It all started with intention...
Back in 2017, when RJ and I got married, we made the decision right away to pay off our more than $120,000 in student loan debt one month after our wedding day.
We refused to let our debt become an anchor in our journey as husband and wife.
When we started our debt-free journey we initially thought it would take us over 3 years to pay off. We never imagined it would take us a year to pay off our student loans. It proved that when you are aligned and working towards the same goal you can achieve anything with discipline, communication, and intention.
What did we do to pay it off so quickly?
We got on the same page about money and our goals. RJ and I got educated about personal finance together by reading books and listening to podcasts. We shared all the knowledge we learned with one another.
We budgeted. Each week RJ and I would discuss our expenses, our total amount of debt, and how much money we could throw at our debt for the month. Having frequent discussions about our finances kept us on the same page and on track to reach our goal.
We lowered our expenses. We did whatever we could to cut down our expenses, from renegotiating our rent payment upon renewal of our lease to contacting utility companies to request discounts to lower our monthly bills.
We increased our income, but not our lifestyle. Once we could no longer decrease our expenses any further, we both proactively sought after promotions or new roles outside of our company. With our promotion and new job, we were able to negotiate a higher salary. I even got a side hustle as an adjunct professor to help raise our income.
We lived frugally. We didn’t make unnecessary purchases that didn’t align with our goals; we cooked almost every meal we ate, we rarely made purchases for non-essential items and we even sold and repurposed our old furniture.
What better way to begin life as a newly married couple than crushing goals together?