My name is Zachary, and Get Financially Literate is my personal passion project.
Get Financially Literate is more than just a blog, it is a community of people who have decided to take their first steps towards taking control of their money and achieving their long-term goals.
When I was 24 years old, I married the most amazing woman I’ve ever met and entered a completely new chapter of my life.
Caroline likes to joke about the dowry she brought into our marriage. That’s because after the wedding, our combined debt totaled more than $69,000. This consisted of student loans from undergraduate school and my wife’s graduate degree.
The original plan was for us to pay this off within five years, which seemed more than reasonable considering the size
of the debt and all of the stories you hear about recent graduates drowning in debt for a decade or more. After the wedding we set about paying off the debt using moderate over-payments every month.
However, six months later we got the wonderful news that we had a child on the way! We realized right away that we did not want to raise our daughter in a home that was swimming in debt, so we put together the most aggressive debt-payment plan that we could muster, and set about paying off the student loans as quickly as humanly possible.
Only 22 months after our first loan payment, our little girl pressed the ‘Submit Payment’ button on the iPad and officially paid off the last of our student loans. Caroline and I consider that the proudest day of our financial life. It took us less than 2 years to pay off almost $70,000 in loans, which is an average monthly payment of more than $3000! (Read about this experience by clicking here).
Before you ask, my wife and I are both average white collar workers. I work as a supervisor for an insurance company and my wife is a speech therapist. We make a typical middle class income for a family of three. We rent our home and started our adult lives no differently than your typical millennials. We were only able to pay off that mountain of debt after making hard choices about our priorities, living below our means, and finding cost-savings options everywhere we could.
In addition to our college debt, my wife and I faced the following financial events in our first 2 years of marriage:
1. Preparing for the birth of our first child.
2. Credit card theft
3. The purchase of our first car
4. Begin saving for retirement
5. Building an emergency fund
These milestones and challenges taught me that I have a passion for personal finance, and like with any passion, the only thing I enjoy more than participating in it is sharing my passion with others. To that end, I started Get Financially Literate. This is a community of people that I want to bring together so that we can all learn more about managing personal finances and working towards financial independence.
If you’re new to this community, please enjoy the articles that are housed here. I will continue to share personal stories and tips from my money journey in the hope that you can learn from my experiences when making your own financial decisions.
If you haven’t already, the first thing you should do is join our community! All you have to do is enter your email below to get updates from Get Financially Literate and notifications of any new articles that I publish. Additionally, you will be emailed a free copy of the same Excel Budget Template that I use to track my own income and expenses! I am in love with this spreadsheet and have been using it for a couple of years now. I hope you find it as handy as I do!
Once again, welcome to Get Financially Literate! I could not be happier to have you here!