Yes, it’s true. I’m officially out of debt again! Some of you may be wondering about the “again” part. Well, I didn’t have a relapse on my budgeting ways or anything. I did not go out and finance a car or boat or go on a lavish vacation that put me back in the hole – nope nothing like that. Here’s the quick recap.
The First Debt
When I was 24, I was newly married and finally found a full-time job with a company in Florida. I had about $12k in student loan debt and my wife had $6,500. Compared to most, this was nothing, but we decided that we didn’t want to think about this debt every month for the next 10 years, so we were going to pay it off ASAP. Well, we did it. Took care of it all in about 14 months. I vowed that I would never have consumer debt ever again…
The Second Debt
Well, my vow didn’t hold true. I never thought it could ever happen, but it did: my wife left me and she wanted half of our estate. This totaled to somewhere around $21,000 – and she wanted it in 6 months. Yikes! That meant I was going to have to come up with over three grand extra per month in order to make it happen. Luckily, I’m an intelligent entrepreneur…
How I Paid it Off in 6 Months
So how the heck did I pay $21k in 6 months? I’m honestly not sure – I’ve just had my head down running for money for the past 6 months. It’s time for me to lift it up and try to remember all the crazy stuff I did:
1) Decent Savings Account – This website earns a fairly consistent income, but I’ve never been dependent on it. In fact, most of the time I just stashed the money into a savings account to use on a later date when an opportunity rolled along. After figuring out what I owed in taxes, I had about $4,000 in this account.
2) Flipping Cars – The legality on this is questionable, but I am the son of a car dealer so finding cars for cheap and selling them at a fair price is only natural for me. I was able to find a 2007 Nissan Altima for $5,500 and sold it for $7,000, which earned me about $1,000 after taxes.
3) Got Rid of the Gas Hog – When my wife left, I was driving a 1997 GMC truck which got about 15 miles per gallon on average. With my frequent trips to Grand Rapids (which is about 30 miles away), I knew that I had to get rid of this gas guzzling machine.
4) Found a Cheap Gas Sipper – Since I got rid of the truck, I needed to replace it with something. I did my research and found a cheap, dependable gas sipper: a 2001 Honda Civic that I paid $2,500 for. It’s a little ridiculous for me to get in and out of this tiny car with my 6’8″ frame, but it has been a good car for me, so I’m actually still holding onto it.
5) Started Writing Articles – I knew there was a need for articles in the finance blog universe, so I started offering my services for $10 a pop. It was an insanely cheap price for the bloggers, but I needed the money and this method earned me a lot of business. Over the course of 3 months I wrote about 200 articles, which netted me $2,000.
6) I Lived Super Cheap – For these 6 months I didn’t go anywhere and didn’t do anything. Everything I purchased was purely for necessities. As an example, my food bill at the end of every month was about $120. I purchased my food from Aldi’s (a bare bones, super cheap grocery store) and never went out to eat.
7) I Kept the Website Going – It would have been very easy for me to sulk in a corner and let my website die, but I knew I needed the money to pay my newfound debts. I wrote better articles, attracted more visitors, and earned decent money.
After all of these things, I was able to hit my goal with about $2,000 left to spare. It’s now time to get on with my life and I’m super pumped. What’s next? It’s finally time to furnish this empty house and then earn some money with my growing stash of cash. 🙂
My name is Derek, and I have my Bachelors Degree in Finance from Grand Valley State University. After graduation, I was not able to find a job that fully utilized my degree, but I still had a passion for Finance! So, I decided to focus my passion in the stock market. I studied Cash Flows, Balance Sheets, and Income Statements, put some money into the market and saw a good return on my investment. As satisfying as this was, I still felt that something was missing. I have a passion for Finance, but I also have a passion for people. If you have a willingness to learn, I will continue to teach.