Today’s guests are the couple who blog over from Yellow Brick Freedom! They paid off an astounding $37,000 of student loan debt in 9 months and are now on their path to financial independence.
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.
Hello! We are Yellow Brick Freedom, a Midwestern couple in our 20s blogging about financial independence, minimalism, and travel. We are passionate about helping others reach financial success and sharing tools across our community for the betterment of all.
2. What was the total amount of debt, type of debt, and how fast did you pay it off?
Our total debt was $37,000, and we paid it off in about nine months.
3. How did you acquire the debt in the first place? Do you regret doing so?
100% of our debt we paid off was student loans. While we don’t regret taking out student loans and we both use our college degrees, we agree that we could have done some different things on the front end to avoid going into so much debt.
4. Describe the moment you decided that enough was enough, you needed to pay off your debt.
Keli is a CPA, and when she was studying for the CPA exam she took walks a couple of times a day to clear her head. It was during this time that she came across the Dave Ramsey Show podcast on iTunes. A few episodes in and she was hooked – she could see that destroying debt was the number one priority at that time.
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?
We started our debt payoff phase right around the same time as we started our first jobs. Keli got a bonus for passing the CPA exam, which went 100% to our loans, and that gave us the jump start to push forward. Since we were already living like college students, we saved the majority of our new wages and averaged over $3,000 per month in pay down. We feel that we had a great quality of life during this time – we still had some extra expendable income from starting our new jobs, and we knew that the future was bright once we got past paying down our debt.
- Paying Off $14k of Debt on the Second Month – Feature Friday
- Flipping ‘good debt’ into ‘no debt’ – Feature Friday
6. Did you have a plan for paying off your debt that didn’t work. Why did it fail?
One of our last months of paying down our debt, we accidentally made a double payment – an in doing so, temporarily knocked our bank account to under $100. Oops! Luckily, we pulled out of it but that was an example of why it is important to be organized and track your spending!
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?
For a lot of people, college debt is the norm. They don’t understand why you would pay something down so quickly that you could pay over 10 years. We got a lot of people saying things like “Why would I want to live like a college student? I went to college so that I didn’t have to do that”. Those same people now are still struggling to pay down their debt while our budget is much more open for spending without it. We felt confident with our plan, so it didn’t affect us very much. We brushed it off of our shoulders!
8. Describe the moment that you made your last payment on your debt. When was it? What did it feel like?
We paid off our debt in full a little over three years ago. When we clicked the send button on our computer for our last payment, it was glorious! I think we ran around the house for a solid 5 minutes in disbelief. That weekend, we went out to a fancy dinner to celebrate. I don’t think we will ever forget that day.
- How I Paid off $35,000 of Debt in 11 Months – Feature Friday
- 11 Savings Trackers to Visualize Your Debt Payoff Journey
9. What resources (books, blogs, videos, podcasts) inspired you as you were paying off your debt?
10. What’s next for you now that you are debt free?
Since paying off our debt, we discovered the financial independence movement and are now even FI bloggers. The movement has given us a new goal to reach financial independence and radically alter our future lifestyle to work less and spend more time on the things that truly matter to us. We also spend a fair amount of money on travel, which we love, and that has been an added benefit of being debt free. Paying down debt is just the first step in a series towards a very bright financial future!
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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