How we started slaying student loans

In 2015, at age 28, it hit me like a ton of bricks that my finances were in disarray. Dating my eventual wife, I tried my best to keep up with everyone on a teacher salary. With two degrees, I thought becoming a high school administrator would be the solution to all my financial woes… wrong move #1. In February 2016, with a ring on Lauren’s finger, we decided to get serious about our finances. 

 

Serious Student Loan Problem

 

Lauren had over $300,000 in student loan debt (see above) from getting her doctorate when we sat down with a trusted mentor in 2016. With the interest growing daily, we had to act by making some life changes – focus on getting out of debt. Fast forward to September 2017, and 18 short months later we have paid off over $90,000 in student loans, created an emergency fund over $10,000, knocked out the auto loans, and got hitched with cash!

 

(If you want to skip the rest of story and see how we paid off $57,000 in just 2017 click here!)

 

So Money Life Wax Emerged…

 

After the encouragement of friends and family, (simultaneously we were telling ourselves people needed to know there was hope when it came to student loan debt) we thought sharing our journey to becoming debt free, paying off student loans, and achieving financial freedom would be inspirational, but more importantly educational (I am a teacher full time).

 

Chocolate Lab Puppies

 

 

Our goal is simple…

 

We aim to provide the how to, tools, and resources for others to learn how to create both financial options and happiness. Why?

 

I, like many, grew up with parents who knew how to make money. But there was a catch; they often already had it spent. Living on the line and growing up with what some might say, a home with “financial stress”, my parents split by the time I was in third grade. From then on it was engraved that college would be my ticket to success and no financial woes… wrong move #2.  Three states over, Lauren was being taught the same thing. Go to school, take out loans, get good grades and you will be successful!

 

I enrolled in college in 2005 and from what I can remember, it was some of the most fun years of my life. I majored in education and in the fall of 2009 at age 22 I was a teacher. From there I would go on to become a coach, and by age 27, an Assistant Athletic Director.

 

During this time my mom passed away from a short battle with ovarian cancer at just 51. With very little to her name, I realized that I needed to make some changes. First I needed to address my finances. I ditched the AD gig and went back to teaching to focus on earning. We started to educate ourselves and pursue extra income. At the time I had a huge truck… wrong move #3. But the biggest thing we did: We got serious about chucking away at our debt. So if you are ready, I would start with step 1 below!

-Josh

 

6 Steps to Start Becoming Financially $ecure

1. Create A Budget 

Do you know where your money is going each month? 7 in 10 do not. Get on a budget! Let it be your checks and balances and use apps like Mint to track. Monitoring our goals was made easy once we got on a budget.  Free Budget Sheet for Subscribing!

2. Read

Reading is key to growing your financial knowledge! You can not expect to change your financial situation without changing your mentality. Start with Slight Edge & Rich Dad Poor Dad!

3. Mentorship

We sought mentorship and coaching from people with what I call the “Fruit on the tree.” To eliminate thousands in debt and create wealth we needed a shift in mindset! Start looking for someone who can lead you when it comes to finances. Be humble. 

4. Open to new ideas

We were open to ideas and new ways to slay our student loans. This openness led to an acceleration that has been greatly beneficial. We also read other blogs and studied financial literacy. Random but super important, we addressed our unproductive time and priorities!  Wasting Time?

5. Lifestyle Adjustments

Learn to delay gratification. All of this financial advice boils down to 100% behavior. Stop trying to keep up with everyone. You will be much happier and so will your bank account. Stop thinking in terms of present value and grow a long term mindset.  Need New Hobbies?

6. Cash Is king

To pay off debt or save find out how you can make extra money. Start actively seeking other ways to earn income. Between renting a room, renting the land we own, and working with an online marketing group we started bringing in over $1500 extra a month.  Max out your cash flow!

Your future self will be glad you read.                  – Josh