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February 25, 2018

Snorkeling in Tonsai Beach Thailand

Guys, I write this post to you today as a liberated, debt-free woman! I can’t believe it. It’s been three long years since the last time our credit cards had zero balances. It feels like a ton of bricks has been lifted off our backs and we even saved $15,000 for our trip to every country in the world (Check out our YouTube Channel)! Now, we want to teach you how you can pay off debt and save money to travel the world, just like we did!

When we posted our happy, debt-free picture on Facebook, we were surprised to see how many of our friends were struggling to pay off debt. For those of you in that position, I feel you. I know what it’s like to see your bills and feel like they’re insurmountable. Between Daniel and I, we had 10 credit cards, 3 of which were maxed out. All in all, in three years we paid off a total of $70,435.42. On top of that, just 6 months later we were able to save $15,000 to fund our travels for the first year.

We got into debt in when we decided to travel through Europe (#noregrets). Just two broke college students with a dream. We knew we wanted kids sooner rather than later and treated the trip as a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Now, don’t get me wrong. Our trip was NOT $70,000… but because we didn’t have anything saved beforehand, and couldn’t work the entire time we were abroad, we came back to a bunch of bills and had to take out a loan to pay them. Debt accrued like wildfire after that.

This is How You Can Pay off Debt and Save Money to Travel the World, too:

To be Debt Free we Had to Make a lot of Sacrifices

For the three years following our trip, we rarely went out with friends, ate out once every two weeks, and even stopped celebrating holidays. Every year for Christmas, our birthday, and even our anniversary, we would write each other a little love note and that’s it. I would literally go to Target, grab something I wanted, and by the time I made it to the register I had talked myself out of it, and would walk out of the store empty-handed.

It was hard. A lot of our friends and family didn’t understand why we wouldn’t participate in certain occasions, often times telling us that we “still have to live life” despite our debt. But Daniel and I knew what was important to us, and paying off debt fast was our number one priority.

To Pay Debt Off Fast, We Started with a Budget

Before we could figure out how much money we could throw toward debt every month, we had to know how much money was coming in, and how much would go straight to bills. Going through every single one of our bills also showed us the things we were paying for that we weren’t even using, like:

Our premium Netflix account, which we downgraded to the most basic plan

Our phone plan, that was more than what we needed

And the scariest thing to get rid of, Daniel’s truck

It not only gave us a substantial amount of money that we used to pay two credit cards with, but it also saved us $500 a month worth of gas and insurance. Again, comfort was not our priority; convenience was not our priority… being debt-free was.

After cutting out our excess expenses, we were able to put between $1000 and $1500 dollars a month toward our credit card bills. Using a debt repayment calculator can help you figure out how fast you can pay off your debt, and how much interest it will cost you!

Pay off Debt and Save Money to Travel the World

Order Matters When Paying Off Debt

When you have multiple credit cards, it’s hard to decide which one to pay off first. Some people like to pay off the one with the smallest balance first so they can see the progress. Others like to make small payments to all of the cards. I ordered all ten of our cards in order by the highest interest rate. Organizing them this way allowed us to figure out which card was costing us the most money in interest. I would pay off the most expensive card and made minimum payments on all of the other cards. This allowed us to save the most money in interest.

To pay off debt and save money to travel the world you should:

  • Apply for 0% interest credit cards, and transfer the balance of your most expensive card to that one. This saved us A LOT of money on interest because it consolidated our debt. I just always made sure to pay off the card before the interest kicked in.
  • Use up our entire stash of hotel shampoo, conditioner, and lotion bottles
  • Sell things you don’t use or want, online and to consignment shops
  • Buy gift cards to restaurants that offer a bonus card to save money on our eating out
  • Join iBotta and save over a hundred dollars on groceries and household items (Get $10 just for signing up)
  • Downgrade your Netflix Account
  • Join the Bambino App to get extra babysitting gigs
  • Only buy things you actually need (Read About How Here)

Now we’re Debt Free, Saved Money to Travel the World, and Are Happier Than Ever!

Three years and $70,000 later, we have paid off all of our debt. This feeling was worth every missed holiday, and penny pinched. Now, we use our excess money to fund our dream of traveling the world (which started in June 2018)!!

I hope you found this post helpful and that you’ve learned how you can pay off debt and save money to travel the world! If you don’t know how to get started or create a budget you can get your very own copy of the exact spreadsheet we used to pay off our debt by signing up for our library of resources below!

Biggest Takeaway:

I don’t want you to think that debt is this insurmountable thing that you can never pay off. With a few sacrifices, some savvy debt repayment tips, and commitment, you too can pay off debt and save money to travel the world!

If you have any money saving tips or tricks that work for you, please comment them below and shoot us a message if you have any questions!

Related: We Sold Everything to Travel the World: Here’s Why

Pay off debt and save money to travel the world with your friends by sharing this pin with them! 🙂

  • so wonderful and inspiring!!!
    (Mikey and Jack’s mom)

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