Episode 10: Paying Off $147k & Taking Vacations with Jackie Beck

February 12, 2018

Quick Recap:

  • Jackie & her husband paid off $147k in 10 years
  • They dealt with credit card debt, student debt, a car loan, and their mortgage
  • They didn't let debt stop them from taking vacations and enjoying life
  • Evil vs Awesome: Valentines Day
  • They rewarded themselves once they were out of debt, Jackie went to Antartica!
  • Jackie's best piece of advice for those paying off debt 
  • What Jackie wished she'd known when she started
  • Evil vs Awesome: The Olympics


The Show:

Welcome to the Accio Debt Freedom a podcast, a podcast talking about the way debt permeates our finances and nearly every aspect of our lives. Today we are thrilled to welcome Jackie Beck who has paid off over $147,000 of debt, from JackieBeck.com. Jackie is  a debt freedom expert and the creator of the app store hit, Pay Off Debt, an award-winning app that has helped over 51,000 people use a debt snowball to break free from debt.

It took Jackie about 10 years from when she and her husband got serious about debt repayment  to when they became debt free. 

It can seem overwhelming, and you may feel bad if you don't pay off $100k in three weeks, and bad when you're looking at spending 10 years  paying off debt, but you can take breaks and have fun. 

When in debt, Jackie did lots of traveling, she went to New Zealand and Paris.

The Type of Debt Jackie had & How She Dealt With It

Jackie and her husband had credit card debt before getting married and they paid that off separately. He had a car loan, she had a student loan, they took out a home improvement loan at 0% interest. 

The home improvement loan made them realize they never wanted to borrow again, it doesn't matter what the interest is, they hate owing that money.

Not letting Lifestyle Inflation Strike

First, she tackled her student loan. She been through a 4 year period of unemployment, so when she got a part-time job she felt like super rich and thought "I'm going to pay off this student loan that has been hanging around for 10 years."

So she did get that part of debt repayment done really fast because she'd been used to living on nothing and she kept living on nothing. 

Using a Credit Counseling Service

As for the credit cards, she and her husband had used Consumer Credit Counseling Services*, and then with everything else just putting everything we had towards debt.

*Always be weary of counseling services, there are some great legitimate ones out there like CCCS but there are scams too, be careful.

Paying Off Debt With Savings

She had an epiphany when talking to her husband one day, "I don't understand these people who have money in savings and they don't just use it to pay off their debt." which is when she realized she had some money in savings she could use to pay off debt. 

Paying Extra & Side Hustling

When getting down to just having to pay off the house, they were really excited and at the beginning they paid off an extra $35 a month. 

They then got more and more excited and started putting extra to it, they both did some work on the side and used the money to pay off debt.

Jackie created her app, Pay Off Debt and it helped her to earn money, it won the PLUTUS award at FinCon in 2017 and was featured on Oprah. 

She also started blogging, they got raises, she got a full-time job, just kept working a lot and putting it towards the mortgage and vacation.

How Jackie Knew When it Was Time to Take a Break from Debt Repayment

It wasn't super conscious, it was more they liked to vacation every year so they were sure to save up for that along the way so they could take those vacations.

They actually went to New Zealand and Paris within a couple months of each other. They had planned the New Zealand trip and had saved up for that. 

But Jackie had also had an alert for deals to Paris and right after booking the trip she got this deal alert for Paris and it was the best deal she'd seen for the trip so they just decided to go for it. 

They made their last mortgage payment in August 2012 and celebrated by buying doorknobs. 

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Evil vs Awesome: Valentine's Day


  • If being super commercial and spending tons of money


  • It's a sweet holiday if you don't get commercial and feel like you have to do a big thing
  • The kid valentines are fun
  • It doesn't have to cost anything
  • It sometimes falls on restaurant week

Overall: Awesome if next to free

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They're Debt Payoff Rewards

Jackie decided she wanted to go to Antartica and her husband decided he wanted to get a sports car. So they saved up and a year after paying off the mortgage Jackie traveled to the edge of the world. 

Turns out a trip to Antartica can cost anywhere from $4,000-$15,000. Jackie spent about $10,000. Apparently, penguins sound like donkeys. 

Jackie's Best Piece of Advice for Someone Trying to Pay Off Debt

Stop borrowing and focus on your emergency fund first. If you don't do that then you will turn to debt when you have any emergency. 

Change your mindset. 

What is Something You Wish You Knew When You Started on Your Debt Payoff Journey?

Jackie wishes she knew it was really possible. Also that she didn't have to get into debt in the first place. 

In America people have this idea that you need to borrow money so you can have a good credit score so that you can borrow money and you don't have to get on that train. You can pay cash for things. 

Yes, even houses. While it will depend on the market and your situation, but don't rush into it. If you are feeling panicked and you feel like you have to do it, then that is not the time to buy. Don't do something out fear that you will never be able to do it again, housing is cyclical and you will, just wait. 

Being a cash buyer also gives you more opportunities and negotiating power. 

Evil vs Awesome: The Olympics


  • Doesn't like that the summer and winter olympics are in different years
  • Not that interested in it


  • Hockey is fun
  • Curling is strangely fascinating 
  • Skeleton racing is fun
  • Worldwide unity
  • Sportsmanship

Overall: Jackie & Melissa - Mostly evil. Liz - Awesome

What do you think?

Thanks for joining us!

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debt repayment | how to pay off debt | jackie beck
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