You can always make more money, but you can’t make more time. You probably hear this saying floating around the personal finance blogosphere. It is I would guess a major reason there are so many people pursuing FIRE (financial independence/retire early). Oh, and would that I could, I’d be pursuing that too, but first I have to get rid of all my debt.

As you may know, the majority of my debt comes from student loans. It only took 6 years to accumulate all that debt. I’ve been in repayment for over 5 years and am sadly further away from the finish line.

If you hadn’t noticed my working towards self-employment/getting laid off has had an impact on how I’ve been thinking about money. Just how many hours will have I have to put in to pay off my debt and how many years does that amount to, how many hours and years is my debt worth? How many hours is your debt worth?

## How Many Hours is My Debt Worth Based on My Current Rate?

After taxes, I currently make about $20 an hour at my day job. My most recent debt update has my debt standing at $262,065.91

That amounts to 13,103.3 hours.

Since there are 8,760 (365 x 24) hours in a year, my debt is worth 1.5 years of my life.

Though that 1.5 years is every hour of every day, if I were just to look at 40 hours a week, 50 weeks a year (2 weeks for vacation) it would turn into 6.6 years. 6.6 years!!!!!!

If interest didn’t keep building and I put every single cent, I earned towards my debt (no paying for food or housing or insurance) it would still take over 6 years of my life to pay back.

## How Many Hours is My Debt Worth Based on Self-Employment?

My goal in self-employment is to essentially double my hourly rate to start and hopefully go up from there. So for this example, I’m going to use an hourly rate of $40. Let’s see the number of hours of my debt worth is:

Once again using my most recent debt update $262,065.91

My debt then owns 6,551.6 hours of my life or 75% of 1 year, approximately 9 months

It’s almost like my debt is a baby, it takes over my entire body for 9 months, comes out and just continues to grow.

Just kidding, weird analogy aside, that is again looking at every hour of every day.

I’m a workaholic, but I’m not that bad.

Working just 40 hours a week, it becomes 3 years and just over 3 months. Let’s get a little more realistic because I will have rent, food, insurance, and other things to pay for in that time. I’m going to conservatively say I put 40% of my income towards my debt.

So if I make $40 an hour, 40% is $16 per hour.

That means my $262,065.91 amounts to 16,379 hours.

Working 40 hours a week for 50 weeks each year, it would be worth 8 years and 2 months of my life.

Though it will actually take longer since interest will continue to add to the amount of debt.

Earning $40 an hour after taxes in self-employment is a good place to start, but to get this debt out of my life, I will have to work to earn even more.

## Figure Out How Many Hours Your Debt is Worth

Want to know how many hours of your life your debt owns?

($debt amount)/(current hourly rate) = the number of hours your debt is worth.

(hours of debt)/(8760, the number of hours in a year) = how many years

(hours of debt)/(2000, the number of working hours) = how many working years

One way to pay down debt faster is to make extra payments. I’m making extra debt payments is with Qoins. Qoins will help you pay down debt faster by applying an extra payment for you using your spare change. Qoins rounds up what you spend to the nearest dollar and sets aside that amount to be applied towards your debt once a month.

How long will your debt own you? Let me know in the comments!

Great way of thinking about this! My debt will currently own me for 3.35 years if I put all of my take-home pay for a normal working period towards debt. But like you said, it’ll be longer than that because I still need to eat, pay rent, and build up savings. 🙂

It’s all about perspective. I know when I first started paying off debt, seeing how much interest accumulated each day was eye opening and really motivating. However, over time I kind of got used to the daily interest rate and while I continue to work on it, it lost some of its motivational appeal, looking at my debt in a measurement of time hits me hard right now and has gotten my motivational juju back up and running.

I haven’t calculated my debt based on hours, but we are digging away at it as quickly as we can, too. I’m not sure if FIRE is a realistic goal for the parents of 5 kids, but we will be happy to have more security once this debt is gone.

Nice! Living debt free is definitely provides a nice sense of security.

Wow, that’s more than my house is worth.

So working 40 hours for me at my day job my debt is worth 8 months of my life…. Not as bad but still feels terrible.

Still, it sounds like you can see the light at the end of the debt tunnel, that’s awesome! Good luck!