Debt Free Journey Reports

2018 Mid-Year Update

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Disclaimer: This mid-year update is almost a full month late, but I am finally getting it together to write this post!

2018 has been a roller coaster of events! I have paid off over $11,000 on my loans have been coasting along on this debt free journey. Read about it here...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 will be worth it. He has been right. I call this my “God wink” moment because what I needed came into my life as soon as I needed it.

There have been days were I have completely questioned my sanity. I sometimes wonder why I don’t just make minimum payments forever like everyone else. But I also know that someday, I will be able to travel and just stop to enjoy life because I won’t owe any money towards my house, car, college, or credit cards. Knowing that “This too shall pass” has been the motivation to keep me going this year.

“Sometimes, you have to live like NO ONE else, so someday you can LIVE like no one else.” – Dave Ramsey

If you haven’t read the book, I recommend you go buy it RIGHT NOW. It will be $15 that changes your life completely. I will wait, just be sure to come back to read the rest of the post.

I officially started my debt free journey on January 1st, 2017. Originally, my goal was to pay off my debt in one year. Turns out, I don’t actually even make enough money for that to even be a possibility. Read about how I paid off $15,000 on my $38,000 (pre-tax) income last year. My goal is to be debt free by October 2018. I don’t really know how it is going to happen, but the how isn’t important right now!  My overall goal is to get completely debt free, buy a house in cash, and continue to save for an even better house! I am extremely excited about the opportunities to come with my journey ahead.

Even if I didn’t make my original goal, Debt Free At 23 has such a great ring to it.

During 2017, I wrote a monthly update every month. During 2018, I lost sight of the monthly updates. But here is my mid-year review of how 2018 is helping me kill my goals.


I started with 8 accounts and $34,000, but here is what my debt snowball looks like now:

Debts  Starting Debt   Principle Paid To Date  Debt Left
Amazon Card  $                  10.99  $            10.99 PAID JAN 17
Mary Kay Card  $                275.00  $          275.00 PAID JAN 17
Credit Card  $                649.88  $          649.88 PAID JAN 17
Student #1  $             2,087.41  $       2,087.41 PAID APRIL 17
Jeep  $             2,500.00  $       2,500.00 PAID JULY 17
Student #2  $             3,550.00  $       3,550.00 PAID SEPT 17
Student #3  $             4,950.00  $       4,950.00 CONSOLIDATED
Student #4  $                450.00  $          450.00 CONSOLIDATED
Refinanced Student Loan  $           19,529.00  $       9,982.00  $   9,547

Here is a really quick recap of 2018 so far..

In 2017, I had been working full time for the military as a temporary dual status technician. It was a Monday-Friday job and it was amazing. This job alone helped me kill my goals last year because I was still waitressing on top of it! I was working pretty much constantly, but it was working out okay. Two days into the year, I found out that my temporary job had not been extended and I didn’t have a job after the 5th of January.

So crawling back to the waitress life I went. I went to beg my management for full time hours after I had been working just a few days a week for them for most of a year. They were awesome and quickly obliged to giving me a ton of hours.

In March, I got out of the military all together. At the time, it felt like the end of the world. I didn’t want to get out, but now, I truly believe that it was a blessing in disguise.  The week after I was officially out of the military, my work called me and offered me a full time bartender position. I was already bartending a couple days a week, but this meant that I would get Friday and Saturday bar shifts! The best nights of the week!

The rest of the year has really been spent working like crazy. There haven’t been any major life changes since getting out of the military. I have been working, side hustling, and building myself up!

Truly Living Like No One Else Right Now…

Now I am working full time as the main bartender, working my blog, working my Mary Kay business, and trying to maintain a real social life/relationship! Some weeks are harder than others, but it is happening!

I am constantly reminding that God has a BIG plan for me and that whatever it is, it is going to take some serious work. So here I am.. working!

Income As of July 1st:

I haven’t included an income report in the past, but I think that it is important to be able to reflect what I am making vs what I am paying off.

Waitressing/Bartending Income: Roughly $18,000

Bartending is my full time job. This is where I spend 40+ hours every single week and the largest portion of my income comes from. Most weeks lately have been closer to 45 hours a week! I love bartending and it is seriously a ton of fun!

Blog Income: $3,500

I don’t do this consistently or full time at his point, but someday I hope to be writing full time! If you are curious about how I make money blogging, check out my guide to starting a blog here or my guide to making some money from your blog! This number is before any blogging expenses that I have.

Mary Kay Income: $ 2,000

I am not super active with Mary Kay, but I use all of the products and I love them. I do share them with most of my friends and family. It isn’t a crazy income, but when I am consistently working my business, it is pretty great! Like any other business, when I work, I make money. When I don’t work as much, I am not going to make as much. I hope to continue to build my income throughout the rest of the year! This number is before any Mary Kay expenses.

Military Income: $2,500

While I was on my way out, I still had a few paychecks from the army at the beginning of the year. Two were from my full time job because they were two weeks behind what you were working and then I had 3 months worth of drill checks!

Total Income: $26,000


Paid to My Debt as of July 1st:

January: $2,420

February: $ 1,866

March: $ 1,335

April: $1,407

May: $1,506

June: $ 2,542

Total Debt Paid in 2018: $11,075

Total Debt Paid on this Journey: $ 26,138


Overall Reflection of 2018

There have been a ton of ups and downs throughout the year, but it has been 100% worth it during 2018! I have a little over $9,000 left to pay off and my goal is December! I would love to have it paid off before Black Friday this year so I can start hustling for my future home, but ultimately my birthday, December 13th, is the final date that I want to be paying on this dang loan!

Rest of the Year Goals:

Hustle like crazy.

Keep writing. I want to publish my first book on my blog this year and hopefully my first online course!

2018 is going to be my year! What are your goals for the rest of this year?


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