If paying off debt is one of your New Year's resolutions, you'll be really impressed with this story. An ASU graduate achieved something pretty remarkable. He paid off nearly $27,000 of debt in less than two years.
Brian McBride graduated from ASU, and like a lot of graduates, he had a lot of student loan debt.
He was determined to pay it all off as soon as possible.
What's so incredible he didn't take any short cuts -- he didn't get any big inheritance checks or anything like that -- he just did it the old fashioned way.
Brian talked us today via Skype from his home in Atlanta.
"My entire life even as a kid I saved money, that was always my niche. I never liked being indebted to anybody, especially not the federal government, who was in charge of my student loans," says Brian.
$20,000 in student loans from ASU, as well as a $6,000 car loan, weighed heavily on Brian.
"I was determined to pay off whatever I could with that manageably, with the income I was making."
He was making $13 dollars an hour as a TV reporter in Green Bay, Wisconsin. So Brian decided it was time to get creative. He'd spend hours at the grocery store looking for bargain basement prices.
"I was so determined to find the best deals I could, the cheapest deals. Often times having foods in my refrigerator that were past the expiration, I figured if I cooked it I could still sanitize it and I would be fine. I paid the price a couple times I'll admit."
Brian says going to bed hungry was pretty typical. He also got rid of cable TV and rarely turned on the heater or air conditioner.
He always stuck to a strict budget.
After a while his car loan was paid off and he'd made a dent in his student loans.
He'd also managed to land a new job that paid twice as much, and Brian says he saw a light at the end of the tunnel.
"The first word that comes to mind is freedom when I paid that off."
He took this picture the day he was able to make the final lump payment on his student loans -- a lump sum of more than $17,000.
"While being in debt I felt like I was walking around with a ball and chain and the moment I made that pay off it was like the shackles had been released," says Brian.
His advice to anyone worrying about their debt?
"It is achievable no matter how small or large the debt you owe is."