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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! Thank you!
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 $14 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.
I paid off $1,283.36 in debt in May!
May was a great month for me. I cut back a lot of my sinking funds that I don’t actually use and started focusing on debt. There were a few 60+ hour work weeks. Once pay day hit, it was well worth it. At one point, I felt like the money kept rolling in before I even had a chance to pay for everything. I had a few weeks with double paydays, which is always a treat!
I stopped using my credit cards completely instead of trying to incorporate them into the Dave Ramsey Plan. He said no credit cards for a reason, but I obviously thought I was smarter than him. Ha!
Here is what my debt snowball looks like now:
|Original||Paid This Month||Left To Pay|
|Mary Kay Card||$275.00||—||
|Bank Credit Card||$675.88||—||
Student Loan #1
|Student Loan #2||$3,550.00||$83.32||
|Student Loan #3||$11,634.62||$87.93||
|Student Loan #4||$13,218.78||$93.98||
At the end of April, I reported that I had $31,064.67 left to pay off. As of right now, I am sitting at $29,955!!
I broke that 30k barrier and I am running for the 20K! It wont be long now! My total debt paid off during the month of May was $1,283.36. Also, I paid off (again) both of my credit cards and I have been determined not to use them again! It is actually crazy the amount of debt that I have been able to pay off every payday since I am no longer worried about paying off the gas or food I bought last week. There were some 65 hour work weeks this month. I got my deposit back for my old house.
Biggest lesson learned in May
May has felt a little rough in the sense of organization. I definitely feel like there could have been some smoother moments. After my No Spend Month in April, I fell off the wagon with eating out. I feel like there were some weeks that I probably ate out for more meals than I ate at home. This is a huge problem for me because my goal is to also be healthier through my journey.
We did make it through a couple of the days by just laying by our apartment pool. This is a huge thing for me because I love summer and I love that it costs me no money to do any of it. I have multiple swimsuits and I can walk over there without even leaving my apartment complex.
Goals For June
Do better on eating out. I am only budgeting $50 for eating out. (Update: Check out the 6 Foods that helped me with this goal)
I spend most of June at a training for the military, where food and housing is free/provided. $50 cash is the only money I plan to take with me to training. Once that $50 is gone, I can’t buy anything else while I am down there.
I NEED to start focusing on my blog. I miss writing and I need to make it a priority in my life. (If you have been thinking about starting a blog, check out my tutorial here on how to start one for 3.95/Month!)
Get into the triple digits on my Jeep! I would love to have a huge chunk of the jeep paid off this month so I can focus on my higher interest student loans.
How was your May? What goals do you have for June?