Nine years ago, I was flipping through an issue of Kiplinger Personal Finance magazine (as any normal 26-year-old does), when I came across an article about a woman who paid off $70,000 in debt in 16 months.
Her name was Jaime. She lived in Maine, with her then-husband and their young son. Her husband was a professional juggler who earned $30,000 per year; she brought home 3x his income.
They bought the trappings of the American Dream: the suburban house with a white picket fence, a brand-new Honda Civic, a Jeep CJ7 with 36” tires, several kayaks, and a premium cable subscription.
The result? They found themselves in massive debt, with a combination of vehicle loans, student loans, and a home equity line of credit.
When they decided to have a baby, Jaime aggressively tackled these debts. She sold both cars (replacing them with cheap beater vehicles), sold the kayaks, cut cable, switched their car insurance twice in a year to chase lower rates, and stuck to a $300 monthly grocery bill. She worked 70 hours per week while 7 months pregnant to accumulate pay bonuses.
By the time their son was born, they had paid off around $50,000 of their $70,000 debt load, and held a $23,000 emergency fund.
To track their journey, Jaime started a blog (and later a podcast) called Eventual Millionaire, in which she interviews millionaires about how they reached their seven-figure net worth. Today, she’s interviewed close to 500 millionaires.
Nine years ago, I had no idea that personal finance blogs existed.
When I read Jaime’s story in Kiplinger magazine, I became aware of the existence of personal finance blogs. I immediately thought, “I want one.”
The following year, I started my own site, Afford Anything. Like Eventual Millionaire, it later became a podcast, as well.
Today, we’re celebrating Episode 200 of the Afford Anything podcast. And so it feels fitting that the special guest for Episode 200 should be the woman whose story inspired the creation of this platform, Jaime Masters.
Jaime and I connected in-person at a recording studio in Austin, Texas to discuss her debt freedom story and the lessons she’s learned from interviewing nearly 500 millionaires.
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