Money Health

These Influencers Paid Off $50,000+ in Debt. Find Out How.

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Paying off debt can seem like a slog when you’re in the thick of it. That’s why it’s so important to keep motivated by seeing what others are doing on their debt-free journey. The good news is that there are tons of inspiring debt payoff stories on social media.

If you’re in need of some motivation, check out these six influencers on Instagram.

@debtfreeinsunnyca

Founder Amanda Williams was 28 when she hit her breaking point and realized she couldn’t pay her student loans and car note. That’s what led her and her husband Josh to take a hard look at their finances and pay off $133,763 worth of debt in just three years and seven months.

How did she do it? By selling off as many things as she could, cutting her expenses drastically, and working to increase her income. She managed her money by sticking to a zero-based budget — where you take your income and allocate each dollar a “job” (including savings) so that every penny is accounted for.

While paying off debt, she created her Instagram account @debtfreesunnyca. She’s also credited with creating the hashtag #debtfreecommunity, which has been used more than half a million times by people who are actively working towards paying off their debt.

https://www.instagram.com/p/BzHYfndFfMQ/

@wisewomanwallet

Miss Wise was in $50,000 in debt from a combination of student loans and credit cards and decided to take drastic measures. In 2016, she moved to China to teach English abroad so that she could take advantage of the low cost of living and lucrative contracts. Her employer paid for her housing and some meals so that she was able to save more money to plow towards her debt.

So far, she’s paid off more than $14,000 worth of debt, saved $10,000 in an emergency fund, and paid for an online teaching certification that cost around $6,000. She’s also been able to travel internationally many times since making her move to China.

She openly shares her progress and tips for handling your finances over at her Instagram account @wisewomanwallet.

https://www.instagram.com/p/Bp4VeiUjddD/

@penniestowealth

DJ and Dannie are a couple in their 20s who had a tragic awakening regarding their finances when DJ’s mom committed suicide. When trying to make travel arrangements to fly to North Carolina for her funeral, they logged into their bank account and found they were overdrawn by $200. Their credit cards were maxed out and they were swimming in debt.

In less than three years, the couple paid off $130,912. They were able to do it by selling off a cars and the RV they lived in for nine months, drastically cutting back expenses, and aggressively paying off debt. Their Instagram account, @penniestowealth, shares bite-sized tips on how you can improve your financial situation.

@phoandfinance

Kat started her Instagram account @phoandfinance to chronicle her debt repayment journey. In two and a half years, she and her husband paid off $149,000 worth of debt. They were able do so by creating a strict budget, cutting any expenses they could, and staying put in their 650 sq. ft. apartment. Her family has also adopted a minimalist lifestyle, purchasing only things they truly value.

https://www.instagram.com/p/BsMkc-lj-Jx/?utm_source=ig_web_options_share_sheet

@thatdebtfreelife

Since 2017, Kate and her family have been tackling their $104,901 student loan debt, and have about $19,000 to go. Since they started their debt free journey, they’ve been able to put over 53% of their income towards their debt. How? By cutting out on expenses like eating out, earning money doing side hustles, doing no-spend challenges, and implementing a zero-based budget. On her Instagram account @thatdebtfreelife, Kate openly shares her financial goals each month and side hustle income.

@hisandhermoney

Dubbed America’s number one money couple, Talaat and Tai McNeely paid off $30,000 and an impressive $330,000 mortgage in five years all while living on a middle class income. Their philosophy is that couples can strengthen their marriage and money together. In addition to their Instagram account @hisandhermoney, their website offers videos, blogs and podcasts to help you manage your finances as a couple.

Learning how other people have paid off their debt could give you some great ideas about how to embark on a debt free journey of your own. We hope these accounts inspire you to join the #debtfreecommunity!

Sarah Li Cain is a finance writer specializing in topics such as loans, real estate, investing and banking. She's appeared in publications such as Transferwise, Wordpress, LendingTree and Vistaprint.