The Nurse Becoming Podcast 

#004 How I Paid Off $133k of Student Loans

Let’s just cut to the chase. We both know why you are interested in this episode — and it’s not because you’re curious about what my family and I did over the Fourth of July weekend.

Yes, it’s true. I really did pay off $133,000 of student loans in seven years. Well, it was actually $110,000 in loans and $23,000 in interest. If you break it down, that’s about $19,000 per year. And I still managed to eat more than just ramen noodles, take vacations and start a family.

So, how did I do it? And more importantly, how did I do it without going crazy?

First, you have to find what motivates you. My biggest motivator was my family. I love my work, but I wanted to be able to spend more time with my husband and our girls.

So, what motivates you? There is no wrong answer. There is only yours, and your answer could change over time. Keep that motivator in the forefront.

Step 1: Make More Money

Of course, that seems obvious, and it might feel easier said than done, but fortunately, there are ways to make more money without changing jobs. In order to increase my income, I volunteered for night and weekend shifts as well as shifts spanning the holidays, and I got a second job on the side. I also sold things around my house that I didn’t need.

Step 2: Spend Less Money

The next one might also seem obvious, but for some people, it’s really hard. In order to free up more money to put toward your student debt, you have to be willing to spend less money.

I’m a big fan of budgets. I keep track of where every dollar goes, and I do that on a monthly basis. If every dollar has a job, it’s a lot easier to come up with a plan for the extra money that you might have.

Step 3: Evaluate Repayment Options

The third tip is something you might not have considered — look at your repayment options.

Step 4: Decide on a plan

Lastly, and most importantly, decide on a plan and stick to it. Whatever route you choose, make sure you are prepared to commit to what is needed.

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