They sold everything they owned to be debt free and explore the world
Kashlee had it all – the career, the big house, the nice car… and loads of debt to match it. The more she earnt, the more she spent! Soon enough, Kashlee realized the consumerism trap she had fallen into and decided to take back control of her debt & finances with some drastic lifestyle changes.
Read Kashlee & Trevor’s story here and how they sold off everything they owned, paid off all of their debt, went from hoarders to minimalists, from a high profile Real Estate agent to living in an RV while travelling full-time and working and earning an income from her blog, Travel Off Path.
At the end of this post, you can grab a copy of Kashlee’s FREE e-book which will help you to de-clutter and pay off your debts too!
The debt – The more I earnt, the more I spent!
Debt was never something I saw myself being in. Just a few years ago, I was a Realtor making more money in a month than I used to make in an entire year. I felt like I had ‘made it’, but what I didn’t expect was to fall even deeper into the consumerism trap.
Even with a $200k a year income, I was racking up debt faster than I ever thought possible.
Building a house, buying luxury cars, high-end designer clothing….it didn’t take long to realize I had just financially trapped myself.
(Figures: I was strapped into a home for $800k, a Benz for $50k and a BMW for $40k)
The defining moment
To keep up with a lifestyle like that, I would have to continue working 16 hour days with no end in sight.
Terrified of that reality and in an attempt to bring my ego back down to Earth, I quit my career in 2014 and started downsizing.
I know it seems counter intuitive to quit your job in order to pay off debts, but it was essential for me to stop the source of what was driving my mindless consumerism in the first place.
I used my online, web design and social media skills to start an online business that I could do from anywhere and started adjusting my lifestyle.
Set your goals
After I sold the huge house I had just built and bought a small condo that had been in foreclosure, I was still left with about $25k in credit card debt.
My goal was to first build up my business to a point where I could survive off the income, then use every extra cent to put towards debt.
In 2015 I was finally out of the red business wise, but I was starting to get this urge to travel all the time. After years of being a slave to the 9-5, I had a major appetite for travel that just couldn’t be ignored anymore.
I had to get creative to find ways to travel, pay off debt and make enough income to survive.
I rented out the condo, sold a bunch of personal items…but I still wasn’t making enough of a dent in my debt.
January of this year, my husband and I decided “Why do we even need this condo?” We found ourselves travelling between 6-9 months a year, so it just didn’t make any sense to us to keep paying for it.
We sold the condo, sold 95% of everything inside of it, and got ourselves down to TWO suitcases each.
In doing this, we were able to eliminate our debt completely, plus make a substantial savings nest.
It only took us 4 months to completely pay off $25k in credit card debt with adjusting our budget and selling 95% of our belongings. (Not using any proceeds from the condo sale)
With the sale of the condo we were able to buy a small piece of land on the lake in Canada, where we live almost off the grid. Our heat is propane, we get our water from the lake, we have gardens for food. It’s a seasonal lot, so we just use it as an occasional ‘home base’ when we are not travelling during the summer months.
My top 7 tips to reducing debt
1. Facebook buy/sell groups
This is my #1 GO TO for making money on things you don’t use. In our case, that was basically every item in our lives, but even people who intend to stay in their homes have an OVERWHELMING amount of crap they don’t need.
My advice is to start in the drawers, the closets, under the bed and under the stairs. Chances are you have not even opened up those boxes in YEARS and why leave things sitting about unused that could pay off painful debt.
You simply take a clear, bright photo of the item, the price you are asking, and where you are located. People then came to our door to pay us for picking up our old stuff!
We sold clothes, kitchen appliances, old cell phones, books, fake plants, throw pillows, mirrors, art, vases, tennis rackets, sports gear, shoes, you name it! After all was said and done, we came out with $8,800 in cold hard cash from JUST Facebook buy/sell listings.
2. We stopped the FLOW of money leaving our accounts
In between the cable TV we never watched, the subscription boxes (like ‘Fit Fab Fun’) I never used, and the magazine subscriptions I never read, I had $2400 a YEAR in recurring costs. By cancelling those services and subscriptions and being HONEST with myself about what I need, I cut it down to $300. That $2100 saved in just one year went directly to debt.
3. Balance transfers
While paying off this debt, I also did a balance transfer from one credit card to another and took advantage of a 12 month, 0% interest promotion. The credit card companies are banking on you NOT paying off the entire balance in 12 months, and then getting to charge you lots of interest, but we did! Not having an extra $2000/y in interest to pay really helped put that money right towards debt!
4. Tightening the Budget
We stopped eating out at restaurants and cooked similar meals at home. No more coffee shops, nail salons, movie theatre date nights, etc. That sounds like a really boring life, but I promise it wasn’t. We learned to do free things that actually made us feel better and stopped wasting our money on the same old routine experiences.
5. Paying off our debt and decluttering our lives has been the best decision we’ve ever made.
I feel more creative, focused, lighter and content.
‘Things’ weighed us down. ‘Things’ with debt attached to them, like new clothes we bought but haven’t paid off on our credit cards yet, weighed us down even more.
Before selling mostly everything I own, I always thought I would ‘lack’ or ‘miss’ my stuff. But I can tell you now I don’t AT ALL! 🙂
6. My life is no longer trading time for money to pay off debt and keep up with the Jonses.
The new currency is: experiences.
With no mortgage and no debt, my husband and I are able to travel the world for the next decade. What we would have spent on interest and debt, we are putting away into savings for our future. A home is only ONE road to retirement, and it’s not always the best one. We are taking a different path that is filled with more adventure.
7. Tip for readers
Once you can truly define ‘need vs want’, you will find yourself buying less and saving more money.
Start NOW! ‘One day’ is the killer of all abundant futures!
Grab your copy of Kashlee’s FREE e-book today “10 Ways to Get Out of Debt to Travel More”
Kashlee has written a fantastic guide that will help you to reduce and pay off your debt fast. Get your FREE copy today!
If you would like to see more of Kashlee and follow her journey check out some of her links below!
Facebook: Kashlee & Trevor
Kashlee has now published her first book and it is available on Amazon!
Grab your copy today and start your own journey to a life of freedom and travel
- Paying off debt fast – Using the pay it forward system
- How I paid off a $5k credit card debt in just 10 days – with no savings
- How to save money on a tight budget