March’s Student Loan Debt Movement + A New Debt App!

Hey hey – what’s good everybody?

Got a couple cool things to share with ya today around nasty student loan debt stuff, so if that’s something you’re currently struggling with, read on, and if not – here’s a different article for you to feast your eyes upon instead –> 9 Awesome Money Jokes!

One of these is much more fun than the other ;)

But if you are dealing with student loans, don’t worry – we got your back! But I do have one simple question to throw your way: what are you doing about it right now?

Are you paying off extra every month? Sending in just the minimum payments? Pretending it doesn’t exist and video gaming away your worries hoping it solves all your problems? (Actually – how awesome would that be?? “Congrats on making it to level 10! We just paid off $1,000 for you – now get back to kicking a$$!” Haha…)

Whatever stage you’re in though, a bunch of us bloggers are getting together for a new initiative this month, and we’re hoping you’ll join us to help pay off a total of $1,000,000 collectively as a community :) It’s the brain child of veteran blogger Robert Farrington from, and he’s put together a solid page on it along with resources and a tracker and all.

Take a peek –> The Student Loan Debt Movement

We’re at a whopping $0.00 right now, but with your help it’ll hopefully be ramping up pretty soon ;) And you can easily participate by doing the following two things:

  1. Pay off as much student debt as you can this month! Try to challenge yourself!
  2. Submit your #’s over to us using the form on that same page

Robert’s also upping the game by giving away $500 in cash each week to a lucky participant, so not only do you already win by shredding more of your debt away, but you also get a chance to turbocharge the pay off even more! Double win!

You’ll also find resources around pay off strategies, refinancing, $$$ tips in general, as well as a “Movement” Facebook Group he put together to keep people more accountable.

If you’re someone who thrives on being around like-minded people, this is the event for you :) This stuff doesn’t have to be so scary!! And it also doesn’t have to last forever too. But you DO have to make the commitment to knock it out, and we hope this community can give you the push you’re looking for.

So that’s tool #1 today. And you can learn more here.

Tool #2? A new app called Pickpocket!

Who helps you “Steal from yourself” to “Give to your student loans”, haha…

steal from yourself

***UPDATE*** Pickpocket has now shut down… Unfortunately they couldn’t get enough funding to keep going :(

Similar to Qoins and other round-up apps we’ve featured here before, Pickpocket is a new service that will “quietly steal” an extra 10% of every dollar you spend, and then apply that money directly to your student loan debts. Which seems kinda high at first, but then again – if you don’t miss 10%, by all means throw it against your debt and speed up the process even more! Or you can just change it as they give you the option, but now I think it would make for an excellent challenge ;) And I’m sure they’ll be adding in all kinds of other tweaks as they move out of beta too…

In fact, they’re literally soft-launching the app today as I type this! So you may have to add yourself to the “waiting list”, but I’ve asked them to let you slip in so you don’t have to wait as long to poke around… Got on the phone with them last night just to learn more and see what types of vibes they gave off, and they def. checked out :) So if you end up giving them a shot, you’ll be one of the first to test-drive them!

And because they’re still in beta, the app is currently 100% free (woo!). They also have a system for involving friends and family to match your contributions, but if you can figure out how to make that happen please let me know :) I’ve been trying to get my family to drop in 529 contributions for years, and still haven’t cracked that nugget! Why can’t people understand what us money nerds like??? Haha…

pickpocket me logo

Anyways, seems like a cool service and you can learn more about them here:

And literally besides them and Qoins, I honestly don’t know of *any* other companies using technology like this in the debt space, do you? It’s so crazy to me because our nation is just DROWNING in this stuff, and we need all the help we can get. In fact, Carlton (the co-founder) said he salutes any app in the space for giving it a shot whether they fail or not, and I agree 100%. There can never be too many apps around financial support, so please keep them coming Techies!!

***UPDATE*** Pickpocket has now shut down… Unfortunately they couldn’t get enough funding to keep going :(

So yeah: Student Loan Movement // Pickpocket

Try one or both this month, and then come back and tell me if you’re sleeping better at night ;)

And especially if you win one of the $500’s!! Just make sure to save $20 of it so you can mail me beer later as a thank you, haha… Which I like to joke about, but every now and then it actually comes true!

turbodog beer jerky(You have restored my faith in humanity, Mitchell! ;))

At the end of the day though, remember this: All the learning and tips are great, but without *action* none of it moves the ball forward.

Get your learn on, keep taking those baby steps, and before you know it you’ll be doing the infamous Dave Ramsey scream while radiating in your new debt-free lifestyle :)

It’s not easy, but it’s do-able! And we’re here rooting you on!!

Go get your freedom!!

UPDATE: The debt movement hit $1,003,689.39 on 3/29/18 :)

PS: The Pickpocket team will be monitoring comments here, so if you have any questions or ideas at all for them, drop them below and they’ll follow up! And no – I’m not getting paid to talk about them today, but if they wanted to throw me some dollars I would not turn it down ;)

PPS: I’ll also not turn down free coffee, babysitting, gold coins, or these retro Sauconys (size 12 please!). It worked for the beer, maybe it’ll work for these too? ;)

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  1. Ms. Frugal Asian Finance March 2, 2018 at 7:35 AM

    I love this movement! I also had student loans and paid them off when I got married at the age of 26. I could have paid for it earlier, but I wanted to keep the money for emergency.

    Yay to student loan payoff!

    1. J. Money March 2, 2018 at 9:23 AM

      26 – not bad!! It takes some decades :(

  2. Leo T. Ly March 2, 2018 at 7:51 AM

    I feel fortunate to have paid off my student loans just a couple of years after graduation. Thanks to my parents for letting me stay at home a little longer after I graduated.

    For the pickpocket app, I am wondering if there is any budgeting that goes into this. Let’s say that you earn $3000 a month and you spent $2900 during the month and you have a 10% rate, would they know that you’ve gone over your budget? There is no point stealing from yourself to pay off your 5% interest student to end up paying 20% interest on your credit card.

    1. Pickpocket March 2, 2018 at 1:09 PM


      Great question, and you have already given us a new idea for a feature! Right now Pickpocket does take a set percentage of your discretionary spending and sends it to your student loan. We think of it as “tipping yourself” every time you make a purchase. The rate defaults to 10%, but can be lowered to fit a budget. We also have a feature called “Boost”. This allows you to send an amount directly to you loan whenever you feel like it? For those with a set budget, they could set their saving rate quite low, and then at the end of the month if there is anything left over in their budget the user can “boost” it to their loan.

      Reach out with any questions!

  3. Sean @ Frugal Money Man March 2, 2018 at 8:11 AM

    Awesome stuff J!

    I was fortunate to not have any student loans after college, but I had to get super aggressive in paying down my new car loan. I paid off a 20k auto loan in 2 years instead of 5. I pretty much stopped contributing to my 401k for like 6 months, and we (fiancee and I) threw our entire salaries at the loan!

    It definitely sucked not contributing to my 401k for a couple months, but it was definitely worth it in the end because I could then throw even more $$$ into the 401k!

    1. J. Money March 2, 2018 at 9:25 AM

      Oh wow – ballsy! Did you at least get your company match? I can definitely get down with some hardcore’ness, but ain’t nobody touching my match ;) (err, old match… that sadly went away when I became self-employed, womp womp.)

    2. Pickpocket March 2, 2018 at 1:11 PM

      Love the idea of throwing everything possible at a loan! Losing a 401k payment can be hard, but sometimes getting out of debt and all the freedom that comes with an unencumbered cash flow every month is worth the sacrifice.

  4. Lily | The Frugal Gene March 2, 2018 at 8:46 AM

    Did you know there’s a website that calculates the student debt owed in this country by seconds? So it’s just a big row of numbers that goes bigger and bigger with each passing second, never smaller. It’s very depressing but that’s why it’s effective! I killed $20k in 8 months and I was too afraid to even splurge on a slice of Costco pizza because I had… debt. It drove me crazy!

    1. J. Money March 2, 2018 at 9:28 AM

      Okay, that’s depressing! Haha… I know there’s one tracking the country’s debts which is equally pretty horrible to look at :(

    2. Pickpocket March 2, 2018 at 1:14 PM


      It kills us too. Hopefully more sites like The College Investor raise the alarm and we all tackle the problem head on. As for giving up Costco pizza, we wish we had that kind of willpower! For those that need a helpful tool to always be paying down their loans faster even when they splurge on pizza-check out

  5. Tainted Tiara March 2, 2018 at 8:48 AM

    I’m game if Parent PLUS loans count, too. I’ve already paid $6,600 toward them this year with hopefully another $3k in March!

    1. J. Money March 2, 2018 at 9:29 AM

      Oh $hit – you’re workin’ it!

    2. Robert Farrington March 2, 2018 at 10:38 AM

      Of course Parent PLS Loans count. Knock off that $3k, I’d love to see you on the leaderboard!

  6. Jen13 March 2, 2018 at 11:05 AM

    I have about 2 years before my daughter enters into the expensive college years. I would love tips on how to keep the cost down from those who have recently passed through this. Things are much different from when I went to school. I will look into seeing how many classes she can clep out of and classes she can take while in high school to save money. Any other college tips would be great.

    1. Pickpocket March 2, 2018 at 1:17 PM

      One tip we have found helpful is to make a goal of keeping up with interest on loans while in school. Some loans defer the interest, but some (like private loans) let it accrue-setting the power of compounding interest AGAINST you! If you can make a small payment that covers interest while in school you keep that total debt number from climbing while you are learning. Consider using a tool like Pickpocket Sponsorship to help you daughter with interest payments while she is in college.

  7. JBiegs March 2, 2018 at 12:16 PM

    We will be making the final payment on my wife’s $110,500 student loan. We refinanced with SoFi in January of 2016 to a 7 year term. We will have paid this off in a total of 26 months! The weight of this huge burden will finally be lifted from us! Being debt free, except for mortgages, is a great feeling indeed!

    1. J. Money March 2, 2018 at 2:00 PM

      Holy crap! How are you pulling that one off – crazy hustling?

      1. JBiegs March 2, 2018 at 4:07 PM

        We started by paying off our last car loan. We then put that $ plus a few extra hundred a month towards the student loan. We also had around $20K sitting in CD’s and savings account for reserves for the rental property we own. We put some of that toward the student loan along with some of the yearly profits. We also have made large payments each year when I get my bonus check from my employer. I make between 40-65% of my yearly income in this bonus. I’m still a little bit in shock that we have been able to pull this off so quickly. My original goal was 3-4 years when we refinanced to the 7 year term. 26 months later and it is gone! I read your blogs, and several others, daily. I have always wished to be financially independent, I just never really had a plan. Thanks to you, mrmoneymustasche, financialsamurai, fourpillarfreedom, and others for your work. I now have a plan. I have a map showing me how to get there. Thank you!

        1. J. Money March 2, 2018 at 4:22 PM

          One of the most beautiful things I’ve seen all day – well done :) And thank you for the kind words! We’re all doing this thing together!

  8. Bryan March 2, 2018 at 12:22 PM

    I graduated with medical professional school loan debt, more than $200,000.00. Once I graduated, I consolidated it and put it on autopilot minimal payments for a 30 year plan. After all, I now needed decent food, a roof over my head, and a car. I deserved it right? Well maybe, up to a point. Eventually the house and car got a bit nicer, and the consumption of the latest shiny tech gizmo every year became the norm. Then one day the light bulb went off, I began looking closely at those school loan statements. That interest was compounding DAILY! Every day $5.00 or more was being extracted from me. I then realized that Interest was like the Terminator. It does not sleep, it does not care, it can’t be reasoned with, it can’t be bargained with, and it absolutely will not stop until you are broke. I was settled enough in my career now and cut out all the mindless consumerism and began making $800.00 payments once a week. Within a year the balance was paid off. Same now with the mortgage, making four times the payment a month to turn the 30 year loan into 7 year. Yes, the opportunity to pay off 3.5% school loans and 3.5% mortgage cost me 3.5% in market returns (7%-3.5%). However, I don’t have Terminators chasing me down 24/7. In any case, the key I have found is make weekly payments whatever you can afford. Have an extra $100.00 a month? Set up the auto deduction of $25.00 per week. Have a Spavings fund? Guess where you’re going to put that? ;-) Killing off the Terminators are tough, but it can be done.

    1. J. Money March 2, 2018 at 2:02 PM

      Great analogy :) And smart on weekly vs. monthly too!

    2. Debbie March 3, 2018 at 5:24 AM

      Congrats on defeating the Terminators! Weekly vs monthly is a great idea. We do it bi-weekly since that’s how often we’re paid. If we have an extra $203 the entire $203 goes towards our mortgage principal. In other words, we don’t round it off to $200. Every dollar helps in reducing interest when paying down debt.

      1. Bryan March 3, 2018 at 7:45 AM

        Right On! Any amount is a great amount! Plus it’s fun to see that amortization table slowly tilt in your favor then all of a sudden take off.

        1. Debbie March 4, 2018 at 4:58 AM

          We set up bi weekly mortgage payments when we bought our home so 13 payments are made in 12 months…plus the extra principal we pay each pay day. The balance really dwindles faster this way & in the end we’re saving thousands in interest. Our mortgage interest rate is 3.75% & my husband’s boss said “it’s like getting free money”. UH no, I don’t think so. When you’re charged over $6100 interest in one year, that’s hardly free money in my book! It adds up quickly.
          You are amazing paying off all that student debt plus a 30 year mortgage in 7 years! Wonder what got you started on this path? Reading blogs? Or just looking closer at your debt statements & throwing up? LOL or maybe tuning into Dave Ramsey? Keep up the Terminator battle! Looks like you’re winning it big time.

          1. Bryan March 4, 2018 at 8:38 AM

            Sounds like you have the perfect plan going Debbie! Awesome!! As for my journey, I hope J$ is reading this, because he gets all the Cred! I always thought I would have these loans forever you know, the American way…consume. But yes, after many years on autopilot I thought, wait, let me look at things differently. It doesn’t have to be like this. Found J$ on a Google search, read through his blog and became INSPIRED! Through him found Mr. Money Mustache and started growing a little stubble, and Jacob at Early Retirement Extreme. Now Jacob is a true savage beast. I won’t ever melt the last bit of my deodorant stick to put in my new deodorant stick so as not to waste it, but damn, who ever would of thought of that. However, I do find his musing on human behavior both fascinating and hilariously spot-on. I never read Dave Ramsey, however thanks to J, MMM, and ERE I now go to the LIBRARY to borrow the books I’m interested in instead of BUYING the books at Amazon. I no longer buy a luxury vehicle to carry my ass 4 miles to work, cut cable, cut XM radio, cut lawn service, cut gym membership (good old iron at home, bicycle, jog through park), cut out buying a new iPhone every year (oh my God I was so stupid, buy $1000.00 of your favorite Mutual Fund every year and invest $120.00 a month that you would pay for the service instead of buying that crap.) I could go on forever Deb. But basically these little daily savings which I thought would never add up to pay off any major debt or grow wealth, over time, actually do! All my thanks goes to J and the crew!

            1. Debbie March 5, 2018 at 4:49 AM

              Thanx Bry, for sharing your Terminator Tricks & for name dropping. I’m going to have to look up MMM & ERE. Like you, I stumbled on J$ thru a Google search & found his posts to be motivational & inspiring. A lot of great ideas for paying down debt & building wealth. Same here regarding cutting the cable cord years ago, don’t own fancy phones & we’re the only ones here doing our own lawn work. We’re the poorest people living in the smallest home in a rich neighborhood. Neighbors with a brand new Corvette while we drive low end fuel efficient Fords, LOL & they all have fancy electronics, fancy vacations, etc. I’ve used my own cycle for years (QVC $50 purchase) & walk 2 miles daily 5x a week. Quite honestly I shy away from gyms as a friend of mine got mersha (sp?) from one years ago but also avoid membership fees. Love your idea of borrowing books from the library instead of buying them. I’m of a dying breed I guess as I still enjoy a physical book/newspaper in my hands as opposed to e-reading but I’ll have to check if there’s a library here (moved here a little over a year ago, not sure). Really appreciate you sharing your killer techniques!

              1. Bryan March 5, 2018 at 7:55 AM

                Sounds to me like you’re the richest person on the block! No need to keep up with the Joneses, they keep going deeper and deeper in debt. “The Millionaire Next Door” is a great book and describes your (and mine) neighborhood perfectly. I listened to the audio book (for free of course) from the library.

                1. J. Money March 5, 2018 at 9:50 AM

                  much love to all y’all :) you’re making my frugal heart so happy right now!!

                  1. Bryan March 6, 2018 at 7:21 AM

                    Right back at ya!!

                2. Debbie March 6, 2018 at 4:11 AM

                  Had to turn down the Joneses 2 weeks ago. Neighbor caters meals. $12 each. Other neighbors order from her daily/weekly. She kept emailing me. Instead of making an excuse, I told her it’s not in our budget as our 2018 piggy bank is going towards new plumbing in the house (true!), some electrical work & a partial bathroom upgrade (we’re the only ones here that do all the work ourselves). We budget groceries which do NOT include $12 daily catered meals. Will have to check out your recommendation “The Millionaire Next Door”. Sounds like our current situation. Thanx again for sharing!

                  1. J. Money March 6, 2018 at 7:02 AM

                    One of the classics right there – I hope you do check it out!

                  2. Bryan March 6, 2018 at 7:37 AM

                    We must live in the same neighborhood..ha! 123 Anystreet USA. We have a lady who does catering in ours as well, meals and homemade pies. Very nice, not pushy or anything but offers the same service. Not sure if she still does because she would advertise on the neighborhood Facebook page, which I have since Terminated as well. Terminating all social media…ahhh what a great feeling. Instead I check in with J and the crew each morning, chat with like minded people like yourself and read off of actual paper bound into a books. Ah, sweet knowledge. Have a great day!

                    1. Debbie March 7, 2018 at 4:39 AM

                      OMG I thought I was the only one on Planet Earth without a FacePlant page…I mean Facebook. No twitter, no SnapChat, no MyOuterSpace either LOL. I think we’re of a dying breed! It’s liberating not being joined at the hip with these distractions. Keeping in touch with family/friends via phone/text or email works for me. I’m in the minority when I go away & leave my computer at home. WiFi? What’s that? Who cares? Not me! I think our catering neighbors are cousins. Too bad my house is on Decatur Rd, LOL have a great Wednesday!

  9. JoeHx March 2, 2018 at 12:40 PM

    Thanks for doing this in March, with its 31 days, instead of a month with 30 days or GASP February with 28 days!

    I pay at least $2,000 in principal a month towards student loans. I honestly don’t know what my minimum payment is since it’s actually just a small part of how much I actually pay. My interest is around $200 a month.

    1. J. Money March 2, 2018 at 2:05 PM

      One of the few times I’ll agree that *not knowing* is fine ;)

  10. brian @ singledadmoney March 2, 2018 at 12:52 PM

    YUM – Abita Turbo Dog. It’s one of my favorites, but hard to get here in Virginia Beach. Sorry, my reply has nothing to do with Student Loans, but a sixer of Turbo Dog can help you forget them for a night.

    1. J. Money March 2, 2018 at 2:06 PM

      My first time having ’em here! Surprised they made it through the mail without freezing or exploding or something, haha…

  11. Pickpocket March 2, 2018 at 1:04 PM

    Roses are Red
    Violets are Blue
    Student Debt Sucks is here to help you!

    Thank you so much J$ for the write up. We care a lot about tackling the Student Loan issue and are building a suite of tools to help. Please don’t hesitate to ask us questions here or ping us on twitter @pickpocketme

    1. J. Money March 2, 2018 at 2:09 PM


      Well played y’all, you did it right.
      No more debt, time to see the light!

  12. Dani March 3, 2018 at 12:23 AM

    Just curious for those of us with no student debt: would this work for mortgages? I’m not sure how you have the platform set up. What a great idea, I hope this really takes off for you guys!

    1. Pickpocket March 3, 2018 at 1:05 PM


      Great question. Mortgages are definitely on our roadmap, so stay tuned! Our thought was to tackle Student Loans first, then move into the world of places a savings app built on behavioral psychology can take us. Thanks for the idea and question.


  13. Eric March 7, 2018 at 3:37 PM

    Ah, student loans. Bane of my existence right now. When I started, I had about $72,000 worth of them. Today, I have just under $40,000 left and if everything goes as planned, they’ll be gone in a year and a half! It’s taking over $2,000/month just to do it! Can’t wait to see what it will feel like to save that money instead of use it to pay off debt.

    1. J. Money March 8, 2018 at 2:22 PM

      Oh $hit! That’s going to be a windfall every month once those puppies are gone! You’re gonna be able to turbocharge all kinds of savings and investments – super exciting!

  14. Pat December 13, 2018 at 4:03 PM

    What if a parent wanted to help start paying off a student loan in their child’s name while their child was still in college and not paying back the loan yet? Can a service like Pickpocket help with that?

    1. J. Money December 14, 2018 at 6:27 AM

      Hey Pat! Unfortunately Pickpocket had to shut their doors as they couldn’t get enough funding, but I love the idea of helping your child pay down their loans like that :) I’m sure there are other tools out there where you could do that!