We are two former co-workers turned best friends, who after countless gab sessions during late-night walks realized we share a big, fat desire to ditch our student loan debt while living lives full of fun, friends, and adventure. We’ve been helping each other bend the rules of budgeting to create financial plans that dramatically speed up the journey to achieving our ultimate goal of debt freedom (insert happy dance and high fives all around) but also allow us to stop and smell the roses–and the daisies–and vacation–and happy hours–and our friends (figuratively speaking, of course). This blog is our gift to all the 20-something girls like ourselves, who are starting their post-graduate lives and careers with a little change in their pockets, looming loans, and BIG dreams. We are buying delicious cake sans credit cards, and we are eating it too! It is our hope that our blog gives you hunger pangs for your own cake and provides you with the tools, inspiration, and motivation you need to join us in eating it at the farewell party we are throwing for debt!
My name is Samantha, and I am a 26 year old trying to build my career as a speech-language pathologist, pay off debt, and enjoy life in a new city. I love having fun, spending time with friends, and visiting family 1,000 miles away, but I hate being $70,000 in debt! That’s why I decided to create a new way of life that allows me to have fun and pay down debt…fast! I love working out (especially running and cross-fit based circuits), nutrition, having fun, and watching my amount of debt decrease!
I was a typical college/grad student taking out loans and thinking, “I’ll just take out as much as I can and live comfortably and worry about it later”. My mom, being a typical wise mother, realized what I had gotten myself into and bought me the book “Total Money Makeover” by Dave Ramsey for my grad school graduation. I let it sit on a bookshelf for a while, thinking I had everything under control. After I looked at my grad school loan statement for the first time (all totaled up), I took out the book feeling extremely overwhelmed. Once I started reading, I was hooked and couldn’t stop until I had read and took notes on the entire thing. Thanks to my mom (and Dave Ramsey), I was able to get on track and begin my life headed (quickly) towards being a young, successful, debt-free professional. Then I met Brittany…a fun, driven, young professional like myself trying to find a way out of those grad school loans. Our long walks/talks have helped me figure out some kinks and learn ways to save up & spend smartly.
I hope to use this blog to inform young, successful women that it is possible to live on a budget and erase debt without sacrificing your social life.
My name is Brittany, and I am a 28 year old Speech-Language Pathologist who loves to spend time with my friends, visit family, go on vacations and girls trips, host parties, hit happy hour with co-workers, stay in shape, and enjoy the great outdoors. I should also mention that I finished graduate school in the spring of 2011 with my Masters degree and about $55,000 of student loan debt. Since I was on a roll, adding another $15,000 later that fall when my car broke down happened way to easily. Clearly, and sometimes I think tragically, my debt-free epiphany is a fairly recent development.
Until I started talking to Samantha, the amount of money I owed was too overwhelming for me to consider paying it off quickly. I thought life was better pretending that giant sum of money hanging over my head didn’t exist, and I was wrong. Samantha’s straightforward and simple approach of “doing the math” helped motivate me to take action now so that I am not doubling my debt by paying it off at a rate so slow the end is never within sight. She helped me realize that when it comes to paying off debt, the hare wins every time (sorry tortoise), and we all know that winning is much more fun than losing.
Not only am I strongly opposed to losing my hard-earned money to all the lenders collecting interest on my debts, but I am also strongly opposed to losing the parts of my life that I love the most. Because of these priorities, Samantha and I are constantly brainstorming unique ideas that enable us to target both of our major life goals at the same time: having FUN and ditching debt at a rapid rate. It is possibly (and pretty easy) to live a life full of travel, friends, food, family, and excitement while being financially responsible, and we are more than excited to share our ideas and knowledge with you!