Believe it or not that number makes me smile. Is 180k in debt a ridiculously large in potentially paralyzing number? You bet it is! But when I started this journey I had over 200k in debt. So for me, it is an amazing feeling to put a dent in this number month after month!
I briefly mention my current financial situation on the About page of my blog. I will dive deeper over time so you have a clear understanding of the decisions I made and you can avoid a lot of the pain that I have endured in my pockets. You probably wonder how I got to this point, huh?
Well, it isn’t that difficult to explain really…
No I am not a doctor. I am not a lawyer or a dentist. I do not have a masters degree. I went to a small private university for 4 years. I am a victim of super high interest rates and I lacked the emotional intelligence from 17-21 to really understand what the collateral damage would be upon graduation.
When I initially graduated I wanted to pursue my passion and proceeded to do what made me the happiest for two full years. Professionally speaking…it was the happiest I ever was including today.
Unfortunately for me, happiness does not pay bills. You can’t buy an engagement ring with happiness. And you certainly cannot buy a home with good spirits and positive energy.
Avoidance was a strategy I commonly practiced for years. Making the minimum interest only payments and not ever addressing the fact that I had zero strategy or game plan to ever break out of debt.
I will make a long story short…
I made a few decisions in my life and have absolutely zero regrets when it comes to the financial decisions I have made.
I prioritized the things that were important to me and went from there.
In order here is what I decided to do:
1) Bought an engagement ring
2) Bought a house
3) Paid for my wedding
4) Start a family
So I just completed number 4 and could not be happier or more thankful. Well almost completed number 4… Our first baby is due in just a few short months!
The reason I have been able to afford all of these things at 28 years old is because I have been extremely scrappy over the last 4 years. I have been able to generate over six-figures online in addition to the W2 income I earn at my job and have used that income to achieve everything previously mentioned above.
I am someone who truly believes in the basic principle that if you have the WILL you will find the WAY.
Ring. House. Wedding. Family. I am all set. A few weeks ago I decided that it was time to actually take a look at my entire financial situation. I wanted to look at my student loans, credit card debt, mortgage payments and see where I would be able to save money to either invest or pay down debt. I also started tracking my investments more closely to compare my returns vs the interest rates to see where my money was best placed.
It was an absolute headache until I stumbled Personal Capital. Complete life saver. The insight and clarity that this platform has allowed me to have into my own financial future is unlike anything I have ever seen online. Check out this snapshot below. This particular graph is tracking my Student Loan debt. As you can see on the 11th I took a nice chunk out of my loans! I put over $13k towards some of my higher interest loans which I am very excited about.
It is an extremely motivating application as it gives you the visibility into your net worth that you would otherwise more than likely not know. Or at least not in this detail. Personal Capital even tracks if you are on pace for retirement and does a complete analysis of your 401k to see if you are overpaying in fees. This is something that will continue to be extremely instrumental in my financial decisions moving forward.
I came into this month with over $185k In student loan debt and will leave August with under $175k in Student Loan debt.
Next month I plan to take my student loans down another 10k and try to tackle another $7k in credit card debt. That will be a huge win as I will have zero credit card debt for the first time in 3 years! I am looking forward to driving down this debt and becoming financially free.
Onward and upward.