I also became debt free at the beginning of this year after paying off about 15k in grad school loans over the course of roughly 14 months. And I totally get what you say about having the income level to support paying off debt. I know too many people who have the will, but they don’t earn enough to cover monthly expenses and make meaningful debt payments. I was fortunate enough to throw 40% of my paycheck every week for 14 months at debt.
Now I’m quitting that job for one that pays half as much! (also an additional part-time job that pays even less). I’m not worried about getting back into debt because my only debts were always school related. But I also know that I couldn’t be doing this — pursuing a low-paying job that I love — if I wasn’t also debt free.
So my question for you is what is enough income? Is it just expenses + a certain % for saving? How do you really answer the question Am I making enough money?