Today’s guest post is from my new blogger friend, Kat. Enjoy!
Debt sucks….period!! I wished we all lived in a world where no one had debt! Wouldn’t that be awesome? But for now, let’s come back down to earth where most people that I know have some form of debt. Some common types include student loans, mortgage, car loans, personal loans, medical loans, and many others. You name a loan and someone out there has it, which plunges them into more debt.
I am currently still fighting my way out of debt, however, I have made huge progress. I surprised even myself when I paid of my first credit card which I had maxed out!
At one point in life I had almost every loan I listed above, which plunged me into a massive amount of debt. Prior to my divorce, my ex-husband and I got a car loan at 17% interest, but we weren’t too concerned about that, we were too excited about having our first car. Those car and insurance payments came to a little over $500 each month. Ouch!
My got even worst after my divorce. Instead of trying to climb out of debt, I was gathering more and more debt. I opened store credit cards left and right. I wish I had known then what I know now.
Here is a chart of all the debt I was in up to mid last year:
|Debt Then||Debt Now|
|Personal Loan – $2500
Collections – $108
Dentist 1 – $205
Dentist 2 – $308
Medical 1 – $40
Credit Card 1 – $475
Medical 2 – $27
Medical 3 – $183
Store CC 1 – $299
Store CC 2 –$ 410
Store CC 3 – $131
Cable – $689
Medical 4 – $121
Medical 5 – $716
Medical 6 – $511
Medical 7 – $94
Total – $6,692
Now to some people this may not seem like a lot of debt, but to me this was a huge amount of debt. I didn’t include the car, because my ex-husband got that in the divorce. There was some other small debt from immigration, however, that is a whole entire blog post by itself.
Now to what woke me up – I got several collections calls. I am not sure if you’ve ever gotten collections calls, but they are AWFUL!! They call you non-stop! Who pays people to do this?!! Around the same time I signed up for Credit Karma and my credit was at a whopping 510…..SAY WHAT?!! Coming from a country where credit really didn’t matter to now living in one where it is all about having great credit, I knew I had to fix it. I had plans to attend school in fall of 2014 and I wanted all my debt gone. I wanted to put that money in savings and not pay off debt each time I got paid. So here is what I did:
Met with a Financial Advisor
This is not feasible for many people because it costs money to meet with a financial advisor and that is more debt, although it may be worth it. One of the many perks of being a nanny is that my boss works in the finance industry and handles million dollar deals every day. I mentioned my debt problems and he told me to bring everything I had to him and we would meet one night after work and discuss a plan of action. Over the next few month we would meet once a month and work on my budget, cut out unnecessary spending and make plans for how we could eliminate all of my debt. Doing this has been a big help especially since I didn’t have to pay for his services.
Get a Second Job
Again this may not work for everyone. But as for me, I wanted to get rid of all my debt so I was willing to do whatever it took to get rid it! Being a nanny was actually my second job. I was working full time in the corporate world and then would leave there at 4:30 and head to my nanny job at 5. (I have since added two other side hustles.)
Having more than one job is hard work and at times I am extremely tired and all I want to do is stay in bed all weekend and do nothing else. But seeing all of my debt written on a white board in my home was a constant reminder of why I was working so hard and that soon I would be debt free. I used all the income from my second job to pay off debt as my second job actually paid better than my first.
Fighting my way out of debt took a lot of discipline. In the past I was able to justify all my purchases from Target and all my weekly eating out. At times I failed miserably!! Now, I am much better, and I constantly remind myself that I don’t want to be in debt again. I still eat out and shop, but in moderation and I stick to my limit.
I am not saying that I don’t have debt now. I am in school and I’m still accruing student loans. However, I have started paying them now while I am still in school so that I am making a headway with them while studying. I wished I knew everything about debt back then that I know now. A huge help in my journey to becoming debt free was following personal finance blogs. I follow tons of different finance blogs and I still learn something new every day!
What are some ways you are fighting your way out of debt?
Kat is a pre-nursing student by day and nanny by night. She loves reading, shopping at thrift stores and Target, and taking spontaneous road trips whenever she has free time. She is blogging about her journey through school and life at Hello Pre Nurse. You can also follow her on Twitter.