How I Paid Off $62k of Debt in a Year

Rachael Phillips
5 min readFeb 6, 2022

This story is not quite like my other stories, but thought it was one worth sharing! At the beginning of last year, January 2021, I read an article called 129 30-day challenges! These challenges were ways to grow and improve myself! In that article, the author mentioned writing a letter to my future self using a website called

This website charges you 50 dollars for 10 years to write a letter to yourself in the future. You can choose a year from now, 3 years from now or 5 years from now for the basic options OR you can choose a specific date in the future you would like to read the letter. Then you choose the email address and they send you the letter to your email on the day you chose.

A few days ago, February 3, 2022, to be specific, I read my letter from February 3, 2021 and was so delighted with what I found! I wrote myself about how I was going to do a no-spend challenge I read in a book called The 30-Day Money Cleanse by Ashley Feinstein Gerstley.

I wrote in my letter from 2021 that my current goal was to pay off all my debt except for my house. This debt amounted to roughly $75k dollars and at the time felt like a mountain to concur!

All of my debt included a personal loan, credit cards, a student loan and a car loan! At the time it felt overwhelming to pay off that amount and so I had to pump myself up on getting it taken care of and I did!

While reading that letter in 2022, I noticed that I had paid off a total of $62k of that $75k!!! I was and still am currently thrilled to have made such a huge dent in that debt!

Obviously I am not completely there yet, but would love to share with all of you how I made it happen so far! Not everyone will be able to get money in the same places I did, but hopefully some of these tips will help you concur your own debt crushing goals!

  • Read as many books about money as you can! — This one may seem a bit strange, but once you read books about how money works and how you can make more of it, it will help you improve your financial situation! Here are a few that I recommend: The Total Money Makeover by Dave Ramsey, Rich Dad, Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki, Financial Freedom by Grant Sabatier and You are a Badass at Making Money by Jen Sincero. These books have helped me find new ways of thinking about and understanding money. I believe most of this process is having a positive relationship with money and understanding it well. Keep educating yourself about money and all of it’s complexities!
  • I made money on the side by tutoring and doing side projects that I could help others with. This could be anything that you are good at from consulting on something to helping a neighbor or family member with household chores.
  • I got a job that gave me more money and had a sign on bonus with Microsoft! The way that I got a better opportunity for me was through linkedin! I kept my linkedin profile up to date, asked for several recommendations and asked for endorsements as well. This really improved my visibility to other companies that were hiring!
  • I cut down on extra expenses and removed myself from subscriptions I no longer needed. I spent less on eating out, going out, paying for things I didn’t need such as clothes or other items. I stopped buying so many gifts for people (this one is hard when you have a lot of close friends and family). Basically, I stopped spending money on things I didn’t need. If you want more ideas on this, here is a link you can go to for more ideas on saving money from Grant Sabatier.
  • I lived with my parents to save money. This one I also decided to do because I am in the process of buying a house for my dad, but this is not something you have to do. There are other ways to save on rent and/or mortgage. In fact, Grant Sabatier has some really great house hacking ideas for people who want to spend little to no money on living.
  • I sold my car and bought a used one with cash; this tip I got from Dave Ramsey. I had a 2018 Honda Civic with all the technology upgrades and okay 30k miles on it. I sold this car for $19.5k in July of 2021 and traded it in for a 2012 Nissan Sentra with another $1500 of cash to eliminate an $11k car loan. This made a huge dent in my debt! You do not have to get rid of your car, but for me this was a good choice since my car was worth a good amount more than I owed on it.

It took a year to get rid of $62k in debt and man, does it feel good! It took extra effort and definitely sacrifice! In this life, nothing comes easy, but it is possible! If I can do it, anyone can! From my personal experience, these are the steps that I took: finding ways to save money, finding ways to make more money, downgrade some of your personal items or luxuries, educate yourself on money and most importantly, BELIEVE IN YOURSELF!

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