3 Reasons Having Online Friends Is The Best Thing For Your Debt Free Journey


Where are you in your debt-free journey? 

Maybe you’re in the same place I was 3 years ago: 

Adding up all of your debt 

Looking at the total 

Trying not to soil yourself 

Wondering how the hell you’re ever going to get out from under this mess

Or maybe you have a plan and you’re waiting for the right moment to get started.

Perhaps, you’ve already started paying off some debt, but you’re lacking inspiration, motivation, or examples to follow.

No matter how far along the path to debt-freedom you are, the online Debt Free Community can help you get where you’re going. 

 In case someone sent you a link to this page (a not-so-subtle hint?) and you have no idea what I’m talking about it, I will let you in on the secret.  

First, if you have debt, please know that you are not alone. Most Americans live paycheck-to-paycheck and have some form, if not many forms, of debt. 

To give you perspective, I had $75,000 in student loans, $6,000 on a car loan, $1,500 for a new MacBook, and $500 on a California traffic ticket.  

Second, there is a growing online community of people who are - or have been - exactly where you are now. And they aren’t afraid to show you how they are climbing out of the same hole you may be finding yourself in now.

We call ourselves and the Debt Free Community, and I am here to share 3 reasons why joining this group of weirdos may be the very best thing for your progress while you embark on this journey. 

1. Birds Of a Feather Flock Together

Take a moment to consider your inner circle of friends and family. These are the people in “real life” with whom you spend the most time, communicate the most, and share the most intimate details of your life. 

Are they in debt, too? 

Chances are they, like most of us, have consumer debt, student loans, or a combination of the two.

Maybe they even have a mortgage (they must not be millennials living in Southern California, am I right?). 

Have you ever heard the expression, "You are a product of the company you keep?” 

Well, it’s true. 

I remember learning about this concept in graduate school. There are tons of studies on how our IRL social networking influences our behavior, but I don’t want to look them up and risk triggering my grad school-related PTSD.   

The main idea is if everyone around you is in debt, debt becomes normal. 

For most people in this country, it absolutely is normal. 

If you want to change your situation, you need to change your behavior. You need to find the weirdos who are doing the thing that no one else seems to be doing. 

And where do we go these days to meet new people? That’s right, we go online. 

Think of the Debt Free Community like financial Tinder, only instead of getting ghosted or having a disappointing hookup, you get tons of free information, advice, and recommendations to help you improve your financial life. 

You find people with whom you can share your thoughts, ideas, wins, losses, triumphs, and disappointments. Best of all, you make lasting connections with people who share your same goals and experiences. I’d swipe right on that any day!  

2. When You Know Better, You Do Better

Did anyone teach you how money works when you were growing up? If you’re like me, money has probably been a big mystery for most of your life. 

Where does it come from? 
How do you get more of it? 
Where does it all go? 
What are we actually supposed to do with it? 
How do we distinguish fact from bullcrap when it comes to key money principles? 

Once you’re an adult (I mean, like, a real adult…not like an 18-year-old signing up for $50,000 of student loans with no real concept of what that will mean for your future), it is up to you to learn the things about money we all should have been taught in high school.  

You can be mad that your parents never told you how compound interest works, but that won’t stop your student loans from ballooning out of control. 

To get out of debt, you need a plan. You need knowledge. You need to see and hear stories of people just like you who are doing the damn thing. 

So, the question is, where do you go to find these sources of information and inspiration? 

If you’ve read this far, you know the answer already: The Debt Free Community! 

I stumbled upon this community two years ago when I found Amanda’s Instagram page. 

I couldn’t believe there was someone on Instagram who willingly and openly shared the details of their debt situation and how they were paying it off. 

Her account led to countless others, all of which were remarkably transparent and deeply moving to me. After a couple months of lurking in the shadows, and liking others’ posts, I decided to share my story by making my own debt free Instagram account. 

It was the best decision I made on this journey, and it is the first thing I recommend to others who want to tackle their debt. 

The knowledge and motivation I have gained from this community has been more helpful and more impactful to me than any self-help or traditional finance book I’ve ever read. 

When you know better, you do better, my friends. 

Get online and get the information you need to make the changes you want to see in your life. 

3. The DFC Might Carry You Over The Finish Line        

Two weeks ago, I would have never imagined that this last point could be possible. 

But here I am, living proof that the Debt Free Community is life-changing. 

On December 6, 2019, I announced on my Instagram page that I had just made a $700 payment on my last debt, bringing my total down to just $469. 

As I expected, my online friends immediately started cheering me on and congratulating me on being so close to the end. 

I had a lot of setbacks in the second half of this year and my loyal Instagram people knew I was struggling to finally get rid of this last little bit - but I was still on track to become debt free by the end of December. 

Suddenly, everything changed. 

One of my followers (@the.budget.blonde) added my post to her stories with a caption suggesting that the DFC come together and chip in $5 each to get me over the finish line. 

I thought it was a joke. I laughed it off. 

Then @the.budget.blonde asked me for my PayPal email so that she could send me $10. 
Of course, I refused, but she was persistent and wore me down. 

I mean, who am I to turn down free money, right? 

I gave her my email and went back to work. 

The next thing I know, my phone starts buzzing with people asking me how they can contribute. 

Again, I tried to refuse. 

I didn’t realize that behind the scenes, @the.budget.blonde was collecting gifts from people and sending them to my PayPal! 

Within a few hours, we had far surpassed the $469 I needed to pay off my last student loan. Even after we announced that we had met the goal, some people still chipped in to help my son and me with Christmas or starting our emergency fund. 

I don’t think I have ever sobbed so much in one day. 

When I tell you that this community is made up of the best humans planet Earth has to offer, I mean it. 

I have made genuine connections with so many people in the DFC. Some of those online connections have turned into IRL friendships. 

I’ve had regular coffee/budget-check-in dates with @debtfreejourneysandiego. I got a fancy laser-treatment facial for free from @kellylewis. I commiserate about all things single-motherhood with @a.bri.elle and @debtfreekt. I even went to a John Mayer concert with @mujeronabudget, without ever having met her in person before. 

I truly could not have accomplished so much so quickly, in terms of paying off debt and staying sane while doing so, without the support, guidance, and love of the people in the DFC. 

I’ve found my people and it has literally changed my life. 

Kaitlin Carmichael is a single-mom living in San Diego, CA, where she runs a professional development training program for a large healthcare organization. She recently paid off $83,000 in debt and chronicled her journey on her Instagram account. She also posts about motherhood and living with chronic illnesses (which she calls “being medically fascinating”).  

Who are your best friends in the Debt Free Community? Let me know!

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I'm Amanda. My husband and I paid off $133,763 of debt in less than four years! During our journey, I realized what my true passion was in life: helping others become debt free and reach financial independence. You can learn more about us here.

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      About Amanda Williams

      Amanda Williams is owner and founder of Debt Free In Sunny CA: A company inspiring financial literacy and debt free living. Josh and Amanda paid off $133,763 of debt in 3.7 years. She has built a dedicated, engaged, and loyal audience of over 65,000 people from the ground up. The #debtfreecommunity hashtag was created under Amanda's direction and has generated an online movement, bringing thousands together on a daily basis.