A engineer and Air Force Captain tells us how he saved over $240k in the last 3 years and paid off two debts of $5k and $14k.
Do you have an epic side hustle or debt payoff story to share with us? We’d Love to Interview You for Millennial Boss.
1. Please tell us a little about yourself in a few sentences.
28 yr old engineer & Air Force Captain. 100% self made. Have saved $240k in the last 3 yr and change since I started tracking my finances by saving over 70% of my post tax income. I also run saving-sherpa.com
2. What was the total amount of debt, type of debt, and how fast did you pay it off?
Two times I technically had debt. Once was to borrow $5k @ 0% interest from the 4-H to buy cows. I paid it off in 4 years and profited $6k.
The second was for $14k for an automotive loan. I paid it off on the second monthly payment.
3. How did you acquire the debt in the first place? Do you regret doing so?
I borrowed the money for the cows as just a simple money making proposition. My dad already had the land so it was easy.
For the car it went like this. Ooh I got money for the first time in my life and I’m digging that new body style Ford fusion. Imma buy me an (almost) new one. Put $10k down and finance $14k to build up my credit.
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4. Describe the moment you decided that enough was enough, you needed to pay off your debt.
After paying the first month, I just couldn’t take it anymore. Hind sight 20/20 I should have put that money in the market and kept the debt. That would have ultimately made me more money. I guess a mortgage should be a fun experience for me.
5. How did you end up paying off the debt? Please be as specific as possible. Describe the choices you had to make during this time. Did you have a good quality of life?
Well this answer is underwhelming. I had been hoarding money my whole life and luckily got paid to go to college. That’s a whole story in itself. But anyways, I had the money to pay it off all along, so nothing changed for me.
6. Did you have a plan for paying off your debt that didn’t work. Why did it fail?
My plan totally failed ha. I wanted to spread the payments out over a few years. Build interest and get more money invested. Instead I caved in and paid it all off.
7. Can you describe a time where your friends, family or significant other challenged your plan to pay off your debt? How did you deal with it?
To be honest not that many people were probably even aware but they probably would have encouraged me to pay it off. Again, the smart move was to stay in debt and move more money into investments. However, where I was raised, you pay your dues and being in debt to someone is a low blow.
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8. Describe the moment that you made your last payment on your debt. When was it? What did it feel like?
Again it was month 2. I had been working professionally for about 5 months. It was weird, I mean writing a check for almost $14,000 was crazy but it felt right at the time.
9. What resources (books, blogs, videos, podcasts) inspired you as you were paying off your debt?
I was just getting into financial literature. Too bad I wasn’t smarter or I would have ran more time value calculations and kept the debt. Like a lot of us, Mr. Money Mustache was my gateway drug.
10. What’s next for you now that you are debt free?
I’m trying to maintain my 70%+ savings rate and just make my retirement plans bulletproof. Also hoping to bring a few strangers with me because the only thing worse than working is retiring alone.
Are you currently in debt? Here are three things you can do.
- Get an idea of how much you owe, to which company, & the interest rate.
- Start tracking your expenses (we use the free app Personal Capital).
- See if you can get a lower interest rate by refinancing your loans (take the Sofi survey here).
We’re looking to feature entrepreneurs or those who have paid off student loan debt. Sign up here to Get Featured on Millennial Boss Feature Friday.
Have you paid off debt? Share it with us below.
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