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Friday inspiration: Making lifestyle changes to pay off debt & accumulate wealth

Friday inspiration: Making lifestyle changes to pay off debt & accumulate wealth

This is part of a series of interviews with people who are either working to improve their financial situation or who have already reached their goals. This week’s interview is with Aaron S., who has made lifestyle changes to pay off debt & accumulate wealth.

Could you tell us something about yourself?
I am a 27 year old MBA student who has finally started making real changes in my life. Budgeting and not drinking are two things that have really changed my life.

In what way have you turned your financial life around?
I have started spending every dollar on paper before I actually spend a dime. I have also decided to pay off all my debt, except for my condo.

Can you give a little bit of background on your story? What were things like for you pre-change?
I was basically just getting by in life. I would party away all my extra money, about $500 a month or so. Plus I used to overdraft my account on a monthly basis for “needs” like going out to the bar with friends. But I thought it was fine because I had a good job and everybody else was going out.

Then my aunt died and I knew I was going to get some inheritance from her, about $25k. My aunt was like a second mom for me. I knew if I continued to drink, I would just spend it all on stupid things. So I quit drinking and took an honest look at my financials. My net worth was very negative and I hated the feeling of that. Listening to podcasts, reading personal finance books and the guidance of Dave Ramsey has got me on track to become wealthy down the road. I have never felt so good in my life!

How much progress have you made?
I have paid off about $11k in CC and family debt. I will pay off another $11k of student debt in January. My overall spending per month has also dropped considerably and I have been using the extra towards any debts.

How do you feel about your financial situation right now?
I feel that I am on track to accumulate considerable wealth in the next 10 years.

What was the catalyst that caused you to take action?
My aunt’s death.

Did you have any setbacks? If so, how did you deal with them?
None so far. I have my emergency fund in place, so I hope this doesn’t happen.

What has been the hardest part of the process?
Saying no to friends when it comes to going out and not drinking.

The easiest?
Life is so much easier because it is so much simpler.

How long has it taken?
I have been working on it for about 2 months.

What will be your next step?
Pay off my student loan and get my emergency fund up to 6 months.

What’s the best financial advice you’ve received?
Most people spend their money to impress people they don’t know or don’t like.

What inspiration could you give to someone in a similar situation?
Financial stability is a very peaceful place to be!

Would you like to share your story? If you would like to be interviewed via email for a future article, please email me at c o m m e n t s (without the spaces) to let me know you’re interested.

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