Nelson’s note: I don’t normally allow guest posts, but I think you guys will enjoy this one. Take it away. 

Hey guys! I’m so excited to be on Financial Uproar today! Even though Nelson can be kind of a big meanie sometimes. 🙁 Look at this article if you don’t believe me. That’s just sad. It’s not those people’s fault that they aren’t making a whole lot right now. But I have the feeling everything is going to turn out just fine!

Oh! I should introduce myself. I’m just a girl who has a lot of student loan debt. The current balance is $56,706.82, but who’s counting? LOL. 😀 I chronicle my journey out of debt over at MakingCentsOfMyDebt.com, where I also talk about fashion, wine, coffee, and being a foodie on a budget, all while being sassy. I think you can still have a fabulous life even while paying off debt!

I graduated from college in April, majoring in psychology and minoring in French Literature. I just love everything about psychology and Paris, so my education was a natural fit. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find a job in my desired salary range right away (I’m a college graduate, I *don’t* work for less than $50,000 per year) so I did what any smart girl would do. Took the $7,500 my parents gave me to pay down my loan and took a trip to France. 😀 I just love travel so much, it’s so enlightening to learn about other cultures. Anyone who doesn’t travel is a close-minded loser. It was worth every penny, and I didn’t even add to my debt to do it! Go me! 🙂

I don’t think you guys know just how hard it was to come back to come back from that trip and have to face my debt. So I did what any girl would do – I drank a lot of wine, read a lot of awesome debt blogs to get inspired, and made some truly difficult sacrifices. I cut back my Starbucks trips to just once a day. I started stretching my weekly mani/pedi to every two weeks, even though my nails looked atrocious by the end. 🙁 I even started drinking the cheap wine. I did increase my wine consumption though, because sacrifice is hard! LOL!

Then it was time to search for a job. Like I said before, I was not about to take a job that paid me less than $50,000 per year. I wasn’t about to settle for something less than what I’m worth. Women also have to deal with making less than men for doing the same job, which is one of the greatest injustices in the history of the world. God, it makes me so mad just thinking about it. Here’s a resource that will help you in choosing a job.

Thanks to all that sacrifice and working hard, I’ve decreased my debt by $559.24 over the past nine months. I’m very excited about all the progress I’ve made, which I’m making very clear because of all the exclamation marks I use! Things haven’t gone as quickly as I would have hoped, but that’s because I’m currently working on a $10,000 emergency fund. Guys, I can’t stress enough how important an emergency fund is. Paying off debt can always wait. So far I have $542.76 in my emergency fund. I’m so close I can taste it! 🙂

Can I tell you guys a secret? I’m thinking of going back to school. Even though I have an awesome job at my uncle’s company, (I’m junior vice-president of company morale. I get coffee and snacks a lot.) I think that more education will make me even more valuable, you know. I’m thinking of getting an MBA, because that’ll let me earn all the money, even though I have basically no experience in the working world. I just can’t help it. I love school so much! 😉 Let that be a tip for you guys. Just keep going to school until you can make six figures a year. Real world experience is stupid.

I can’t stress enough how invaluable education is. There is no way that you can put a value on your education. How do you value such a life changing experience? Exactly. You can’t.

Sometimes, when you’ve paid down as much debt as I have, you start to get debt fatigue. It’s a real problem. Who wants to keep paying down debt and not have any fun? This girl doesn’t, that’s for sure. Which is why you have to treat yourself every now and again. Like if you pay down $378 worth of debt, go ahead and buy yourself this Coach bag. It’s gorgeous. Plus you get free shipping if you spend more than $150. 🙂 It’s like I can’t afford *not* to buy it.

Another important part of getting out of debt is to do it all yourself. Which not only means that you can’t accept money from your parents, and you definitely can’t move back into their basement. That would be stupid. Accepting help to better your situation isn’t something adults do. And I’m an adult. All the wine I drink proves it. 😀

And finally, dating gets a little more difficult while you’re trying to pay down debt. It’s okay though, I have some tips. Just do what I do – pretend I’m interested in guys to get free drinks. Some nerd like Nelson will buy me whatever I want because I look cute in a low cut top. 😉 (Ed. note: She’s probably right) Online dating will offer an almost endless supply of guys, just make sure you live in a city big enough that has enough eligible bachelors that you’ll never run into the same guy twice. Don’t bother getting attached either, since as women we have to take our career very seriously or else be passed over for promotions. But first, more education!

What tips would you guys give for having a fabulous life while in debt? Do you guys think balance is the key to paying down those student loans? Let me know in the comments!

 

Tell everyone, yo!