Strategies that Helped 9 Real People Smash $475,000 of Collective Debt

Strategies that Helped 9 Real People Smash $475,000 of Collective Debt

Taryn Williford
Mar 23, 2016
(Image credit: Belathee Photography)

If you're facing a mountain of debt–credit cards, car loans, student loans–it can be impossible to see to the other side. But you can be debt-free one day. You just need diligence, hard work and a motivational tale to keep you going. Below are four real stories of people who've paid off big amounts of debt (of all sorts), and it didn't take them the rest of their lives to do it.

So what did it take?...

The Power of Family

Four sisters relied on each other to demolish more than $182,000 of debt between them. It began with weekly meetings that were part therapy, part budget session. Then they devised concrete plans to chop away at their debt, including sharing a three-bedroom duplex (with a den for the fourth sister) and meticulously recording their spending (including their $75 bi-weekly discretionary budgets). Read more about it on Forbes.

Extra Jobs and Fewer Cars

Levi and his wife Jennifer had a shocking realization when at a church financial course for couples they realized that more than a third of the $300K of debt in the room belonged to them–$136,000 in total. They made it all dissappear in 21 months with two major sacrifices: They traded in both of their cars for one and began carpooling (eliminating $21K of debt at once), and both Levi and Jennifer took on extra work to make more money to pay off their student loans completely. Read more about their story on Business Insider.

Minimalism and Living Frugally

Redditor therichimmigrant shared a story on /r/frugal about paying off $10,000 of his $15,000 consumer debt in just one year. His secrets aren't secrets at all: He found small ways to curb spending by cutting cable, eating in and not buying new clothes, putting the savings directly towards his debt month after month. Read more about his frugal year on Reddit.

"Stop Borrowing More Money!"

That's the number one piece of advice from Jackie Beck, author of The Debt Myth blog. She and her husband paid off $147,000 of debt, including $52,000 of consumer debt, in 11 years. It sounds like a simple concept, but Jackie admits it's a tough habit to change. Read more about the other steps she took to get out of debt here.

Have you or are you making a big dent in your debt?

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