Today we have Tawnya Redding who is a special education teacher based in Portland, Oregon. Tawnya started her blog, Money Saved is Money Earned in March 2018 and hopes to spread financial education by covering topics about saving, and tips to being frugal. Tawnya managed to pay off all of her student loans and purchase her first home all while paying for her Master’s Degree.
Besides her home and a small car loan, she is completely debt free.
[3:15] First, what was going on with your debt? Can you tell us your story?
- Made some choices that were really beneficial to her-
- Lived in dorm only one year then lived with roommates
- Applied for a ton of scholarships and programs
- Worked and paid during college
- Once she got her disbursement she always put it right back into the loan
- Parents took out loans as well
[6:9] What did you find most challenging when paying off your debt?
- Moved back home
- Wanted to go to Grad school but she had to decide what the next steps were
- Tawnya didn’t like owing money to people
[7:26] What lifestyle changes did you decide to make?
- Lived frugally
- Having side jobs helped a ton in getting much more money coming in
[13:47] Did you qualify for any loan forgiveness?
- Tawnya took a slightly different route when she didn’t get into grad school
- She went back to school to get a masters, she built up quite a bit of savings for her masters, she paid out of pocket!
- Tawnya did qualify, however coming out of the recession, she was worried about finding a job so didn’t end up applying for it, however she could’ve actually received it.
[19:31] What would you recommend to someone who is trying to pay off their debt?
- Increase your income or decrease your spending
- Make extra payments often
- Figure out ways to increase your income like side hustles
- If you haven’t already check out what a qualified retirement plan is, you can sign up for a free book here.
Value Link Round
[22:17] What is your savings or retirement plan?
- Most teachers have a pension plan that they’re paying into in Oregon it’s called PERS
- Been paying 6% of her salary into the pension plan
- 403b account (similar to 401k)
- Opened up an IRA
- Opened up a Vanguard account
- Bought a house recently, the real estate market has been really hot.
- Looking to buy a rental property
[27:8] Do you have a favorite book?
- Book: Financial Freedom by Grant Sabatier
- Book: The Richest Man in Babylon
[29:18] Favorite quote you like to live by?
- Money Saved is Money Earned
[30:8] Any other parting piece of guidance?
- Start early on