December 17, 2011 was undeniably one of the best days of my life as it was the day I finally crossed the stage to earn my Bachelor's degree. This day filled with joy and happiness, however, quickly turned into me scrambling to figure out how to pay all of the debt I had accumulated over those past 4 years. Student loans alone were approaching nearly $35,000, I had numerous bills to pay including a car note, and on that particular day, I still had yet to secure a job. It was almost like everything happened so quickly. Fortunately for me, I gained employment with a company 10 days after graduation that allowed me to make a decent wage as a fresh, new graduate. I moved back in with my parents (something I never thought I'd have to do again), started couponing, started budgeting every cent that I spent, and became extremely frugal with the little money I had. Each month, I overpaid on every loan I had in order to pay off the debt sooner and decrease the amount of interest I accumulated. It was a very long 2 years and I felt extremely broke for the entire time, but all of the lifestyle changes I made allowed me to pay off all of my debt in those 2 years. During that time, I was accepted into graduate school and was able to earn so many scholarships and awards that I anticipate graduating with my Master's in May completely DEBT FREE! It feels so good to look back at my first experience of being up to my ears in bills and loans and growing myself into a money-savvy frugalista. I'm still have so much to learn about my finances, which is why I joined SALT, but I'm very proud of what I've accomplished thus far!