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Zina Kumok, Founder of

Today’s guest is just 26 years old. She graduated from college in 2011 with a degree in journalism and a burning desire to become debt free as soon as possible. And even though her $28,000 loan was not particularly high by today’s standards (some students graduate with hundreds of thousands of debt), to pay it off on the starting salary of a journalist of only $28,000 a year (about half an average starting salary) would challenge anyone. But she was determined… and as a result, managed to do erase her debt in 3 years! Her story went viral… and she was featured in Time Magazine and other major news outlets, which inspired her to dedicate her spare time – when she’s not busy with her “day job” doing PR and marketing for a non-profit – to speak and write about her experience so other young adults can do the same. Her name is Zina Kumok.

Three takeaways from our interview:

  • What made it possible for her to pay off her debt in 3 years
  • Her financial philosophy and money rituals
  • How her early memories of growing up in a family of immigrants from Russia shaped her financial attitude as an adult

If you’d like to learn more about Zina Kumok, visit her blog and follow her on Twitter @zinakumok.

One of my favorite quotes from the interview: “Money spent well can make you happy, but spent poorly won’t.” – Click to Tweet

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