This time of year always gets me thinking about the many blessings in my life. Of course, we should be thankful all year, but I feel especially grateful during the holiday season. This year is particularly exciting for me because I plan to have my $127,000 of debt paid off in full by the end of December. I have so many reasons to be thankful. Here are the top five financial reasons why I’m feeling grateful this holiday season.
1. I’m thankful for paying off six-figure student loan debt.
It’s such a relief to be almost free of $127,000 of debt. Massive debt takes an emotional toll on a person, and it feels like a huge weight is finally being lifted from my shoulders. While financial stress is an inevitable part of life for those of us who aren’t rich, getting rid of six-figure debt will reduce my money-related stress immensely. I am thankful for my friend who suggested that I read one of Dave Ramsey’s books. His debt snowball approach has allowed me to pay off my debt faster than I ever thought possible.
2. I’m thankful for my emergency fund.
I’m also grateful for my emergency fund, which has saved my butt more times than I can count. Whether it’s car repairs, medical bills, emergency vet visits for my pug, or other expensive surprises, my emergency fund is always there for me when I need it.
I keep at least $1,000 in my emergency fund at all times. This prevents me from having to rely on loans or credit cards whenever minor emergencies arise. During my journey to debt freedom, I’ve learned that there’s one thing I can count on – there will always be emergencies that pop up. If I didn’t have an emergency fund, I never would’ve been able to dig my way out of massive debt in just four years. Instead, I would’ve continued racking up more debt each time I encountered an emergency. My emergency fund has been a crucial part of my debt payoff success.
3. I’m thankful for side hustles.
Side hustles are another reason why I’ve been able to pay off my debt so quickly. I earn extra income with my blog via sponsored posts, affiliate marketing, and freelance writing. It is incredible to be living in a time where it’s possible to make money this way. I feel fortunate to be able to earn extra money to pay off debt while I’m doing something that I love. There are many other easy ways to earn extra income these days, like pet sitting, driving for Uber or Lyft, freelancing, and so many more. I’m thankful to have these options.
4. I’m thankful for resources that talk openly about money.
Money has always been a taboo subject, but we’re beginning to speak more and more openly about it. Thanks to personal finance blogs and websites like TFD, many people are inspired to pay off debt and change their financial situations. After I read one of Dave Ramsey’s books, I started reading several money-related blogs. Reading these made me realize that paying off debt isn’t as crazy as some people think it is. I discovered that there are many other people in the same situation I’m in who managed to pay off insane amounts of debt. I felt inspired and encouraged.
5. I’m thankful for the opportunity to change my financial situation.
Lastly, I’m thankful to have had the opportunity to fix my financial mess. I am fortunate in many ways. I grew up in a middle -class family, I live in a first world country, and I have a master’s degree. I have the ability to increase my income drastically as I continue to gain more work experience. Unfortunately, there are many people in the world who are not so lucky. Getting out of debt has had its challenges, but I’ve always had the power to change my situation. I am so fortunate for that.
One Last Thought
Getting out of debt isn’t easy, but I’m thankful that after four years of hard work, I will be debt-free within the next couple of months. I’m grateful for everything that has inspired me or allowed me to pay off my debt – like my emergency fund, side hustles, personal finance websites, and the opportunities I’ve had in life. I’ll be even more thankful when I push the button to make that final payment on my student loans!
Jen is an HR/Finance professional and frugal lifestyle blogger. Jen and her husband are paying off $117,000 of student loan debt in just three years. She writes about healthy eating on a budget, affordable wedding tips, destroying debt, and living frugally on her blog Frugal Millennial.
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