This is it, folks. This is the last one. Today, I make my final student loan payment.
This time last year, I still had $39,692 in student loan debt to pay off. After of year of hustling, saving, and throwing all my extra money at the balance, I can now say that I conquered that thing.
Today, I am blissfully debt free.
The remaining balance was a measly $1,721.55. Here’s how I wiped it out.
Primary Full-time Gig – $1,721.55
It all came from my regular paychecks. I kept my expenses low, as usual, and I watched my spending. I knew this day was coming, and I made sure to be ready. Of course, I didn’t have to scrape together as much as I was when I was building monster payments to reduce the debt.
Earlier this year, I let go of a side hustle so I could focus on my full-time gig, and although I miss the money, I have to say, I’m a lot more focused on my full-time work. I freed up a lot of brain space by giving up one part-time job. With that extra room in my head, I’ve created better assignments, revisions of old assignments, reconsidered course designs, crafted presentation proposals, and focused more on my creative writing. All with letting one simple side gig go.
I don’t think it was just the side gig, though. I think it’s the weight of the loans, too. Now that they’re not casting a shadow over my life, they’re also not causing a fog in my brain.
Now that the loans are gone, I can let go of the past. I can focus on my present and my future.
And in the present, we celebrate!
I could not have done it without the incredible personal finance community. Thank you, friends. Your support and encouragement made all the difference.
Current loan balance: $0.
What’s next? Well, immediately after visiting my loan servicer’s site and making that final payment, the very next site I went to was realtor.com. There is a mortgage in my future, but since the student loan debt is gone, whatever mortgage I take on will feel that much more manageable. I do plan on paying off the mortgage as soon as possible – while also filling my retirement accounts.
I’ve also got some new regular features planned for Dream Beyond Debt. I may have paid off the debt that started this thing, but as far as I’m concerned, we’ve only just begun.
Thank you for being a part of my journey.