How I Save While Over 100k In Debt

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The average student who took out loans for college in 2018 is $29,800 in debt.

When I read this, I literally thought, “Man, I wish I ONLY had $30k of debt.”

Instead, here is a totally-real list of MY debt:

  • Credit card: $861.90

  • Car: $15,335.88

  • Student Loan #1: $12,202.61

  • Student Loan #3: $26,312.72

  • Student Loan #2: $27,379.82

Total: $82,092.91 all accumulating interest.

*But wait, there’s more!*

PLUS I borrowed money from my aunt and uncle for my last year and a half of college which is another approximately $30,000.

Total Debt: $112,000.

Overwhelming? Yes. BUT, this year I paid off over $3,000 in credit card debt, I’ve gotten rid of one of my credit cards altogether, AND I have saved over $1,000 this year. Now I know that’s not a “LOT,” but at least I’m saving while in debt.

Why I Save While In Debt

Now, you might be wondering WHY I’m saving. I have 3 main reasons:

  • I want to get married in the next couple of years, and weddings are expensive!

  • If something happens to my businesses, I don’t want to be MORE in debt to keep myself afloat so this is providing a cushion.

  • I plan to buy a house in the next few years and I need to save for a down payment.

How I Save While In Debt

Unfortunately, saving is HARD. This means you need to have a plan in order to make it happen, rather than assume it “just will.” Below is my saving plan. Feel free to adopt it as your own!

1. Two words: Dave Ramsey.

I first learned about Dave Ramsey’s 7 Baby Steps To Financial Freedom this year and since then, I have been following his system like it’s the Money Bible. I’m serious!

>>His first step is saving $1,000 in a designated Emergency Fund, which I focused on attaining and saved in just a few weeks.<<

Next, he teaches the Debt Snowball which is when you line up your debts in order from lowest to highest balance, and aggressively attack the lowest debt on the list until it’s gone. Then, you move to the next one, and so on.

If you are in a lot of debt, I HIGHLY recommend checking out the 7 Baby Steps because it really is a practical strategy to build momentum and pay off your debts way faster than you bank wants you to.

2. The rule of 3rds.

I don’t know if I made this up—I thought I heard it somewhere, but now I can’t find it on the internet exactly the way I practice it. But here’s an overview of how I manage my money: Every time I receive any amount of income, I first take out 30% for quarterly tax payments. Then, the rest is divided into 3rds:

  • ⅓ to live on

  • ⅓ to save

  • ⅓ to debt

This is a truly amazing way to divide your income and learn to live on a true budget. You’re ALWAYS saving, you’re ALWAYS paying off debt, and of course you allow yourself money to, well, LIVE.

3. The app Qapital

You guys, this is my favorite app ever. Even more than Instagram… Because it is helping me save money faster than ever before!

When you first sign up with Qapital and connect your bank, the app prompts you to set a savings goal, which can be as little or as much as you want. Next, it encourages you to set an automated “rule” which basically tells the app when you’d like money to automatically move over from your bank account.

For example, the Round Up rule I’ve set to save for my future wedding is that every time I swipe my card ANYwhere, the app will round up to the nearest $2 and save the change. It is AMAZING!

>>I have had the app for just 4 months and have already saved over $300 with just this rule alone.<<

I’m not affiliated with them officially, but EVERYONE who has the app has code to share. Sign up with my code f239f99x or click on my link and we'll both get $10! Everybody wins!

To wrap up, my friends: The old way of thinking is that you can’t save in debt. When people were only a few thousand dollars in credit card debt, this rule was completely valid! But with over 100k in student loans?

>>It is irresponsible not to save until your student loans are paid off.<<

Well, at least that’s how I see it!

I’m going to keep aggressively paying off my student loan debt, but I’ll be doing that for another 5-7 years. Most people will do it for another 20 at minimum. In the mean time, I have to plan for my future and not be irresponsible by not saving at all.

So, do you think I’m crazy?? Do you save?? Are you in a lot of debt??

I want to hear ALL of your thoughts on Instagram! Shoot me a DM or comment on my last post and let me know what you think.

Best of luck saving while you’re in debt. Yes, you can!

Kristi Monte