Guest post from Rebecca of Change Your Life in 100 Days
I can’t believe how naive I have always been about money my whole life. That just goes to show how much parents need to be teaching their kids about spending, saving, and earning money. I didn’t have any education at all about finances and I am definitely paying for it now.
I also strongly believe every student who starts their freshmen year of college should be required to sit down with a financial adviser provided by the campus. College students need to be taught about school loans, interest, planning for their financial future and paying loans back later when they graduate.
I, again, didn’t have this knowledge presented to me so I was the typical college student who took out more than necessary because it seemed great at the time. Now this, too, is a tremendous issue in my financial life.
Fact: I paid $240.91 last month for just one of my student loans.
Fact: Only $27.78 went to principal.
This makes me want to punch my debt in the face.
The positive is that I am still in my late 20’s and I am finally figuring out how to face this debt head on and trample it out as fast as I can. All my thanks goes to Dave Ramsey for being such an amazing educator on financial freedom. My hope is to be able to say I have financial “freedom” as well in the coming years.
Here is my family’s plan for getting out of debt:
- Use our tax return this year to pay off a consolidation loan (and tax returns in the future to pay off student loans).
- Use my husband’s bonus this year to pay off our last credit card (and bonus in the future to pay off student loans).
- Use all of this year’s extra summer income (tutoring, nannying, part-time side job) to pay off one of three student loans.
- Take money out of savings to pay off our car and start putting money aside to pay cash for a car in the future.
- Lower our cable bill by $30 a month by switching to satellite TV (I wish we could only purchase ESPN…if it wasn’t for that for my husband we wouldn’t need cable at all).
- Stop going out to eat unless it is a very special celebration. We’ve learned to love cooking at home together so this eliminates the desire to want to go out for dinner.
- Stop shopping. We buy all our son’s toddler clothes either on sale or at consignment sales. Why would we pay full price for something he’ll grow out of in two months?
- Stop traveling on the weekends. We have saved so much money every month by staying home. If we are home we don’t spend the necessary money on gas, food, and shopping.
- Learn to say no. If your friends are really your friends they will understand when you say you can’t go to dinner, get your nails done, or on a weekend trip because you’re trying to get out of debt.
The one thing we will not stop paying is our monthly 10% tithe. God has shown us in the past two years just how much he blesses us when we tithe. We will continue to tithe diligently and honor Him with our firsts because He deserves all the glory.
One day I will be debt-free and be able to scream from the mountain tops “I am free!”
Rebecca is a wife, new mother, full time teacher, mentor, and runner. Her goal is to be more intentional with every aspect of her life – her relationship with God, her family and friends, her job, her time, her finances, her workouts, her eating habits, her relaxing time, etc. She wants to live an intentional, purposeful life that follows God’s plan. Follow her blog at Change Your Life in 100 Days.