Real Life Debt Stories - Jen from Girl Seeks Joy

Real Life Debt Stories – Jen from Girl Seeks Joy

Real Life Debt Stories - Jen from Girl Seeks Joy.  Jen shares her debt story with us -  her starting debt, lightbulb moment, making extra money, favourite repayment methods and how to stay motivated.

Real Life Debt Stories - Jen from Girl Seeks Joy

Welcome to my series of 'Real Life Debt Stories'. The series is dependent on you sharing your stories, so if you are interested I'd love it if you'd complete this questionnaire. There are just 10 questions.

Thank you so much to Jen for completing the questionnaire and sharing your story.  Jen blogs over at Girl Seeks Joy all about her debt, recipes and journey to zero waste.

What was your Lightbulb moment?

When i got married, we took on my husbands $200k+ chiropractic school debt together. *gulp* Shortly afterward, I heard about Dave Ramsey, and it has been a gazelle like get away ever since (with a few stops along the way to graze on grass, ha!).

How much did you owe at the time of your Lightbulb moment?

At it's highest, we had $450k total (we are now down to $200k not including our mortgage).

How did you feel when you had your Lightbulb moment?

Crushing weight and a moment of pure anxiety. I remember feeling like my vision was narrowing and everything...that is when I actually allowed myself to truly FEEL the debt we had rather than just looking at it as "normal" or "good debt".

What/who were the circumstances which caused your debt?

Chiropractic school and my college degree were what we had in the beginning, and then we moved to Santa Barbara, CA to start a chiropractic business so that is how we got to the $450k.

What were the first steps you took in taking control of your debt?

We have never been big spenders, but we were spending without being intentional with our money and making a budget was huge for us.

Where are you now in your journey to being debt free? Do you have a target ‘debt free’ date?

I think it will take us another 3 years to get out of non-mortgage debt with $200k left to go.

Are there any debt repayment ‘methods’ that you would recommend? What has worked for you?

Take your budget seriously, and pay yourself first. Plan how much you want to put toward debt, and work backwards from there. Also, try to make extra money! I just recently started taking on Air BnB guests as a stay at home mom and I brought in an extra $2000 in just the first half of August!

What advice would you give to someone who has just had their ‘lightbulb’ moment?

Breathe...haha, but maybe you're not "six-figures under" so you don't need to breathe as deeply, haha. Put your head down and make a budget. Make a plan, and then work the plan. And listen to Dave Ramsey everyday. Truly that has helped me so much; just "redipping" myself every single day!

How do you stay motivated?

Listen to Dave Ramsey's podcast everyday. Read blogs about people going through this and staying motivated through their forward success. Do Dave Ramsey's snowball so that you psychologically feel success when you pay off the smallest debts first...get some wins under your belt right out of the gate!


Thank you so much for sharing your story Jen.  For anyone with a spare room, renting it out through Air BnB is a fantastic money making idea! 

More real life debt stories can be found here.

Would you like to Share Your Real Life Debt Story?

My aim is to feature ‘Real Life Debt Stories’ from people who have experienced debt. This could be debt of any size, type or reason. Debt that has been paid off, debt you want to start paying off or debt that you are currently in the middle of paying off. I want to share failures as well as successes including the reasons why you found yourself in debt in the first place – as everyone’s story is different.

It is important to show people that they are not alone. I also want to highlight that different methods of getting debt under control work for different people and that there is not a ‘One Size Fits All’ solution.

This is where you come in. If you are willing to share your story with my readers then I'd love it if you would complete this short questionnaire.  This can be completely confidential and names will not be shared OR if are happy for your name to be used, I can use it. If you also have a blog, I am happy to link to your blog too, alongside your story.

Looking to Start Your Own Debt Free Journey?

My 'Debt Busting - Get Set for Success' Ebook is available on Amazon for just £1.79 (or free on Kindle Unlimited).  This book will guide you through 6 practical steps showing you how to start tackling your debt, including:

  • Creating your Statement of Affairs
  • How to plan your budget
  • Choosing your debt repayment method
  • Making your money work for you