These are my top recommended credit cards for this month. Some have $450-550 annual fees waived exclusively for US military personnel.

The editorial content on this page is not provided by any of the companies mentioned, and has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities. Opinions expressed here are author’s alone.

My wife is an amazing person in many ways. Her ability to save money, live frugally, and enjoy life to the fullest is an everyday inspiration to me. She really exemplifies the simplest and most important rule of personal finance: earn more than you spend.

During this one year of high intensity debt repayment, my wife maximized her income, minimized her expenses, and saved, saved, saved! After I proposed to her, we decided that she would continue working (we didn't live in the same state) until we got married.

At the time, she was working for a pharmaceutical company making around $60,000 a year. However, this income was supplemented by the fact that her company gave her a car, gas card, food allowance when travelling (she was away from her home 2 weeks a month), a laptop, and a cell phone.

Additionally, she moved back with her parents in her old childhood room, so her housing costs dropped to zero. Because her costs dropped so low, she was able to save over 80% of her take home pay. She generally spent less than $300 a month for a year on clothes, going out to eat, and spending time with her family.

All of this saving paid off. She was able to travel internationally twice during this year of work at a cost of more than $2000 per trip, as well as make $45,000 in payments on her student loans!

This intensity and focus on a financial goal cut our combined student debt in half, from $100,000 to $50,000 by the time we got married. She came into the marriage without a penny of debt to her name. I wish I could have done the same, but my expenses were higher and my income lower, so I'm still working on paying down my $60,000 worth of student loans I graduated with (now down to $40,000 after 2 years!).

How My Wife Paid Off $45,000 In Student Loans in 1 Year

AMEX Platinum With NO Annual Fees for US Military

Military SCRA MLA AMEX Platinum

Military servicemembers and spouses can get the American Express Platinum with NO annual fees.  Pick up your military annual fee waived card here!

Learn more about the AMEX military fee waiver.

The AMEX Platinum offers:

  • $550 Annual Fee WAIVED for US Military (and spouses)!
  • 60,000 Membership Rewards Points welcome offer
  • $200 credit for Uber rides (or Uber Eats!) annually
  • $200 airline fee credit
  • Centurion Lounge and Priority Pass Airport Lounge Access
  • NO foreign transaction fees

These benefits make it my top recommend card.

If you already have an AMEX Platinum card, check out the other AMEX cards, Chase credit cards, and this month's top recommended credit card bonuses, most with no annual fees for US military personnel.

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3 thoughts on “How My Wife Paid Off $45,000 In Student Loans in 1 Year

  • September 26, 2012 at 07:25
    Permalink

    Congratulations, that’s impressive.
    It’s not just the fact that she had a good income and low outgoings, but the discipline to not spend the extra cash is the really hard part…

    Reply
    • October 3, 2012 at 15:00
      Permalink

      Thanks! That’s what I’m most proud of her for, the discipline to stay focused on her goals and achieve a monumental step towards financial independence for us!

      Reply
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