For many, even after college and entering the workforce, it seems like debt relief will never come. That’s certainly how Anthony and Jhanilka Hartzog felt! However, they managed to use some side hustles to pay off their $114,000 in just 23 months! Read on to discover their incredible story…
During Christmastime in 2016, Hartzogs were buying presents and essentials for their home and using credit cards like everyone else. Typically, they’d use the cards for cash rewards, redeem it, and then immediately pay the money back. “But that Christmas we ran over by a couple thousand and we couldn’t pay it off, so we had to dip into savings to pay it off,” they explained.
However, this dip into the savings became the final straw. When the Hartzogs reviewed their huge debt, they almost gave up. “About $2,600 on credit cards, which was mostly from groceries and flights. Then a $24,000 car loan, which was probably more expensive than I needed my car to be. My student loans were another $24,000 and my wife had $63,500 in student loans, too,” Anthony said.
So, when 2017 rolled around, the couple decided to become more serious about their finances. While everyone else would struggle, they wanted to start working and earning more, halt the spending, and take steps towards a better financial future. But, what did they do, exactly?
Making Serious Moves
The first step for the couple was to move somewhere less costly, saving on rent and living expenses. Thankfully, Anthony found a job in Dallas, Texas and the couple managed to move out of New York. Still, even with them both earning $190,000 annually, they still had no idea how to manage their budget. So, when they lowered their living costs, they were able to contact a financial advisor and take some financial education courses in 2017. That’s when they started budgeting and making a plan to pay off their debt.
“Budgeting was the most significant thing we realized how to manage. A budget isn’t something that controls your money, it allows you to tell your money how you want to spend it,” the couple said afterward. Then, Anthony and Jhanilka started looking for more ways to make money…
Side Hustles And Motivation
When it came to side hustles, the couple decided to diversifying, trying a bit of everything. For example, Anthony decided to take up a part-time job at the gym, since he loves it so much. Meanwhile, as Jhanilka loved taking walks outside and animals, she decided to start dog watching and walking whenever she could! They also rented out their car and helped wash pets!
How did they stay so tough and motivated? Hartzogs share that to pay off fast, a borrower needs to visualize the idea of it, dollar by dollar. Also, financial podcasts and stories help motivate anyone to work harder. Take a page from the Hartzogs’ book and get out there!