Couple in 20's share how they paid off $130k in debt in two years

Lifestyle Team
·3-min read

A couple in their 20s have revealed how they paid off more than $130,000 (US$96,065) debt in under two years.

Bria Williams, 26, and her husband Adrian, 25, decided to go all-in on tackling their debt 18 months ago.

The $130k balance was spread between credit cards, car loans, and Bria's student loan.

Bria Williams, 26, and her husband Adrian, 25, sitting in a car
Bria Williams, 26, and her husband Adrian, 25, paid off $130,000 in debt in just 18 months. Photo: Caters

It took the couple 18 months to bust their debt by giving up holidays, shopping and eating out.

Bria and Adrian first started facing their debt problems after they got married three years ago and Bria's car needed replacing and the pair admit they never took their credit card debt seriously.

"We had credit card debt which we didn't class as real debt, my car died so I needed a new one and then Adrian got a new truck over lockdown for his own mental wellbeing because he likes to go hunting,” project manager Bria said.

"I would pay for household things on my credit card.

"I think I'm a very frugal person and I don't like spending money.

"Adrian was really into saving and I just thought what is the point in doing that when you've got loads of debt and I was just in his ear so we decided to get on top of it so we could eventually start saving properly and put it towards something positive and our future."


Couple celebrating after paying off debt
The coupe gave up holidays, shopping and eating out. Photo: Caters

Sales rep Adrian added: "I would just random purchases on my credit card.

"Things that I didn't want to be out of pocket for so I'd just swipe my credit card and think I'll pay for it later."

The pair, from Durham, North Carolina, were inspired to go all-in on budgeting and make some big changes to reach their debt-free goal.

They quit using their credit cards, budgeted for their bills and grocery shopping, gave up hair and nail appointments and invested in second-hand clothing.

Couple pose in front of big cars
The couple say they plan to celebrate being debt-free by going on a holiday. Photo: Caters

"We stopped eating out, we did our food shop at stores with the best rates, I didn't get my hair done, nails and became quite thrifty and buying nice second-hand stuff,” Bria said.

"We gave up a few trips, some of our friends went to Europe and we didn't go.

"Some of our friends would laugh that we weren't doing stuff because we were trying to become debt free.If we went to see family we would drive instead of flying. It was hard trying to become debt free and also enjoy ourselves."

Adrian said they went through their bank statements to figure out what they were actually spending on things they needed in order to live, such as bills and groceries, and anything left over went towards paying off their debt.

"We gave up our savings because there wasn't really much point in having them,” he said.

Bria and Adrian plan to celebrate becoming debt free with a well deserved holiday to Antigua after paying off their full balance in just 18 months.

"We definitely feel like we've had a weight lifted off our shoulders especially with the holidays coming up,” Adrian said.

"It's hard now trying to work out how to not spend what we now have and use it for our savings."

Bria added: "Our end of debt goal was December 2020 and we managed to beat that even with getting Adrian's truck.

"It does feel good."

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