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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. 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. 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 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.
October was a FANTASTIC month for my financial goals. I used October as a No Spend Month, meaning that I didn’t buy anything extra outside of gas, groceries, a few pre-budgeted items, and bills. There were a few things that I had budgeted for. In September, I set my rules for my no spend month. The last week of the month was off track, but otherwise, I would say that I did extremely well. I didn’t have any medical or car expenses.
The baby shower gift was right on budget, but it made me very thankful that I don’t have kids yet. I could have spent a small fortune on baby clothes. The pumpkin patch trip ended up being a date, so I didn’t spend any money on that one! My meals at work were all purchased on a pre-purchased gift card and I still have money on it!
This month is my best month yet! I am crazy excited how well it went! Over $2100 paid off in one month! That is absolutely crazy! To me, this is just proof that you can do anything on a single income when you really put your mind to it! A lot of people do ask about how much I make in a month. I don’t mind sharing either. I track my income throughout the month because it varies from month to month as a waitress. This month my income was about $4000. This means that I put OVER half my income towards student loans! It makes me think that I should do a No Spend Month more often!
Here is what my debt snowball looks like now:
|Debt||Original||Paid This Month||Left To Pay|
|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|
|Student Loan #2||$3,550.00||$1,203||OCT 17|
|Student Loan #3||$11,634.62||$760.47||$10,760|
|Student Loan #4||$13,218.78||$144.49||$12,904|
At the end of September my total was $25,639! Today, it is $23,670.
I paid off the last of Student Loan #2 this month! That was the very last student loan that I had in my name. I am beyond excited that my name is temporarily cleared from debt! In the next 11 months, it is my goal to get the rest of this paid off. I am determined to make more, save more, and be better with my money as I go into the holiday season and the new year. October 1st, 2018 is my debt free goal date, which means I need to be extra careful with the next 11 months. I am ready to see what I can really do in the next year.
I also cut my emergency fund down to $500 instead of the $900 that it was at. Because I am renting right now, there aren’t as many emergencies that would cost more than $500. I am blessed that my dad fixes my vehicle. While I did cut it, I slowly plan to add money here and there to the account. That extra $300 went straight to my parent plus loans and helped with the huge payment amount made this month!
During November, I plan to refinance my student loans in my name, so hopefully I can get a better interest rate and a little bit of the tax credits for my student loans. The main reason I am refinancing my student loans is because they are currently in my dad’s name. I would like them in my name so my credit score reflects that I have paid off $23,000 in student loans. This will be ultra helpful when it comes time to get a small mortgage if I need to! Once I own my home and it is paid off, I don’t plan to worry about my credit score as much, but it will be nice for the time being until I get a home!
October Goal Recap:
- Pay off $1,400 in Student Loans
- Killed it. I was soo excited
- Make $500 from Blog/Selling
- Not quite. I did make about $250 selling some of the stuff and through a few websites but I know November is going to be a great month. I have a ton of things planned for the month!
- NO SPEND MONTH! (Follow my budget plan)
- Killed it for the first 3 weeks! The rest of the month got a little harder due to my lack of planning.
- Weigh 159 for weigh in on October 20th
- HA. I weighed 166, but it is still progress and that is truly what counts to me.
- Run 41 miles total
- Also, HA. I think I probably ran close to 20. I actually did pretty good with my workouts, but because I had no tracking system, I didn’t do as good as I would have liked.
- Workout 4 times a week
- I actually did pretty good about working out, I just didn’t spend my month tracking things as closely. I didn’t track miles or calories which made it hard to meet my other goals.
- Read 2 Books
- I read half of two different books. I just didn’t make enough time for myself throughout the month. If my Amazon Kindle wasn’t always dead when I wanted to read, I probably would have done better, but I still enjoyed the time I did spend reading!
- 9 Blog Posts (2 Per week)
- …I wish I had the time to be more consistent. Overall, my goal is consistency for November. I would like to turn my blog into a regular source of information instead of spotty posts and random ones.
- 175 Facebook Followers/ 6000 Instagram Followers/ 600 Pinterest Followers / 55 Email Subscribers
- Social media went great this month. I met all of these goals except Instagram and that would have been 1,400 followers more than I had last month. I am up about 1000, but didn’t quite make the 6000 goal.
Biggest lesson learned in October!
I did a No Spend Month during the month of October and it went great! I have found that I have a lot more willpower at the beginning of the month than I do towards the end. The first two and a half weeks were really good. My military drill weekend killed my motivation and everything kinda went downhill after that, but I would still say that I killed it on most of my financial goals. Overall, I think that other than a few planned purchases, I still spent less than $100 on extra stuff like eating out and drinks.
No Spend is so great for me because it forces me to do things differently. During no spend months, I don’t fill my sinking funds. After my bills are paid, everything goes straight towards my student loans! I am excited to keep moving forward. My official debt free goal date is October 1st, 2018, which means I need to get to hustling harder than I currently am.
I am personally debt free! Just the two parent plus loans left to pay off!!
Goals For November!
Pay off $1,500 in student loans
Get all Christmas lists complete and half of my shopping done!
9 blog posts. (Trying again.)
Make $250 Blogging/ Selling Stuff (Making it lower to see what I can do!
Refinance my parent plus loans into my name!
How was your October? What goals do you have for November?
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