“Why am I willing to make sacrifices to cut my costs and increase revenue to be student loan-free in 10 months?
To Have Freedom
I want to achieve my dream. My long-term goal has always been to own my own business, and that’s what I told the admissions counselor during my HBS interview. However, it’s hard enough to bootstrap a start-up with cash for everyday operations without adding student loan obligations to the mix. Imagine that for a minute–not being able to achieve the dreams that I hoped to achieve by going to HBS because of the financial obligation I owe to the creditors who allowed me to go to HBS. Ironic.
I want the option to get off the treadmill. The Verve put it best: “You’re a slave to money then you die.” By taking a stand against my debt, I’m demanding an exit from that treadmill. I like my job and I enjoy going to work every day, but I’ll bet there are a lot of jobs that don’t pay six-figures and are more fun than what I do now.
I don’t want to my job choice dictated by the salary so that I can maintain my lifestyle and still make monthly $1,057 student loan payments. I want to broaden my choices. I want to go to a start-up and see what’s it’s like before I take the plunge myself. The start-up jobs that I’ve heard about rarely pay six figures.
I want the option to get off treadmill in a major way. There is an extremely, extremely low probability that I would ever do it, but I want the ability to sell off all of my stuff and just leave, just walk away from everything. I’m guessing this desire stems from the fact that before I was 14 years old, I lived in five states, two countries, and moved seven times. The thought of having to stay in one place and work a six-figure job just to make ends meet, and cannot, at any one point, walk away from it all without getting into serious trouble with the government seems a bit…stifling. If I can shed the student loans, then I have options. The value of my house has stayed flat if not appreciated since I purchased it and started paying down the mortgage over a year ago, so I can cash out of that (and pay off the $8k new homebuyer credit) and walk away and not owe anybody anything. But as long as I have student loans–which I cannot directly cash out–I’m stuck.”