Debt Free Journey Reports, Money

2017 Debt Free Journey Report

In 2017, I paid off over $15,000 in credit card payments, car payments, and student loans with just my income. I worked many hours and put about 50% of my income to my debts. Here is a summary of 2017 on my financial peace journey!

I didn’t do a specific December Debt Free Journey Report, but instead I am just summing up the whole year into one post. What an absolutely crazy year for 2017. I have been sharing my story and working extremely hard to meet my goals. In case you missed any of my other debt free reports or my story, you can find them under my Debt Free Journey Reports. At the beginning of 2017, I said that I wanted to be debt free by December 31st, 2017. Ha. Little did I know, I didn’t actually make enough money for that to happen. I would have had to live in my parent’s basement and not spend a single penny on anything, and then I would have still been off on my income. Needless to say, I didn’t make my goal of being completely debt free. But I did accomplish a lot. In fact, I am not dwelling on the fact that I didn’t make my goal. Instead, celebrating all that I did. In 2017, I.. Paid off $15,000 in debt Debt January 1, 2017 December 31, 2017 Amazon Card $10.99 PAID JAN 17 Mary Kay Card $275.00 PAID JAN 17 Bank Credit Card $675.88 PAID JAN 17 Student Loan #1 $2,087.41 PAID APRIL 17 Jeep $2,500.00 PAID JULY 17 Student Loan #2 $3,550.00 PAID OCT 17 Student Loan #3 (PARENT PLUS) $11,634.62 $7,633 Student Loan #4 (PARENT PLUS) $13,218.78 $12,890 Completely Paid off my Jeep (2 1/2 years early). Paid off all of the student loans in my name Put a decent dent in the parent plus loans that are in my dad’s name. Paid off 40% of total beginning debt. Completed 2 No Spend Months. Maintained a “Pantry Challenge” or an “empty fridge challenge” mindset for eating the groceries I already have. Made 244 months of minimum payments. (Equals over 17 years of payments in 12 months) Got a new temporary job working full time for the Nebraska National Guard Moved into an apartment with my best friend. Worked a billion hours (exaggeration, but it felt that way)   Without accuring any interest,…

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Budget Tips, Money, No Spend Month Tips

5 Things To Prepare for a No Spend Challenge

Preparing for a no spend challenge is extremely important.

I have been on my debt free journey for almost exactly a year now! One thing that has helped me tremendously with paying off $15,000 on a $30,000 income was No Spend Months! They may seem a little crazy, but you can accomplish anything in 30 days if you set your mind to it! No Spend Months are great for resetting your finances after a splurge or really just focusing in on what you already have. The last year of 2017 has been a bit of a cheat week for me because my roommate came home from her military training for Christmas break. I haven’t exactly stuck to my budget, but I also budgeted to splurge (All in cash). Does that mean I’m not breaking the budget? I am making January a no spend month for me, but you can definitely do it any month out of the year. I will probably have multiple throughout 2018 and beyond. Whether your goal is to not spend for one week, a month, or even a whole year, you have to be realistic about your goals. Everyone has to set their own rules for a no spend month. The best thing you can do for your goals is to prepare for obstacles that might come up throughout your no spend time. Here are 5 things to do to prepare for a No Spend Challenge: 1. Set your goal. When setting your goal, really think about why you want to do this challenge. Is it because you know you have been spending too much? Or maybe you have too much stuff in the house already and you are going to focus on getting rid of stuff and not bringing more in. Another great goal is to pay off the rest of a debt. If you are super close on one of your snowball accounts, maybe the whole point is to really focus on getting that student loan/credit card/car loan gone! When preparing for your no spend month, make a list of the things that you hope to get out of this month. I don’t recommend your…

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Debt Free Journey Reports

November Debt Free Journey 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 22 (almost 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. 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 the 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,…

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Budget Tips, Holidays

8 Ways To Change Your Christmas Budget

Does Christmas have you feeling stressed? Are you trying to squeeze in every Christmas tradition into 25 days, that are already filled with commitments? Here are 8 ways to change your Christmas Budget!

  Just like every year, Christmas is on December 25th. Even though we know that, it seems like it just “sneaks up on us” before we even get to plan anything. This year, instead of waiting until December 24th to start figuring out how to pay for the holidays, think about checking out these tips to making sure that you don’t regret all of Christmas once your January credit card statement hits. Christmas always comes up so quickly. I don’t know about you, but I am beaming with excitement. I can’t wait for Hall-o-ween to be over with so I can start decorating my apartment! The holidays are always my favorite time of the year with the sugar cookies, the Christmas trees and lights, and actually being able to spend time with my family. I can already hear the Christmas music in my head.I know it will come up faster than we expect, because it always does. This year, don’t let your budget be surprised by the Christmas holiday! 1) Set a budget before the holidays get here! Figure out exactly how much you think you are going to need. When I made my Christmas budget of $1000, it includes dinners with friends, decorations for my apartment, presents for everyone on my list, and any holiday festivities that may happen. I very carefully figured out what I thought was necessary for all of the different categories, but that still seems like too much for a holiday budget. I tried to think about last year to figure out what I spent, but I truthfully have no clue. In 2017, I way over did Christmas and ended up spending a ton of money on gifts!  For 2018, I am aiming to do a little better. I am unsure of what I will do for gifts for my family this year, but I am aiming for smaller and more meaningful. I realize that they don’t really need anything big! 2) Start buying or saving early Some people start buying things when they see them on sale. If you have the storage/hiding space, this…

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Making Money

Ebates: The BEST Way to Make and Save Money Online.

I have posted about Ebates on my social media a few times, but I finally wrote an in depth review of it!

I have recently stumbled upon Ebates and I think I am in love. I don’t really know what love feels like because I have been single for so long, but I am pretty sure this is it. Multiple bloggers have told me how great it is and how much money you can save when shopping online, but I never bought into it. I have I always pushed it off that I don’t shop online that much. Or I don’t really need to shop online and it will encourage me to shop online more. Well, let me tell you that I am pretty sure that I have missed out on THOUSANDS of dollars’ worth of discounts, sales and cash back in the time that I have been ignoring their plea for me to join Ebates. I saved a ton of money using Ebates with my Christmas shopping, but there are also a ton of other ways to save on Christmas as well! During my Debt Free Journey, I have looked for as many opportunities as I can to save and earn more money. I LOVE getting great deals when I shop online. The cheaper I can get it, the better! I don’t know how I have been missing out on this great deal for so long. I just got a $275 purchase for $210 and $22 cash back for it! Plus FREE overnight shipping. Find out how below? What is Ebates? Ebates is a website specifically designed to advertise coupon codes and discounts while you are shopping online. They also provide a cash back incentive for shopping through them. Coupon Codes When you go to an online store, you can see all of the active coupon codes for a store.Some may be 20% off or Free Shipping. It tells you exactly what and how much, plus the offer code. You can still use them on top of your store cash back! There are always tons of coupon deals that go unused because they aren’t well known. Ebates finds those coupon codes and shares them for that extra savings! Store Cash Back…

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Debt Free Journey Reports, Money

October’s Debt Free Journey Report

October is so great for fall activities and some of the best foods on the planet. It was also a FANTASTIC month for my debt free journey. I did a NO Spend Month and made sure that I was only spending money on groceries, gas, and prebudgeted things. See here how I paid off $2000+ in one month on a SINGLE income.

Disclaimer: This post may contain affiliate links. This is one way that bloggers make money, but it is at absolutely no extra cost to you if you choose to make a purchase based on my suggestions! If you would like to read more about how this works, check out my Disclosure Policy! My Story If you have been following my story at all, you probably know that 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 22, 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. 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 the 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. 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.…

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Budget Tips, Money

14 Things that Waste Money, but I Refuse to Eliminate from my Budget

The biggest financial advice I have seen is what items that you should never pay for once you start your debt free journey. Maybe I just don't fit in, but I don't see eye to eye on all of the items that are a "waste" of money. I believe that if it brings ease or joy to your life, why eliminate it! Check out my list of 14 things that I waste my money on!

Lately, I have seen a ton of articles that focus on things you shouldn’t waste money on in your debt free journey. According to these, you should just go cold turkey on everything that is a “waste” of money. There are a ton of things that could be considered a waste of money to one person, but not another. I am all about ways that I can save money. This month, I am in the middle of my #SavvySagittariusNoSpend Challenge. When I am not spending money on anything, it makes it easier to see what I really do waste money on. This isn’t how I am doing my debt free journey at all. There are still quite a few things that I purchase that are on most of these lists. I am always looking for ways to save money, but there are a few things that I am just not willing to stop “wasting” money on. Because I won’t give them up, I have found a few ways to save some money on these things. Your debt free journey doesn’t mean you have to be miserable. Continue to enjoy the life you have, but do so responsibly.

Debt Free Journey Reports

September’s Debt Free Journey Report

I know October is going to be a great month of paying debts off. This month I will pay off my smallest student loan! Find out how September went!

Disclaimer: This post may contain affiliate links. This is one way that bloggers make money, but it is at absolutely no extra cost to you if you choose to make a purchase based on my suggestions! If you would like to read more about how this works, check out my Disclosure Policy! My Story If you have been following my story at all, you probably know that 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 22, 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. 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 the 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. 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.…

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Budget Tips, Money

Sinking Funds: What are they and why you NEED them RIGHT NOW

Sinking funds is a term that can be a little confusing. Here is a complete guide to making sure you know what you are doing and help you really get your budget together!

Have you ever known that you have a big expense coming up, but decided to figure it out when you get there? Does Christmas “surprise” you ever year, even though it is ALWAYS on December 25th? Do your January credit card bills make you a little bit of a scrooge? I have been posting on Instagram about my sinking funds lately and a lot of people have questioned what I mean when I use that term. I think the name came from Dave Ramsey, but let’s face it, our grandparents and great grandparents really invented the wheel when it comes to no debt finances. Grandma knew what it meant to save her money for a rainy day. I started my debt free journey on January 1st, 2017 and I have not had to pull money out of my emergency fund once because I have my sinking funds. They are a little confusing, but hopefully this guide will help you get started. Here are the most commonly asked questions I get about my sinking funds: How does it work? A sinking fund is a type of savings for irregular or yearly expenses. For example, you pay $600 every 6 months for car insurance. Instead of ignoring it and waiting until the time comes up to pay for it, a sinking fund sets aside a portion of the payment every single month. In this case, it would be $100 a month. It may feel like you are putting away a lot every month, but I promise that it will save you tons in the long run! When you start getting the hang of looking at sinking funds as an expense, it becomes a lot easier to put money away every single month!

Debt Free Journey Reports

August’s Debt Free Journey Report

Disclaimer: This post may contain affiliate links. This is one way that bloggers make money, but it is at absolutely no extra cost to you if you choose to make a purchase based on my suggestions! If you would like to read more about how this works, check out my Disclosure Policy! My Story If you have been following my story at all, you probably know that I tell my story at the beginning of every monthly report for those who just stumbled upon my blog. 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 22, 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. 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 the 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. 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. There have been days were I have completely questioned my sanity. I sometimes wonder why I don’t just make…

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