Debt: The First Challenge to Freedom

It can be frustrating and overwhelming at times when you think about the life you want and the life you have. When we  daydream about waking up with two feet of powder just outside our door and a short walk to the lift or sled trails, the first thing to burst your daydream bubble is money. We spend 80% of our lives working only to enjoy life twenty percent of the time. If that doesn't sound backwards I don't know what does.  We get jobs because we have to pay expenses, for instance student loans. 

 Credit: Flickr, DonkeyHotey

Credit: Flickr, DonkeyHotey

Student loan debt is rising at an unprecedented rate and quite frankly, it's creating a very dependent, disenfranchised young society. Many of us are floundering immobilized by the amount of money we owe back to our lenders. It is restricting our ability to live independently, let alone a life we feel passionate about.

I am close to owing just over $25,000 in student loans. It effects my spending habits and my social life significantly. I am paying $500 a month to student loans alone. I find myself on many occasions feeling guilty for saving money while my debt is so high. Of course you need to save money and build fall back support, but those thoughts still run past my mind. Debt skews our perception of life. The first thing we are responsible for dealing with when we graduate is our debt. "Get a job so you can pay your debt." What a way to enter the world, right?

So what can we do to help alleviate our debt without working an endless 60 hour work week? What options are out there that can help us pay off debt without having to drain our savings or bank accounts?

I stumbled upon Gradible about a eight months ago. It was then called GradSavers, but the idea is simple, yet genius. Companies have tasks they need done, post-graduate students have loans they need to pay, Gradible brings them together. Each task is worth a certain amount of LoanCreds. For every task that is completed, the post-graduate receives LoanCreds that can be put directly towards their loans. It's an incredibly smart concept. These tasks can range from Craigslist postings, doing research, writing posts, and even social media outreach. 

Instead of using hard earned dollars from your paycheck you can sign into Gradible and earn your loan payments that way. Most people spend time aimlessly searching the internet or scrolling through Facebook, so why not focus that time on paying off your debt!

In order for me to pursue a life of living minimally, meaningfully, and passionately I need to rid myself of this ominous cloud that hangs over my head. I need to get myself debt free. This certainly won't happen overnight but, I am going to start off with a personal challenge.

I am going to use Gradible for a full 30 days. Everyday I need to complete at least one task listed on the site, my goal is to generate $100 worth of LoanCreds. This would mean on average I need to commit to doing 30 loan credit's worth of tasks per day. I will still be paying my typical payments for the month, but the point here is to pay additional without having to actually pull from my bank account. I am also challenging myself to put an additional $100 into my savings in the next 30 days.  Do you think you could do it? How much do you think you could stack up in one month? If anyone wants to take this challenge with me, let me know!

-Laura