How $24,000 in Side Hustle Income Has Helped Me Pay Off Debt

The following is a guest post from the lovely Erika at Newlyweds on a Budget. Erika’s blog was one of the first PF blogs I ever read, she’s a huge inspiration and so touched she’s guest posting on my blog today! Enjoy her rockstar post!

When my husband and I got married more than three years ago, we had approximately $45,000 in debt, spread out over student loans, a car loan, and credit card debt. As we sunk into the reality of our situation, we decided to get serious about paying off debt and living a debt-free lifestyle.

Today, we have $6,000 left of 0% interest student loans to pay off. This means that we have roughly paid $1,000 toward debt every month of our marriage.

We knew it would be hard to become debt-free and we have faced a lot of hurdles along the way, which include:

  • My husband only making a little bit above minimum wage for the first two years of marriage
  • Living on one salary while my husband took four months off work to attend school full-time
  • Living again on one salary when my husband suffered a non-work related injury (five weeks with no pay!)

So how did we do it?

The biggest factor in helping to pay off our debt—without a doubt—has been developing our side hustle income.

Since January 2012, I have made more than $24,000 in side hustle income—this is money in addition to my regular full-time job.

I first became obsessed with starting a side hustle in October of 2011, when I had a garage sale and made a couple hundred dollars. At the time, we were living in a shack (no joke) and were so broke that a couple hundred was a life saver.

I started looking at other opportunities to expand. I ended up landing some writing gigs with other blogs through word of mouth, and eventually landed a part-time Content Manager position for a blog, which could all be done online. At this point, my blog also started taking off and I was able to host advertising.

Every month, I would make bulk payments to my loans in order to pay them off as quickly as possible. This past year, my husband and I also decided to get serious about saving up for a house. In two months, we were able to save up $7,000. And then, instead of letting the money sit in the bank accruing a measly 0.5% interest, we decided to make a bulk payment to my student loans, bringing our debt total to $6,000, which we hope to pay off by the end of the year.

Without having that huge debt load on our backs, we finally feel like our money is ours. Student loan payments have freed up $250 from our take home pay every month, in addition to freeing up all the extra payments I was making from my side hustle.

Now, we’re really saving up for a house, as well as a car. Did I mention that I’ve also been able to pay for graduate school in cash due to my side hustle? And we’ve also gone to Costa Rica, New York, San Diego and San Francisco this past year alone—all paid through the side hustle income.

Our journey to being debt free has not been easy. There were some major moments of desperation and it has only been in these past few months that we have felt a huge boulder being lifted off our shoulders.

But we are almost at the finish line and we would not be this ahead of the game if it hadn’t been for the side hustle income.

Enjoy Plunged in Debt?


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  1. Great guest post! I’ve been working hard at my side hustle this year and have so far made just over $3,000. I’ve been mostly using it to pay off my student loans, and to pick up the slack when I have unexpected expenses like vet bills and such. It’s been great! It’s a lot of work though, and takes a ton of dedication to make it happen in the evening after a full day of work.

  2. My side hustles are ramping up slowly but holy cow $24k is amazing! Nice job!

  3. That really amazing! I just started side hustlin’ – it crazy how much opportunity there is right at our fingertips.

  4. Congrats on accomplishing so much with your side hustles! Keep that up and you guys will be unstoppable.

  5. Erika’s blog was also one of the first blogs that I read as well. Love her site! She is also the one who got me into side hustling 🙂

  6. Thats great, Erika! This really gives me inspiration to keep with the side hustles and make it to something great. Thanks for sharing!

  7. That’s amazing you were able to save $7k in two months! $24k in side income is incredible, awesome job! This was definitely inspiring – I’d love to be able to make enough side income to cover my student loan payments.

    • Yes, but it has taken us three years to get to this point! There were so many times where I just felt so desperate and never knew how we would be able to get out of the debt hole! It finally feels like we’ve made some progress

  8. Awesome to hear!! I am using my side hustle money to save for our wedding and to boost my savings and investments.

  9. That is a lot of money from your side hustles. I always have a few side hustles going on, although sometimes they are my only income.

  10. This is so inspiring! I do side hustling a lot and work probably 90% of weekends this year. I want to expand and do more too, so I can pay off my debt faster. Earlier this year, I was also in a semi-desperate state, so it’s nice to know how much you can grow with a little hard work and dedication!

  11. It’s great to be able to put so much of your hard earned extra income towards your debts, and allowing you to do things you wouldn’t otherwise be able to because of your debt payments. Great job!

  12. That is a solid amount of side hustle income, well done! I’m sure it’s nice to have hit that “it’s our money now” stage 🙂

  13. Side hustling can be so amazing! I’ve been able to really build up my investment portfolio through using my side hustles. It doesn’t hurt that it looks good on your resume, too!

  14. That is amazing! Definitely something to work towards. How did you get student loans on 0% interest?


  1. […] hustling is a great way to make extra money to help you reach your financial goals, like getting out of debt, saving for a vacation, or contributing extra to your retirement […]

  2. […] How $24,000 in Side Hustle Income Has Helped Me Pay Off Debt […]

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