Bye Felicia, I mean Debt: Update 1

a life of simplicity:

My main goal for this year, and life in general, is to live a simplistic and free life. A life that isn't necessarily filled with the latest gadgets or flashy items, but with joy, contentment, and happiness. A life rid of hurtful people, harmful habits, and an excess of things. A life that makes itself ready for my dream of traveling the world and giving back physically, emotionally, and financially.   

One big way for me to make that happen is to gain control over my finances. My money has to be mine to put whereever God and I want it to go whenever we want it to go. I can't build my dream if I'm steady putting money towards interest on loans and worthless purchases. 

So because of that I'm setting some goals for myself!  I'm 26. I want to be totally and completely debt-free (including credit cards, car loans, and even student loans) by the time I'm 30. That's a target date of September 20, 2018. A lofty goal, sure. But with some work (and more work) and Jesus I think I can make it happen in 3.5 years. 

I started seriously working towards this goal January 1st of this year. To hold myself accountable to my family and the few people beside them that read this blog, I'll be posting updates every three months about my lengthy goodbye with Felicia.

This first post is to share where I was January 1st, how I've done over the past three months, and how my debt looks now, April 1st.

starting debt: 

Three credit cards and my never-ending car loan totaling $19,039.42. Yowzers, and that's not even counting student loans! (***Student loans, while receiving the minimum monthly payment, will be officially tackled once credit cards and car loans are gone. To save myself a heart attack every time I look at these numbers, they'll be included at a later date. :) )

individual breakdown:

CC1: $763.92
CC2: $2,104.67
CC3: $2,590.83
Car Loan: $13,580.00

the game plan:

Something that I've found helpful when saving money before is doing a spending fast of sorts. The basic idea is you only spend money on necessary items: food, bills, tithes/offering, gas, debt. If you counted it up, you'd be amazed at the amount of money that you spend on fast food, coffee, cigarettes, and many other things you really don't need.

(The idea for a spending fast comes from Anna over at And Then We Saved. Check her out. She has great tips and ideas for saving money and getting out of debt! She paid off thousands of dollars of debt in her first year of doing a spending fast.)

Since January 1, I have, for the most part, stuck to a pretty strict spending fast, funneling all extra money to my debt. I've also been using Dave Ramsey's snowball method of paying down the smallest debt first. I didn't worry about interest rates, because I knew I wanted to specifically tackle credit cards, then car, and then student loans no matter their balances.

numbers update:

Annnnnnnnnnnd *drum roll* As of April 1st, just three months in, I have already managed to pay off a pretty nice amount of $8,447.71!! That means my credit cards are gone!! Bye, Felicia!!

I don't even know how this is possible as I don't even make that much money in a three month period, but God surely provided! It's like the less I was spending, the more He was putting in my account. 

individual breakdown:

CC1: $0
CC2: $0
CC3: $0
Car Loan: $10,591.71

I'm so excited to continue to see this number decrease until it is officially gone forEVER. 

I'd like to hear from you guys... How do you feel about having debt; good, bad, indifferent? What are some tips you have for getting out of debt?

Well, see you guys July 1st for update 2. And if anyone has $10,000 just lying around, I'll gladly accept your donation to help pay the rest of this off. Haha. Kidding... Sort of. :)

total amount paid off to date: $8,447.71
total amount of debt left: $10,591.71
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