What I Learned from my Debt Free Journey!

Michael Benjamin

I paid off about $32,000 in student loan debt in one year after I graduated college and I like to reflect on my journey for the sake of helping you with your own journey. Even if you are debt free, this may provide you with insight on your journey towards taking control of your relationship with money. And to be frank, we can always improve with our money relationship, so I’m writing this for myself as well. We must all be coachable! But without further ado (I often think about what does an “ado” even mean), let’s get straight to it!

1. Your Mind is Always Eavesdropping on your Self-talk!

Not only am I debt free, but I’ve been performing financial coaching for a number of years. During my time of financial coaching, I learned that your mind is literally always eavesdropping on your self-talk. This is exactly why I’m a huge supporter of affirmations. So many people sleep on the fact that your word is what creates your world. Furthermore, they fail to realize that this is a testament to the power of the subconscious mind.

How you talk to yourself will mold the success of your journey, because your mind will accept that as a program. Upon learning this, I told my clients that they needed to speak positively about themselves during their own journey to make it easier. Any time I had a client that talked to me and let me know that they believed they would be paying off their student loan debt for many decades, or genuinely believed that they couldn’t pay them off and affirmed that, I would understand I couldn’t help them unless they helped themselves first.


2. Discipline is a Non-negotiable!

During the start of my debt free journey, I had no job. I graduated from college with an engineering degree and had post-graduation depression as I aimlessly applied to 400+ job applications before eventually seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. I was tossed in the dark depths of despair of the reality of the cold clutch that the world had on me.

I thought I was supposed to have a job right after I graduated, but it took me over half a year. Maintaining the discipline to keep persevering through the trials and tribulations was my first test of discipline. In retrospect, that job search was indeed my first test of discipline and I passed, contributing to the foundation of my discipline that I needed to pay off my student loan debt quickly.

Additionally, I was working on my relationship with God at the time. I was lost and soul searching. I was asking God when my job would arrive and we had many other important conversations. Eventually I arrived at the conclusion that I had to perform a fast. Keep in mind I had fasted before when I was a kid, but at this point in time I was going to the gym daily so eating consistently for me was a non-negotiable at the time. After deep cogitation, I came to the decision to fast for 21 days straight and stuck to it. During the entire journey, I knew I was working on my relationship with God, but to be honest with you, I didn’t understand the purpose of the fast at the time.

It was only after I finished the fast that I realized: the purpose of the 21-day fast was to work on my discipline. This was the case, because if I could control something as simple as how much I ate, I would be able to control my stupid money spending habits. After I performed that, I was equipped with the necessary tools needed to tackle my student loan debt. I’m not telling you to perform a 21-day fast as a tool to tackle your student loan debt, but my point is that my own fasting journey was imperative to improving my discipline. You can improve your discipline in various ways, but at the end of the day, having discipline is a non-negotiable concept you must have when paying off your debt.

3. You turn into what you tune into!

The environment you decide to place yourself in is so key to any successful venture. Student loans are not something that is commonly paid off. And to be honest, most people in the world don’t pay them off for various reasons. I learned that what I decided to turn into was a contributing factor towards my success of debt freedom.

When I say you turn into what you tune into, I’m talking about what you allow to feed your mind. Let’s get visual. We eat food physically. If you eat a lot of junk food, you’ll feel terrible. As a result, you eventually gain weight and your insides are screaming.

It works the same way with what you allow to feed your mind. Part of what made my debt free journey successful was tuning into different positive podcasts and listening to positive talk centered around money and debt freedom. I’m not even against music, because I love listening to high energy rap music as I work out, but when you’re driving and just working, you need to be listening to something positive to help get you out of your current situation. Turn on something positive today!

Closing Remarks!

My debt free journey didn’t happen by accident. There were different things that I implemented that allowed me to achieve the rapid success that I achieved. I unconsciously understood that my mind was listening in on my self-talk, so I had to perform my affirmations to help my situation at the time. Additionally, I had to understand that improving on my discipline day in and day out was a non-negotiable factor. Finally, it’s important to remember that you turn into what you tune into. Take an action step by performing an audit of what you’re listening to right now and add more positive podcasts and books to what you tune into.

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I was blessed to pay off my student loans within one year back when I was 23-years-old so my mission is to help you pay off your student loans quickly through taking control of your relationship with money, while helping you with strategies and tips to pay off your debt quickly.


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