3 Unexpected Things I Did To Pay $80k Student Loan Debt In 1 Year

3 Unexpected Things I Did To Pay $80k Student Loan Debt In 1 Year

In a earlier submit, I talked concerning the 3 errors I had made that received me $80k in student loan debt. How I received into issues I didn’t absolutely perceive, and that by the point I used to be 29, my spouse and I had discovered ourselves with $80k in student loan debt with a family wage of $110k.

So how precisely did I find yourself paying $80k in student loan debt in simply 1 yr whereas supporting a household with two youngsters? Read alongside to search out out 3 sudden issues I did or selections I made that allowed me to do exactly that. Those selections not solely allowed me to pay all of my student loan debt however have been the catalyst for better issues that got here up after.

#1: Getting a brand new job

job interview

It was the autumn of 2016; I used to be 29. By that point, I had about 5 years of profession expertise within the IT subject and labored for a personal college in South Florida. Our student loans have been deferred, however the date we needed to begin paying them off was rapidly approaching.

I used to be working as a Citrix Engineer managing the Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) for the college. I had been there for nearly 4 years, just about my complete profession in IT. I began as a subject technician and moved up the ladder throughout that point. I used to be snug, and I might have stayed there and continued transferring up if I had chosen to take action.

Don’t get connected to your job. A job is only a means to an finish. Always be looking out for alternatives and be able to seize them after they current themselves.

While the pay wasn’t unhealthy at $65k, I knew that I might discover one thing higher for the expertise I had. I additionally knew that quickly we must begin paying our student loans, and I needed to be ready for that. And so I made a decision to begin trying elsewhere.

While staying in your present job and transferring up the ladder is an choice, as a rule, at the very least in my expertise, I’ve discovered that a brand new job can provide you an even bigger soar in pay than a promotion. Don’t get connected to your job. A job is only a means to an finish. Always be looking out for alternatives and be able to seize them after they current themselves.

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#2: Relocating abroad

guantanamo bay

An so the chance offered itself. It was an IT recruiter for an organization that had a contract with the federal government. The job location? The navy base in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba (GTMO). At the time, I didn’t know a lot about GTMO aside from what you hear on the information, however it received me intrigued.

I wanted to take a look at the general compensation bundle, and never simply the wage, to know the sort of alternative I had in entrance of me.

The contract was for 1 yr, with the choice to increase if I needed to. I wasn’t actually interested by relocating for a brand new job. Ideally, I’d have simply taken a job in the identical space the place I lived, as we already had a home, youngsters have been in class, and near household. But the extra I realized about this chance, the extra I knew this was the precise transfer to make for my household’s future.

The wage itself was not significantly better than the one I had at that second, going from $65k to $70k. However, the hidden gem was in different areas. I wanted to take a look at the general compensation bundle, and never simply the wage, to know the sort of alternative I had in entrance of me.

No earnings tax

Because the precise job location is taken into account abroad, the earnings earned qualifies for the Foreign Earned Income Exclusion. This IRS profit lets you exclude your earnings as much as a certain quantity from paying taxes, $108,700 as of 2021.

Because my wage was inside this quantity, I paid no Federal Income Tax whereas I lived in GTMO. Not solely that, however my spouse additionally certified for a similar profit. All in all, we earned about $125k in earnings that yr, out of which we ended up not paying earnings tax for many of it.

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Free housing

The subsequent enormous advantage of this chance was housing. Because the job was within the navy base in GTMO, all housing was included. That’s proper, my household and I have been supplied with a pleasant 3/2 townhouse with all utilities included. That proper there allowed us to save lots of about $28k that yr between mortgage and utilities.

#3: Living frugally

cooking

GTMO is about 45 sq. miles in dimension, together with land and water. While massive for a navy base, it’s small in comparison with cities I had lived up to now. As of the time I used to be there, the inhabitants was round 6,500 individuals, between navy personnel and contractors. Not solely that, however we have been additionally confined to the bottom. So no wandering round and exploring Cuba. Needless to say, our choices have been fairly restricted.

Food

Food is normally one of many greatest bills whenever you account for groceries and going out to eat. In GTMO, there was just one grocery store and two eating places. Because of that, we ate dwelling far more typically, which in flip saved us cash. Also, grocery costs have been fairly good, and every part was tax-free!

Transportation

Because of the bottom dimension, transportation was fairly restricted. You may very well be wherever you needed inside 10 minutes. Before transferring to GTMO, we had 2 autos. Once we did our analysis and realized that having 2 autos in GTMO is pointless, we determined to promote one.

We offered the one we nonetheless had automobile funds on, which saved us one other $320/month. The one we saved and introduced with us to GTMO was already paid for. This was the primary time in our lives that we have been automobile fee free, one thing that we have now and can proceed doing for the remainder of our lives.

Entertainment

Again, choices have been minimal. As far as leisure amenities, we had 1 out of doors movie show (free), 1 bowling alley, pool and splash pads (free), and health club and sports activities fields (free). I is perhaps leaving one thing out, however these have been just about it. People would resort to different actions such because the seashore, diving, mountaineering, and so on. Almost all leisure kinds have been both free or very low price, which saved us one other $200 or so per thirty days.

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Paying off the student loan debt

student loan debt free

All in all, between financial savings on earnings tax, free housing/utilities, eliminating a automobile fee, and reducing our meals and leisure spending, we have been capable of save and pay $80k in student loan debt that yr.

To get rid of debt and begin constructing wealth, you’ll have to make sacrifices, get out of your consolation zone, and be able to take any alternative that comes your manner.

Was it straightforward? No, it wasn’t. We left our dwelling, household, buddies, jobs, and atmosphere we have been dwelling in. But we determined to step out of our consolation zone and do what was finest for our household’s future.

Conclusion

While doing all these may appear excessive to some, I need to encourage you to do what you must do for your self and your loved ones. Sometimes we get snug with our jobs, the place we stay, and afraid to step out of that consolation zone.

If you might be in a scenario just like the one I used to be in, with tens of 1000’s of {dollars} in student loan debt, or any debt in any respect, know that there’s a manner out. But to get rid of that debt and begin constructing wealth, you’ll have to make sacrifices, get out of your consolation zone, and be able to take any alternative that comes your manner.

Looking again, GTMO was expertise. It taught us to not be afraid to step out of our consolation zone and take dangers. It taught us that we are able to stay with much less and nonetheless be simply as blissful. We stayed in GTMO for precisely 1 yr. After that, I took one other job alternative with the federal government in Texas, with my wage doubling.

I hope you discovered this submit informative and conjures up you to do what you must do to attain the belongings you need. Let me know within the feedback for those who ever had or nonetheless have student loan debt and what belongings you did to pay it down sooner.

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