Our Debt Story

by James Hendrickson
Our Debt Story

paid offHere’s the breakdown of how we paid off $45k of debt in 45 months of marriage.

The Debt

Because we got married after just three months of dating, we didn’t take into account our financial situation until after we were married (not recommended!). This is the debt we had when we got married:

  • $26,500 in student loans
  • $13,500 in car loans
  • $5,500 in credit card debt

For a total of $45,500 in debt. We were some broke-ass newlyweds.

The Setbacks

We vowed that we would do everything to get ourselves out of debt. We have managed to pay off all our original debt despite these hurdles:

The Sacrifices

In order to work on paying down debt, we:

Thanks to these sacrifices and extra jobs, we have paid off $45,500 in 45 months! Currently, we have $8250 left in student loans that we accumulated in the past year for my husband’s school. It is 0% interest, so we have the money sitting in the bank, but choose to accrue the interest on the money until it is due.


In 2014, our goal is to SAVE and Have FUN.

We have committed to saving $30,000 this next year–let’s see if we can do it!

Here’s a breakdown of the debt we’ve paid off:

The Timeline

April 2010: We got married, and had a little over $45k in debt combined
June 2011: $31,584.96
November 2011: Paid off our car!
January 2012: $24,998.29
March 2012: Paid off our credit cards!
March 2012: $22,061.79
September 2012: $20,015.19 Paid off first student loan!
October 2012: $18,696.10 Paid off second student loan!
December 2012: $18,248.01
April 2013: $16,092.79 Third student loan paid off!
May 2013: $13,788.01 Fourth student loan paid off!
June 2013: $6,624.33 Fifth and Sixth student loan paid off!
eptember 2013: Add 0% interest loans for Eric school
October 2013: purchase new fridge with 0% interest store credit card
January 2014: Pay off the rest of the debt


Thomas Oakley March 12, 2014 - 2:51 pm

Just started my own family finance blog. This blog is an inspiration and awesome! How did you get that debt countdown bar on the top of this post?


Taylor November 4, 2013 - 6:45 pm

OMG I just found your blog LOVE it. My debt it small, but I’m not being disciplined enough!!! I know how to be frugal, but I just can’t get into the habit of paying off. Your blog is fabulous!

http://michellesfinancejournal.wordpress.com/ February 22, 2013 - 9:16 am

This is really great~
Many personal and inspiring stories to soak up to motivate myself.

Jessica January 2, 2013 - 1:35 pm

I love your updates, I have been following for a couple of weeks now and I am so inspired and glad-to have found another woman like me in this world who has a category for their husband all his own!!! I’m still trying to get my Frank on this whole budget and frugal( not cheap as he likes to call it) budget LOL! GL this year!

C October 29, 2012 - 6:43 am

Just found your blog and love it! My husband and I are totally dealing with similar issues, so it hits home. Keep up the good work!

student loan debt October 20, 2012 - 2:46 am

You know therefore considerably in terms of this subject, made me personally consider it from a lot of varied angles. Its like women and men don’t seem to be involved except it is something to do with Woman gaga! Your own stuffs great. Always deal with it up!

DC Squared February 8, 2012 - 7:05 am

LOVING THIS SITE!!! Such motivation! My husband and I are paying off debt as well and are scheduling monthly meetings to discuss. We may just pull up this site as well! 🙂

newlywedsonabudget February 8, 2012 - 7:52 am

aww thank you!

my honest answer January 16, 2012 - 7:28 am

Can’t wait to follow your journey to becoming debt free! I managed it in 2009 and it is the best feeling ever, keep going!

Betsy @ Romance on a Dime October 11, 2011 - 8:19 am

Loving your website, can you tell? We will have debt when my husband gets out of college – he graduates this fall.

This summer we paid off his truck, sold it and bought a scooter for him to use as transportation. This will hopefully allow us to save money and we can start saving up to pay off all his loans.

Good luck to you!!!


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