During my freshman year of college, my parents and older siblings (and their spouses), all took FPU. As a 18 year old, I decided not to take it, but I was intrigued nonetheless. After realizing the magnitude of the student loan debt we had all accumulated, we sat down as a family to discuss a plan to support one another in paying off our debts.
Inspired, I immediately reevaluated my plans to continue accumulating debt in student loans, and determined that if I worked in the dorm (free room/board for RAs) and kept another part time job, I could pay for my schooling each semester without taking out anymore loans. My parents did not contribute to my college expenses, so I was mostly on my own. I was fortunate to have a scholarship and in-state tuition, allowing me to take a full load of classes for about $3,000 per semester. I didn’t really spend any money on clothes, eating out, entertainment, “college” related things, etc. while I was in college. I just worked and worked and worked, and my friends thought I was crazy. And of course I thought they were crazy for living off their parents or using student loans to pay their rent!
While working my way through school and seeing the success that my siblings had in managing their money, I read Dave’s Complete Guide to Money and it completely changed my life. By my senior year of college I was ready to say goodbye to my RA job and move into an apartment. I started budgeting as soon as I had a more normal cashflow of paying rent, utilities, etc. It was daunting to cover all of my expenses and tuition with part time work, but I was blessed with good jobs, and family members to feed me dinner on Sunday nights.
As my last semester of school approached, I looked at the debt I had accumulated my freshman year and decided there was no time like the present to get rid of it! I paid for my final spring semester of school in December 2015 and in January 2016 I started on the path to paying off my debt. It was $4,800, and per Dave’s suggestions, I went at it with intensity. I graduated in May and by November I was debt free!! I cannot believe the pride I feel in having paid for my education and having done it so successfully. It would have been impossible without the guidance of Dave Ramsey. I suggest his book to everyone I know!
After graduation I started my first year of teaching elementary music and I have never felt more blessed! I cannot believe how easy it is to live on a real salary after pushing and fighting my way through college with a hodge-podge of comparatively awful part time jobs. I’m now well on my way to saving lots and lots of money for whatever life brings, and of course pushing lots of money into an IRA. As a 22 year old with no debt, I feel so secure in my financial future and IT IS ALL BECAUSE OF DAVE!