My Money Story: Adeola Omole’s Journey to Paying Off Over $390,000 and Building Wealth

My Money Story is a OneSavvyDollar series where we interview people who have successfully paid off any major debt (i.e student loans), saved, or overcome any financial hurdles.

The aim is to inspire, encourage and motivate you to take hold of your personal finance because “financial fitness is not a pipe dream or a state of mind. It is a reality if you’re willing to pursue it and embrace it.”- Will Robinson

Can you tell us a bit about you?

My name is Adeola Omole. I live in the beautiful Rocky Mountains of Canada with my husband and two young children. I’m a lawyer and was called to the Bar in 2001.

I continue to be an active member of the Bar Association in my province; however, as a result of a career-altering experience in my twenties, I now choose to work as a wealth coach and online financial educator.

 I feel truly blessed that I’m able to live my life’s passion.

What and when was your “sick and tired” of debt moment?

In July of 2001, I completed my 12-month Articles of Clerkship with the law firm I was articling with and was super excited about my bright future as a lawyer.

I believed I would be working at this particular firm after I got called to the Bar, but was completely shocked when I found out that I was being laid off.

I was shattered by the news that I would no longer be working at the firm but was even more terrified at the prospects of having to deal head-on with my mounting six-figure debt, which had grown steadily over the years.

I knew at this moment that I could no longer hide from my debt. During this time, I had a negative net worth with no emergency funds. I desperately called my Visa company to ask for a credit limit increase (I was maxed out on my cards), and they declined my request.

At that moment. I knew that I had to change my financial habits, and vowed to never rely on any credit card company nor any other creditor for my financial well-being.

That experience changed the course of my life.

How did you acquire the debt and do you regret doing so?

The debt was an accumulation of many things: 1) student loans; 2) car loans; 3) credit card debt; 4) line of credit; and, 5) department store cards; 6) mortgage. I basically had various forms of debt.

It was the result of a number of ill-informed financial decisions as well as my education. I went to University for 8 years straight for my undergraduate degree and for my law degree, which cumulatively was very expensive.

In regards to whether or not I regretted it, I surprisingly do not regret it today for the simple reason that I would not be where I am today had it not been for the debt.

I truly believe that in life you go through various things – both good and bad – in order to become who you are meant to be.

During the time that I was laid off in my twenties, I had the incredible good fortune of learning all about personal finance and investing.

I spent 8 hours of my day at the library and bookstore reading books), and spent 18 months learning everything I could about money management, investing, and debt repayment options.

Had I not been in dire financial straits during that time in my life, I would have continued to dig myself deeper into a debt hole, and would not have been able to create my strategy for getting out of debt and building life-changing wealth.

How much debt did you pay off in total? How much money in interest and time did you save in total?

I paid off over $390,000 of debt, which included both consumer debt and mortgage debt. For my consumer debt, I made sure to roll each debt into a low interest bearing credit card that ensured that I paid the minimal amount of interest possible on each respective debt obligation.

For my mortgage, I can say that I saved hundreds of thousands of dollars in interest by paying it off early.

Here is a breakdown of how long it took for me to pay off my both my consumer debt and mortgage:

Consumer Debt

I paid off over $70,000 of consumer debt in just under 3 years.

Mortgage Debt

I paid off over $320,000 on my home in 12 years, and the regularly scheduled amortization on my mortgage was 25 years. So I paid it off in half the time.

How much income were you earning when you accomplished this?

I was unemployed for the first 18 months of my debt repayment journey, so I was making $0 income for the first eighteen months. However, since I was married, my husband was making $30,000.

It’s important for me to mention that I was previously making $40,000 a year prior to losing my job, and at that time we required both our incomes to just maintain our debt load and monthly expenses.

It was quite a challenge to embark on my debt-free journey when I was not making any money.

However, I found gainful employment 18 months after beginning my journey and had a starting salary of roughly $40,000 a year. So the highest income I generated while paying off my consumer debt was$40,000 a year.

Can you describe the specific choices you had to make to pay off your debt?

The first specific choice I made was to change how I thought and spoke about money. Essentially, I changed my money mindset. I started seeing money as being abundant and attainable and stopped seeing it as a scarce resource.

Also, I began creating vision boards of the things I wanted in my life. Finally, I started posting statements throughout my house wherein I was clear about the goal I wanted to attain throughout my journey.

My goal was to attain financial freedom.

Another important choice I made was to sell big and small ticket items in my home. I sold one car that had positive equity in it, and used the proceeds to pay down the debt faster.  I sold about 100 pairs of my shoes and applied the profits towards my debt.

I stopped going out to eat, did not take a vacation, and also decided to not spend any money on entertainment and movies. I was 100% committed to pay it all off, so was willing to make these little sacrifices.

Was there any time during your journey where your friends and or family challenged your plans to pay off your debt?

I intentionally kept my debt free journey a secret from my family and friends.

I had completed a ton of research while on the journey and came to the conclusion that it was easier to keep this information to myself versus sharing it with my family and having to deal with their judgments or preconceived notion regarding the decision to pay back all the debt.

I shared my story with everyone after I had paid off my consumer debt. It was liberating, and I was pleasantly surprised when everyone started coming to me for help with their finances.

Were any resources such as blogs, books, podcasts particularly helpful to you in staying on track? Or where did you find your inspiration to stay on track through your journey?

I started my journey in the year 2001/2002, and there were no podcasts, blogs or very many books on this topic.

I was motivated to continue on my journey through my Motivation Statement, which  I would always revisit whenever I felt like I wanted to give up and just revert back to my old money busting habits.

Finally, the one book that truly changed my life during the journey was The Millionaire Next Door.

Although it was not a book about debt per se, it was a book that opened my eyes to the possibilities when it came to the wealth side of the equation.

I wanted to attain life-changing wealth and knew that I could only do that if I paid off the debt first.

Also, Suze Orman’s show came on the air in January 2002, and I religiously watched that show every Saturday night, without fail! I loved the Suze Orman show.

What steps are you taking to ensure that you stay debt free now?

I have amassed a 7 figure net worth over the years, and have only been able to do that because I decided to change my money mindset from a scarcity to an abundance mentality.

During the early stages of my debt repayment journey, I created a two-part strategy that helped me get out of debt and also create wealth.

I stick to the same strategy today, which ensures that I will always stay out of debt, and continue to build my net worth.

I am happy to say that over 15 years after I began my journey, I am still debt free and building my wealth!

I know you’re writing a book that has been released can you tell us what the book is about and how we can get it?

The book is called 7 Steps to Get Out of Debt and Build Wealth and it’s a step-by-step guide that helps you get out of debt and build wealth.

It contains all the things that I did on my journey to pay off over $390,000 of debt, and also how I reached millionaire status in my thirties. The book can be purchased directly through my website – https://www.adeolaomole.com – or through Amazon.

If you could go back in time and advice your 18-year-old self, what advice would you give her?

I would tell her that all the shoes in the world will never make her happy, but true joy comes from having the financial means required to live the life that she has always wanted to live.

I was fortunate to discover this truth prior to my thirtieth birthday, and as a result was able to attain a level of financial freedom that may not have been attained otherwise.

What advice would you give anyone who has debt and seeking encouragement?

Find an expert that you trust and implement their strategy to get out of debt. Don’t feel like you have to reinvent the wheel – it has already been invented.

Take the time to surround yourself with people who are financially like-minded, and who have already attained the level of financial freedom that you seek, or are on the path to attaining financial freedom.

Finally, make sure that you understand what is motivating you to get out of debt, and stay focused on that which is motivating you throughout your journey.

How can our readers keep in touch with you?

You can reach me on Instagram: @adeolaomoleb

______________________________________________________

Congratulations Adeola. We wish you much success in your financial journey!

Do you have a money story? Would you like to share your money story to motivate, encourage and inspire others? Send an email to here with the subject line “My Money Story” and we will be in touch. 

About Ogechi

Hello, I'm Ogechi. I'm a financial educator, real estate investor, and founder of OneSavvyDollar. I write to empower you into saving more, paying off debt, increasing your net worth, and building real wealth so you can achieve financial freedom

Connect with me on Instagram