Young & Financially Free

Have you ever looked at your debt and felt like you were being crushed by the weight of it all? My breaking point with debt was after we got a car through financing. I cried when my first car payment came out of my bank account. Unfortunately, it was too late, I was locked in and had accumulated over 100K of debt.

At that point, I decided to destroy my debt, but in order to do that I needed some extra money to put towards it! My main course of action was to lower my expenses so that I’d have extra debt fighting cash. By looking at a complete list of all mine and my husband’s expenses and bills, I found a lot of waste. We were paying $200+ on a photography class, $150 on phone bills, and upwards of $250 on gas for our car. This started a “bill” purge. I cut out over $700 worth of bills, and smartened up about our expenses.

I strongly encourage you to push yourself with your monthly bills. We pay $30 a month total for our phones because we thought, there’s wifi practically everywhere now, could we save money by getting rid of data? Turns out, we don’t actually need data, we just thought we did. We continued pushing and questioning each bill and followed this idea of living with less until we had more room.

With this extra room, we saved up an emergency fund and now dedicate all our extra money to our student loans.

This month alone we paid off $3,330 in debt (to see a breakdown, click here). That’s 72% of our income. We’ve worked up to this number, a 70%+ savings rate doesn’t come in one day. Our debt payments have grown bigger and bigger as we’ve made progress.

You might notice how we lowered our bills by $700, yet paid off over $3000. After we lowered those bills, we realized that we were living a very excessive lifestyle. This required some sacrifice though. We had to really push ourselves to get to the point where we could cut back. I used to use 6GB of data on my phone plan every month, and we cut back to 0GB. We also lowered our internet plan from unlimited GB to just 100GB. We stopped using our car, completely. I started budgeting everything through the app You Need a Budget, so that we stuck to our debt goals and spending goals. All this allowed us to cut back even more than we thought we could.

You don’t have to do this all at once, everyone starts somewhere. We started with simply making minimum payments. Then an extra $20 here and there, and eventually we got to where we are. We picked the debt that provided the quickest updates, so we could actually see our debt going down.

If I had one point I wanted to make it’s that in the debt repayment game, you need to keep motivated. Getting out of debt requires sacrifice and strategy; set little goals for yourself and pay off debts in a way that shows you progress. You don’t have to do it exactly the same way I did, and that’s okay. But, I guarantee that it’s an ongoing challenge to get out of debt as quickly as possible, and you can bet your bottom dollar I’m going to win that challenge, and you can too.

If you want to learn more about my debt goals and how to lower your bills, head over to my blog.

Young & Financially Free

6 thoughts on “Young & Financially Free”

  1. Hey Rachel, You clearly mentioned about Debt goals. The Breakdown is very good and I love the way of your writing. I hope you will come with more debt goals.

    Your Friend

    1. Thank you Thandava! I love setting goals for myself, I find it so motivating to pursue them and basically just prove to yourself and everyone that you can. What’s great about financial goals is that you have actual proof that what you are doing is working, so you continue to stay motivated.
      So great to hear from you!

  2. Thanks for sharing that ‘tactic,’ of yours. The one where your husband and yourself question every single bill. That may sound like something trivial, but believe me, its something that I had not done till today and I am willing to bet that many other folks in debt overlook doing this.

    I guess my reason, is ‘avoidance,’ or denial. If I have to sit down and look at my expenses, I am likely to get a panic attack. Yet, it is something that I need to do to overcome it and move on. Thanks for giving me the courage through your article.

    As you said, we have to start somewhere, I am going to start right now…

    Wish me good luck

    1. Good luck! It’s always nerve wracking getting into your finances when you’ve let them run free for a bit. It’s easy to let loose in spending! But I’m so glad that you are going to go through with it and really learn your finances and bills. You got this!

  3. Its awesome to know you are getting out of debt if not already done so. A lot of people make these poor financial choices and I feel for them.

    I was wondering if you would have ever taken a side gig on the weekends for some extra cash for the bills?

    1. I have considered it before I got my full time position but with the permanent contract I work every other weekend and a lot of different shifts throughout the week, so I wouldn’t have a set availability for any week. I would need something very flexible to work around my schedule. That being said, my job does have Relief staff and I am still able to work as Relief and pick up extra shifts if I choose. So I can still do that on the side.

      I do some other things for extra cash: I’m renting out a bedroom as storage, and we have our car listed on Turo to rent. But a second job for me isn’t really worth it when I can do these and work Relief shifts.

      That being said I did consider it so if I were in a different position I would totally go for a second job.

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