Good Morning America recently aired a segment called “Insta-Debt Free? How Social Media Can Help You Shed The Debt.” The spotlight was on a woman using her Instagram platform of more than 230,000 followers for a unique and noble mission: to teach Americans how to live debt-free.
According to GMA, three of the most searched hashtags on Instagram are “budgeting,” “financial freedom,” and “debt-free.” And since that’s everything Debt.com believes in, we wanted to ask these financially, tech-savvy ladies to share their best financial advice with us.
Click or swipe through to read our 9 favorite tips from social media influencers in the “debt-free community.”
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1. Bola Sokunbi, Clever Girl Finance
As a young college student, I found myself in credit card debt which caused me a lot of stress because I had no idea how it was being calculated or how I was going to pay it back earning barely any money.
Learning from that experience, some key things you need to understand and implement to get ahead of your debt is to make sure you know what your interest rates are and how they’re compounded.
Create a priority list of all your debt organized by the lowest balance or highest interest rate. Make it a goal to pay more than the minimum payment to your top priority debt – and build your debt repayment into your budget so you have a plan of attack each month.
Learn more at Clever Girl Finance
Image Credit: Courtesy Bola Sokunbi, Clever Girl Finance.
2. Sarah Wilson, Budget Girl
I used what I call the “scorched earth” method to fast-track my debt payoff journey, during which I drastically cut all my variable expenses to the minimum and worked as many side hustles as possible, essentially making earning money my hobby for a year.
Going “hard” and living very frugally for a short period of time drastically shortened the length of time I was in debt. Using this method, I was able to pay off $13k in less than a year making only $30k a year from my day job.
This hustle made a huge difference, both in the amount of interest I paid on my debt and for my long term net worth. I was able to start investing and saving sooner and move forward with my other money goals, mainly buying multifamily real estate.
Many of my followers and friends in the #debtfreecommunity have adopted the scorched earth method to make a big dent in their debt.
Learn more at Budget Girl
Image Credit: Courtesy Sarah Wilson, Budget Girl.
3. Justine Nelson, Debt-Free Millennials
My best advice for people trying to become debt-free is to write down your income and expenses in the form of a budget. If you don’t see what money is coming in and going out you won’t be able to come up with a plan to pay off your debt. Your budget could be in a spreadsheet, on a sheet of paper or even a whiteboard.
Use what works best for your brain and make budgeting a routine habit. Budgeting is the best tool that I used to pay off $35,000 in student loan debt. I still use it to this day to track my finances.
Learn more at Debt-Free Millennials
Image Credit: Courtesy Justine Nelson, Debt-Free Millennials.
4. Amanda Williams, Debt-Free in Sunny CA
My best advice for people working to become debt-free is to create and stick to your budget, celebrate your wins and find a community of people that support you.
Debt is a taboo topic in our culture. It isn’t talked about often amongst friends and family. My social circle was no different, so I reached out to people on the internet who were aspiring for the same financial freedom.
Every time I made a payment, they were there to cheer me on. When unexpected events happened, they offered advice and encouragement to continue. Even though they were essentially strangers, in the beginning, they held me accountable and were the motivation I needed to reach my goal.
Finding people that understand your trials and tribulations through this process is essential to success – from debt payoff to your first investment. It really is all about community.
When you get discouraged, take a look back at all the progress you’ve made to motivate yourself.
Learn more at Debt-Free in Sunny CA
Image Credit: Courtesy 4. Amanda Williams, Debt-Free in Sunny CA.
5. Allison Baggerly, Inspired Budget
Focusing on paying off debt frees you to live the life you want without loans holding you back. It allows you to actually reach the dreams that you never thought were possible! You’ll be able to save more money than you ever imagined.
The debt snowball method – focusing the largest payment on your smallest debt while paying the minimum on the others – is a great way to pay off debt while getting the motivation you need to stay the course!
Learn more at Inspired Budget
Image Credit: Allison Baggerly, Inspired Budget.
6. Tiffany Aliche, The Budgetnista
Being debt-free does not equal wealth. When you focus solely on getting debt-free, that’s all you’ll achieve. When you focus on growing wealth, you get debt freedom and financial freedom.
This is why I created the Live Richer Academy, my online school. I wanted to help women obtain their financial goals above and beyond getting rid of debt.
The Live Richer Academy teaches women how to invest, start a business and maximize their entire financial life within a safe, supportive, private community filled with experts! Learn more at livericheracademy.com.
Learn more at The Budgetnista
Image Credit: Courtesy Tiffany Aliche, The Budgetnista.
7. Vee Weir’s, Vee Frugal Fox
The biggest thing to hold on to when paying off debt is that it is possible. Being in debt may be what everyone else is doing, but it doesn’t have to be what you do.
There will be people around you that will tell you otherwise, but if you keep at it – if you want financial freedom more than anything else – you will become debt-free. It’s all about being comfortable in your choice to go against the grain of what society deems financially “normal.” Being a rebel has never paid off more.
Learn more at Vee Frugal Fox
Image Credit: Courtesy Vee Weir’s, Vee Frugal Fox.
8. Kumiko Love, The Budget Mom
The Budget-By-Paycheck Method has helped so many people become debt free because it’s 100% customizable. You aren’t forced into a budgeting or debt payoff box. You have to bring financial awareness into your life, and that starts with tracking your spending.
It’s the first step in my budgeting method and the most important one. It’s a step that is often overlooked. This should be done before ever creating a budget or plan of attack for your debt.
Learn more at The Budget Mom
Image Credit: Courtesy Kumiko Love, The Budget Mom.
9. Merilee Speigner, Easy Budget Blog
When we graduated college with $71k of debt and 22 different loans, we already had two children to support and only one income. We knew it was going to be tough.
We used the debt snowball method to pay off our debt because quickly paying off those little loans first and checking them off our huge list was exciting! It was an exhilarating feeling every time we marked a loan ‘paid in full.’ It actually became kind of fun and addicting! We were able to stick with it until both those numbers were zero.
Learn more at the Easy Budget Blog
Image Credit: Courtesy Merilee Speigner, Easy Budget Blog.
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