Thursday, March 10, 2016

9 Months Away From Debt Freedom!

I borrowed 68k in August of 2007, started repayment in December of 2009, and will make my final payment in December of 2016. How much will I have paid in those approximate 7 years you ask? $113k. Yep. That’s 45k more than I borrowed. The scary part is, so many graduates are in the same boat I am, but they do not do the math to figure out the numbers of how upside down they are. They simply pay their minimums each month for years on end without actually seeing just how much they are paying the lender. I know 45k is bad, but trust me, there are friends in my circle alone who are already at that total with 15+ years to go. 

I am at peace with my numbers. I will never do something like that EVER again, but I am finally at peace with it. If you have followed me from the start of this blog in 2010, you know that peace was not something I had; I had hate, envy, bitterness, and deep regret.

I am okay with the fact that I attended Belmont University. I do not have any hate towards them or myself any longer for the debt that I got into. I have forgiven myself for the mistake I made. I am done overthinking the past because there is nothing I can do about it. There is no time machine, just the breath that God has chosen to give you each morning, and for that you must be thankful and move forward with your life.  

I am truly grateful that I found out about Dave Ramsey when I did in 2013. I honestly can’t remember how I stumbled upon his teachings, but I for sure know I will be forever thankful that I did. 

This is not me signing off, but merely keeping you all updated. I hope you are all doing well on your paths, and as always, feel free to email me if you need any advice or want to know more about my debt payoff process. I am 100% happy to help.

Friday, March 4, 2016

Target (The Store)

I usually refrain from shopping at this store due to the overwhelming temptation to buy everything. From the enticing smell and trendiness of Starbucks greeting you upon arrival, to every single (this is so me!) item screaming your name, it is, at the end of the day, a place I cannot afford to love. I am often price comparing groceries, and Target has never really won any store comparisons, but lately I have heard they are a little lower on a couple of items. There is a store on the way home from my normal shopping places, so I stopped in to get 4 grocery items they offered a low price on.

When checking out, my total on the screen was $8.22. The cashier said aloud, $82.20 then quickly corrected himself and apologized by saying, “Sorry, I am used to seeing large totals all day.” I chuckled and told him I completely understood. Then as I was walking out, I felt sad for a moment, and the Starbucks that so enticingly greeted me upon arrival was now mocking me upon my departure. I felt poor. Poor for only buying $8.22 worth of items in this super-store; then poor again because who wouldn’t love a delicious $5 latte, but I simply didn’t have room for that impulse buy in my budget.

Then, as it always does, pride came around and got in my passenger seat as I was pulling out of the store. I could have purchased hundreds of dollars’ worth of merchandise. I could have purchased that $5 latte. I chose not to. I chose not to because what I truly want is to be debt-free, and to keep the momentum of throwing a couple grand a month at my student loans; not to have that perfect tote bag, or to have that wonderful smelling candle on my dresser. I can have those things later down the road, but for right now, I have a way bigger goal in mind, and I would be foolish to place a bag and a candle as a roadblock in my own path. By the time I got home, I felt overjoyed about my $8.22 purchase, and more motivated than ever to keep going.

I am not saying I always walk away from tote bags and Starbucks, but for the majority I do, and in this instance, I did. And I can tell you, it feels better in the long run to walk away. For those of my peers still in debt and prowling the isles of Target, may the odds be ever in your favor. My hope for you is that you find an accountability friend. A friend you should alert when entering Target so that he/she can give you a fake emergency call about 30 minutes into your trip that ultimately saves you from the super-store’s predatory ways; just as you would want on a horrible first date. That right there sounds like my kind of friendship. Stay the path, friends!