When I graduated from college, I left with approximately $20,000 in student debt. Certainly not insurmountable compared to others but still a sizable amount.The idea of paying interest on it or just even living life in debt really did not sit well with me so I made it a goal of mine to pay it off within a year. Luckily, I did just that. Here’s my story.
I got a job, quickly
Before I graduated, I didn’t have any serious job prospects. I had a couple internships during school but nothing that lead to a full time job. Being that the economy was sh*t then, I didn’t really expect to find anything quickly but I was pleasantly surprised. About 3 weeks after graduation, I got a call to interview with an ecommerce startup. I interviewed on a Thursday, got the job on a Friday, and started working the next Monday. It all happened very quickly. I was making $40,000 gross, which in NYC wasn’t a lot but it was enough.
I lived with my parents
I don’t think anyone really wants to live with their parents after college but for me, it was my best option and really the one singular thing I did that helped me pay off my debt in a year. My parents live in Brooklyn so getting to work in Manhattan was fairly easy for me. Also, I wouldn’t have been able to afford anything larger than a closet on 40K so living at home was actually a lot more comfortable (minus some privacy). I did though help with some miscellaneous expenses. I’ve since moved out but still go home every week for some good ole’ home cooking (helps with my monthly food budget too…heh).
I lived and spent very minimally
I spent very minimally that year. Even though I was finally making an income, I knew it didn’t mean that I could live large. Rather than going out every night, I spent a lot of time having meals at home, reading, and working out. On the few nights I did go out, I limited myself to one or two drinks.
I worked throughout college
I could’ve left college with a lot more debt than I did but I worked part time also and was able to pay for some of my tuition while in school. I went to school full time but that actually only equated to about 18 hours of class time a week so working while in school was definitely do-able for me.
If you’ve paid off your debt already, how long did it take you?