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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.
In September, I paid off $1,229.38.
I learned a lot in September, but mostly I learned that I am still not doing a great job of tracking how much income is coming in. I am constantly having money come in and go missing within minutes. Now, I have a piece of paper next to my cash envelopes so when it does come in, I know that I can track it right away. My goal is to track every dollar in and out during my #SavvySagittariusNoSpend Challenge during the month of October! If you haven’t gotten signed up yet, get it now!
I started getting paid from my full time military job AND I got extended so I still have a job with the military!
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||$1,129.38||$1,202|
|Student Loan #3||$11,634.62||$50||$11,465|
|Student Loan #4||$13,218.78||$50||$12,991|
At the end of August, I had $26,781! Now… My grand total is $25,639!
I absolutely love seeing this number come down so fast. I honestly feel like I just started this journey, but not even 10 full months later and I have paid off a grand total of $9,655. There is still a ways to go, but knowing that I have made it this far is so amazing to me. I am super excited for October. This is the month that I will finally be personally debt free. My last two loans are in my dad’s name, but all of the debts in my name will be CLEARED and PAID OFF!
August Goal Recap:
- Set aside the cash for spending at the beginning of the month instead of adding in money each time I get paid (Groceries, gas, restaurants.
- This did not happen. I don’t know why it never happened, but I continually add money into these categories as I earn money from Applebee’s. This month I am going to do a better job at tracking everything in and out!
- Pay off $1,325 in debt (So my smallest debt is under $1000!)
- $1,229 isn’t too far off. There are a few things that I overspent on that if I wouldn’t have spent that money, I definitely could have gotten it under $1000. October is the month for this one!
- 20 No spend Days
- To be totally honest, I didn’t even really track my No Spend Days, but October is my no spend month.
- Find 1-2 categories to cut spending even farther or eliminate completely.
- I don’t think I really cut out anything. In fact, I think I just found more categories that I need to put away a small amount of money away for every month so I am prepared for future expenses.
- Launch my budgeting course on September 15th.
- I took a little bit of a change on my blog, but I am still working on my course. I am thinking November 1st, but we will see how this month goes for everything else.
- Make $500 on Blog/ Selling my stuff. (I will continue to make this goal until I make it!)
- Same goal this month. Working on it.
- Post 9 blog posts throughout the month!
- I got 3. So this is yet again my goal for the month. Continually setting the same goals until they become habits. Maybe someday I will get it together, but I am still a work in progress.
- Run a total of 50 miles. Do a total of 1500 push ups and 2000 sit-ups throughout the month! Do spin class 4 times this month!
- I hate my fitness goals because I feel like I am constantly setting the same goals and I am constantly saying that next month I will do better, but it never seems to change. I am still at the same weight and the same fitness level. My plan is very set for the next month to get it together, but it is a constant struggle for me.
- Get Below 160 pounds by the end of the month (11 pounds to lose!)
- I still have 11 lbs to lose. Nuff said.
Biggest lesson learned in September!
Strangely enough, the lessons that I learned in September had nothing to do with money. There is another post coming about this journey and the changes that will be happening on my blog, but I re-found my faith and I don’t think I have ever been so calm and encouraged. I started regularly going back to my church, took a class on growing your relationship with Christ, and fell in love with K-Love music all over again. The biggest lesson learned in September is there is nothing that God can’t fix if you give him enough time.
One of the hardest things throughout this journey has been relationships and while I am slowly figuring it out, I choose not to be in a relationship while finishing my debt free journey! I am solely going to focus on paying off what I owe and getting a home. Then, only God knows what will happen, but I have put it in His hands to figure out my relationships for me for now.
Goals For October!
Pay off $1,400 in Student Loans
Make $500 from Blog/Selling
NO SPEND MONTH! (Follow my budget plan)
Weigh 159 for weigh in on October 20th
Run 41 miles total
Workout 4 times a week
Read 2 Books
9 Blog Posts (2 Per week)
I know October is going to be a great month of paying debts off. This month I will hit the $10,000 mark of debt paid off. I will also pay off my smallest student loan this month! October is going to be great! Not to mention the cooler weather, the pumpkin spiced stuff, and fun activities!
How was your September? What goals do you have for October?
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