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How to Pay Off Credit Card Debt FAST ($30K+ in 1 Year!)

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Today, we’re going to show you how to pay off credit card debt FAST. It isn’t glamorous, and it won’t be easy, but if you can do it, an entire world of wealth-building, opportunity, and financial freedom awaits. So, if you’ve got thousands in credit card and consumer debt and are tired of feeling shackled to failing finances, get ready to take some notes—this is what it takes to become debt-free! 

Brittney Reynolds found herself like many Americans: out of money, maxed out on credit cards, living well above her means, and having no financial independence. She was going on vacations she couldn’t afford, renting in a high-cost-of-living area, seeing her debt climb with every swipe, but realizing too late how much of a problem it was. By the time Brittney faced reality, her credit card debt had ballooned to $36,000. But, instead of ignoring it, she made some drastic life changes.

Now, only a few months into her debt payoff journey, Brittney has already paid off $12,000 in credit card debt, with plans to be entirely debt-free by the start of the summer. How will she pay off such a massive amount of debt in under a year? Stick around to hear her strategy; if you’re in a situation like her, you too could be debt-free faster than you think!

Mindy:
Welcome to the BiggerPockets Money Podcast my dear listeners, and happy, happy New Year. Today, we are talking to Brittney Reynolds, who is a TikToker and has been documenting her journey of paying off over $36,000 in credit card debt.

Scott:
We’re going to learn about the decisions that Britt made to pay off that debt super quickly, and we’re doing it today and we’re excited to talk about this topic, because Americans recently eclipsed $1.08 trillion in credit card debt, and we think that spreading the story about how Britt is attacking that debt may help you pay off that debt all the faster or avoid it altogether.

Mindy:
Hello, hello, hello and welcome to the BiggerPockets Money Podcast. My name is Mindy Jensen, and with me as always is my new year, new him co-host, Scott Trench.

Scott:
Thanks, Mindy. Great to be here with my new year resolute co-host, Mindy Jensen. I think that kind of works.

Mindy:
It kind of works. It’s a new year, it’s brand new. Welcome to 2024. Brittney Reynolds, welcome to the BiggerPockets Money Podcast. I am so excited to talk to you today.

Brittney:
Thank you. I’m so excited to talk with you guys as well.

Mindy:
So Brittney, let’s jump right into this. When did you get your first credit cards?

Brittney:
Yeah, I got my first credit card, which was a Wells Fargo card, when I was I think just out of college, so 2017.

Scott:
How’d you find it? Were they on campus?

Brittney:
How did I find it? That’s a great question. Honestly already had my Wells Fargo checking and I was like, “Sure, I’ll just do this one I guess.” I didn’t put a single thought into it. I was like, “That sounds great.”

Mindy:
How big of a credit limit were you extended in your early 20s?

Brittney:
I think it started at about 1500 and then just kept increasing and increasing and increasing, not necessarily with the Chase card, but I signed up for a travel card, [inaudible 00:01:51] with the Wells Fargo, I signed up for a travel card with Chase was where it all really went downhill.

Mindy:
Did you sign up for the travel card for the travel rewards, so you could earn points and then travel for free?

Brittney:
Yep, I signed up. I was like, “Great. I surely can spend $4,000 in the first three months and get X amount of points. That’s awesome.”

Mindy:
Oh, yeah. It’s super easy to spend $4,000. Now, did you pay it off right away?

Brittney:
No, I honestly don’t think there was ever a time in my credit card journey, up until now as I’m paying it off, where I was actively paying it off. I was just slowly chipping away a little bit.

Mindy:
Did your parents talk about money when you were growing up?

Brittney:
Yes. I grew up very suburban middle class, so we talked about money. We were very much like a TJ Maxx family, so we would save a lot on little things, but it was more of a scary type of topic, thinking about overspending, we never really bought really expensive things. So, I think once I had a credit line and had, quote-unquote, “access,” to that, I was like, “Yeah, let’s buy all the expensive things that I want.”

Scott:
So, you got this first one for 1500 bucks. I would love to hear the journey of how you accumulated all this credit card debt starting with; did you just max that out, and then go up? What’d you buy? What did that look like? Do you remember all of those things that you spent the money on?

Brittney:
Yeah. Yes and no. I think in the very beginning, it was just random purchases, maybe lunch with a friend, going to get drinks, and then again, once I got the Chase travel card, I saw that as a way to put my big purchases on there, basically just financing any big purchase that I had. So, a lot of it was a mix between travel, so I would really, really overspend on Airbnbs. I was very much, because I didn’t live a luxury lifestyle growing up, I was like, “I want luxury.” So when I was traveling I was like, “Why would I book just a regular Airbnb? I want to book an Airbnb that’s really nice and makes me feel this way,” and whatnot, all for the aesthetic basically. And those would run me $2,000 for just lodging for the Airbnb.
And then on top of that, I never had any rules for myself when I was traveling. I was like, “Whatever, I’m on vacation, I’m going to spend whatever I want.” And then some other really big purchases were furniture. When I moved out from roommates in the Bay Area, I got my own apartment, which the apartment was totally priced. It was 1750 for a one bedroom in the Bay Area, which was an incredible deal, honestly. So, I bought an infamous $4,000 couch, which wasn’t originally… It was a modular couch. I bought the first three pieces and then they discontinued the color and I was like, “Oh, no. So now I need to buy the fourth piece.” So it ended up being, I don’t know, I think $4,800 or something and it didn’t even fit in my apartment.

Mindy:
Wow. Do you still have the couch?

Brittney:
I still have the couch. The couch is in my storage unit right now. Yeah, the couch, I always joke, I’m like, “The couch is coming with me to my grave. I am keeping this couch forever,” but I also have such a love hate. Every single time someone came to my apartment and complimented the couch, I was like, “That couch?”

Scott:
Oh, I think it’s both horrible and great. It’s the symbol of this part of your journey here and I think it symbolizes a lot about this period of accumulation, of debt accumulation and credit card debt. So, thank you for sharing all of this. So what was the turning point where you said, “This is not sustainable. I need to make a change”? Was there a moment that hit you?

Brittney:
Yeah, it was twofold. I was in a relationship in the Bay Area living with my partner. Rent was just extremely high. I had at that time maxed all of my cards, because I just could not keep up with paying rent and paying bills and my credit card minimums were outrageous. My Chase card, I believe my minimum was 700 and something for the month. So, the relationship also was just not mentally healthy for me, and so I knew I needed to end the relationship, but I also knew that I didn’t have savings or literally anything to move out on my own if I was going to do that. So, I knew in my gut that I was like, “I got to call my mom. I got to call my mom and I need to make this choice for myself.” And yeah, it’s a huge 180 of just leaving the Bay Area, moving back down to Southern California, moving back in with my parents, but I knew that for so many different reasons that was what I had to do.

Mindy:
When you first got your credit cards, did you know how they worked and did you understand interest and realize how high the interest was? Or, did you just look at the card and be like, “Hey”? Because I did.

Brittney:
Yeah. Yeah. I think in the very beginning, I was really afraid of them. In the very beginning I was like, “Okay…” I remember I had a friend who had a credit card, she had a Nordstrom Rack credit card, and she would talk about her credit card balance and I was like, “That’s so stressful. I would never do that.” That is such a memory in my early credit card days, and I think I just got really desensitized to it as time passed and as the debt grew higher. I was like, “You know what? Sure, I’m in this credit card debt. I’m going to pay it off someday. I don’t know exactly how, but…” I feel like people hear, because my number that I had before I started actively paying it off was 36,000, and people hear that number and they’re like, “That’s so crazy.” To me, I was so familiar with that number, because it had just slowly accumulated and I was like, “Well, yeah, it’s high. It’s high. I know that it is,” but yeah, I just got desensitized.

Mindy:
I think that that’s not an unusual journey in this or an unusual reaction to this in this debt accumulation phase that so many people find themselves in, and I’m so thankful that you have gone on TikTok to share your journey with other people, because there can be a lot of shame in this, “I have debt,” mindset. And the idea that you have this debt and; “Well, I guess that’s just how my life is going to be. I’m never going to get out of debt, so why would I bother paying it off? I’m just going to keep accumulating it.” And then at some point it just becomes this; “I can’t even function. I’m so lost.” The part of your story that I love the most, spoiler alert to all of our listeners, is that you moved back home with your parents to pay off your debt. What was the impetus behind that? Was it the relationship in the Bay Area that was just not healthy and coupled with the debt?

Brittney:
Yeah. Yeah, it was definitely a mix of both, because obviously I was so sick of being in this credit card debt and I was like; looking at what I make, because I make a pretty solid income and then factoring in, like, “Okay, if I move back in with my parents, I will be able to pay down at minimum $4,000 a month.” And so for the first time, I feel like I was able to plan for the future, whereas when you’re in credit card debt, you just can’t, because you’re like, “Well, I want to move.” I was ready to move from the Bay Area, but I was like, “I don’t have hop up and move money.” Moving is so expensive. Even moving back in with my parents, it was $800 for the U-Haul to drive my stuff down and it’s like, “Okay, that was my final big purchase on my credit cards.” I was like, “We’re putting the U-Haul and then we’re stopping. We’re stopping forever.”

Scott:
So, what I’ve noticed with a number of people who amass debt is you almost stop looking at it and you don’t even think about it, you don’t know the balance, you don’t want to look, you’re afraid to know, and it just compounds and that’s how it goes on for a period of years. Is that paralleling any part of your journey? Was that how you approached it for some time leading up to that?

Brittney:
Yeah. I was addicted to looking at my debt. I was addicted to checking my bank accounts and checking my expenses, and I still am. I feel like I’m logging in sometimes multiple times a day to look at my accounts. It just really became my whole entire identity of just; oh, I’m always thinking about it. When I go out and get drinks with a friend, I’m always thinking about it, or I don’t know. It was the opposite of just addiction to the whole thing.

Scott:
Wow. So I would say that’s unusual, at least in my experience, is a lot of folks just don’t want to look and don’t know, but your experience is almost like; “I can’t help myself. I’m watching it go up and up and up with it.” And so all the more impressive that you were able to just turn the corner, pivot and begin attacking it. When did you move back in and make this change?

Brittney:
Yeah, I moved back in officially in the beginning of August, so the relationship ended. We were in a lease, and so we had to break the lease, which thankfully we just had to find someone to fill the apartment. And it’s funny, that was the turning point where I realized that I wanted to end the relationship. Before I had even really thought about it, I was Googling, “How to break a lease.” And I was like, “Okay, I think there’s something here.” So yeah, officially moved back in August and started really, really actively paying it off.

Scott:
Awesome. And how much have you paid off so far?

Brittney:
I have paid off I think about 12,000. So I started at 36, I’m now at 23.

Mindy:
That’s awesome. That’s fantastic.

Brittney:
Similar to how I felt looking at the number, I almost feel desensitized towards the fact that that’s so much money. The fact that I’m able to pay it off so quickly, I’m like, “Yeah…” I feel like I have to sit and remind myself to be proud of that progress, because it’s just such a big number. Yeah.

Scott:
What is the day-to-day life like for you? Was there an abrupt change? Obviously you moved back in with your parents, but is it just all work and no fun right now? Are you just grinding out this debt until it’s gone? Or is it pretty manageable, and if so, what’s the change been from before the move?

Brittney:
A complete 180. My life looks so wildly different than what it looked like in the Bay Area, which was really, really difficult to adjust to right when I moved back in with my parents, because I was like, “Oh my gosh, I’m someone who was so surrounded by friends and community and I don’t know anyone who lives by my parents anymore.” So I moved back in and I was like, “Whoa, I am isolated right now.” But honestly, I needed that, after living in the Bay Area, going through a breakup. I was like, “You know what? I am going to lean into this right now. I’m going on a lot of walks. I am cooking dinner with my parents, just hanging out and reconnecting as adults,” which has been fun. So, I just always am reminding myself; it’s temporary. I’m going to come back into my own identity again. But right now I feel very stripped, sort of.

Scott:
Awesome. And remind us what you do for work.

Brittney:
Yeah. I work in brand marketing.

Scott:
Brand marketing, and this is a remote job that allows you to work from home?

Brittney:
Yeah, so very, very, very thankful for that. My work was very understanding about moving and the whole process there, so it’s been… And they know all about the TikTok and everything, which is fun.

Mindy:
That’s awesome. Well, let’s talk about TikTok. That’s how we found you. Why did you start talking about this on TikTok? Why did you choose to share your journey?

Brittney:
I honestly don’t even remember thinking through at all posting the initial video that I posted about my credit card debt. I was just like, “I’m going to be… This is random. I’m just going to talk about this, because I think it’s interesting that I am moving back in with my parents, whatnot. Who knows?” And then that video quickly went viral for several reasons. Half of the comments I would say were like, “This girl’s an idiot. She sucks. She’s stupid.” And then half of the comments-

Mindy:
Oh, all those people suck.

Brittney:
Horrible. It was horrible. I thought it was funny, honestly, I didn’t really… They were annoying comments, but it didn’t really affect me much mentally, because I was like, “You know what? Whatever. They can think what they want about the whole situation.” But it’s just again, the shame spiral that so many people go into with debt. There’s so much misinformation and people are always like, “Oh, well if you’re in this debt, it must be because you had this emergency or whatever”. And it’s like, “Hey, sometimes people just overspend.” And was it the smartest decision I’ve ever made? No, of course not. I’m not saying those choices I made were good. I’m just saying they are what they are and let’s just call them what they are and pay off the debt. So, it’s been interesting.

Mindy:
Well, and you’re not even remotely the first person that has ever found themselves in debt, and quite frankly, when you said people thought 36,000 was a lot, I’m like, “I think that’s low.” I’ve spoken to a lot of people who have way more debt than you. So for people to say, “Oh, you’re so stupid,” first of all, anybody who says that, you’re stupid. You are wrong. This happens to a lot of people and it’s real nice to sit there behind your keyboard and be all mean, but Brittney is a real person and she’s doing a lot of good by sharing her journey, because I’m sure you have also gotten comments that say, “Hey, I’m in the same position, and it’s so nice to hear from somebody who is doing the same things I’m doing and I don’t feel so alone.”

Brittney:
Definitely. Yeah. I think now, as it’s moved past that first initial video, most of everything is very positive and it’s this fun community of people who are like… I’m getting these messages that are making me tear up. Like, “I’ve never been able to feel okay before,” and it’s amazing. So it’s been really fun to connect. And so after that initial video, I was like, “You know what? Something…” And there’s a community here and let’s just pay off my debt altogether. On the other end of it too, I’m isolated. I’m in my parents’ house, now it’s fun to have this internet community.

Scott:
What strategy are you using to pay off your debt? I assume that this debt is not all one giant balance at one interest rate. There’s probably multiple tiers of it on different cards and different interest… How are you approaching it and what’s the order of operations?

Brittney:
Yeah, so there… To start was three cards. My first credit card that I ever got, the Wells Fargo card, the Chase travel card, and then another Wells Fargo card, which I did a balance transfer for. So, my initial strategy was, it was random. I paid off the smallest one, because I was like, “I want to wipe one out,” and now I’m going to the highest interest rate, which is Chase and chipping away at that one. And then my Wells Fargo, the other Wells Fargo card is a zero interest card, so I’m paying that one off last.

Scott:
Awesome. The debt snow avalanche.

Brittney:
Yes. Yes, exactly. Yeah, I know. I was like, “You know what?” And it was so interesting. You get a million and a half different feedback and advice from everyone in the comments, and it’s really interesting. People are like, “You have to do it this way and you have to do it this way.” And I’m like, “I’m just going to try to do it.”

Scott:
I love that mentality, because the game is keep generating $4,000 a month in cash to pay off your debt and it doesn’t matter. It will impact you by a matter of a week or two, potentially, whatever strategy you pick. And so, I love it. It’s just like there’s no point in using brainpower against that, it’s whatever feels right.

Brittney:
Yeah, I think people get really in the weeds with paying off their debt and trying to figure out what the exact method is. I think there are absolutely strategies you can utilize and different things you can utilize, like a balance transfer or personal loan or whatnot, but that doesn’t work for everyone, and I think you just got to simplify it a little bit.

Scott:
So when will you be debt-free?

Brittney:
I’ll be debt-free by June.

Scott:
Awesome. That could be May 28th if you follow the optimal… That’s fantastic. We’re super excited.

Brittney:
Could be May. Yeah, May 30th if I do what Joe said in Arkansas. Yeah.

Scott:
No, that’s fantastic. And so what are you going to do when you’re debt-free? What comes after that?

Brittney:
So, it’s interesting, because I’m just trying to figure that out. I’m like; haven’t really even been able to conceptualize what my life looks like debt-free, so it’s like, “Okay, I make a good amount of money. I am going to obviously build up a little bit of savings before I move out from my parents’ house,” which I’ll be able to fairly quickly without putting $4,000 onto my credit card. So the plan is to move to LA after, which is about an hour and a half away from my parents.

Mindy:
I’m so excited for you. Look at this, you could have stayed in the Bay Area, moved out and moved in with a friend and then chipped away at your debt little bit by little bit, while also probably still accumulating debt, because you’re there with your friends and that’s where everybody goes out and friends give you a lot of peer pressure to spend money. And it’s a lot easier to not spend money when you’re not being constantly bombarded by, “Hey, you want to go out? You want to go out?” “No.” Sometimes it’s hard to say no. And there’s the shame, abhor the word shame when it comes to money, because we’re not taught about this. How many money courses did you have in high school and college? Zero?

Brittney:
Literally, no, none.

Mindy:
Yeah, zero. Same. So, we’re not taught about this. And then you’re thrust into the world and, “Hey, here’s your first paycheck,” and you’re like, “Wow, that’s a lot of money.” And then the next paycheck comes and you’re like, “Oh yeah, I got to pay rent. Okay, well that’s this paycheck, but then I also have to eat. I’ll just put it on my credit card and then, oh, electric, I got to put my electric bill on my credit card,” and so on and so on. And then all of a sudden, you’re $36,000 in debt and you’re like, “How did I find myself in $36,000 in debt? I don’t know how I’m going to pay this off. I guess this is just my life now.” And I think that a lot of people go down that route. You said in one of the videos that I watched, you said, “We have a plan.” Who is we?

Brittney:
Me and the girlies on my TikTok. I feel like it’s just a little community where it’s like we’re all… I don’t know, I always try to remind people we’re literally all doing life for the first time, all of our first times doing everything that we’re doing, so it takes time to learn. I don’t know. It’s been such an interesting journey.

Mindy:
I love that.

Scott:
Once you move to LA, what are the things you’re going to put in place to guardrail against this and build wealth on a go forward basis? If you’ve thought about any of those.

Brittney:
Yeah, I definitely feel like… Obviously a strict budget, understanding my expenses, understanding the income that I’m bringing in. I wasn’t paying attention to my expenses. I was paying attention to my debt getting higher, but I wasn’t paying attention to literally anything else before I started paying off my credit card debt. So yeah, as far as other things I want to do, I have a high yield savings account, which I’m excited about. I would love to learn more about investing. I don’t know anything about it really. I understand that it builds a lot of wealth, but I don’t really know where… Mindy, like you were saying, it’s like; I don’t even know where to begin, what to look at.

Mindy:
Oh, Brittney, we are going to be such best friends.

Brittney:
I love that. Let’s do it.

Scott:
Can I put one bug in your ear about an idea to explore? When you move to LA, LA has a new rule, I believe, that allows ADUs to be built in many houses. If you can find a house that makes sense, you could put down 5% once you get out of your debt, your income’s pretty good, it sounds like, to be able to pay $4,000 on that, you might be able to buy a house. And if you bought a house that moved into one of the ADUs, you might be able to rent out the main house and cover most or all of your mortgage, depending on how much research you do and all those different types of things. And that can be a really powerful way to free up things, and you still get to [inaudible 00:23:27]. We call it house hacking, and we’re real estate nerds, so we love all that stuff.

Mindy:
Do you have a 401(k) at your current company? Do you invest anything into your 401(k)? Do you contribute anything?

Brittney:
A small amount. So, I decreased it. I think I’m contributing 3% or something of my paycheck to my 401(k). I feel like the temporary decrease in that for this short amount of time was well worth it to me. I’m like, “That’s not going to affect my future really.” I think again, people get really nervous with stuff like a 401(k), or, “I have to always be contributing. This is my future,” and totally. I think that 401(k) is great and important. You should have one, but also my priority right now is getting the debt down, my retirement fund.

Scott:
Arguing with Joe from Arkansas again here, on this point, I love the approach of; I’m going to put 100% of everything towards the most important thing, get that done, and then move on to the next thing and the next thing and the next thing. Yeah, there’s just this pressure of like, “Oh, you should be maxing out your Roth and your 401(k), and you should be saving up for a down payment, and you should be paying off your debt and you should be…” It’s like, “Well, sorry, we don’t all make a bajillion dollars and can’t go down this wonderful list that would be ideal, all the way through it. We have to prioritize and pick the most important thing,” and I love the approach that you’re taking with it and agree completely with it. Sorry, Joe.

Mindy:
Yeah, sorry Joe.

Brittney:
Sorry Joe. I

Mindy:
I also think there’s a lot of value in being able to sleep at night and having this weigh on you is very stressful and too much stress can cause health problems too. So if your best mental state is to be debt-free, then throw it all at that. The only thing I would encourage you to do is to see if your company offers any sort of 401(k) match.

Brittney:
Yeah, right now they don’t. So, I work at a startup, so it’s early stages, so they don’t. So I was like, “I’m not missing out on anything right now as far as a 401(k) match.” So hopefully they’re able to match 401(k) soon, but they don’t need to yet, because I can’t contribute to my retirement.

Mindy:
So you’re going to be debt-free in June. That’s super, super exciting. Are you going to continue making TikTok videos after that?

Brittney:
Yeah, I definitely will. I’m excited to go on the apartment hunt and see what we find. I’m excited to figure out budgeting, learn about investing and whatnot. I think I’m just taking it day by day at this point. I’m like, “Okay, we’ll see what comes up and where that goes.” I don’t know if I’m going to keep making payday videos or what. I’m making money from TikTok now, which is crazy. So that has been a good addition. Yeah, it’s been nuts. I’m like, “This is so ironic, all of this.” So that, who knows, maybe I will be able to pay it off a little bit sooner. But yeah, it’s been crazy.

Mindy:
I’m going to send you a copy of the book that Scott wrote. He is too modest to say that he wrote a book book called Set for Life, which is a blueprint for how you can grow your wealth and become Set for Life, and it’s a really awesome book. It’s aimed at people that are your age and it will walk you through the beginnings of investing and just accumulating cash, so that you can start thinking about buying a house if that’s your plan. Our company BiggerPockets teaches people how to invest in real estate, so real estate is our jam, but if it’s not your jam, then just rent. It’s perfectly valid to rent. Scott is actually the CEO of the company and he used to be a renter.

Scott:
Yeah. There’s another book that BiggerPockets has called the book on House Hacking. If you’re interested in that, we’d be happy to send you a copy on that one. That was written by Craig Curelop, who has mastered that and has a bunch of creative approaches, like how to Airbnb this section and live here and make crazy cashflow, because the Airbnb laws often don’t let you Airbnb unless they live in the property, so it’s a great way to…

Brittney:
That’s awesome. You got to celebrate yourself. You wrote a book, you’re killing it. I feel like that’s been a part of the paying off the debt celebration of; it’s okay to be happy about the things you’re doing. I feel like people get very in their head about like, “Oh, I’m excited about this thing, but I don’t want to talk about it.” And I’m like, “Hey, no, we can all be excited.” If you’re surrounded by good people, they should also be excited for you. There’s just a lot of shame also around celebrating yourself, which I think we got to…

Mindy:
Do have to celebrate ourselves. Woo-hoo for everybody on this call. So, Brittney, have you considered doing anything to accelerate your debt payoff outside of just all the awesome things that you’ve already done, like moving back home with your parents and not going out and spending money? Have you considered anything like side hustles or getting a second job or anything like that?

Brittney:
Yeah, I did. When I was living in the Bay Area, I dog walked and I was the most depressed I’ve ever been in my whole life, because I was working my full-time job and then on the side house sitting, dog walking, just spending pretty much any of my extra time trying to do side hustles and make more money, which I just was not set up mentally to be paying off my debt really. I think there’s a lot of strategies to pay off your debt quicker, but if you’re not in the head space to really utilize them and take advantage of them, I think it can hurt you in the long run. I feel like a lot of times… And I’ll say I’m very privileged that I get to live with my parents and not pay rent and I make good money. I think I have peace with the timeline of paying off my debt. I haven’t really thought much now about… Now the side hustle is TikTok, I guess, but getting an additional job. Yeah.

Mindy:
Are you using the TikTok money to throw at your debt? Or are you doing something else with it?

Brittney:
Yeah, a mix. So I am putting some of it away, because I have to pay taxes, and then I am putting a little bit onto credit card debt and then putting a little bit into my high-yield savings account, because I’m trying to save at the same time. I feel like there’s been 50/50… Yeah. So I’m excited about that, but there’s been 50/50 reaction to that as well of people being like, “Why would you be saving and not just putting everything onto your credit card debt?” And for me, that savings account, first of all, I think a savings account is going to help me prevent being in credit card debt long-term, but also just mentally knowing that; okay, I have some money and it’s building a little bit, and that’s exciting and I can now look towards the future and not just at my credit card debt.

Scott:
What’s a piece of advice you’d give somebody that wants to follow in your footsteps? You’ve given a bunch here, but what’s the one thing you’d love to have stick in someone’s head if they’re trying to replicate your journey and the big moves you made?

Brittney:
First of all, just be honest with yourself about where you’re at and what is serving you and what isn’t serving you, whether that’s financial, whether that’s a relationship, whether that’s the city you live in. Be honest about where you’re at and think about what you can prioritize to get to the place where you want to be. It takes time to reach your goals, got to be patient, and that’s hard. I’m just sitting, twiddling my thumbs at my parents’ house right now, just like; “I want to move.” But yeah, got to be patient.

Mindy:
I love that so much. Everything about your story, except for the whole; I got myself into debt thing, I love…

Brittney:
Except for that, we are-

Mindy:
Except for the birth. Except for the beginning, the whole reason you’re here, but no, everything that you’re doing, it shows a maturity far beyond your years, and I know that you’re going to finish up your debt payoff journey in June or before and then start your, “Hey, let me learn more about money and teach my people along the way.” So where can people find you online?

Brittney:
Yeah, you can find me primarily on TikTok, I would say. I should know my username off the top of my head. I think it’s Britt Reynolds. Oh my gosh, I don’t know, but yeah, primarily TikTok. I have Instagram and whatnot, but I don’t usually post debt journey stuff. People are welcome to follow my Instagram if they want as well, but yeah, primarily TikTok.

Mindy:
Awesome. And we will include these in our show notes, so that you can go and check her out as well. And I love that you don’t know your TikTok name. You’re not just out there shoving it down everybody’s throats.

Brittney:
Oh my gosh. I don’t know.

Mindy:
Well, I know your TikTok handle, and it’s @brit_reynolds, so that’s B-R-I-T_R-E-Y-N-O-L-D-S. If you want to follow along with Brittney’s debt payoff journey, go check her out on TikTok.

Scott:
And please give her some advice on how to speed up by a handful of days in one direction or the other. She really appreciates that.

Brittney:
I’m looking for all the advice. Let me know.

Mindy:
That’s awesome. Oh, start a GoFundMe; “Everybody help me pay off my debt.”

Brittney:
I know. People have been like, “You should put your Venmo.” I’m like, “No, I’m not doing that.”

Scott:
Brittney, thank you so much for sharing your journey here, for making the big changes and inspiring, I think, a lot of people to attack their own debt. So, really appreciate it and look forward to seeing this debt payoff journey and where you go next and how you build a lot of wealth with the new approach to finance you’re taking. So thank you so much.

Brittney:
Yeah. Thank you both. This was a pleasure.

Mindy:
This was so much fun, Brittney, and we will talk to you soon.

Brittney:
Yeah, talk soon.

Mindy:
Holy cat, Scott, that was Brittney Reynolds. She was fantastic. I love her so much. She’s my new best friend. Scott, what did you think of the show?

Scott:
Yeah, I thought it was great. We need to share more stories like this, because this is how wealth is created. Folks are imperfect, they don’t know what’s going on. They don’t have a lot of financial education. It’s challenging getting started in your 20s with; “Here you go, go figure out finance.” And we make mistakes, and she had her aha moment. She made the big changes. She moved back in with her parents and humbled herself and is going to attack this debt in a six to nine month period. And we need more people to do that in this country and in general with whatever means that they have available to them. Not everyone can move back in with their parents, of course, that’s a great opportunity, but we need more people to make those kinds of decisions, because that is empowering.
And one thing that stuck with me is that she felt trapped in that relationship, partly because of the financial situation that she was in. And that’s a really powerful statement and something to think about. There’s real world consequences to this besides the number on your personal, financial net worth statement. It’s freedom and the ability to feel like you have control over your destiny and you’re economically independent. You don’t need to be financially free to have that, but it’s good to be debt-free and have some of that more flexibility to get away from a bad situation or whatever. That’s not saying it was a bad situation necessarily, but she wanted out of the relationship and she felt like she couldn’t for a little bit, and this stuff has real world consequences. So really proud of her for making those decisions and hope she’s inspiring other people to make similar decisions and to go hardcore in paying off that debt, because it can help you. It doesn’t necessarily make you happy, but it can help you avoid unhappiness in certain situations.

Mindy:
Yeah, I’m glad you brought that up, Scott, because I think that that gets glossed over a lot in the personal finance world. There’s this ideal that, “Oh, just spend less than you earn, invest wisely, and you can become financially independent.” But not everybody has these ideal relationships, and that is a serious consequence of not having any liquid cash is you can’t make moves, financial moves, moves for your safety, moves for your mental health. You can’t make the moves that you might want to make, because there’s simply no money there.
I love that she isn’t just throwing every dime at her debt. She’s continuing to put a nominal amount at her 401(k), but she’s still continuing to put money into her 401(k). She’s putting money into a savings account, so she doesn’t get her debt completely paid down and then start from zero trying to then save. But the number one goal for her is to pay off her debt, and that’s what she’s focusing on, almost to the exclusion of everything else. But what I hear from her is, “I’ve got a plan. I’ve figured out how I’m going to do it, and this is where I’m going.”

Scott:
Just in case you’re wondering, we did connect with her and she’s only made I think maybe a thousand or two off of TikTok so far. So that’s not a material part. It’s helpful, obvious, of course. It’s not a material part of her payoff journey here, so this is not like a big money TikTok paying off debt story. This is just making one big decision right, which is housing, and taking advantage of an opportunity that is, again, humbling, but the right one. And we’ll help her knock this thing out and get on a new trajectory with her personal finances going forward.

Mindy:
Yep. And I have made a note in my calendar to check back in with her in June to see how her journey is going. So, stay tuned later this year and we will check back in with Brittney to see exactly how she’s handling the debt payoff. All right, Scott, should we get out of here?

Scott:
Let’s do it.

Mindy:
That wraps up this episode of the BiggerPockets Money Podcast. He is Scott Trench, and I am Mindy Jensen saying bye for now curious cow.

Scott:
If you enjoyed today’s episode, please give us a five star review on Spotify or Apple. And if you’re looking for even more money content, feel free to visit our YouTube channel at youtube.com/biggerpocketsmoney.

Mindy:
BiggerPockets Money was created by Mindy Jensen and Scott Trench, produced by Kailyn Bennett, editing by Exodus Media, copywriting by Nate Weintraub. Lastly, a big thank you to the BiggerPockets team for making this show possible.

 

 

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Note By BiggerPockets: These are opinions written by the author and do not necessarily represent the opinions of BiggerPockets.

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