- Some of the interest rates on Nickolas Natali’s loans were as high as 8.5 percent at graduation.
- To avoid more debt, he packed up his belongings and moved into a van, dramatically reducing his expenditures.
- After a year in the van, Natali now has his own company with a net worth of more than $200,000, but he doesn’t regret anything.
Nicholas Natali graduated early from college to save money on student debts. When everything was said and done, his degree in software engineering still came to a bit of shy of $59,000.
Three of Natali’s five direct loans had interest rates ranging from 4.5 percent to 8.5 percent, and they were all unsubsidized.
Natali lamented, “I hated knowing that my money was being forced to go someplace that I truly didn’t want it to go. According to him, he was “very determined” to pay off the debts swiftly.
A year was his aim, but his salary as a software engineer for the Department of Defense only came to around $64,638 a year, barely enough to cover his whole loan sum. As a result, he took significant efforts to cut his expenses even more to dedicate the majority of his earnings to debt repayment. After a year, he had paid off all of his debt.
Natali, a 25-year-old wealth performance coach with a net worth of more than $200,000, realizes that his tactics for conserving as much money as he does are excessive and not something most people can or should do.
He put it, “I’m not sure whether I’d advocate van life to everyone.” “Having the opportunity to live in a van and learn about yourself is a wonderful experience, but the extremes? How can I tell?”
Natali is no longer living in the van. Once his debts were paid off, he moved into a home with multiple roommates to continue saving a lot of money. He’s been living on his own since February.
Despite the difficulties he faced, the lessons he gained through maxing out his Roth IRA and Despite his portfolio in the midst of building his company have enabled him to do so.
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Natali was able to pay off $59,000 in a year because of these three actions.
1. To save money on rent, he lived in a van.
Natali contemplated purchasing a van to live in and save money on rent after crunching the figures over the phone with a financially intelligent buddy. When a family member heard about Natali’s plan to save money, they gave him the van because he lived in it.
As a result of her determination, Natali invested roughly $1,400 in converting the van. Several open holes allowed hot air to flow in during the day and cold air at night, even after the renovations.
I remember feeling like other people’s Instagram photographs of their vans were doing van life a disservice because I was like, “Why is this so difficult?”,” Natali recalled. “As far as I know, they had a shower, toilets, and all that other things. As if it wasn’t bad enough, I was peeing in a bottle and hiding beneath drapes held up by magnets so no one could see me.”
2. He kept note of every penny he spent.
Natali understood he had to actively save money to pay off his college debts in a year, even though he was living in a van.
He kept precise records of everything he spent, from gas station visits to coffee dates, to keep the expenses of necessities like food as low as possible.
He could pay off all of his obligations within a year because he set a monthly budget of between $4,000 and $6,000 to put toward them.
3. He put in as many extra hours as possible to meet his deadlines.
Natali started working 60 to 80 hours per week to achieve his objectives and earn substantial overtime income.
At the same time, Natali found the experience both harrowing and rewarding. “Being on high alert 24 hours a day, seven days a week was exhausting.”
Working long hours left Natali “drained of energy,” unable to find a secure spot to park or sleep at night. He stated he felt the need to maintain his job performance at a high level, even though he was always hungry and exhausted.
However, it was at this time that he learned to be “more grateful for the things I had, rather of focused on the things that I didn’t yet have,” that he expressed his gratitude for the experience.