Only 5 years ago Lauren Dahl found herself $87,000 in debt. Today, she’s debt-free, and she’s sharing 5 of her getting-out-of-debt secrets with us! How’d she do it?
Unconventional Debt-Reduction Strategies with Lauren Dahl…
“Flash back to 2007. I had just moved to Utah from Colorado and started a new job at an advertising agency. I had a master’s degree, a satisfying career and a good salary. Life was good, right?It would appear so, but upon closer inspection, you would see my $32K+ in credit card debt, $55K+ in student loans, a 560-ish credit score and a penchant for $500 shoes. Really.
Up until that point, I’d always told myself, ‘You can pay it off later when you make more money.’ But you know what? The more money I made, the more I spent. (Isn’t it funny how that seems to work?) Something had to change.
So, how am I now free of credit card debt (with a 780+ credit score to boot)? Here are 5 of my most successful getting-out-of-debt strategies:
1. I canceled all my magazine subscriptions and cable.
2. I used public transportation.
3. I analyzed past spending habits.
4. I wouldn’t buy anything over $50 without thinking about it for a week.
5. I realized being financially smart is never embarrassing.
Once I changed my mindset, I became more embarrassed for the person who thought they needed an $80 t-shirt than I was for not being able to (or wanting to!) afford one. I realized that all the people I was trying to impress didn’t matter.
Lauren Dahl is a marketing professional turned stay-at-home mom and part-time freelancer. She lives in Salt Lake City with her husband, daughter and two cats. During the rare moment she’s not chasing a toddler, she designs knitting patterns, sews hand-made clothes and works on perfecting her pizza recipe. Her family’s “someday” financial goal is to move to the French countryside – just a train’s ride away from Paris (for her) AND world-class bouldering (for her husband). She blogs at Lauren Dahl.
What are your go-to strategies for keeping your finances in line, and what are you currently focusing on in your get out of debt mission?
If you have a story about how you paid off a ton of debt or if you have another great money related story that would help others send me an email at: email@example.com (please note that credit or lending companies will not be considered for inclusion; only real people with real stories will be considered! :)
P.S. Ready to get out of debt ASAP? Check out the Spending Fast Bootcamp!
I love your blog. Most the blogs I look at make me want to buy things, and your blog help keeps it in perspective. Thank you!
That’s so good to hear! Thanks Mickelle!
I’m a recent newlywed and I’m tired of disappointing my husband with my bad spending habits! I found your blog just in the nick of time. New year, new spending habits.
Thanks so much!!
Oh girl, I know the feeling! You can change your ways- trust me!:)
This was such a great article – it makes me feel so much better that there is a light at the end of the tunnel. My debt is very small $2000, but my credit score has been completely slashed at 585. I love these great tips and it will really help me with my spending – I waste a lot of money on going out to eat and sporadic purchases.
wow! that`s an amazing achievement!
I’ve found that frugality has become cool among my friends – most of them, anyway – since we’ve all realized the value of being debt free as a first step toward losing the BIG debt aka mortgage!
Way to go!
Frugality is popular among your friends?! I like y’all! My kind of people!;)
This is true of me too: the more money I make, the more I spend. Time to take back control!
I’ve been on a debt reducing roller coaster the past year or so. I’ve been really great at paying off debt (at one point, I only owed on 1 credit card!), but lately, I’ve added 2 more cards (though not maxed out) back onto that list. I’m ready for a spending fast in 2013. I will tackle my cards first, then my student loans! I’m so glad I found your site!! I look forward to continuing to read it as support and encouragement throughout the new year!!
I’m trying to pay off my credit card debt too. I’ve got a lot of medical bills adding up :( Thanks for sharing!
Lauren, What advice do you have for improving a credit score?? Congratulations on bringing yours up to 780!
I’ve always enjoyed Lauren’s blog Baste and Gather as her writing has a very friendly easygoing style. Now that I know about her financial achievements I feel like this is something I can do as well :)