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Last Updated December 14, 2019

This debt payoff success story is from Fo with GirlTalkwithFo.com. She paid off $78,000 worth of student loan debt in less than 3 years! She was able to pay off her debt fast by getting serious with her finances. Learn how she did it so you can too. 

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Fo’s Debt Payoff Success Story

  1. Can you tell us a little about yourself?

I’m Fo, editor-in-chief of GirlTalkwithFo.com. My mission is to help women dump debt & build bank so that they can create the life that they want. I want others to learn from my own personal experiences with money so that they can avoid the same pitfalls that I fell into.

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  1. When did you start your financial journey?

My financial journey started in 2012. That’s when I hired a financial advisor, which was my biggest financial mistake. Because of such a bad experience, I decided to finally take my finances into my own hands. I started reading books that eventually led to me paying off $78K in student loan debt in less than three years…while cash flowing my wedding.

  1. What were your financial goals when you started? What are your financial goals now?

At the time, my number one financial goal was to get out of debt. Thankfully, I only had student loan debt. My financial goals now are a bit different. Along with my husband, our goal is to pay off our home, continue to invest aggressively, and to build up sustainable passive income sources. Our goals are more about our future than our present.

  1. What was the main thing that caused you to want to change your financial situation?

Oddly enough, my husband. When we were dating, I discovered that he was debt free. He later recommended Dave Ramsey’s Total Money Makeover, which I read in a few days. Knowing that I would eventually marry him gave me the extra push to get out of debt so that I wasn’t carrying it into the marriage. I also just got tired of being broke!

  1. What was your biggest financial struggle? How did you overcome that?

My biggest struggle was having enough extra income to save. This was only because I had so much debt and poor spending habits. I overcame it by getting on a budget and getting disciplined about my spending. At the end of the day, I had a great “why” to motivate me to make a change.

  1. What was the biggest change you made to achieve your financial goals?

I downsized my living. I moved from a townhome to an apartment to save on costs. I also started preparing my own meals instead of going out to eat or buying food at work.

  1. Have you done anything out of the “norm” or “extreme” to reach your financial goals?

Nope. Outside of selling clothes on Instagram and Facebook, I don’t think anything that I did was out of the norm.

pay off $500,000 in debt

  1. How much debt did you have? Are you still paying it off? If so, when do you hope to be debt free? If not, how long did it take you to pay it off?

In the end, I paid off over $78K in less than 3 years– I just started tracking at $78K. You can read about my story here.

I’m no longer paying off that debt. We’re completely debt free with the exception of our mortgage. The mortgage will be paid off in the next 5 years, if not sooner.

  1. How do you stay motivated to keep going on your financial journey?

I have a really good why! I know that I was created to live in abundance, so I won’t do anything to sabotage that. I also want to leave a legacy for my future children. This is bigger than me!

  1. What advice would you give someone who’s just starting their financial journey, or feels like you’re a unicorn and can’t achieve their financial dreams?

Know exactly why you’re doing this. If your why isn’t solid, you won’t have the wherewithal to continue the journey. Know your why and create a mantra to keep you motivated. My mantra was, “Debt free by 30!” I said this everyday to remind myself what I was working toward.

Surround yourself with people who are going to support you. There are tons of Facebook groups, including my own, that you can connect with and find support. Trust me, you’re not alone!

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Summary

I hope Fo’s debt payoff success story will motivate you. She was able to pay off $78,000 in student loans in less than 3 years by budgeting and having a plan. Once you have a plan and your budget, you just have to do it! You will stay motivated by remembering your “why” (the reason for your financial goals).

Paying down debt will allow you the financial freedom you need to not stress about money. You can start budgeting today with this FREE Monthly Budget Printable

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