Trending Topics

How This Black Couple Paid Off More Than $100K In Debt in Just Two Years

An estimated 20 percent of millennials are drowning in debt, with U.S. household debt reaching a record $13.21 trillion in 2018, according to Debt.org.

Anthony and Jhanilka Hartzog were like so many others, in over their heads with finances. The couple was determined to get out from under their debt and devised a plan to successfully whittle down $114,000 in arrears.

Anthony and Jhanilka Hartzo
Anthony and Jhanilka Hartzog made a commitment to pay off all their debt by Jhanilka’s 30th birthday. (Photo: Good Morning America/video screenshot)

Their goal? To have all their debts paid off by Jhanilka Hartzog’s 30th birthday.

The couple got started in 2017 by calculating all their expenses and coming up with a realistic budget they knew they would stick to, according to ABC’s “Good Morning America.” But rather than relying on penny-pinching, they also found ways to supplement their income outside of their regular 9-to-5s.

“We increased our income as much as we can,” said Anthony Hartzog, director of a New York-based IT firm who, along with his wife, picked up a side job at a local gym.

“I’m getting a free gym membership at a high-end gym. I’m getting paid to be here,” he told the morning television show.

The couple also turned to apps like Rover.com, a dog-sitting company, and Turo, a peer-to-peer carsharing and rental company, to bring in extra cash.

Jhanilka Hartzog is a licensed mental health counselor and does much of her work from home, which leaves her schedule open for other tasks.

“Since I work from home, it was just easy,” she said of dog-sitting. “And our dog was pretty shy around other dogs, so it made him more comfortable.”

In 2018, the couple posted a YouTube video detailing their steps to financial freedom. They turned to author and businessman Dave Ramsey in taking their first “baby steps” to get out of debt. Jhanilka Hartzog said during that time they also refrained from using credit cards and relied on Uber and/or carpooling when her car suddenly gave out.

Deciding what were necessities and what were wants was also important.

But that’s not all. They would go on to launch their own cleaning service to make a few extra bucks.With the help from all their side gigs, the couple managed to wipe out more than $100,000 in debt in just two years.

“I think over the last two years, we gained almost $20,000 in income just from side hustles,” Anthony Hartzog said in the clip.

What a feat!

Watch more in the video below.

Debt Free Decade

Do you have a #sidehustle? Coming Diane Macedo shares the story of a couple who used side-jobs to pay off over 100K in debt. It’s all part of our series #DebtFreeDecade

Posted by Robin Roberts on Tuesday, January 21, 2020

What people are saying

Back to top