Today’s debt free story is from Ashley Jacobs, who’s now driving around town in her paid-for car! Here’s her story.
Tell us a little bit about yourself.
I live in Newport Beach, CA with my 6 year old golden retriever, and I’m the community manager at Wise Bread. When I’m not working I enjoy beach time with my pup, indoor rock climbing, and spending time with family and friends.
You paid off your Jeep! What made you decide to do so?
I’m beyond excited about paying it off! I purchased my Jeep in December of 2012 and bought it new. I know everyone says not buy a new car but since I had driven my first car (a used Jeep) for about 9 years, I figured getting a new car was the way to go since I didn’t anticipate buying another car for at least a decade.
The only thing that pained me when I purchased my car was the fact that I’d be paying it off until I turned 30. There was something about that concept that was tough for me to swallow. I’m not sure if it was the idea of having to pay something off for 5 years or the idea that I would be out of my 20’s by the time it was paid off, but I set a goal to pay it off before I turned 30. I’m currently 26 and am thrilled to have accomplished my goal!
How did you do it?
One of the main things I did to pay off my car faster was work extra jobs. I’m really fortunate because Wise Bread lets me work from anywhere with an internet connection. With this extra freedom, I’m able to keep my side business, a pet/house sitting company called Sitting for a Cause, up and rolling which provides me with extra income. I also do freelance social media marketing on the side to bring in extra money.
While juggling a full time job with two side jobs means I’m doing some sort of work 7 days a week, doing so allowed me to pay off my car and will continue to enable me to make sure that I stay debt-free!
I do have to give a shoutout to my parents. They chipped in on the down payment which helped quite a bit. My parents have always been extremely supportive of me and they wrote a check without me even asking them to do so. I am beyond grateful to them and owe them so much!
How long did it take to pay off?
I purchased the car in December of 2012 and finally paid it off in October of 2014, so just under 2 years!
Was there ever a point where you wanted to give up? What kept you going if so?
Absolutely! There were definitely times when I found myself thinking “Well, is it really that bad if I don’t pay this car off until I’m 30?” Of course the answer was no, it wouldn’t be the end of the world. However, the reality of being able to save money on interest, to not be totally “old” by the time it was paid off, as well as the idea that if I ever wanted to go full-fledged entrepreneur it would be nice to not have a car payment hanging over my head kept me motivated to pay my car off as quickly as possible.
What would you tell people who would like to do the same?
I would tell them that hard work really does pay off and to stay motivated. Keep working towards achieving your goals. Don’t get discouraged if it seems like it’s going to take forever to accomplish your goal of paying off your debt. You may end up working 3 jobs 7 days a week to make it happen, but just keep going because the feeling of not having that debt weighing you down is so worth it!
How does it feel to drive around in your paid for Jeep?
It feels awesome! My Jeep is totally mine and every time I get in it, it’s no longer this feeling of “dang I still have 4 more years until this thing is paid off.” I wouldn’t say my car was ever a burden, but paying it off was definitely a worry I was reminded of every time I drove it. Now, it’s not a stress at all. It’s just my car and I can enjoy it!
What are your plans now?
First and foremost my plan is to stay debt-free! I’m loving the feeling of not having the weight of debt on my shoulders anymore. It’s such a relief!
I’d also really like to do something nice for my parents to thank them for contributing to the down payment. While I’m currently in a position where I could just write them a check for their share of the down payment, I know they’d just tear it up and never cash it. Whether it’s a nice trip or some new furniture for their family room, that’s what’s next for my financial plans!