Debt Paydown, Tracking Expenses, & Financial Independence | Rebecca from My Fat Purse

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Today’s episode features Rebecca from My Fat Purse.

She breaks down how she and her husband paid down his $180k student loan debt in just 2 years.

Rebecca and her husband gave up pensions from the military and are poised to hit FI in 5 years.

She talks about how powerful tracking their spending and avoiding lifestyle inflation was to this journey.

Listen, learn, and let us know what you think.

Episode Summary

Rebecca’s background

  • She started taking her finances seriously after marriage
  • Rebecca’s husband came into the marriage with $180k of debt
  • They paid that debt off in 2 years
  • Rebecca graduated without any student loan debt thanks to the military
  • She studied mathematics for her bachelors
  • Then she got paid by the Air Force to get her masters

Paying Down $180k Debt

  • Rebecca attributes tracking expenses as the most powerful force to paying off debt
  • They put all of one salary completely towards debt
  • She also calls out how important it was to avoid lifestyle inflation
  • That refers to slowly spending more money over time
  • Rebecca’s husband was also in the Air Force
  • He was supposed to be on scholarship but ended up losing on it
  • She covers that tough decision on giving up a pension and chasing FI

Life After the Military

  • Her husband took a slight hit in income and she saw a raise
  • Rebecca stuck with working for the military as a contractor
  • Her husband decided to completely change up his job
  • They now have control over where they live but decided to stay in Colorado
  • This was mostly due to her husband’s job and ease for her to find a good job

Path to FI

  • They have purchased two homes
  • One is their primary residence
  • The other was for renting out on Air BnB
  • That experiment didn’t turn out well so they sold it
  • Outside of their primary residence, they keep it simple with a three-fund portfolio
  • Rebecca feels they are five years away from financial independence
  • Next Rebecca walks through why and how they combined finances
  • They do keep separate accounts for some flexible spending

Budget Tracking

  • Rebecca really emphasized tracking spending and how she does it
  • She started with Mint
  • Recently she transitioned to an app called EveryDollar
  • She also has built a very robust tracker you can download


Key Takeaways

  1. True Partnerships: Rebecca didn’t put all the debt payoff on her husband, she knew that their goals were tied together and decided to help
  2. Tracking not budgeting: People often think you have to set limits on yourself when in reality, simply knowing where your money goes is the first step
  3. Not all real estate is gold: Just a nice reminder that while real estate is extremely powerful, it’s not foolproof as Rebecca found out

Call to Action

Take some time and completely track your expenses for 1-3 months even if you’ve done so in the past. This can help make sure you fully understand where all your money is headed.

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Rebecca’s Information

Her Blog: My Fat Purse

Instagram: @MyFatPurse

Facebook: My Fat Purse


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