Paying off debt is hard work. Even if you’re crazy excited to do it like me and get a little thrill when you submit a payment, it’s hard to allocate money each month to give to someone else. It’s even harder not think what you could do with that money. A trip to Europe? A car upgrade? New clothes or furniture? Or just a million visits to your favorite bookstores, coffee shops and movie theaters?
I have $14,096 in student debt right now, spread across 4 separate loans. By the end of December I will pay off one of them and my total going into the new year will be $13,291 across three loans. I have a dream of paying them off by February 2016. If I can do it, it’d be 5 years earlier than my payment plan calls for and I’ll have done it within 4 years of graduation. I’ll save myself roughly $9,000 in interest if I can do it!
Considering in 2013 I made $20,000, this year I made $22,000 and next year I’ll make around $23,000, this is an ambitious goal. For you math whiz’s out there, you’ll notice that’s more than half my income. Impossible! And yet, it’s a dream I’m clinging to and working towards with all my might. Imagining the freedom of having no debt hanging over my head and all the things I’ll be able to do when I actually KEEP all the money I make (after taxes, of course!) motivates me every day.
Kara Perez is the original founder of From Frugal To Free. She is a money expert, speaker and founder of Bravely Go, a feminist financial education company. Her work has been featured on NPR, Business Insider, Forbes, and Elite Daily.