Debt-free by 2015

Welcome to my new weekly feature!
I started this adventure on January 1, 2013,
and I'm so glad to now be sharing it with you.

Debt-free by 2015.
That's the plan.
In this feature, I'll share about my personal journey toward becoming a TFL!
(Totally Frugal Lady)

Warning: if you don't like thinking or talking about money, you can avoid these posts.
It won't hurt my feelings.  I know money can be a private issue for some.

But I am feeling a little nudge in my spirit to be more transparent about it.
So many people my age have major student loan debt - and sometimes it can be pretty emotionally stinky.  Even though we're told that student loan debt is "good debt," sometimes it still feels like a heavy cloud always lurking.  And folks carry all sorts of other debt, too.
This is not an uncommon issue - but often does remain a very private issue.
It's not longer going to be especially private for me - I feel excited to share about this new chapter of my life.

I'm hoping that these weekly posts can be a way for us all to learn from one another.
We can save.
And we can pay off our debt sooner than we think.
Let's do this! :)


I was very blessed with the opportunity to go to college at a great school, Wartburg College.
(Annual tuition plus room and board is now up to: $41,000)
And then I got to go to a great seminary, The Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago.

My family definitely helped me cover a good portion of the expenses.
I worked part time.
And I took out student loans.

The remaining balance is: $30,421

Also, my platelet issues have added a chunk of change.
I have great insurance through the ELCA!  And I am so thankful for that.  I cannot even imagine how high the bills would be without insurance, but I know it would be in the hundreds of thousands of dollars.  Platelet problems are not cheap.   Even with my great insurance, I do still have a balance of $4,200.  Thankfully, Mayo allows a monthly payment and they don't charge interest.  Thanks Mayo!

I've been paying my monthly payments on my student loans & Mayo bill for the last 3.5 years,
and that's been going along fine.  It hasn't been a burden, and I've been responsible all along the way.  But now I have a new plan.   I don't want to wait 7 more years to be done paying it all of.  I want to pay them off by January 1, 2015.

That's 2 years.  I finalized the details of my budget today after church.
If I stick to my budget VERY closely, I can do it!
I have a very positive feeling about this project.

I've always been about "average" when it comes to saving and spending.
I've always saved some and spent some. 
These next two years are sure to be a big challenge and a big learning opportunity.
I want to become an "above-average" saver.
This is my opportunity to really learn excellent saving habits.
This is my opportunity to become as frugal as possible.

The last 3 weeks of frugality have already felt really rewarding and positive.

In this weekly feature, I plan to share things like...

-My monthly budget check-ins (a way to hold myself accountable)
-Ways to save on groceries
-Cheap, healthy recipes
-Free entertainment ideas
-Ways I've saved money
-The emotional side of this journey

I hope you'll join me.
And I hope you'll comment now and then with your own tips!

Ready, Set, Save!


  1. CONGRATS! Wonderful! You have the right methodology. Wish our state and federal governments would do this!