Debt-Free Journey Interview #4

The purpose of the debt-free interview series are to help others learn strategies for paying off or avoiding debt.

Today’s interview is with Kealy from @sustainablefinances

Personal bio: Kealy is a single mother, an active-duty Navy service member, and a full-time student.

@sustainablefinances

Currently, I’m a process improvement consultant for a technology company based in Nashville, TN working my way to $1M in net worth by the age of 35

Lets get started!

What was your age at the time of your first debt?

18.

What type of debt did you have?

Car loan, personal loans, and credit card debt.

How much was the debt?

$37,190.

How long did it take to pay it off?

709 days. (1.9 years)

What inspired you?

When I got divorced, I assumed all of the marital debt to get divorced as quickly as possible. I was having issues paying my mortgage and was putting groceries on credit cards. Thankfully, one of my friends moved in with me and I was able to keep my head above water.

My boyfriend inspired me to get out of debt because he has a bachelors degree and zero debt. I thought it was crazy and insane and I wanted to live like that. I was paying $900 a month in minimum payments and I came up with a debt payoff plan one night when I couldn’t sleep after foot surgery.

What was your pay off strategy?

I used a combination of the snowball and avalanche method. The snowball method was really great when I had those smaller debts, but towards the middle, I realized I was paying so much in interest that I switched to the avalanche method.

What mistakes do you think you made along the process?

Restricting myself too much, and not realizing that there are other ways to pay off debt.

What advice do you have for others?

  1. Stay in the course.
  2. Give yourself room in your budget to celebrate the little wins. Budgets are not meant to be restrictive.
  3. Make good goals.

Is there anything else you’d like to share?

If you’re a service member, utilize tuition assistance (TA) and look into the service members civil relief act (SCRA) to help with your debt free journey.

Key Lessons:

  • Choose a debt pay off plan that works for you
  • Have a flexible budget & celebrate small wins
  • Set goals that keep you motivated
  • Utilize tuition assistance if you are a service member

Like this story? Follow Kealy from @sustainablefinances and follow her journey.

Follow @budgetadvisorblog on Instagram for more related content!

Published by Dana Johnson

Hi, my name is Dana and I help teach the value of budgeting & saving early on in life so you can achieve your financial goals.

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