Jill Duggar and Derick Dillard are answering their fans’ biggest questions. The ex-Counting On couple posted their third Q&A to YouTube on Sept. 30. In the 23-minute video, they addressed several hot button topics, including whether they use birth control, their feelings about the LGBTQ+ community, and their finances. Among the revelations was the news that Derick is not taking on any debt to attend law school.
Jill Duggar and Derick Dillard are committed to living debt-free
Jill and Derick spent a large chunk of the video discussing their approach to managing money and household spending. Both expressed that their parents had taught them the importance of avoiding debt. They said they’d embraced that philosophy in their own marriage.
“It wasn’t really an option for us to go into debt,” Jill said, explaining that before she and Derick married, they talked about their shared commitment to debt-free living.
The couple said they were lucky to not bring any debt into their marriage. And it sounds like they’ve been able to stay debt-free. Frugal living and regular budget meetings help keep them on track, they explained. Money they saved in the past is helping them cover expenses while Derick is in law school. Jobs (such as Derick’s work as a Grubhub delivery driver), scholarships, and income from Jill’s blogging and their social media channels fill in the gaps.
“Full disclosure: You’re actually helping us right now because we’ve got our YouTube channel monetized,” Derick said.
Derick says he didn’t take on any student loans
The average student loan borrower carries more than $35,000 in debt, according to Experian. But Derick has managed to avoid the burden of educational debt. He attended Oklahoma State University for undergrad and is now in his third year of law school at the University of Arkansas. He said he’s been able to do both without borrowing money.
Derick explained that he took AP classes and enrolled in concurrent high school/college courses at the local community college before heading off to college. Money from high school jobs also helped pay for school expenses. He also credited his parents, especially his ex-college counselor mom, for helping him find scholarships to fund his education.
“[She] was basically my full-time scholarship coach,” he said.
When it came to law school, “we wanted to exercise those same principles and stay out of debt,” Derick said. Surprisingly, his post-graduate education ended up being less expensive than undergrad because he’s paying in-state tuition. Arkansas residents pay $8,301.90 per semester to U of A’s school of law.
Is Jill’s ‘Counting On’ money helping to fund the family’s lifestyle?
In their video, Jill and Derick mentioned that they had used savings to pay for some expenses. Later, they revealed a possible source of those savings: A payout related to Jill’s appearances on her family’s reality TV show.
The couple confirmed what fans have long suspected — that Jill was not compensated for appearing on 19 Kids and Counting and Counting On.
“We hadn’t been paid,” Jill said. She explained that after she got married, she and Derick got a lawyer involved to get her the money they thought she was owed.
“We were able to recover a portion of what Jill should have been paid up until she left the show,” Derick said. The total amount “probably ended up being a little bit more than minimum wage,” he added.
Now that Jill and Derick have kids of their own, they hope their children follow in their footsteps when it comes to money.
“We want our kids to adopt the same principles,” Jill said. “Hopefully they won’t have to deal with student loans.”
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