Michelle and I are on our way to becoming debt free but we are not quite there yet. We have eliminated all credit cards, Rooms to Go, Car loans, and all of Michelle’s student loans. Currently we are tackling my student loans and the mortgage! The debt free journey can be a long and difficult one. It is easy to lose motivation and slip right back into the debt trap. In order to stay motivated I decided to reach out to some debt destroyers over at the Rockstar Finance Forum to share their debt story.  Each of their stories are wildly different but my hope is that after reading how regular people eliminated their debt it act as encouragement for you on your journey.

I am going to release these debt stories each morning for the next week so come back often.

Laurie’s Debt Story

Over $38,000 in Debt in 18 months!

Hi, I’m Laurie, part of The Three Year family. Mr. ThreeYear is my lovely Latino, Chilean, to be exact, who kindly moved to the US for me, then carted me away from my beloved Southland to frigid Northern New England (I’m only really grouchy about it in March and April). Our Junior ThreeYears are two creative, bright, and crazy little boys who keep life interesting.

The Three Year Experiment was born the summer I turned 37, just over a year ago. On that birthday, I started to question if we were living our lives the way we intended to, or if we were just going through the motions of the life we were supposed to live. So it occasioned a series of talks with Mr. ThreeYear about what we really wanted for our family in the next few years. We’d also just gotten back from an amazing anniversary trip to Southeast Asia. We knew we loved to travel, and wanted to bring more of it to our family. We also knew we loved our extended families, and wanted to see more of them. We knew staying put in our cozy New England town probably wasn’t the best option. But did we want to move to Thailand, eat lots of coconut buns, and learn more Thai than kòp kun (mâak)? Maybe. Or did we want to move back to Chile, to be closer to family and so the kids could learn Spanish? Possibly.

Luckily, I’m a planner. So, in order to cut the golden handcuffs and travel, we decided we would do the following things over the next three years:

1. Double our net worth. 

2. Get jobs we can do abroad.

3. Get ready to move.


You can follow them at The Three Year Experiment.

Dad Dollars Debt: Debt Story

Over $230,000 in Debt and still hustling to eliminate the debt!

I am a 30 something year old dad of one toddler boy. I am a heart doctor (cardiologist) living in Northern California. I enjoy martial arts, reading, hiking, and eating. I love eating. I am a somewhat in good shape (thank you high metabolism), definitely sleep deprived, always searching for spare time kinda guy who is loving every minute with his son.

I have made a few financial mistakes, but believe that with a plan and some discipline, we can get on the right track. While I am a high earner, I know that debt is the great equalizer. Someone making $50K a year may be in a better financial position then the hotshot making $500K. Its all in the spending. Less debt leads to better focus on things that matter, such as being a dad.

You can follow him at Dad Dollars Debt

Working Optional Debt Story

They paid off over $80,000 in student loans in less than 5 years!

I’m in my early forties and a first-generation immigrant. I have a lovely wife i.e. the rock in our household, and two school-age kids. They center me, and force me to remind myself that there’s more to life than work and obsessing over FU money.

We live in a high cost of living area in Southern California (‘sun tax’, anyone?), but within driving distance to the ocean, the mountains and the desert.

I work in IT (surprise!), but chose the self-employed route more than a decade ago.  Single malts,  hiking, travel and riding my motorcycle are what keep me going. This is in addition to my son who will wake up earlier than everyone else on every day that is not a school day.

You can follow him at Working Optional

Othalafehu Adventure Debt Story

He paid off over $220,000 in student loans! Whoa!

My wife and I are both lawyers. Government lawyers though, not the big money corporate or private practice types.  Our focus is on keeping our work life and our family life separate. I have two sons in school but not yet teenagers.

My money philosophy is not some new idea. I live below my means because I remember what it was like to be poor, but at the same time I am not overly frugal. I believe in a balance between enjoying life now and saving for tomorrow.

I respect the bloggers who strive to live off 6 raisins a day while wearing clothes they found in the woods and driving this car; but it is just not me. Luckily, the wife is on the same page. My goal is to retire early and leave some type of legacy for my children. The retiring early notion is quickly becoming something of an obsession.

You can follow him at Othalafehu

Kiwi and Keweenaw Debt Story

Learn how they paid off over $51,000 in student loan debt and how managing debt bonded their family together.

We are two millennial engineers and two dogs working towards financial independence, so there’s more time for walks on the beach and belly rubs. FIRE has also challenged us to simplify our lives and deflate our lifestyle.

We love re-purposing lost and rejected items, working in the garden, cooking vegan dishes, and long bike rides.

You can follow them at Kiwi and Keweena

ESI Money Debt Story

Spoiler Alert *** There is NO Fireworks after you finish paying off your debt! But it does feel good.***

I am a 50 something retiree. I have been married for over 20 years. On my site you will hear a lot about my wife because she’s one of the big reasons our wealth has grown as much as it has. I have two children, both closing in on college. I have lived in many cities across the US, but mostly in the midwest. I currently live in a mountain state. My hobbies include growing roses, soccer, real estate, and volunteering.

ESI Money website’s philosophy is simple and focuses on doing three simple things to achieve financial independence:

  1. Earn
  2. Save
  3. Invest

You can follow him at ESI Money

Mr. and Mrs. Rich Adventure Debt Story

Learn how they paid off over $55,000 in student loan debt, car loans and credit card debt. They share 4 great tips that they used to help do it.

Mr. Adventure Rich

Hello!  Mr. Adventure Rich here.  I am a thirty-something handyman with a reputation for making bad puns.  I grew up in a small town on the East Coast before attended a California liberal arts college.

Mrs. Adventure Rich

Mrs. Adventure Rich here (*wave)!  I am a twenty-something Midwestern woman who harbors a love of physical activity and the outdoors.

Together, we dug ourselves out student, credit card and car loan debt, consistently increased our net worth, and are working towards financial freedom and ultimately, financial independence.

You can follow them at Adventure Rich