How I Saved $50,000 in 5 Months

When I started this journey to financial freedom through clothing resale, I wanted to make it stick. I utilized the Dave Ramsey Snowball plan.

According to Dave Ramsey, Financial Expert, when starting to get out of debt, you should pay off the smallest debt first in order to build momentum.

The math seems to lean more toward paying the highest interest debts first, but what we have learned is that personal finance is 20% head knowledge and 80% behavior. – Dave Ramsey

I started with two small loans. Both were under 7% interest but both had remaining balances of under $3,000. By February 2015 the first one was paid off, and that March the second one was destroyed.

It felt pretty freaking amazing. Momentum had been built. I could actually do this! I felt like the cowardly lion from the Wizard of Oz, after he FINALLY found his courage.

Watching those numbers drop did exactly what Dave Ramsey said that it would do — it made me feel like I was winning.

Was I ready to take on the Mount Everest of my student loan debt, the 13.5% behemoth at $27,557.79 (and climbing due to the outrageous interest rate). It was the loan that had almost completely crushed my dream of ever being financially free! Honestly, I had no idea if I could do it, but I knew I now had the momentum to try.

Well, I’m happy to report that on August 18th, 2016 I made my final $300 payment on that loan and am forever free of it. Not only did I pay off that loan that day, I also saved myself the massive pile of interest I was scheduled to accrue.

The horror of compound interest

The horror of compound interest

According to Navient if I had remained on the payment path they’d dictated for me, I wouldn’t be finished with payments until 2040. Not only would I have been 52 years old, but I would have paid a total of $75,000 to a loan that I had originally taken out for $14,727.

I paid $27.557.79 to a loan for which I was scheduled to pay $75,000. I saved myself $47,442.21.

Today my total loan balance is just shy of $80,000. If you had told me one year ago that I would be almost halfway done paying off my debt, I wouldn’t have believed it.

Set small goals for yourself and let your successes snowball into major triumphs. You can do it!

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Welcome to Debt Free Dawn! I'm a social worker by day and second-hand clothing flipper by night (and weekends) trying to pay down $130,000 of student loan debt as quickly as possible. Please comment below with any questions and thanks for visiting my site!


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  1. Good Job Dawn! I’m also going aggressive with getting rid of my loans and I’m down 38k since March. On my final loan of $10,862 and hopefully destroy it by Oct. – Chris O’Day

    • Dawn

      Good Job to you, Chris!! 38K is no joke! I wish you the best of luck in crushing that last $10,862 by October! Cheers to that! Mahalo- Dawn

  2. Heather Fernandez

    So you just resell your used clothing?? On EBay? I’ve been really wanting to do this and would love your advice! ???? Good for you, Dawn! ????????

    • Dawn

      Hey Heather! Clothes and a variety of other things that I pick up along the way that can fetch a profit! I utilize Ebay and two other sites. If you go to the homepage of this site, you can click the tab labeled ” Resale Site Reviews”. That should give you more information and a little extra guidance! Feel free to reach out to me anytime, I would love to help! – Dawn

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