I’m Jen, and I’m passionate about helping fellow millennials to make smarter financial choices.
I have a bachelor’s degree in psychology and a master’s degree in HR from an expensive business school. I had naively believed that a master’s degree would be a golden ticket to an amazing career. I was wrong. After completing grad school in 2013, I found myself underemployed and buried in $75,000 of student loan debt.
My first “real” job paid so little that nearly 50% of my income was going toward making the minimum payments on my student loans. I didn’t know what to do. I worried about my debt constantly. I felt hopeless and trapped – I worried that I’d be buried in debt for the rest of my life.
A wise friend lent me a copy of Dave Ramsey’s The Total Money Makeover, and I was hooked. Shortly after that, I married my college sweetheart, Ben, and we came up with a plan to pay off our combined $117,000 of student loan debt in just three years – using Dave’s debt snowball approach.
We realized that if we wanted to get out of debt ASAP, we couldn’t do what “normal” 20-somethings do (like taking on an expensive mortgage, buying brand-new cars, and starting a family) – we would have to live differently. As Dave Ramsey says “Live like no one else now so you can live like no one else later.”
What does this look like?
Small house. Small dog. Small car.
We don’t have the small house yet (we’re currently renting a room from my parents while we pay off our loans), but we will in a few years. It won’t be an actual tiny home, but it’ll be much smaller than the $200k+ home we had originally planned to buy.
The small dog really has nothing to do with our “get out of debt” plan, but our pug puppy is adorable, so I had to include a picture of him!
Living frugally isn’t always easy. We’ve made many sacrifices during this journey, but it’s been worth it because we’ve paid off $88,000 of student loan debt so far. We only have $29,000 left to go!
Once the last of our remaining debt is paid off, we can move on to more important goals, like saving for a home, building a strong emergency fund, and investing for retirement.
A few of our debt-free dreams include:
- Traveling the world
- Adopting another dog (I really want another pug, but Ben has his heart set on a French bulldog)
- Owning the world’s smallest car, the Peel P50 (Ben)
- Retiring early (Jen)
Are you ready to pay off your debt and live the life you’ve always dreamed of?
I have several resources that can help you to get started. Here are a few of my favorites:
- How to Create a Budget Guide (with a free printable worksheet)
- Freebies (free printable worksheets for budgeting and meal planning)
- Budget calculator
- Blog posts on student loans and saving money
- Blog posts on making money blogging
Over the past few years, this little blog has grown more than I ever could have imagined. I’ve been featured on Elite Daily, The Penny Hoarder, Miss Millennia Magazine, and Student Loan Hero. I am a regular contributor to The Financial Diet.
Here’s a little more about me… I’m an organizer, planner, learner, and minimalist. A few fun facts:
- I’m the baby of the family. I’m in my 20’s and my brothers are in their 40’s.
- My husband and I were together for six years before we got married. Four of those years were spent in a long-distance relationship.
- I work in HR/payroll.
- If I hadn’t chosen this career path, I might’ve been a researcher in a psychology lab, an event planner, or a professional organizer.
- I’m a huge animal lover and I have a soft spot for flat nosed dog breeds like pugs and bulldogs.
- I hate cheese (most kinds) and Mexican food. Weird, I know.
- I’ve only been to 10 states and one other country (Mexico). I can’t wait to travel more once we’re debt-free!
- I once had a 30 pound cat.
- I love board games.
- I am a textbook ISTJ (The “Logistician”).
You can also subscribe to my email list (I send out emails about once or twice per month – I promise not to clog up your inbox).
Thanks for reading and have a frugal day! :)