Debt is a common, if not inevitable, problem that couples everywhere struggle with. It can put strain on your relationship, family, and overall emotional well being. One couple decided they couldn’t take this issue being held over their heads any longer and began their journey to become debt-free. Nerdwallet interviewed the couple to found out exactly how they won the battle of man vs. debt.

How much debt: $72,000

How long: 22 months

How did they get here: Christine and Corbin Brown had been living in a seemingly endless pool of debt from multiple student loans, car payments, and credit card debt.

What changed: “I was terrified we would not be able to properly provide for our son, or have more children because of the cost of raising a family. It scared me into action.” Brown told NerdWallet. One night they realized that they were living paycheck to paycheck, spending money on their wants not needs, and decided they weren’t going to live like this anymore.

How they did it:

  1. They sold their house and used part of the earnings to pay off half of their debt
  2. They listed out all of their debts from smallest to largest. Then, they paid off the small ones while making minimum payments towards larger ones.
  3. Cancelled cable which gave them an extra $1500 a year
  4. Learned to say “no” to treating themselves on frivolous items
  5. Simply budgeted and learned to say no to their wants and only buy their needs

What resources they used:

Tips and Takeaways:

  • Save gift cards and go out to eat every once in awhile
  • Have house parties with friends to stay social without overspending by going out
  • Always keep the bigger goal in mind

“Everything you’re doing is for that greater good, both for yourself and your relationships. Think of it as delayed gratification — your “wants” can come back into play once the debt is gone,” Brown told Nerdwallet.

Becoming debt-free is possible if you follow the right strategies, have support from your partner, and work hard together to accomplish it.

Have you paid off your debt? Tell us your story on social media!