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How to Make Becoming Debt-Free Inevitable

An Introduction to Your New, Tangible, Calculated, & Winning Strategy



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by Jared MacIlvaine in Out of Debt ASAP Chapters

Alright, today is week #2 of blogging out my new book, Out of Debt ASAP, live every Thursday! Enjoy Chapter 2!

Ok, so you just imagined (in the previous post) waking up 1-3 years from now with no more student loans, and the next obvious question is how the heck are you going to make that morning a reality, rather than just some fantasy?

It’s a great question, and the answer is simple: you need to set a proven plan in place so that you can make becoming debt-free inevitable. That’s what the best plans do: they’re so thoroughly designed that their desired outcomes can’t help but be achieved.

There is no mystery as to why some people pay off their debt quickly and others don’t. Through my own story and talking to numerous other ASAPers, I have noticed the same pattern in successful, speedy debt pay-offs.

NO, it’s not that they all won the lottery or are the luckiest people on the planet or make $200,000/year.

It all has to do with setting & committing to an audacious goal, putting a calculated plan in place, starting some type of smart side-hustle, and then following through on that plan until freedom is achieved.

From here on out in this book, we’re going to put the rubber to the road and get into the specifics of the highly practical and actionable plan I discovered—and turned into a fine-tuned machine—while my wife and I beat all the odds to pay off our $72,500 of student loan debt in 20 months.

I’d like to start here by giving a general introduction to the Out of Debt ASAP strategy, and then in the chapters to come, we’ll look at each step in detail. While there are many complex elements to this strategy, I have broken it down into 3 simple steps, where each step also has 3 simple steps of its own.

Step #1 – Start with the Easy Pickin’s

This step is both fun and very exciting. Starting with the easy pickin’s is all about taking easy, yet concrete steps that start to build your momentum in your fast debt pay-off. Everything in this step can be started immediately no matter where you are on your journey, and the completion of these steps will give you an incredible sense of progress and momentum to launch yourself into your debt pay-off with a positive mindset.

Speaking of mindset, the first sub-step in Step #1 is to learn the 4 Winning Mindsets. These 4 mindsets are not only taken from some of the world’s most successful people, but they are also non-negotiable when it comes to starting your journey of paying off debt fast…that is, adopting these mindsets is critical if you want to actually succeed in doing it. I’ll reveal and expand on these mindsets in the next chapter.

The second sub-step in Starting with the Easy Pickin’s is to make an audacious, idealistic goal. Without a goal you can’t make a plan, and without a plan, you default to your creditors’ payment plan. I’m guessing they’ve pinned your debt pay-off somewhere between 10 & 15 years, but you don’t want to be in debt that long, right?

I didn’t think so. Aside from being burdened by your debt for a decade plus, you’d end up paying tens of thousands of extra dollars in interest on top of your balance if you did that. Sound like an exaggeration?

The average person (with a $37,000 balance, 6% interest, and 10-year loan term) will pay an additional $12,293 to their principal balance in interest. That means if you owe $37,000 and you plan on paying off your loans in 10 years, it’s more accurate to say you owe $50,000, because that’s what you’ll have paid once the fat lady has sung. However, if you had that same balance and paid it off in 2 years, you would only pay $2,356 in interest & about $39,000 total. We’ll dig deeper into the revelatory world of calculating interest payments in Chapter 4.

That’s why this step—and indeed this whole strategy—is so important. It will help you gain financial freedom quickly, save tens of thousands of dollars on interest, and empower you to confidently pursue the next chapter in your life.

And that all starts with making an audacious, idealistic goal. One that scares you. One you’re not fully sure you can accomplish. Making a goal like this is the essence of adventure, and by the end of this book, you will feel confident in your plan and ability to see that goal to completion.

Finally, the third sub-step to Step #1 is to create your “Student Loan Hacking Platform”. This is a powerful strategy that will not only highly motivate you to start and follow-through on your goal, but it can also make you $1,000+ in creative income, save even more money on interest, help you reduce or eliminate big expenses like your cell phone bill, ignite word-of-mouth for your Smart Side-Hustle, AND cause you to inspire your friends and family to pay off their debt as well.

By starting a blog (your Student Loan Hacking Platform), writing about your journey paying off debt, and referring your friends to products and services that will be helpful to them, you can earn lucrative referral bonuses, while at the same time rallying people around your cause of getting debt-free, inspiring them to pay off their debt, AND creating an audience to which you can either promote your side-hustle or ask to promote your side-hustle.

On top of all that, by making your goal public, you’re creating a sort of “fan-base” of people who are rooting for your success and even looking up to you if they have debt of their own. This means your Student Loan Hacking Platform will not only bring you extra cash & motivation, but it also comes with built-in accountability to help you not give up on your goal…after all, you wouldn’t want to let your fans down!

The Student Loan Hacking Platform strategy is something that I’m super excited about, and one that I believe will encourage and motivate you tremendously as you move on to step 2.

If you’re ready now to start your Student Loan Hacking Platform, I recommend using Bluehost. With Bluehost, you can get hosting for your WordPress blog AND a free domain when you sign up through my link here


Step #2 – Make a Smart & Calculated Plan

Tangible. Concrete. Numbers-based.

If you can’t explain your debt pay-off “plan” with these 3 adjectives, then I would argue you don’t really have a plan at all. You see, there’s a critical difference between intentions and priorities and an important distinction between desires and plans. Someone may have a desire to pay off their debt fast, but it doesn’t become a plan until there are dates on the calendar, spreadsheets are filled-in, and there’s a to-do list that covers—from A to Z—the action steps that need to be completed.

Don’t worry, though, I’ve got you covered. I have created a comprehensive To-Do list that contains all the action steps needed to carry out the Out of Debt ASAP strategy using my favorite to-do list method (Kanban) in my favorite project management tool (Airtable). Whenever you sign-up for the 30-Day Challenge at, you will get free access to the curated to-do list, which you can copy into your free Airtable account.

Please note: the 30-Day Challenge and to-do list will be ready when Out of Debt ASAP officially launches in summer 2017. For now though, you can sign-up to be on the 30-Day Challenge waiting list here:

Get on the waiting list!

The sub-steps for Step #2 are simple, yet very powerful.

We’ll start by discussing how to create and live on a budget. I’ll teach you the fail-proof strategy for not overspending or wondering where your money went each month, and we’ll talk about the importance of assigning a purpose for every single dollar, so there’s no ambiguity in your spending plan.

Second, we’ll discuss gathering all your financial numbers & organizing them into one place. That place is called my Mission Control Spreadsheet which, again, you can grab for free when you sign-up for the 30-Day Challenge.

With all your numbers in the Mission Control Spreadsheet, you’ll be able to know exactly where you are financially at any given time. With all the numbers & metrics in front of you, you’ll be able to make informed decisions and also stay encouraged & up-to-date on your progress towards freedom.

Finally, the third sub-step is to calculate your Monthly Value Creation Goal. Knowing this number is highly critical and a major game-changer when it comes to having a tangible, calculated plan. Essentially, what this number will tell you is exactly how much extra income you need to generate each month in order to achieve your Audacious Goal. You will go from saying this ambiguous statement: “Ah, I need to make more money so I can pay off my loans!”, to saying this precise, actionable statement, “I need to make exactly $x,xxx extra each month so that I can pay off my last loan by xx/xx/xx.”

Your Monthly Value Creation Goal will precisely inform every part of what you’ll do in the third and final step of the Out of Debt ASAP strategy…


Step #3 – Create Value & Side-Hustle the Smart Way

Once you know exactly how much extra money you’ll need to make each month to meet your Audacious Goal, you’ll need to create a smart strategy for generating that income. My recommendation: do NOT go get another job!

While there may be times where that makes sense, as a general rule you want to think about how you can generate supplemental income creatively, where you’re the boss determining your income, rather than the employee simply taking what you’re offered & working on someone else’s schedule.

The best way to do that is to look for ways of creating a valuable service in your community, and then start a Smart Side-Hustle that can help you exchange your created value for money. Doing a Smart Side-Hustle is the way to go for two reasons: (1) you will be your own boss and therefore in charge of your schedule & (2) you will make a lot more money by cutting out the middle man (an employer) and charging a business rate for your value creation services.

Here’s a simple example of what I mean:

If you were to go out right now and get a cleaning job, you’d probably make somewhere between $8 and $12 per hour. That wage, no matter how many hours you work, most likely won’t get you anywhere near your Monthly Value Creation Goal.

However, if you were to start a Smart Side-Hustle, and you created a small cleaning business, you would be able to charge your clients $25 – $30 per hour for scrubbing the same toilets and mopping the same floors.

Don’t believe me? Just ask Kaitlin R. in Vermont. She is a mom of three, and just recently started her own cleaning business where she made $250 within the first two days; in 10 hours of work. Kaitlin’s move was brilliant, because she got into a business that has very little start-up costs, is easy to get in and out of, and typically has repeat customers. Her first client has already had her come clean 3 times in just a week and a half. On top of that, her schedule is flexible, and she’s even found some clients (who are friends) that don’t mind her bringing her kids with her while she’s cleaning.

A cleaning business is just a simple example of how absolutely anyone can be successful doing a Smart Side-Hustle that provides any kind of service, be it skilled or unskilled. The reason you can double or triple your hourly rate with a Smart Side-Hustle is because you’re creating value, rather than getting a job. You’re doing almost the same exact work but charging a business rate for your time, rather than earning an employee’s wage.

The reason I love this third and final step so much is that it won’t just help you make extra money each month so you can pay your loans off fast. The experience of creating value & succeeding in your own Smart Side-Hustle will directly lead to greater success for you in the future. It could mean being more effective and promotable in your job, OR your side-hustle could become so successful that you quit your job altogether and become self-employed. This is all part of the transformation we talked about in the last chapter!

So, here’s a quick look at the three sub-steps for Step #3 as we wrap up.

  1. You want to look to improve your returns on your “main hustle” by creating value within your current job.
  2. You’ll take a look at my “Smart Side-Hustle Directory” at (coming in summer 2017) where I will be curating a directory of the best Side-Hustle ideas and trainings for the purpose of paying off debt fast.
  3. You’ll simply decide on which side-hustle you’ll do, commit to it, and start hustlin’!


Working the Plan

Once you have implemented all the steps above, you will shift all of your focus on achieving your “Bottom Line Marketing Metric”. This metric will tell you how many clients you need to find or how many “billable hours” you need to fill in order to meet your Monthly Value Creation Goal, and therefore, your Audacious Goal’s deadline.

Here’s an example of a Bottom Line Marketing Metric:

Let’s say you start a lawn mowing business, and your typical client hires you to mowe their lawn once-a-week. And let’s say it takes 1.5 hours to mowe a lawn including travel time. If you average $50/lawn, then each client is worth $200/month to you. If your MVCG is $2,000/month, then that means you need to find 10 clients in order to meet it. So, 10 clients is your Bottom Line Marketing Metric.

As long as you’ve completed all the steps—and stay faithful to your budget and plan—, all you’ll need to do is work to find & keep those 10 clients, and then run your Side-Hustle with excellence until you cross the finish line and you’re debt-free.

Not interested in doing a cleaning or lawn mowing business? No worries! There are a ton of other Smart Side-Hustles & Smart Side-Hustle Trainings that you can find in my directory at (which will, again, be available in summer 2017).

Boom! There’s a thorough, calculated plan that will make your debt-freedom inevitable. 



Here’s a quick look again at the 3 simple steps (and their sub-steps) that we’ll cover in detail throughout the rest of this book:

  1. Start with the Easy Pickin’s
    1. Learn the 4 Winning Mindsets
    2. Make an Audacious, Idealistic Goal
    3. Create Your “Student Loan Hacking” Platform
  2. Make a Smart & Calculated Plan
    1. Create and Live on a Budget
    2. Gather All Your Financial Numbers & Organize Them In One Place
    3. Calculate Your Monthly Value Creation Goal
  3. Create Value & Side-Hustle the Smart Way
    1. Create Value Within Your Current Job
    2. Smart Side-Hustles & the Bottom-Line Marketing Metric
    3. Decide, Commit, and Start Hustlin’!

Once you’ve completed all these steps, it becomes simple and inevitable: stay in the game, don’t quit, and do everything you can to meet & keep your Bottom Line Marketing Metric.

Ok, now you have an idea of how to make becoming debt-free inevitable. Next week, we’ll dive into the specifics! In the mean time make sure you sign up for the 30-Day Challenge Waiting List here:


Grab my free "5-Step Gameplan to Make a FAST Student Loan Debt Pay-off Inevitable"

it's free!
100% privacy guaranteed. No messin' around!