I graduated from college in May 2008 with degrees in Math and Electrical Engineering and $33,850 in student loans.

I paid off the last dollar of those loans on June 15th, 2012.

My road to paying off student loans was a long one with many twists and turns. I will begin a three-part series tomorrow that expands on my three main phases of paying off my student loan debt:

  • I started by paying off high interest debt very aggressively.
  • After that I made minimum payments while I invested any extra money in the stock market.
  • Finally, I got back to aggressively paying off all the debt when I lost faith in big stock market returns and wanted to increase cash flow and reduce risk.

I’ll hit more on how I did it over the next few days, but today I want to focus on my new debt-free life ahead of me.

student loan party

Now that I’m completely debt free (with the exception of about $2,500 in 0% loans for furniture and electronics), I have a lot of things I’m going to do:

Have a Student Loan Payoff Party

Tag and I went out to dinner over the weekend in a celebration of Father’s Day with her dad, finishing her parents’ garage sale, and my student loan payoff. Okay, so it wasn’t much of a student loan payoff party, but I didn’t want or need a big celebration.

I will have my own private student loan payoff party every time I don’t have to make a monthly student loan payment, look at my net worth, read an article about the ballooning cost of higher education, watch college football, drive by a college, talk to someone in college, think about someone who is in college, eat Ramen Noodles(or any other “college” food), play video games instead of doing something productive, watch “Saved By the Bell: The College Years”, or anything else that would ever remind me of college.

I’m gonna be doing lots of partying.

Start Saving for a House

Now that I’ve finally paid off all my student loans, I need something new to save up for. And what better to save up for than a house?

I love renting. I love how I’m not responsible for repairs or yard work or anything else. However, I hate that I can’t blast my music for fear of bothering my neighbors. I hate that I can’t invite out of town guests to stay with me because I don’t have a spare bedroom. I hate that I can’t build a man cave.

I need a house.

Of course I want to have a 20% down payment before getting into a house so I don’t have to pay PMI. Considering the fact that I’ll probably want a house that costs $200,000 to $400,000, I will need $40,000 to $80,000 in liquid cash. Right now between my Roth IRA and my checking account, I only have about $15,000.

My goal for the end of the year is to have $40,000 between my Roth IRA and my checking/savings.

Let’s see if I can pull it off.

More Student Loan Goodness This Week

As I said in the intro, I’m going in depth on my three stages of paying off student loans this week. Make sure to come back and read about how I paid off over $33,000 of student loans in about four years!