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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.
In July, I paid off $1,002.77 in debt!
July was no where near as great as June was to me. I got paid at the end of June, but then I didn’t really get a paycheck until the middle of July. It was a little rough at moments, but it just took some planning. I didn’t add to any of my debt other than a few things I put on my credit card just to keep them open. I also found out that I start a new job in August, but won’t get paid for it until after September 1st. This means that I have to be super careful with the income that I have coming in throughout the next few weeks. I plan on working my butt off to sell some stuff and blog a ton so I don’t fall too behind on my debt free journey, but it is going to be an interesting month.
Here is what my debt snowball looks like now:
|Debt||Original||Paid This Month||Left To Pay|
|Mary Kay Card||$275.00||PAID||—|
|Bank Credit Card||$675.88||PAID||—|
|Student Loan #1||$2,087.41||PAID||—|
|Student Loan #2||$3,550.00||$65||$3,244|
|Student Loan #3||$11,634.62||$74||$11,487|
|Student Loan #4||$13,218.78||$108||$13,001|
July has been a testing month! My total left to pay is $27,734.
It definitely hasn’t been my best month yet, but I plan on being very careful with money until I know that I am getting my first paycheck from my new job. Once that hits, there will be large payments to clear up everything. I plan on saving throughout the month of August to make sure that I have September’s money, but I still plan on chiseling away at some of my debts.
I did pretty good about balancing what I was making for bills and paying off my debt. Sometimes I get so caught up in paying things off that I forget to give myself any wiggle room or spending money. I usually figure it out, but there have been a lot of times without spending to make up for my excessive debt payments.
- Finish paying off my Jeep and get started on my next student loan.
- DONE! I am so excited to say that I will never have a car payment again. My Jeep is MINE! There is absolutely nothing better than getting in your paid off vehicle for the first time.
- Get my largest student loan under 13K and my smallest under 3k.
- I did not quite make this one. I temporarily got my 13K debt under but I know the interest will bring it back up. Because of my Jeep, I barely put anything towards my $3,ooo student loan this month.
- Since I failed this month(June), I will write 4 blog posts this month (July).
- During the month of July, I published 6 blog posts! That’s actually super exciting for me because I have been struggling to get writing done. I am so good about posting on most of my social medias, but I need to get better at publishing content throughout the month. I am slowly getting better, but I know I could excel!
- Only spend $50 on groceries and make it last through the month without eating chicken and rice all month!
- I think I spent about $80 total on groceries, but $24 of that was on a super great sale that stocked my fridge for a while. I should be set on meat for a few months.
- Attempt to pick up one extra serving shift a week when possible.
- I did good about picking up a few extra shifts when possible. That extra money made it possible for me to knock out some debt this month while still saving for August expenses.
- Spend another two weeks at training again, which means my spending budget will be almost nothing!
- I didn’t spend any money at training! It was all debt payments! This was super super exciting to me because I forced myself to watch my spending. I kept “forgetting” my wallet every time I knew we were going somewhere that I could spend money. “Forgetting” my wallet has saved me from a TON of unplanned spending.
Biggest lesson learned in July
Planning and patience are not my two best characters. I struggle with the patience of waiting for the paycheck to hit the bank. There were days that I checked my bank account multiple times throughout the day to see if it had magically hit in the middle of the day. No such luck. I also struggle with planning because I am so excited to be debt free that I don’t really care if I have to live off nothing for a few days. I would rather make the extra payments.
My goal of $34,000 this year was obviously super ambitious. I knew that when I set it, but that doesn’t mean that it is going to stop me from trying to get as far as I possibly can. To date, I have put $7,233 towards debt this year which is just slightly under half of my income for the year. $7000 may not seem like a lot when I was shooting for $34K this year, but I am still pretty dang proud of myself and I know it’s only going to get better.
Goals For August
- Get Student Loan #2 below $3,000.
- Make $500 on my blog. Read how here!
- Keep my eating out spending under control.
- Create a course for my readers to take! (If you have something that I have touched on, but want to learn step by step how to do it, I am always looking for ideas)
- FITNESS. The more I get into shape, the better my military career will be.
- Sell everything I own. (Not exactly, but close.)
- Track every dollar that comes in!
How was your July? What goals do you have for August?