I am on off campus graduate student. I stayed my Master's process one and a half years ago. I chose Emporia State because of the online aspect and reputation. The same month I was accepted into the program, my husband took a leap of faith and started his own business and we find out we were pregnant with our third child. World flipped.
Luckily, we have been on the same page financially since day one. We have been married for four years. Right before our fourth anniversary, we became 100% debt free. We hadn't dug a huge debt hole, but it took discipline and a plan.
Debt came from our house which we paid off in three years($40,000). We had a loan from a family member so needed to pay it off quick. High monthly payments, but it was great to own our house in three years during that time we also made many updates to the house. The other. Another piece of our debt our came from a farm investment. We purchased cattle using a FSA loan. We borrowed $54000 to purchase cattle with a 1.34% interest rate. This was a seven year loan we paid off in two years. We used the money from high beef prices to pay off the loan early. We didn't need the money at the time so we decided it would be better to knock out the loan quickly. The last major chunk of debt came from my undergraduate student loans. At the time of marriage I still had about $12,000 remaining on student loans. We were able to pay this off in just over a year of marriage. It's pretty crazy to think we paid off $106,000 in debt in four years.
During that time we also paid cash for many major expense. Purchasing two used business cars, medical expenses for two pregnancies, an additional hospital visit, yearly vacations, and many other things.
Since being debt free, we also increased our children's college saving and additional retirement options. We max out our yearly retirement contribution. Our next goal is to be able to do that on college savings as well.
Being debt free is a great feeling. We use open communication on purchases. I think that is the biggest factor. We communicate our financial goals and work towards the goals together.