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On today’s episode of the Money Made Easy Podcast we have Elizabeth of @elizabethsaves on Instagram, to talk about how to pay down debt. Her and her husband paid off $227,000 in a couple of years.
After buying a house, things started to spiral for them pretty quickly, Elizabeth explains. Little purchases here and there, started adding up.
When Elizabeth went to make a final payment for their honeymoon, she wasn’t sure if she would have enough credit to pay off the thousand dollars still owed. This was the first wake up call.
Shortly after they were married, Elizabeth’s father died unexpectedly. He had been a big money role model for her and his death motivated her to live a life that reflected their values.
All of these moments, led to the realization that they weren’t living in a way that reflected the people they wanted to be. This led to them taking control of what they wanted their future to look like.
Elizabeth’s husband came home and mentioned that he had heard about a debt snowball payoff method and that led her to start learning more. She quickly went deep in researching all about money and became motivated to pay down debt.
Elizabeth loves a plan. If she can write it down then she is good about putting her head down and accomplishing it.
When Elizabeth and her husband sold their house they made $30,000 in the 3 years they had owned it. This helped them finish paying off his student loan debts.
Then with Elizabeth’s new job in New York City, they live without rent or utility expenses so that is what has definitely helped them pay off the rest of their debt.
Elizabeth became very frugal and shares some of the extreme ways she saved money. She had a big friend group that socialized a lot and not wanting to miss out on this, she would eat before going or even pack a peanut butter and jelly sandwich and cheese stick and eat in the car and then just order a beverage at dinner.
Elizabeth says, “I’m a big believer that your budget should let you say yes, more than it makes you have to say no.” A lot of the time people don’t start budgeting because they think it’s going to be restrictive and change the way they live their life.
You have to negotiate what’s important to you. Elizabeth would take the money that she would have spent and pay it towards a debt.
We also talk about how there needs to be more discussions about money. Also, about how shame and guilt can be a part of paying down debt and talking about it makes it the shame and guilt go away.
We also talked about pay transparency and investing are also so important. More discussion about all of these topics opens up the conversation and takes the fear out of learning.
Elizabeth also encourages calling a financial advisor and interviewing them and asking them your questions. Do not be afraid to ask and even look on Instagram for knowledge – it’s available everywhere.
Now the goals they’re working on are investing and maxing out their retirement accounts. They would also eventually like to save up enough money for a down payment on a place in the city.
One of the things they tried early on was gazelle intent. You cut all expenses you deem unnecessary. They decided that intensity just wasn’t for them. They wanted to not just pay down debt, they wanted to establish long term financial habits.
Elizabeth thinks it’s important to listen to the experts and then figure out what works for you. She believes you should DIY your own approach to what you want to accomplish.
It’s important to have a balance and find what works for you longterm. Creating good sustainable habits early on is helpful and important.
It’s easier to align your budget to what’s authentic for you. It’s important to be authentic in your values.
Working at the Juillard School, she tries having conversations with the students about having multiple streams of income. She recognizes the challenge that comes with going to school in New York.
If marketing does it’s job, we want all the things. I’ll start this when I have that is a way to postpone trying things or spending on things. However, it’s important to find a way to just start.
For someone in debt, Elizabeth recommends just starting. You don’t have to have all the information before starting. Whether you do the debt snowball or debt avalanche doesn’t matter.
Elizabeth thinks it’s important to know your why. Their why was they wanted to live in alignment with their values. You might need to start with what are your values.
Money can be uncomfortable. As a result, questions about values can be uncomfortable. Most importantly, owning the discomfort and sitting with those questions is an important part of growth.
We love Elizabeth’s definition for success – “I know I’m successful when the things I’m doing align with my purpose and I’m living boldly, confidently, authentically in a way that represents what it is I value.”
She also added that it’s important to not be afraid to fail. If you’re afraid to fail you never start. You’re going to fail with money and it’s okay. It’s just a moment, not the story.
The three words she thinks of when she thinks about money are alignment, sustainable, and transparency. If you listened to this whole episode with Elizabeth, you know she lives these words.
Find her on Instagram at –
And her website is –