Debt Free Journey Reports, Money

10 Things I Did On My First Day Being Debt Free

After working on paying off my debt for over 26 months, I am finally debt free! Check out how I spent my very first full day of being debt free! I bet it isn't what you would expect or maybe it is exactly what you expect?

I finally did it! I am finally debt free! In case you missed it, I paid off my very last student loan after 26 months of working my tail off! Two years ago, I posted my plan to pay off all of my student loans. However, at the time, I had hoped that it would only take me 12 months. I more than doubled that timeline, but I still accomplished it. If you are new to this blog and you haven’t read my story, here it is. My name is Elyse. I am 24, not married with no kids and I am DEBT FREE! I never really thought of myself as someone who was in debt. With no credit cards and no car payment, I was not the average American.  All I had was a few student loans. Everyone has student loans, so it never really crossed my mind that I was in debt. But, it wasn’t until a few weeks before my 22nd birthday that I got a loan for a Jeep and my very first credit card. I should say credit card(s). There were two or three that “showed up” that month. For that month of December 2016, I thought it was so cool that I finally had a credit card. I was excited over it actually. I was learning about all the different rewards I could cash in and it was fantastic. Even though I had never needed a credit card, I was determined that I needed them then. I even went on vacation using mostly my credit card. I had racked up a pretty decent amount of money on my credit cards and started picking up extra waitressing shifts to get it cleared. While I have never paid interest on my credit cards, I have definitely gotten close. I was excited about all of my new things, until my student loan bill came due. I had officially been “on break” from college for 6 months. My grace period was over. A $415 student loan payment showed up in the mail. I didn’t think that I had $415…

Read More Here..

Budget Tips

Self Care Doesn’t Have To Be Expensive

Self care seems to be a hot topic lately. Maybe it is because in general, we are pretty bad about taking care of ourselves until it is really bad. I have been looking for different self care ideas, but they don't need to be expensive. Here are 51+ self care practices for under $15.

Lately, Self care seems to be the big topic. With all of the news about mental health and working hard, it is inevitable that self care is going to come up often. Taking care of yourself is obviously important, so why do we always need to bring it up. More and more people are advocating for more mental health care because of the celebrities in the news that are struggling. But it isn’t just celebrities that struggle. Because so many people have gotten into the “I am fine” mentality and they often refuse to take time for themselves. When you are working for others for so long, you start to burn out and break down. Being burnt out seems to be a way of life instead of just a temporary period of time. In the American culture, we even tend to brag about how much work we have done or how busy we are. At one point during my debt free journey, I was regularly working 60-70 hour weeks. Between my full time government job, waitressing/bartending, being in the National Guard, trying to run a blog, and trying to maintain my fitness, I was finding myself burnt out at the end of every week. I was exhausted. Most importantly, I was tired of people. When I spent all day every day trying to do other things for others, I was ready for a break. Working two jobs, I quickly found out that I needed to carve out time for myself in the middle of my busy schedule. I needed to do a better job of unwinding, unplugging, and relaxing. Even working one job, I find that there are times in my life that I need to remember this. Life is too short to constantly stress about your life. Self care has been a big conversation topic. It doesn’t have to be all about lavish bubble baths or expensive trips to the spa. Self care is really focusing on what makes you feel good and doing those things. I would challenge you to schedule in time for yourself at least once…

Read More Here..

Debt Free Journey Reports

2018 Debt Free Journey Report

2018 was an amazing year for me! I put $18,200 towards my student loans and I will be debt free a few months into 2019!

My Story! If you have been following my story at all, you probably know my story. If not, I tell my story at the beginning of every monthly report for those who just stumbled upon my blog. I gain different followers every month and I don’t want anyone to feel blind as they find my posts! If you have read my story, feel free to skip ahead to my monthly report. I tell this story so I am not just some stranger, but instead someone who just might inspire each and every reader to follow the same journey! I want everyone to know where I started to help encourage them. My name is Elyse. I am 24, single with no kids and I am proudly on my way to being completely debt free. I never really thought of myself as someone who was in debt. With no credit cards and no car payment, I was not the average American.  All I had was a few student loans. Everyone has student loans, so it never really crossed my mind that I was in debt. But, it wasn’t until a few weeks before my 22nd birthday that I got a loan for a Jeep and my very first credit card. I should say credit card(s). There were two or three that “showed up” that month. For that month of December 2016, I thought it was so cool that I finally had a credit card. I was excited over it actually. I was learning about all the different rewards I could cash in and it was fantastic. Even though I had never needed a credit card, I was determined that I needed them then. I even went on vacation using mostly my credit card. I had racked up a pretty decent amount of money on my credit cards and started picking up extra waitressing shifts to get it cleared. While I have never paid interest on my credit cards, I have definitely gotten close. I was excited about all of my new things, until my student loan bill came due. I had officially…

Read More Here..

Debt Free Journey Reports

November 2018 Debt Free Journey Report

Every month, I write a report to show the struggles and changes of my debt free journey. I have paid off about $32,000 in debt in the last two years. Here are just a few of November 2018's struggles and things looking into December

My Story! If you have been following my story at all, you probably know my story. If not, I tell my story at the beginning of every monthly report for those who just stumbled upon my blog. I gain different followers every month and I don’t want anyone to feel blind as they find my posts! If you have read my story, feel free to skip ahead to my monthly report. I tell this story so I am not just some stranger, but instead someone who just might inspire each and every reader to follow the same journey! My name is Elyse. I am 23, single with no kids and I am proudly on my way to being completely debt freeeee. I never really thought of myself as someone who was in debt. With no credit cards and no car payment, I was not the average American.  All I had was a few student loans. But, it wasn’t until a few weeks before my 22nd birthday that I got a loan for a Jeep and my very first credit card. I should say credit card(s). There were two or three that showed up that month. For that month of December, I thought it was so cool that I finally had a credit card. I was excited over it actually. I was learning about all the different rewards I could cash in and it was fantastic. Even though I had never needed a credit card, I was determined that I needed them then. I even went on vacation using mostly my credit card. I had racked up a pretty decent amount of money on my credit cards and started picking up extra waitressing shifts to get it cleared. While I have never paid interest on my credit cards, I have definitely gotten close. Towards the end of the month, I was cleaning off a bookshelf, getting ready to move (again), and found The Total Money Makeover: Classic Edition: A Proven Plan for Financial Fitness. This $15 book completely changed my life path at the time. Dave describes being debt free as such…

Read More Here..

Debt Free Journey Reports

October 2018 Debt Free Journey Report

October held all kinds of surprises for me, but it was still overall a good month! Find out how I had $600 worth of unexpected expenses and still put over $1,115 towards my last student loan!

My Story! If you have been following my story at all, you probably know my story. If not, I tell my story at the beginning of every monthly report for those who just stumbled upon my blog. I gain different followers every month and I don’t want anyone to feel blind as they find my posts! If you have read my story, feel free to skip ahead to my monthly report. I tell this story so I am not just some stranger, but instead someone who just might inspire each and every reader to follow the same journey! My name is Elyse. I am 23, single with no kids and I am proudly on my way to being completely debt freeeee. I never really thought of myself as someone who was in debt. With no credit cards and no car payment, I was not the average American.  All I had was a few student loans. But, it wasn’t until a few weeks before my 22nd birthday that I got a loan for a Jeep and my very first credit card. I should say credit card(s). There were two or three that showed up that month. For that month of December, I thought it was so cool that I finally had a credit card. I was excited over it actually. I was learning about all the different rewards I could cash in and it was fantastic. Even though I had never needed a credit card, I was determined that I needed them then. I even went on vacation using mostly my credit card. I had racked up a pretty decent amount of money on my credit cards and started picking up extra waitressing shifts to get it cleared. While I have never paid interest on my credit cards, I have definitely gotten close. Towards the end of the month, I was cleaning off a bookshelf, getting ready to move (again), and found The Total Money Makeover: Classic Edition: A Proven Plan for Financial Fitness. This $15 book completely changed my life path at the time. Dave describes being debt free as such…

Read More Here..

Millennial Stuff

5 Steps to Setting Realistic, Attainable Goals and Crushing Them

How easy is it to set goals and then totally forget about them! Check out this guest blog post from Daily New Year's Blogger, Austin for 5 steps to creating those realistic, attainable goals!

Hey Readers! I want to introduce to you, Austin, the blogger at the Daily New Year! I was super excited when he was up for doing a guest post for my website! Check out his tips for setting goals and totally crushing them! If you are also interested in working with me, check out my page about working with me!    I’m what I like to call a “goal getter.” I love setting goals, tracking my progress, achieving new things in life, and I love seeing others do the same. That’s why I’m so impressed with what Elyse is doing with The Savvy Sagittarius blog and her #debtfreeat23 campaign. It’s incredible to see her progress week after week and month after month. She has total focus and discipline. Goal setting is a passion of mine, and it’s one I want to share with the world. If you’re reading this post, maybe you’re new to setting goals, or you’ve never set a goal before. Or perhaps you feel a sense of disdain for goal setting due to a setback or failure you experienced earlier in your life. That’s okay! I’ve met and talked to people at a variety of different stages in their personal development journey. If you’re still with me, I hope it’s because you want to set some goals of your own, and that’s awesome! I want to help you crush them! Are you ready? Here we go!   1. Write Down Your Goals and WHY You Want to Achieve Them. I don’t want to bore you with stats, but writing your goals down makes you 42% more likely to achieve them. When I first sat down to write out my goals, I tried to think about my life in the long term. That’s what Elyse is doing on her About page:    “After everything is paid off, I plan on buying a house and raising a few goats and a few puppies. I can’t wait to live a life full of adventure after I have no payments.” Before she set out to be debt free on January 1st, 2017,…

Read More Here..

Debt Free Journey Reports

September 2018 Debt Free Progress Report

My Story! If you have been following my story at all, you probably know my story. If not, I tell my story at the beginning of every monthly report for those who just stumbled upon my blog. I gain different followers every month and I don’t want anyone to feel blind as they find my posts! If you have read my story, feel free to skip ahead to my monthly report. I tell this story so I am not just some stranger, but instead someone who just might inspire each and every reader to follow the same journey! My name is Elyse. I am 23, single with no kids and I am proudly on my way to being completely debt freeeee. I never really thought of myself as someone who was in debt. With no credit cards and no car payment, I was not the average American.  All I had was a few student loans. But, it wasn’t until a few weeks before my 22nd birthday that I got a loan for a Jeep and my very first credit card. I should say credit card(s). For that month of December, I thought it was so cool that I finally had a credit card. I was excited over it actually. I was learning about all the different rewards I could cash in and it was fantastic. Even though I had never needed a credit card, I was determined that I needed them then. I had racked up a pretty decent amount of money on my credit cards and started picking up waitressing shifts to get it cleared. While I have never paid interest on my credit cards, I have definitely gotten close. Towards the end of the month, I was cleaning off a bookshelf, getting ready to move (again), and found The Total Money Makeover: Classic Edition: A Proven Plan for Financial Fitness. This $15 book completely changed my life path at the time. Dave describes being debt free as such a rewarding and achievable thing. In his book, he says it will take work and it will be hard, but it…

Read More Here..

Uncategorized

What is a No Spend Challenge?

Maybe you have heard all of these finance gurus talking about "No Spend Months," but you have NO clue what they mean. Here are a few starting points..

  I have been talking a ton about No Spend Challenges lately, but I have received a TON of questions about them! I have done a few No Spend Months during my debt free journey that have allowed me to get ahead on paying on my student loans. To me, a No Spend Month is like a diet “cleanse” or detox. When you do a body detox, you are attempting to feel better by cleaning out the toxins and excess weight that your body is holding onto. When I do a No Spend Month, I cut out any “fun spending” and look at the fun things to do for free instead. I am cutting out excess spending to see what is more important. During October 2017, I was able to put my whole full time paycheck towards debt and just live off of my waitressing money because I barely had any expenses. In January 2018, I was able to put over $2,500 towards my student loans right after I lost my full time temporary job. These challenges have played an essential role in my debt free journey at a few of the most challenging points since I started. Maybe you have heard people say things like “No Spend Month.” Or, this month I had “15 No Spend Days!” Well here is where it finally all gets explained if you are feeling in the dark! Here are a few of the frequently asked questions to help clear up any confusion! What is a No Spend Challenge? Like I said above, a no spend challenge is kind of like a detox. It is a period of time that you allow yourself to say no and cut out any excess spending. I cut out EVERYTHING. No Restaurants. No extra coffee stops. Not ordering pizza when you don’t feel like cooking. This challenge is designed to get you to think about where your money is going. This challenge does not include bills. When I say that I didn’t spend any money all month, guys. My bills are still getting paid. Money is still going…

Read More Here..

Budget Tips, Money

The Ultimate Guide to Emergency Funds

Pretty much everyone knows that they need an "emergency fund," but where do you even start? Here is the what, where, how much, and how to emergency savings!

When I first started paying off debt, I didn’t want an emergency fund. I wanted to jump straight into paying off debt instead! “Emergencies never happen to me, so why do I need one.”  That mindset is totally wrong, because as soon as you don’t have your emergency fund, you will need it. I am so thankful that I have maintained my savings throughout the journey because I know that I would have needed it. Having a little rainy day fund can be the most important part of getting started on changing your finances for the better. It can also give you a sense of security when your checking account is looking a little low from a large debt payment. In fact, having an emergency fund was one of the biggest things that I credit with allowing me to pay off $15,000 in 2017. At that point in my journey, I was only making about $35,000 a year, but still managed to knock out $15,000 in car payments and student loans.. Let’s start with the very basics. I will caution you with this, if you share finances with someone, this is a topic that both of you should figure out before making any long term financial decisions. What is an Emergency Fund? An emergency fund is really exactly what it sounds like. Extra savings put aside in case of an emergency. Before you start throwing excess money at your debt, it is a great idea to have money in savings to work as a buffer in case something were to happen. If you are following Dave Ramsey’s Plan, he recommends starting with a “baby emergency fund” and then moving into a “fully funded emergency fund” once you have paid off all of your debts. Whether you are following Mr. Ramsey or not, having a little money set aside, just in case is an important step no matter what you are planning to do after that! What is Included as an “Emergency?” This is totally up to you (and your partner if you share a budget with someone else.) Things that…

Read More Here..

Budget Tips, Making Money, Money

8 Steps To Take Today To Start Changing Your Finances!

Starting to make any change in your life can be difficult. Any changes can be terrifying if you don’t know what you are getting into, but if you don’t make any changes, you will be in the exact same spot as you were one year ago. I think being stagnant in life is scarier than making a few things different in your life. Making a step by step plan to start changing can make the change not so hard. If you have been following my journey for a while and you are ready to get started, here is super simplistic steps of getting started. I will tell you that working on your financial goals isn’t always fun. Here are a few reasons why you shouldn’t start your debt free journey.  The question I get the most often is probably asking for advice on how to get started. My response is usually “just start.” Just do one simple thing to change your finances. Even little things are going to help more than trying to figure out everything you need to know before you begin. My best quote is, “A year ago from now, you will wish you had started today.” So start today. Here are 8 Steps to Take to Start Getting Your Finances Together! Step One: Start an Emergency Fund Emergencies will happen. It is almost inevitable to have something happen that you weren’t planning for. Having an extra rainy day bank account can make the blow of an emergency a lot easier to take. The first 3-6 months of following a budget will be sure to throw you for a loop. You will continuously be surprised by how many things you didn’t realize you were spending money on until you start tracking it. Everyone’s emergency fund looks a little different. When you are first starting out, I recommend $1000 in an separate bank account that isn’t easily accessible. For me, I chose Capital One 360 Savings account.  This account provides me with a little bit of interest every month, but it is still accessible enough that if I needed the…

Read More Here..