How I Paid Off a $36,847 Debt: The Craziest Financial Decision I Ever Had

Yes, you’ve read that right. It was a $36,000+ debt from a personal and car loan, and I paid off and managed to settle it just in time. It took a combination of hard work, perseverance, and discipline. With these three pivotal attitudes, I survived a debt of such a vast amount. I will explain in the next paragraphs how I paid off a $36,000 plus debt.


It was back in 2008 when I took a $20,000 personal loan and $16,847 car loan. It was the craziest decision because there was no proper purpose for that huge amount of money. The only purpose was to solve one important expense in my life, which I’d prefer to keep to myself, but suffice it to say that this only needed one-fourth of a percent of that loan. But, it so happened that within the same year, the inevitable yet unforeseen world financial crisis had occurred. A lot of changes had taken place, including a delayed salary.

That was then the turning point. The loan I took was used in my day-to-day expenses as well as in payment of bills and other necessary expenses. While waiting for my actual salary, I was forced to use the loan to survive.

If you were here in Dubai during that financial crisis, I presume you felt the difficulty too. Many people went back to their own country – perhaps to escape the impact of the crisis.

What remained from the total loan amount was only around $5,000. I took advantage of it by using it in purchasing a plot of land back home as a form of investment. Starting from there, I did all the things I could to accomplish all my financial responsibilities.

After about five years of hard work, I was able to resolve my loan problem! It was not an easy journey nor a quick detour to achieve this accomplishment, for it needed a lot of time, sweat, and even tears.

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I started building my blog (, and from there, I applied all the things that I learned in my financial situation. I made sure that I put into consideration all the different theories and ideas I’d gathered so that I could utilize them on my own and prove if they were worth trying.

But what exactly did I do to pay the $36,000 plus debt?

1. I took my work seriously

Instead of feeling discouraged because of my delayed salary, I took it as a motivation to work harder and to be sure that I would be standing stronger amidst the crisis. At the end of it, I realized that only through hard work could I achieve whatever I set my mind to accomplish.

As expats, we often take for granted the idea that work is our bread and butter, only to realize later on that we should have given our very best. So, make sure that in whatever circumstances you are doing your work, you give your best shot.

I got lucky after all my hard work. I discovered that when you work hard on your job you accomplish many things, you discover what works, you gather new knowledge, and eventually, without even knowing it, you are raising your value in the marketplace. And eventually you get a high salary offer.There is truth in the saying: “The harder I work, the luckier I get.”  

When I had my new job interview, I immediately got hired –perhaps due to me being knowledgeable in all aspects of my job. And that’s pretty much all because of Hard Work.

2. I planned my spending habits carefully

Since I kept in mind that I had to pay my loan seriously, I did adjust my spending habits. Gone were the days where I would buy random things just because I liked it. I would, most of the time, come up with a thorough decision-making process before I came to any conclusion about purchasing something.

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I decided to base it all on my needs and not just merely on my wishes. I started to ask myself how to change the way I handle finances. I tracked down my spending habits, and I tried to reduce the way I purchased things.

I also learned about the reasons why expats can’t save money and then I avoided those perilous habits. And the favorite strategy that I learned was how to maximize my savings.

I stopped eating at fast food chains and started to prepare my own food. The money that I saved from this step was used as a part of the savings intended for paying off my $36,000 plus loan.

If all of us would only learn how to track our spending habits, we could become much wiser regarding making decisions – only then will we become enlightened as to our true capacity to be financially smart.

3. I’ve learned how to make a budget

When I was in debt, I tried to find ways to budget my salary. I attended a financial seminar from our embassy just to learn how to save and budget money. They were offering a free financial seminar and that was the opportunity I grabbed, so it was a big help for me. It gave me ideas on how to combat the debt that I had.

I also attended a free seminar given by a financial marketing group and became a member of their group. I would prefer to keep the name of the group private but from them, I also learned a lot about saving and investing.

So, from that time, I learned how to budget my income from my job. If you are in a pile of debt, you will find ways to solve your debt. You should just ask yourself “In what ways can I pay off my debt?’ Don’t avoid your responsibilities, just face it.

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4. I reduced on eating out and watching movies

When I was in the dungeon of debt, I disciplined myself to minimize going out with friends. I reduced my movie watching which had usually been every week, and my eating out which was twice a week. I know I am someone who can control my spending and help out to pay off my debt.

It was a blessing in disguise that I was in debt because it meant that I eventually learned to keep my income and to save. And that became a habit which I maintain even today.

5. I looked for additional opportunities

Later after four years since I took the loan, the blog had helped to pay off the debt. Instead of only settling for my current job, I tried to think of other things I could do. You can start your blog or website here.

I thought of blogging, and I knew that I had so much to share and that I had the knowledge of how it worked. I took the chance, and it has indeed become one of the best decisions I have ever made in my life.

How about you? What other opportunities do you see along the way? Grab them now and see how you will personally flourish.

The idea here is that no matter what you are going through, or whatever you are facing now, brace yourselves and be ready to become financially literate. Just like the way that I paid off my previous $36,847 loan in just 60 months by doing what I stated in the previous paragraphs. Get rid of all your existing debts, and bring out the best that you can be, through hard work and perseverance.

“Weigh your decisions many times, especially concerning money. This is to save you from the hole of debt.”

If I did it, you can also do it! Good luck!  

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