Dark Days – 4 True Stories Of How People Got Out Of Debt To Inspire You On Your Darkest Days
by Arina Smith Finance 21 April 2020
The financial, emotional, and psychological weight of unmanageable debt can be crushing. Fortunately, there are more avenues for finding debt help than you probably realize. The following four stories prove that there are ways to escape your darkest days, so long as you keep working at it:
1. A militaristic approach
If you find people like David Goggins inspiring, then Ashleigh’s story may be the kick in the pants you need to get out of debt. Ashleigh knew from the start her English major could lead to shaky job prospects. Instead of giving up on her dream, she worked hard, taking a teaching position in the latter part of her degree and paying a staggering $1,000 to $2,000 a month off her loan.
Ashleigh avoided getting a car and lived a minimalist lifestyle. Not only did she cut out bars, booze, and vacations, she even went without furniture! She took a summer teaching job, and in a more controversial step, liquidated her 401(k) to knock out the last of her loan. She got a kick out of overcoming obstacles and working her way out of debt in the same way marines get a kick out of making it through boot camp.
2. The snowball effect
If you have a number of loans amounting to six figures of debt, Ty’Lisha’s story will give you hope. She and her husband enlisted the services of a financial planner who had them use the “snowball method.” This involves paying off the debt with the highest interest rate first and working down from there. With a financial expert in their corner and a logical plan to follow, the couple felt calm and in control. Within eight years, their six-figure debt was gone. The couple now operates an app called SpenDebt designed to help others find their way out of debt.
3. Student debt relief
If you have crazy student debts, Danielle’s is the story for you. When she realized the interest alone was costing her $10 per day, Danielle knew she had to act fast. She moved in with her mom, kept her expenses low, and put everything towards the debt. She also started a travel blog which allowed her to make the money she needed to blast through her debt while still pursuing her dreams.
4. Baby steps
If your debt is overwhelming you, Chela’s approach will be inspiring. She quickly realized that the only way she could move forward was to break the problem into chunks small enough that they wouldn’t induce panic. She and her husband organized their debts by size and paid off the smallest ones first.
Even if a coupon only saved them a few cents or a side hustle only earned a few extra bucks a week, their mentality was that every little bit counts. Before they knew it, those sacrifices paid dividends as all those little bits added up fast. With no help from outside sources, the couple was making steady progress on their debt problem.
Echoing Ashleigh’s story, Chela said they were strict with themselves. They made a budget, and once their weekly allowance was spent, they spent nothing until their next pay cycle. This process helped them develop a genuine connection to their money rather than a disconnected view of it as meaningless numbers. By making their way out of debt the hard way, they learned skills that are making their post-debt lives better.
These inspiring people prove that no matter how deep your debt hole is, there’s always a way out. Keep working at it, and you will find your way through even the darkest days.