Cleaning My Way to Debt Freedom

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Can you clean your way to financial freedom? Here's how one woman finances her yoga membership while paying off her student loans.

This year, I thought I’d take spring cleaning to a whole new level. I am not a fan of cleaning. I have relatives that clean to relieve stress; I personally would rather just be stressed…forever. But as much as I hate cleaning, I hate my student loans even more. A year ago I finished my undergraduate degree and walked away with a sweet new job and a bill for $20,000. In 2012, I paid that balance down by almost $7,000 simply by saving money in fun ways. Now, I’m taking loan repayment it to a whole new level…

Roughly six months ago I became a member of a local yoga studio and fell in love with it. But, the $125/month it was costing me to be a member was crazy – combined with high rent, utility bills and other miscellaneous costs, I couldn’t justify the expense.

Here's the thing: I CAN afford yoga on my monthly income, and I’m already paying quite a bit extra toward my loans. But with almost $13,000 hanging over my head, why would I?

This is where it gets messy – literally.

The yoga studio I attend has an awesome program called “Work for Trade.” I spend 3 hours a week doing odds-and-ends cleaning and hello, free yoga. A lot of my friends and family have a hard time understanding why I'm doing this, and most people have the same reactions:

A) Sounds gross

B) 12 hours of work for $125…. Your time is worth more than that

C) Just get a gym membership. Honestly, I agree. But for 3 simple hours a week I get free yoga, which brings health into the other spaces of my life (diet, stress management, happiness and faith).

3 hours a week = an extra $1,500/year.

You probably guessed it: that extra cash is going straight towards my student loans. At $125/month on top of what I’m already paying, by 2014 I’ll have paid down my student loans to an $8,000 balance. To me, it's totally worth it.

Written by Sara Dannenberg

This blog post is from the Author's perspective and doesn't speak for brightpeak financial. Contact brightpeak if you want to know more about brightpeak products, and keep in mind that they are not available in all states and there are some limitations (some exclusions and restrictions may apply).

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