Our $90,000 Turnaround

In 2011, I graduated from my master’s program in teaching with $60,000 in debt. My boyfriend, now husband, told me that we were going to pay it off in 5 years. He was already debt free, and I thought it sounded like a neat idea, but really I thought he was crazy.

$60,000 in 5 years? That’s cute.

I found a teaching job in Idaho and off we went. In January of 2012, we began paying about $1,000 a month on the loan which would have gotten us to our 5 year goal.

By 2014, we had cash flowed our move back to Wisconsin, our wedding, and a house cleaning/redecoration but hadn’t made a lot of progress on our debt. In February, we took Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University and something clicked.  We went crazy.

Between 2012 and 2014, we paid off $9681.22.

In the next 1.5 years, we paid off $48,810.90.

We paid $27,479.39 in the last six months.

Once the debt was paid off, we focused on growing our emergency fund to about $12,000, enough for three to six months of expenses. We also got pregnant with our first child, bought an $8,000 car (thank goodness because mine didn’t have heat!), and built up our secondary savings to about $10,000.

In 3 1/2 years, we went from being $60,000 in debt to having about $30,000 in liquid assets and cash. A $90,000 turnaround. Never in my life would I have thought we could do it, but we did. We learned a ton along the way, and this is my place to share those insights so others can achieve their goals, hopefully even faster than we did!