At the time, "my blog was taking off and I wanted to work for myself," says Bowling, who was employed as a content marketing strategist in Atlanta. "I realized I couldn't make that leap with all this debt, so I thought, 'How can I knock this out as fast as possible?'"
Bowling, now 30, says her three-month journey out of the red all started with a simple first step: Getting clear on exactly how much she owed.
"I started by figuring out how much debt I had," she tells CNBC Make It. "Then I played with the numbers and figured out what I would need to pay each month in order to pay it off."
It sounds obvious, but often "it isn't easy to take a good, hard look at what you owe," she writes on FinancialBestLife.com. Ignoring your debt, or not owning up to what you owe, will only prolong the process.
After dipping into her savings to contribute $1,000 towards her debt right of the bat, Bowling calculated how much she would owe each month in order to be debt free in 90 days. It came out to roughly $2,400 a month, or $600 a week.
Next, Bowling zeroed in on her goal. "I did $8,000 in 90 days and that was literally the only thing I thought about," she says. "I didn't have any work goals; I wasn't super focused on losing weight or any other type of initiative; it was just this single mindedness on paying off debt.
"And I definitely think, when it comes to paying off large amounts of debt, that's what it takes: You have to really focus in and not allow yourself to get distracted or discouraged."
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