I’m a big numbers guy, particularly with my personal finances. I’m always calculating how much extra cash I can afford to pay down on debt each month. But I haven’t seriously considered how quick I could become debt-free since I was a freshman or sophomore in college. With my part-time income at that time, it seemed like it would take forever to be debt-free. But I’m not living on a part-time income anymore. Taking another look at the numbers the other day, I realized I can be completely debt-free within two years if I live dirt cheap and live on a ‘beans and rice, rice and beans’ diet.

So what does that ‘beans and rice’ lifestyle look like? I’ll share another post with my specific plan and list my itemized debts soon, but the big picture is that I’m personally $39,773.62 in debt. Add on top of that what my other half owes and it brings our total to $92,244.71. Nearly all of our debt is in student loans and a car loan that is just under $12,000. Sadly, our situation is an all too common one for people our age to be in. It’s a lot of debt relative to our income (approx. 80K combined) but it’s certainly manageable within 24 months. A little crazy, maybe, but certainly manageable!

My next step is to create a realistic budget that takes into account the necessities like rent, electricity and gas, transportation, cell phone, internet and grocery expenses, but pretty much any other expenses are unnecessary. I’ve already taken a stab at the budget, but it’s a little overwhelming. Without extras like tax refund dollars, bonuses, side jobs and a raise or two, it will be extremely difficult to be debt-free in two years. Regardless, my intent is to be debt-free by 25 (or at least by sometime within my 25th year!) and that’s just what I plan to do.

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