Last month I declared my big, crazy, audacious goal for all to see. I was fearful of pressing publish as so much can happen in a year. I didn’t want to set myself up for failure. But I knew that I wanted to keep myself accountable to paying off debt.
Even if I “fail”, I promise to always be honest and forthright with where I am at and what is going on.
I know I am not alone struggling with debt. Many of us are fighting tooth and nail just to survive and reclaim our money, time, and financial lives.
It’s hard and it’s a journey full of ups and downs. Now, with this goal, I find myself on another journey.
In my last debt update, I said starting June 1 I was going on a cash budget and giving myself $100 in fun money each month.
I am proud to say that I’ve stayed within my budget, but at some points it has not been easy. This past weekend, it was so nice out and my boyfriend and I just hung out at a park. We were driving back and I asked him, “Should we be bad and go to happy hour right now?” (a summertime favorite of ours).
Luckily, he had the strength to tell me “no.” While I felt frustrated at first, the urge to go out waned as we settled back at home and relaxed.
Making any big change is all about knowing your spending triggers. I constantly want to go out on nice days. In Portland, it’s gloomy so much of the year, my inner party-animal just wants to release.
But I’m learning to channel that energy in other ways with walks, and bike rides, and wine from the grocery store (lol). I am also trying out new recipes and making sure I always have food in the house. Half of the time when I want to go out, it’s because there is no food in the house and I’m too lazy to go to the store. Now, I start monitoring the food situation, so I can anticipate when I need to go to the store and be proactive, rather than reactive.
This past month, I am also happy to say I have met my goal and put $2,000 to debt. I am actually hoping to put another couple hundred, but am waiting on some payments.
My current debt total:
Undergrad loan: $5,331.64
Graduate loan: $21,530.92
I love how close my graduate loans are to being in the teens! The good thing about paying this amount is that I actually see the progress I’m making. Even when I was paying $1,000 per month, it felt like the debt was not going down that much. Then again, at the height of my student loans, I was paying around $300 in interest per month.
Things are moving along and I am working hard to just take it month by month, day by day. I don’t want to overwhelm myself, but I also don’t want to lose sight of my goal.
I am so ready to be done with this debt.
How are you doing with your financial goals?