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Even if Heath and I don’t spend another dollar for the rest of the year, we aren’t going to pay off all of our debt by the end of the year.
Well, I say that but I’m still holding out that something miraculous happens and everything falls together and somehow we have $13,000 to put toward student loans.
That’s how much we currently owe.
We’ve officially paid over HALF of our student debt in the past 9 months. That’s serious hustle.
And as I’ve shared our debt story over the year (you can read my original post about how we are using our RV to pay off debt here), I’ve never exactly answered the question people have awkwardly whispered to me over the past few months:
“How exactly are you making money?”
That’s a fair question. Just a few months ago, my mother-in-law asked me what’s Heath job was. Sometimes even Heath asks me to explain what his job is (proof that husbands need wives).
The short answer is this: Heath and I work with authors to help them build an online business.
That’s as simple as I can make it sound. It involves a lot of camera work, building websites, emails, phone calls, and travel (our favorite part).
This week in fact, one of our clients Paul Angone is launching a online video course about helping people get unstuck. If you read my blog a few weeks back about living without a clear purpose, these videos helped me clarify my thoughts and start moving forward. (Here’s a link to the free video series if you’re interested.)
We’ve worked with three different authors this year, helping them build online courses and websites, which has accounted for roughly 75% of our income and covers all of our basic monthly expenses. We also guest blog for a few different RV-related companies and blogs and recently have started filming and editing wedding films with a friend (you can check out one of our favorites here).
With how much we’re making each month (and by living as cheaply as possible), we’ve managed to put an average of $1,500 toward debt each month.
At this rate, we will likely pay off the entire remaining balance in the next 8 months–But hopefully much sooner!
As Heath and I have paid off our loans this year, we’ve learned one huge lesson:
You can only save so much money.
We can only save so much on rent by living in an RV. We can only save so much using coupons and shopping sales. We can only save so much by not shopping for new clothes and not eating out. You can only eat so many bowls of off-brand Cheerios.
The real key to paying off debt is relatively simple: make more money.
It sounds both extremely difficult and very easy all at once. Of course making more money makes paying off debt easier. But how? How do you make extra income?
If you’ve taken Heath’s free course on How to See America on 2K/Month, he shares that his next big project is an online course teaching people how to make money while traveling. Because as we’ve traveled, we’ve learned a hundred different ways to earn money that don’t involve sitting in rush hour traffic or working in a cubicle.
To crush our remaining 13K balance, Heath and I are planning a few money makers. First, a crowdfunding campaign to pay for editing our documentary (more details on that soon!) so we can afford to spend time on our film. Second, an online course and guide to teach people how to travel full-time and how to make money on the road. And third, if we still haven’t paid off our debt, maybe we’ll sell one of Heath’s kidneys. He’s healthy. He’ll bounce back.
I’m just kidding.
You can’t let the stress of paying off debt steal away your sense of humor.
You just have to hustle, save what you can, and make as much as possible.