How we paid off 10,000 Dollars in one Year

Guys, today’s post makes me nervous. Like, really, really nervous.

how we paid off 10,000 dollars

Because, here’s the deal. It’s awkward to talk about your finances, especially online. You have a mix of people who know you and don’t know you personally who read your blog. Sharing details like this can be uncomfortable when you put yourself out there for anyone to see.

But – I probably should have thought that through more clearly before I decided to start a frugal living blog that discusses money. 🙂

Because, one of the main reasons this blog exists is to encourage and help others, and I don’t know about you, but one of the most helpful things in my life is hearing people share their stories.

It’s one thing to read a list of things you can do to change your finances, it’s another to hear how other people have done it.

However, it can be hard to talk about because people make assumptions when they read stories like this. They assume you must have a ton of money to pay off 10,000 dollars in a year. They assume you don’t have months that can still be tight. Nothing could be further from the truth in our life.

While I don’t want to share detailed numbers, I will tell you, we have JUST crossed over the line that separates low-income and middle-income in Canada. So, we sit at the very bottom of what is classified as “middle-class.”

We also don’t have benefits and if you have any experience with what this means when you hit middle-class, it means that before when you were low-income you qualified for a bunch of subsidy programs that helped you cover these expenses but now that you are “middle-class” you no longer qualify for these.

So, even though you are making more money, you have more expenses. It kind of all evens out for awhile.

My guess is as you move up into a more comfortable position in middle-class that it becomes easier to pay for these expenses, but sitting at the lower end definitely has it’s challenges.

That being said, we are incredibly blessed for how our life is slowly changing, and today I want to share our story of how we paid off 10,000 dollars in the past year with a mix of being frugal and increasing our income.


First, a little background information of why we had to pay off 10,000 dollars in the first place.

Last year our one and only vehicle was dying. We had for the most part always purchased old rust bucket vehicles out right (besides one early on in our marriage) for an average of 3000 dollars. We didn’t want a vehicle payment, and we lived in a small town where if we ran into vehicle trouble we wouldn’t be stranded in the middle of nowhere.

However, when our vehicle was dying last year around this time, we knew we needed a fairly reliable vehicle. We now lived in the country on a dead end road with few houses along it, and I had already experienced a night where I ended up in the ditch and discovered there was no one around to help me and that I was on my own.

On top of that, my husband was driving an hour and a half to school every day for 8 weeks of trade school. We just couldn’t chance a 3000 dollar vehicle that could break down the next week.

When we looked for a vehicle that would work for us we could only find a reasonably decent vehicle in the 10,000 dollar range. We obviously didn’t have that money sitting in our back pocket.

My heart sank when I knew we had no choice but to do vehicle payments.

But we needed reliability so we did what we had to do and we bought a van for over 10,000 dollars.  I felt sick about it.

At this time I had just started my blog but was not making an income from it yet. So we did what we had to and continued to live frugally to try and pay it off as fast as we can.

On a good month we could pay between 400-500 dollars towards it. But that still meant it would take awhile. I was discouraged.

Meanwhile, I decided I would learn all I could about blogging and how to turn it into a business.

Seeing as I had failed so many times before at home businesses (I share that in THIS POST HERE,) I didn’t think I would get very far.

But I decided if I didn’t, it wouldn’t be from lack of trying. I would put everything I had into it. And I did, for months before I even saw a penny.

But, then I did see a penny. And then a few more. And then even a few more!  Those pennies turned into dollars that continued to add up.

And, because we were a one income family since having kids we just took that money and put it towards the vehicle loan. And last month we completely paid off that loan. That is less then one year since we got the minivan, and only 6 months since I began to make blog income!

We never looked at the growth in my income as something that allows us to increase our monthly bills.


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That hasn’t always been easy. It is on our “bucket” list to get a truck. My husband could really benefit from it with his line of work. We live on a road that can be hard to drive down in the winter (and mud season) because it is the last to get plowed and is a dirt road. Our goals for our homestead out here requires a truck to transport certain things.

We could have got a truck, and got an extra payment. And we’d be able to pay it monthly.

But, life is easier when there is more wiggle room in your budget. And unexpected expenses come up so we want to have room in our budget. So, the truck waits until we are a little more comfortable. Maybe in a few years we will be able to accomplish that goal. But for now, we make due with one vehicle, a family friendly minivan.

I share all this in an effort to give you hope that if you are in a similar situation where you need to pay down a large debt, you can make it possible.

It will depend on your income, but you may be able to do it with just cutting back, and learning to be extremely frugal.  You can start by learning 80 ways to save money. Remember, no matter how small the savings may feel, it all adds up.

Or you may need to do what I did and do a mix of being frugal and increasing your income. There are so many different options when it comes to making income. If you want to start blogging, be sure to check out my post about starting to blog with Bluehost. Bluehost is a web-hosting company and if you want to start blogging to make income, you definitely, definitely NEED to pay for web-hosting. I didn’t pay for web-hosting for my first three blogs, which, consequently all failed. This is the first time I ever paid for it.  It is pretty inexpensive at $3.95 per month (though you do need to pay for the full year upfront.)

I only purchased two things to start my blog. Blue host web-hosting, and a course I had heard good things about which is called Pinteresting Strategies which helped increase my traffic. There are SO many courses out there in all price ranges, but you don’t need to buy a bunch of expensive courses to be successful in blogging (no matter what they tell you.) I started with just the one course and began making money from what I learned there. Over the year I have invested in a few other courses, but I have yet to purchase the popular, expensive courses.

Don’t get me wrong, I believe those courses carry value and can help, and maybe even one day I will take them, but I wasn’t willing to go into more debt to start a blog. The rule for me after that first course was that if I wanted to purchase any other course I had to make money before I spent money.

Of course, maybe blogging isn’t your thing. There are so many other things you can do out there. I have recently added an essential oil business to my life, which, in all honesty I’m still learning how to share because I was originally a skeptic about this kind of stuff and I was worried people would label me “that crazy oil lady!” 🙂 Which, I may totally be now because I adore the product and I don’t go a day without using them now, so I gotta learn to be okay with being labelled.:) But maybe you are the type to jump into something like that with more confidence than I me.

I’ve got lists, guys. Whole lists of things you can do. Check out 25 ways you can make money from your homestead, or 10 ways you can make money online, or how about 17 side hustles to make money.

The point I want to make is that you don’t need to lie awake at night feeling so stressed from the financial burden you carry. You CAN make a change. Today can be the day.  Hard work and perseverance, getting back up when you fail, and deciding that THIS time will be different can get you where you need to go.  And, lots and lots of prayer. 🙂

I’m cheering you on over here.  I know what it is like to think it will never get easier.  I know what it’s like to look through the tunnel and only see darkness and believe that there just is NO light at the end of the tunnel for you.

Those are lies we believe.  Tune out those words and make the changes you need to make today.  You can do this.  If you have any questions regarding different income making opportunities you may have seen above or on this list, feel free to reach out and I will try and point you in the right direction and answer any questions you may have.

How we paid off 10,000 dollars in one Year
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How we paid off 10,000 dollars in one Year
We paid off 10,000 dollars in one year on a modest income and you can too!

10 thoughts on “How we paid off 10,000 Dollars in one Year”

  1. Great post.So encouraging.
    I understand, in order to become more financially secure, and pay off debt quicker I need to find more ways to earn money.

    1. Unfortunately, sometimes that is true. It just depends on your level of income and what kind of room you have if you cut back. For me, saving just wasn’t going to be enough. I had to find a way to make more money AND continue to live frugally. That did the trick for me!:)

  2. I didn’t make any money myself to pay off our house but rather worked harder on living on less. Every month we paid every dollar that we could squeeze out of our budget toward the house and we paid it off almost 4 years ago. We replaced a 14 year old minivan with another minivan about 18 months ago. We paid cash from our car replacement savings into which we make a car payment each month. We did not spend all of it so we restarted with a good chink of money and if we needed to buy another vehicle right now we could. It is comforting to have that account at the ready. We also have a fund into which I am putting money every month for a new heat pump. It is 15 years old and cannot last forever so it is best to have the money in place. I probably still need another $2-3K but I have most of it at this point s I don’t have to worry about when it happens. Things like that can keep me up at night.

    1. Wow! That is amazing! Good for you. I love to hear stories like this. You sound like you are very wise with money.

  3. I would love to be able to pay off debt and save as described by Lana.
    Unfortunately my husband and I have been married for 12 years and he has never been able to settle down into a permanent job that can support a family.
    So no matter how hard we try to get ahead on a single income,we are continually falling behind.
    I will need to try some of the side hustles you have previously mentioned in order to stay at home with my children

    1. It sounds like you are in a tough position. I will say, about five years ago my husband bounced from job to job trying to find the right fit and we finally hit rock bottom and he decided to go back to school. It was a scary decision but worth it. He is currently in his final 8 week round of trade school to become a licensed carpenter . I never thought I would see the day where we had stability but it definitely took a major change in our life. At the time that change was terrifying (we wondered how we would make ends meet while he was in school) but sometimes you have to take a step back to get ahead. Of course, blogging has become a great way for me to add income from home as well. We haven’t been married that much longer than you and your husband…we are 15 years married. I hope you can find something that works for you and your family.

  4. Is there any way you could get that dirt road paved or improved in any way, to make it easier for you to keep using your recent vehicle, instead of exchanging it for a truck? Whom could you talk or write to?
    I have a friend here overseas with the same problem as yours, and the community improved half of the lenght of the road and the neighbours the rest of it. It is not perfect, but with small repairs now and then after the winter rains, it is still so much better than before.

    You are so right when you say that lower middle class living means you suddenly lose any rights of benefits and get increased taxes and payments. But I think it is worth it.
    Even though I live on one third of a medium income, due to illness and inability to work more hours, I still usually don’t apply for any benefits but prefer to live frugally within my own means. (Maybe I have an American gene somewhere, who knows; – ) By prioritizing very hard – you could even call it triaging, I guess – I manage to live a lower middle class sort of life. Nothing basic is missing but neither is there much excess. It takes some planning and self disciline, but it is essentially a good way of living.
    Thanks to your no spend month challenge, I have even been able to create a small emergency fund, which was much needed the other day when I had to go to the hospital by ambulance. I could rest well while hospitalized, since I knew I had the means to pay for the ambulance… something I could not have managed to do a few months ago, when I had not got an emergency fund since I didn’t manage to save enough for one before I read your blog!

    1. First of all, let me say I am so sorry you had to be hospitalized. I hope you are feeling better. I am, however, glad the no spend challenge helped you pay for the ambulance. Nothing worse than being sick or hurt and then worrying about how you will pay for it. As for our road, I am not sure anything could be done. It isn’t just our road, there are actually two dirt roads we take out to the main road. Our bigger problem is that in the winter because of being the only house on a dead end we don’t see a snow plow for a long time! However, it is worth me looking into. :). Regardless, the truck will have to wait no matter what the road is like right now. :). That is okay, our minivan does the job….when it doesn’t end up in the ditch.:)

  5. Please, do try to stay out of the ditch! 🙂

    Here, the road is used by several neighbour families, and they agree with each other when it is time to fix the road (again). Everyone pitches in with a little money and an hour of manual labor every now and then. Of course, if it is a purely private road, or, similarly a community road, you might not be able to do that. But here it seems to work. To some extent. – Noone has entered the ditch – so far: )

    Have a nice day/week! And thank your for your posts. I appreciate them very much!

    1. Yes, ours is definitely not a private road…even if it feels like such. And thank you for commenting…I always appreciate your comments you share.:)

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