame you.

But if you move on before reading this post, you’ll miss out on a POWERFUL method for saving money. I should know.

I used this method to pay off $25,000 of credit card debt in four months.

In order to do this right, you need to understand how spending and saving impact your debt freedom journey.

Let me explain…
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Should I Pay Off Debt or Save for Emergencies?

Should you pay off debt first or save an emergency fund?People often wonder whether they should save up an emergency fund or pay off debt first. It can be hard to know what to do when you’ve got competing priorities, so that’s a common question.

The answer is pretty simple at first glance: everyone absolutely needs an emergency fund, so build a baby emergency fund before focusing on debt reduction. Of course, you’ll want to be sure to continue making the required minimum payments on your debt while doing so.

But there are some other details to consider, like “how much should my emergency fund be?” and other common questions. Let’s start by talking briefly about the different levels of both emergency funds and debts.
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