Having debt sucks, but the discipline required to pay off debt can change your life. Enter Zina Kumok. Zina is a 25 year old who graduated from college two and half years ago with $28,000 in student loan debt. So far, this story isn’t unique. A lot of students graduate every year with student loans, and yet this is where their story and Zina’s diverge. Zina got angry and impatient. After a few months of paying the minimum on her loans, she grew frustrated with the math. The building interest, the depressing pay off time frame, and her desire to not burden her fiancé with debt, all led her to make a plan. She determined to pay off her debt in three years.
Here’s the best part, Zina doesn’t make a lot of money. So she cut expenses and then cut more expenses until she was living off of 50% of her income and using the other 50% of her income to pay off her debt. Yeah, 50%, if I had an award I would give it to her, this girl is awesome.
I heard about Zina’s debt story through her blog, debtfreeafterthree.com. I love everything about it. So much so that I asked her to come on The Pete the Planner Radio Show on WIBC this past week. She’s great, you have to listen to her inspiring story.
It’s easy to find stories of people who inherited money and paid off debt, or cashed out their 401(k)s to pay off debt, or people who used their large income to pay off their debt, but Zina’s story is unique. If she can do it, so can you.
Peter Dunn a.k.a. Pete the Planner® is an award-winning financial mind and a former comedian. He’s a USA TODAY columnist, author of ten books, and is the host of the popular radio show and podcast, The Pete the Planner Show. Pete is considered one of the foremost experts on financial wellness in the world, but he’s just as likely to talk your ear off about bass fishing.