After graduating from college, I moved back home with my parents in New York and spent a year subbing before landing a full time job as a music teacher at an elementary school.
It was a great job at a great school district in a great neighborhood.
My starting teacher salary was average for my area on Long Island, but it didn’t matter to me because I had a job.
The reality of starting my career felt great, but there was another reality holding me back: student loan debt.
I had 45k in student loan debt.
I know some people are fine having debt and paying it off little by little over time, but I wasn’t one of those people.
I felt suffocated by my debt.
It just seemed impossible as a teacher to get my life started with all of this debt holding me back.
I reached out to other teachers in my school who also had debt and the responses from everyone were the same, that I would be paying off my debt for a long, long time. Most said 15+ years.
That seemed absurd to me.
So with the support of my family and mostly blind ambition, I decided to face my debt head on.
I increased my earnings through side hustling after school and cut practically all my expenses.
At one point I was teaching about 20 private music lessons each week after school.
Instead of getting my own apartment like my other friends I continued to live with my parents.
I drove my dads old car.
I bought nothing that was non-essential.
I passed up on MANY beer drinking opportunities with friends. (This was by far the hardest)
There was a lot of sacrifice.
Through this effort though, I managed to pay off all 45k in student loan debt in less than 2 years.