Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links, which means that I may make a small commission off of any purchases, at no extra cost to you. This is one way that blogs make money and I appreciate the support if you should choose to make purchases based on my suggestions. I come from a family with a mild case of hoarding. I love the sentimental things that I own. Clutter is kind of a way of life. But what happens when you finally move most of your stuff out of your parents house and realize you have no place to put it? When you are moving and your find stuff that you haven’t seen since you moved? My mom will be the first to tell you how hard I am on her about all of the stuff we have accumulated since we moved into that house sixteen years ago. When my grandma announced that we were having Thanksgiving at my mom’s house, I took it upon myself to use that as an excuse to clean their house. We started with the clutter in the kitchen closet, otherwise known as the “closet of doom.” The closet wasn’t necessarily as bad as I thought, but we found stuff from my childhood. My Easy Bake Oven was buried in the back of the closet. It was an adventure. An adventure that my mom even wrote about in the local paper. After spending the holiday season helping my parents clean their house, I was amazed to come home and realize that I am slowly on the same path as my parents.
In 2016, I spent 3-4 full weeks traveling to a ton of different places. I wandered through Wyoming, Idaho, Utah and Colorado. I flew to Florida to see my sister before she moved. There were Christmas lights in Texas that I just HAD to see for my birthday! It was probably some of the best experiences of my life and I would not trade it for the world. After I own my home, I hope to travel like this again, but I would never have been able to take a full month off work to travel like that if I wouldn’t have had a plan. “A budget is telling your money where to go, instead of wondering where it went.” When I work two jobs and pick up extra shifts and my second job, it really isn’t to pay rent or the electric bill. When I turn down people for dining out and getting drinks because I am “broke,” I don’t mean that I don’t have money. I mean that I haven’t put any money aside in my budget for drinks and dining out right now. I limit what I spend going out because I am have other priorities for where my money is going. Without my budget, I would have never been able to travel that much while still paying all of my bills. Now I am planning to pay off all of my debt. Check out my updated debt numbers!
My Story 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
I just posted my goals about getting debt free a little over a week ago, but I have been working on this all month! I have big goals of paying off all of my debt by the end of the year and I definitely got a good start this month! Now, I have to be clear that I did this without selling anything so far. I didn’t trade in my vehicle for a cheaper vehicle. The same items are still in my home and I still live in the same place. I did pick up a ton of extra hours at work and I was a lot more diligent with my grocery shopping and eating out. The military also put me to work for a little while this month, which ended up as a pretty nice paycheck. I was also very meticulous with my budgeting throughout the entire month. My Story 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.…
I always told myself that I was financially smart. There has always been some form of a budget. I have some savings. The only debt I had was student loans. I didn’t even get a credit card until the week before my 22nd birthday and I was irrationally proud of that. Fast forward six months and I feel like I am drowning. Not that I am not making enough money, but that I realized how much debt I actually have. $34,000 in student loans, credit cards, and a car payments. 90% of it being student loans. I told myself I would never ever be like the rest of America, just running on credit. But here I am. I didn’t need my Jeep as bad as I just really wanted it. It is probably one of the nicest vehicles that I have ever owned, but I could have waited. Instead, I got a loan for it. With the loan, came a credit card to help build my credit so my dad didn’t have to cosign a loan if I needed a loan again. Blah. I did the math and just paying the minimum payments, I would be paying off my student loans for almost 22 years and that’s without the interest that would accumulate. A month and a half later, after the Christmas shopping has been completed, I am feeling a little like every other American at this time. The post Christmas- “I am broke” blues. While “broke” may not be exactly the word that most people would use to describe a 22 year old that has a solid Army paycheck coming in two days, it’s definitely how I feel.
Many of my followers and Facebook friends have watched me move from one blog to another. Some saw me while I was a struggling high school writer that had no direction in life (as if I have any now). Most of my Facebook friends saw me as a travel blogger. I LOVED travel blogging, exploring new places, and the continuous adventure. It was always exciting to plan my next trip. Traveling by myself took me out of my shell and forced me to be someone different than what I was used to being. It took me through the ups and downs of traveling. From smiling and laughing at all of the new, beautiful places I had discovered. Then to crying in a smoky hotel room because I was alone in the middle of nowhere and my mom was going into surgery at noon the next day and I was 2,000 miles from home. Solo traveling was probably one of the greatest experiences I will ever have and I hope to do it again in the future. Traveling is something that I want to continue to do constantly. It forced me to grow tremendously as a person. If I have kids, they will be well traveled from a young age. I truly believe there are things you learn from traveling that cannot be learned any other way. I still love traveling. What I didn’t love were the costs and sacrifices that comes with travel. I am not only talking financial costs. Money is a big part of the reason why I am putting on a new hat. Financially, I need to get a lot figured out before I do more traveling. I carelessly spent well over $3000 on travel expenses this year when I have $34k in debt that needs to be paid off. I am currently taking Dave Ramsey’s class AGAIN. But bigger than the money, the ultimate reason is something mentioned above. My mom found out she had kidney stones and was going into surgery the next day. Meanwhile, I was in the middle of nowhere, Utah (literally). While…
While I have read multiple different age and birth year ranges on a millennial, it is technically defined as anyone who was reaching young adulthood around the year 2000. So maybe I am a little farther behind than the actual millennial, because I was in kindergarten in 2000, but I feel like people still apply the term to my generation as well. I have read it as anyone born after 1992. No matter the years, the negative connotations stay the same. We are known for our safe spaces, participation trophies, selfie sticks, and our cell phones that must be “surgically removed” from our hands. We are better at figuring out technology than any other generation. Most of us can’t spell to save our life, thanks to spell check and auto correct! Urban dictionary killed it with this definition of us! While there are so many negative descriptions of us, but there are also a few positives that I think better describe some of us. Willing to work for what they want, technology savvy, the best work/life balance of any generation are just a few. I have such a strong love for writing that has been nurtured by my love of reading that started at a very young age. It was fed from countless elementary teachers who continuously encouraged me to read anything and everything I could get my hands on. My love of writing was encouraged by my 7th grade English teacher. She knew what I was capable of and never expected anything less of me.