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 minimum payments forever like everyone else.
“Sometimes, you have to like 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!
I officially started my debt free journey on January 1st, 2017. While progress seems slow right now, my goal is to have everything paid off by my 23rd birthday on December of 2017. I am a little uneasy about the goal, but I am going to work at it until I am debt free. I am trying not to look at the numbers and just keep looking at the goal ahead because the numbers will probably stress me out too much.
My 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.
But Debt Free At 23 has such a great ring to it.
For as ON FIRE as I was for my debt repayment last month, I definitely went downhill quickly this month. Life happens. Life gets hard and messy.
Here is what happened this month.
I found out that I have the opportunity to go to a job school for the military.
I moved from a 3 bedroom duplex with 2 roommates to a 2 bedroom apartment with 1 roommate
For March, we are paying rent for both places because our lease is up at the end of March
I found out that I am not going to the military school as soon as I might have hoped.
Moving is EXPENSIVE! Between new start-up fees, deposits, and first month’s rent. Plus paying back all of your friends that help you move with tacos and margaritas. That added up quick!
I cut back on hours while I was on orders for the military and took off some time to move, so I made a little bit less at Applebee’s this month.
I also wasn’t on orders as many days as I was for January.
With so many expenses and so much less income, it has been a crazy interesting month.
I could spend time whining about how hard this month has been. Instead, I am just planning for an even better month for March.
I know the Dave Ramsey Method says to get rid of credit cards all together, but I am trying to keep them for the points and using them for ONLY Gas and Food. I did pretty good, but I think I am going to have to rearrange my budget and reevaluate how much I actually spend on gas and groceries because my credit card had a lot more on it than I planned to pay off.
In January, I sold some of my belongings including my desk and filing cabinet. That was great for the move because we didn’t have to worry about hauling a desk up a flight of stairs, but I ended up buying a new desk and office chair when we got here so I had a writing space. So the money I earned was money that I turned around and spent right after the move. Different spaces require different items to make them work.
All in all, I paid off just a small $350 in debt making mostly only the minimum payments on everything this month. It was kind of nice that I got so far ahead on my one student loan account last month that I didn’t have to worry about paying off any more for that one this month. While I should have, other expenses came first.
Looking back on last month’s debt free goals:
I got my taxes done this month.
That another expense because with two small businesses, I would rather pay someone to take care of it for me. I also had to pay in for my state taxes. There is $185 that I need to plan for in the future. But I am getting some money back! It is going towards paying back my emergency fund a little bit, paying for a class that I want to take for my business, and then hardcore paying down some debts!
While I did not earn any money from my blog, I started applying for second jobs.
I accepted a position as a writer for an online magazine! I am extremely excited to actually get some of my writing published! While I am unsure of what to expect for income, only time and hard work will tell! I also applied at some local places for morning work. If I could work a couple hours in the morning, I could make a little extra money.
I cut a ton of expenses this month.
I called a few places that I don’t use my membership enough and canceled. March is my last month for my personal trainer as well. I cut about $180 in expense between training and expenses. I am also cutting down on electric and gas because our apartment is a lot smaller to heat, but also it might as well be an igloo because we have kept it set super low since we’ve moved in!
Meal prepping went pretty well for February.
I only ate out a handful of times and most of them were during the moving transition. When I had military training, I only ate out once for all of the 5 days. I have actually lost weight too and I feel great!
Overall, I did all of the right things that I needed to in order to accomplish my goals, I just had some other expenses come up so there wasn’t quite as much money to go around for extra payments! I am so tired of being in debt, I am determined to move forward!
Marching Forward into March:
I will be working two jobs, plus my writing by the end of the month. I also have plans to get back into Mary Kay! While it sounds like I am running myself thin, I have planned for nights off and time to myself! I also never work Sundays except for the military, so I plan on using those for relax, refresh, and reorganize days!
I get my taxes back, so that will start a huge push towards my debt snowball!
I want to stop eating at Applebee’s when I work. I usually don’t count that as an expense because I don’t even see the money before it is paid for. Applebee’s is getting expensive for me to eat every time I work.
I plan on making smaller, more frequent payments throughout the month so the money doesn’t get spent on something else. A minimum payment of $20 a week by the end of the month!
I still have a whole tote of clothes and stuff to get rid of this month! Facebook For Sale Sites, here I come!
Meal Prepping to continue. I want to try a few different things to see if I can cut my expenses even farther!
My debt will be paid off by my birthday! While I have a few different sources of income planned, I plan on really rocking all of my jobs for the rest of the year to get to where I need to be financially!
Have you paid off a large amount of debt? I would love to hear some tips on how you did it!