The Emerald Newsletter | Kappa Delta Chi Sorority Winter 2015 - Page 27

Alpha Chapter Alumna, Rufina Barrientos featured on

Forbes & ABC's Good Morning America on crushing nearly $200,000 worth of debt

Vanessa McGrady - Contributor

When four 20-something sisters in the small town of Plainview, Texas, realized they were all drowning in debt and scratching to get by, they decided to band together and tackle their problem as a family.

“We had accumulated $182,000 in student loans, credit cards and car loans collectively,” said Rufina Barrientos, a clinical laboratory scientist, now 30. “Our yearly income came out to about $106,000, so it sounded plausible that we could effectively pay down our debt in three years. Being the youngest, I thought I was getting the best deal out of the arrangement. I was two years out of college, when most student loans take 10 or more years to pay off. Score!”

What initially seemed like one of those ideas you get late at night, born after a couple cocktails and then forgotten by morning, turned into a solid plan.

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The Barrientos sisters (left to right: Dee, Ana, Rufina, and Amy) were able to follow their big dreams once they paid off their debt. (Aug. 11, 2015)

How they saved money

They rented a $1,000 three-bedroom duplex in Dallas (the den was converted to a fourth bedroom), saving them $400 a month off the bat. Then they drew up a contract. The rules were relatively simple:

1. They direct-deposited all their paychecks to joint account, which paid monthly bills, groceries, medical bills and car maintenance; all the leftover income would be thrown to the debt.

2. They planned to tackle the smallest debt first , ala Dave Ramsey. That meant credit card debt got paid off first, student loan debt last.

3. They each got $75 in spending money every two weeks.

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Beta Beta Sister Makes Discovery During Internship

Thanks to Clarkson University junior Lindsay Cannistra's expertise in science, a major corporation and its customers can save time, money, and a valuable element called indium.

While studying chemical engineering, Cannistra interned at the Indium Corporation this summer

and tackled a problem that stumped the company’s researchers. She found a way to extract indium metal from what previously was a waste product. This was as exciting because indium -- which is used to manufacture popular products such as flat-panel displays -- is an excellent material for re-use. The Indium Corporation is committed to the development of ways to recover or recycle it.

“She did a very good job,” says Todd Ellenor, who directs research and development at Indium Corporation. We'd

say she was phenomenal! Way to break the mold sister!

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Above, Cannistra (left) and her teacher, Assistant Professor of Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering Selma Mededovic.