Relationships, Work + Money

Simplifying Life to Pay off $50k of Debt

As I promised in our last post, I’m going to share with you exactly how we managed to pay off over $50,000 of debt in under one year.

Let me remind you, my wife and I are normal people (at least we think we are!) and during the process of becoming debt-free, we were making average salaries.

So before you say, “I can’t do that,” just hear us out.  

The idea actually came to us when we were on our weekly date night, eating dinner and reading about tiny homes at our favorite bookstore. Date night is something we’ve prioritized at least once a week since we got married, and it’s been one of the best things we’ve done for our relationship.

We decided that to become debt-free, we would move into a camper.

In fact, here’s my Instagram post that night.

We decided to move into the camper so that we could reduce our living expenses as much as possible. We created a “get out of debt” plan that outlined how much we could pay on all of our debts each month.

Once we paid off one debt, we added the amount we were paying on it to the next largest debt. It’s commonly known as the “Debt Snowball.”

In order to make the move, we sold our stuff on Craigslist. It was an experience, to say the least. It was extremely liberating to get rid of the stuff we knew we didn’t need (like the CD mixtape my high school girlfriend made me for our 3-week anniversary).

Overall, moving into the camper was not only an amazing way to reduce our expenses and help us get out of debt, but it also brought me and my wife so much closer together.

Here’s a pic of us from Christmas 2015.

Merry Christmas from the McCullocks. #mccullockfarm thanks to @joshmccullock for the amazing photos.

A post shared by Jenna McCullock (@jenmccullock) on

Making a plan for your money with your spouse can be hard, but it’s worth it.

Make it easy on yourself: go on a date night and begin unpacking what you can do today to improve your finances.

We did, and it changed our lives forever!

In the next post, I’ll share what it was really like living in a camper for 11 months with the goal of becoming debt-free.

Stay tuned.


About the Author:

Zack is the founder and Chief Blogger at FreeUp, where he and his wife share weekly money tips that demystify personal finance for twentysomethings. Their story has been featured in Forbes, Yahoo Finances, and U.S. News. Want some help getting your finances in order? Click here to download their latest budget spreadsheet for free.

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  • Reply Megan B. September 9, 2017 at 8:07 pm

    Did you purchase the camper going in? Or did you already own it?

    • Reply Jolena Mauch September 14, 2017 at 2:10 pm

      Zach was a guest writer for us, so we aren’t exactly sure of the answer to that. I would recomend checking out his website to find the answer you are looking for!

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