Yep that is Meaghan with a zero balance on her credit card. I grabbed coffee with Meaghan to get the scoop on how she did it. Surprisingly, it involes a grill.
Carly: Ok, so you attended Best Money Class Ever in February and at the time you owed $3,135 on your credit cards. Then on May 15th I received an email from you with the Subject Line: Credit Card Paid! That is only three months later and you have no more credit card debt. How does it feel?
Meaghan: It feels amazing. It has been a long time since I have had a zero balance on that. It is nice to not have to think about paying it every month.
Carly: Ok so let’s back things up a bit. You were a studying at University of Texas and received your master’s in Geology, and took a position as a Geologist with Statoil in Austin. Like most 20-somethings you knew you had to tackle student loans, credit cards, and a car loan. You attended class, and then you knocked out your credit card debt. What would you say was key then for buckling down and paying off debt?
Meaghan: Just watching how I spent my money day-to- day. Resisting purchases that I didn’t really need like clothes or shoes. Just thinking that it would be better to have my credit card completely gone versus a new outfit.
Carly: Why is financial independence and becoming debt-free important to you?
Meaghan: It is important to me because it would be a huge weight off my shoulders. I knew since starting college at age 18 that I would have quite a bit of debt and it will be nice to get that off my shoulders. I see it starting to happen one step at a time with my credit card debt being gone.
Carly: Do you have any other tips for people trying to get out of debt?
Meaghan: Really watch your everyday spending. I was making purchases here and there that I thought weren’t a big deal. Little things add up like eating out, purchases just add up. Just thinking do you really need something?
Carly: What has stuck with you the most after the class?
Meaghan: The extra Spartan amount each month that I pay towards debt. I actually get my extra amount each month out first so that I can’t let myself spend it on anything else.
Carly: To clue people in, I teach that most people don’t get in debt overnight and you are not going to get out of debt without a good fight. I recommend people to become like the Spartans who were known for their strength, discipline, and structure. The 300 Spartans fought against the million man Persian army. To get out of debt I teach to pay a set amount of $300 or more (like the Spartans) extra each month towards your debt.
Anything else that has helped you get rid of credit card debt?
Meaghan: We got a grill for free from my co-worker. That has helped a lot. It is a lot cheaper than eating out, but it is something that Chris (my boyfriend) loves doing. I’ll say, “Hey let’s eat in, we can grill.” I can usually convince him to stay home versus eating out since he gets to use the grill.
Carly: I love that! Grilling to get out of debt. I am so proud of you Meaghan! I hope your story shows others that with a education, and just having a plan with money you can achieve so much.
Do you want to have a zero balance on your credit card? Let’s work together! The next class is coming up.