jim rohn change quote

How my debt snowball created an avalanche of happiness in the rest of my life

October is a major anniversary month for me. Last year at this time, I changed a lot of things in my life…and by a lot of things, I mean pretty much everything. my job, my business, my relationships, my house and my entire outlook on life.

And none of that would have happened if I hadn’t decided to get rid of my student loans.

Debt Snowball of Happiness: How tackling my student loans changed everything else in my life

I remember the moment when I decided to change my money for good. I just had no idea it was going to change the rest of my life so dramatically.

It was March last year, and I was totally fed up with my student loans. After having paid down nearly $25,000 I still had around $8,000 to pay off. That was going to take me another year at least, but I wanted them gone NOW. My student loans were holding me back from doing other things with my money. I had dreams of travelling or taking time of work. I knew the sooner I dumped them, the sooner I could make more amazing things happen in my life. So I decided to change that and I publicly declared that I would be debt-free by the end of 2013.

Even though it would be another 6 months until I’d completely paid off my debt, a funny thing happened in the moment that I decided to change in my financial life and become debt free.

I started looking around at what else needed to change in my life to become happier.

As I began to chip away at my debt and as I saw myself growing closer and closer to becoming debt-free and financially happier, I started believing that I could change other parts of my life, too.

If I could make one big commitment to dump my debt and be happier for it, what was stopping me from doing the same everywhere else in my life?

I spent the months leading up to my debt freedom in October 2013 making bold moves in other places. And for some reason, I decided to do them all at once 🙂

In October 2013,

  • I left my job. After working a year at my “dream job,” I realized that I wasn’t happy. On paper it was the “perfect” career for me; in reality, I was exhausted and unhappy. I knew I had to leave. So then…
  • I dove head first into starting my own consulting business. When I left my job, I had a few paying projects lined up but I wasn’t quite sure where my business was going to go after that. So while I was figuring things out, I had more time on my hands. And with that kind of flexibility, I…
  • Started adding comics to The Empowered Dollar. With my new schedule, I started flexing my creative muscles again. And that meant trying out cartoons on the blog. And with all of these major changes happening in my life, I made one final big change…
  • I decided that I was committed to being happy. I’d paid off my debt, left a job that I didn’t like, and started doing more art in my life. And I was happy, because I was actually choosing to create happiness in my life. That led to me changing some big relationships in my life and moving to a new house.

All of that because I had made the big bold decision to change my money.

jim rohn change quote

Be bold to be happy

It sounds strange, but dumping my student debt was the catalyst for all the other crazy big changes that followed in my life.

I’m not sure I would’ve quit my job or started my own business if I had still had student loans. And if I hadn’t made that big commitment to myself to wipe out my debt, I’m not sure I would’ve had the guts to commit to other big changes in my life

It’s funny what happens when you decide to make one incredible transformation in your life. Everything else seems to snowball with it. 🙂

I’m grateful to be celebrating an anniversary when everything else in my life changed by making one bold move with my money.

Here’s to making one big change in your life and seeing where it takes you.

Inspired to make a bold move in your life? Take a moment to share it on Facebook or Twitter.

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7 thoughts on “How my debt snowball created an avalanche of happiness in the rest of my life

  1. Chas

    I love the quote. Your story is truly an inspiration for me, but, I feel stuck and don’t know how to tackle my Debt Dragon. I have limited resources and the odds seem insurmountable.

    1. Stephanie Halligan Post author

      Thanks Chas 🙂 The Debt Dragon is a tough one to beat. When I realized that I couldn’t beat it just by cutting costs, I started focusing on creative ways to make more money. I worked a lot on the side and spent hours researching and preparing in order to ask for a raise. Obviously earning more money is easier said than done, but focusing on that side of the equation really helped me make big strides.

  2. Michelle

    This post made me happy 🙂 Am so excited to continue following your journey! It’s funny how eliminating certain situations/people/things can make such a profound change to one’s life.

  3. Genevieve

    Your post hits home for me!

    My post over at the blog today chronicles my complete re-haul over my career. It started with committing to be happy and going from there.

    I do believe you have to be bold to make these necessary but scary changes.


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