How one man paid off $30,000 of student loans in just 1 year

Just a few years ago, Brian Meiggs, the author of Millennial Money Guide, graduated from college with a degree, as well as $30,000 worth of debt. Thanks to smart side hustles, experimenting with stocks and receiving regular payments from his new job, Brian was able to pay off his mountain of debt in just 12 months. Find more below on his tricks for paying off student loans and becoming financially free in record time!

1. When did you realize that you needed to take control of your finances?

After graduating college with student loan debt worth $30,000, I realized that in order to pay them off quickly that I would need to make some adjustments to my finances.

2. What was the very first step you took on your journey to financial freedom?

I spent some time figuring out what expenses to cut and how to minimize spending. I adhered to a very strict budget, which allowed me to save a good portion of my monthly income. Along with the bi-weekly payments coming in from my job, I developed multiple streams of income through stock market trading and side hustles. My living situation also allowed me to save. I lived with my parents for a few months so that I could save money on rent which allowed me to tackle my student loans head on. I managed to pay off $30,000 of student loans in just 12 months after graduating college.

3. What do you know now that wish you had known about personal finance at the beginning of your journey?

The biggest factor in battling debt was ultimately paying more than the monthly minimum. At times, I would be making $1000 or up to $4000 lump sum payments when the minimum was only $300! Got a bonus check? The entire amount went towards paying down those pesky student loans.

4. What is your #1 rule for getting rid of debt?

Making drastic lifestyle changes in order to break free from being in debt. This may mean curbing your spending or finding a way to earn more money. Many people, like myself, did a combination of both.

I still recall the feeling I felt when I made that very last student loan payment. After paying off $30,000 in student loans, I created the Millennial Money Guide website in order to share my experience and knowledge in personal finance and entrepreneurship. I now spend time teaching others how to balance finances now and preparing for the future through fiscally smart decision making. I'm also still debt free. You can learn more about me on my website: www.millennialmoneyguide.com

Thanks to Millennial Money Guide for the words of wisdom! Be sure to check back for more personal stories from other Finance Collective members.

RELATED: Don't throw off your finances with one of these purchases

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Top 5 worst purchases you can make for your financial future
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Top 5 worst purchases you can make for your financial future

"The main point is buying a home is nothing more than a savings account. It's not an investment that will consistently make you money. Meaning you're most likely sacrificing millions of dollars down the road because of your home purchase. Think about that before you commit to a 30 year mortgage and $250,000 on a house as a young adult."

Credit: Take Your Success

"Who wouldn't want to buy a brand new $30,000 car with a sleek design, flashy wheels, exquisite interior, and new car smell? I know I would. But buying a new car is like buying a stock on its worst trading day of the year. Because a new car value drops 11% the second you drive this shiny toy off the lot. That 11% loss is nothing to take lightly. Then when you add the interest rate to the car loan, things only get worse."

Credit: Take Your Success

"Buying a boat, motorcycle, RV, small plane, etc., is undoubtedly the wrong move to make as a young adult in your 20s. Save that for later when you're financially free and have more money to throw around."

Credit: Take Your Success

"Look, I get it. Fashion is trendy, it's cool, and it inspires confidence... But there's a difference between looking presentable and balling out at the mall like you're on a mission to spend as much money as possible." 

Credit: Take Your Success

"Since they get worn down and lose value with each step, shoes offer weak long-term durability and that's why they're a worse purchase than clothes. You can at least resell clothes and sometimes get 50% of the purchase price. But it's extremely difficult to recover money from selling used shoes. It's best to think of your shoes like you would your car, just a resource to get you from point A to B."

Credit: Take Your Success

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