$50K in debt to big time saver — how this North Carolina woman did it

Posted at 8:10 PM, May 27, 2015
and last updated 2015-05-27 20:21:29-04

KERNERSVILLE, N.C.  (FOX 8) — Ja’Net Adams landed a great job just out of college, but within a few years, she and her husband were $50,000 in debt.

“I was a pharmaceutical rep and I made really good money, but I spent every penny of it,” Adams said. “Then life happened. I was laid off, even in a year I made a $40,000 bonus. 60 percent of our income was just wiped out.”

So that’s when Adams buckled down and created what she calls her “dream to reality” sheet.

“We all sat down, my husband, myself and son and brainstormed our dreams — what we really want out of life. Then we tracked our spending for two weeks, every penny, every receipt, to see where our money was going. Then, we started our game plan. We cut out everything extra for two-and-a-half years. No eating out, no vacations, no nothing that we didn’t absolutely need.”

In less than three years, their debt was paid off and now Adams travels the country as a financial speaker, helping others get a better grip on their money and their spending.

“You can sleep at night when you’re debt free, it’s just a peaceful sleep,” Adams said. “I especially reach out to college students. The average college student is already $33,000 in debt even before they graduate because of student loans. Then they don’t have a chance to dream and go after what makes them happy because they’re automatically just trying to pay their bills.”

Adams created the “Debt Sucks” movement and has been featured on the Huffington Post. A self-described shy introvert, she even speaks to college campuses about the importance of saving money while students are still in college. “I am actually a shy person, an introvert. A lot of people would not believe that I have to take a deep breath and say a prayer and say, ‘Here we go, they need you out there, they need your story,’ and I flip the switch and I walk onstage. I feel it’s my calling to help them not get into debt like I did.”