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February 23, 2018

I paid $2,350 towards my student loans this month. This payment came with the added bonus of paying off my 6th loan in full. I now have 3 loans remaining. My new balance is $9,286.91. Stay tuned for more!

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Learning is Earning

Learning is Earning

Expanding your knowledge is crucial to expanding your wallet. The more you know, the more you can earn. Learning is indeed earning. I like to do a lot of my learning the old fashioned way, books! I guess I should throw out the full disclaimer right now (this method will require reading). I know most people either love reading, or the flip side, would rather do just about anything in the world instead. I used to fall into the second category, so I know you can get out of that dilly dilly dungeon. Since you’re here at the dojo, I’m assuming you’ve found your passion in finance. Finding something you’re passionate about is the key to change. I find myself reading books…. I hate to say it…. for fun now. I believe you can too. So, I thought I’d share with you two places that I go to find books for super cheap.

  1. Estate Sales– You can usually find an entire bookshelf, or two, filled with books. Most of the time (in my area at least), the most expensive books will be $2 opening day of the sale. As the sale goes by, deductions begin to arise. A lot of final days, you can get your books, or whatever else might catch your eye for 50% off. Not to mention, sometimes you can bundle your haul together and offer up a price, you’d be surprised how many times they accept. I always use to find the best sales in my area.
  1. Goodwill– If we’re talking about giant bookshelves full of untapped potential, we’re talking Goodwill. Most of the Goodwill locations I’ve visited have a giant bookshelf that spans an entire corner of the store. A lot of them offered up for under $2. Much like estate sales if you catch a Goodwill on the right day, you can get even more discounts. Goodwill color coordinates their items. So, let’s say you have a book with a green price tag on it for $2, you noticed when you walked in, that today was 30% off all items marked in green. That $2 book just ended up only costing you $1.40. Plus, Goodwill is always rotating their inventory, so you never know what you might find. Use their website to see if there is a location in your area.

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You’re Debt to Me!

You’re Debt to Me!

Immediately after receiving my degree (and a few short years after that), I struggled to find full-time employment that would allow me to make a dent in the student loan debt I had accumulated during my four years in college. From odd job to odd job I never felt that I was in a comfortable enough financial position to pay off more than the minimum required monthly payment. Sound familiar?

01/08/2016 through 09/07/2017 $286.23 every month

Finally, in May of 2017 I decided to go a different route. Education. Specifically, teaching and coaching. I searched for opportunities near my hometown, realizing I could save a lot more money every month if I lived at home. This wasn’t an easy decision, but I discussed it with my parents, and they were more than willing to allow me to move back home if I could find a good position in the area. By the end of May, I had received multiple job offers (something I was not used to), and a few of them within 15 minutes of where I grew up. I realize this isn’t an option everyone in my situation has granted to them, but I was looking to get out from under this student loan debt FAST. So in June I signed my first contract, and in August I started my new career.

Now the funny thing about starting a new teaching job is that you actually work almost 2 full months before getting paid. But when the first direct deposit hit my bank account, September 29th, I set aside enough for an emergency fund, my monthly expenses, then put EVERYTHING remaining towards my student loans.

09/30/2017        $2,294.20

10/29/2017        $2,506.81

11/17/2017        $2,473.37

12/19/2017        $2,352.26

Those were my first “more than minimum” monthly payments. Finally, I started to see some real progress. On November 28th,  I also decided to make a small leap into the the stock market, putting $200 into a Betterment* account.

In January, I saw a slight increase in my paycheck. I put it all towards my student loans.

01/19/2018        $2,700.00

As of today, February 2nd, I have $11,611.24 remaining on my student loans. If everything goes according to plan (hahaha), I will have all my student loan debt erased by June.

I realize that my path has been a little out of the ordinary, but I didn’t want to spend the first ten years of my adult life paying for school. I decided to take extreme measures to make sure that didn’t happen. Being debt free is a mindset and you have to commit to it!

Stay tuned for more updates! The story continues.


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