Financial Advice, My Life

First Week of School | First Adult Purchase

This week was a week of firsts for me. Due to hurricane Harvey, we had to start school two weeks later. Just wrapped up the first week and I feel like I’ve really gotten a feel for all 70 of my students and we have gotten into sort of a routine. Now it’s time to really get into teaching writing (did I mention that I am a 4th grade writing teacher?! I’m still stoked about that).

I’ve gotten a feel for the school and working in a public school as well as a district (last year I worked at a charter school). I prefer a public school because of the surmountable resources, trainings and help from other teachers.

I ended the week with making my first adult purchase that was not financed or charged to a card: I bought a couch!!! You all have no idea at how absolutely lit I was when I swiped my debit card. The fact that I swiped my card and didn’t feel like I was going to have a heart attack, that was a long time coming. I have been working so hard, living paycheck-to-paycheck for so many years (6 years to be exact), going from job to job (8 jobs in the past 6 years and that does not include freelancing, UberEats, Postmates, Lyft, Shipt and being an author and YouTuber) and taking out loans and credit cards just to stay afloat. Granted during this time I was living with my mom, however, my bills are my bills.

Now that I have paid off those loans, credit cards, IRS and teacher certification program, I am able to make adult purchases such as buying a couch, in cash. I actually felt like an adult. People always ask at what moment do you feel like you were an actual adult. It wasn’t the real job, getting my first apartment, getting my first car (or second or third), or having actual bills. It was being able to make such a large purchase and not feel my chest tighten or have to look at my bank account. To live comfortably and not be worried about money 24/7.

I say all of this to say that you don’t have to be controlled by money. Take charge of that money and your life. No one else will do it for you and I know that all of this seems cliché and repetitive, however, it works. Budgeting, saying no to extracurricular activities, saying no to Chipotle (that was hard af, and now I want Chipotle), saying no to Starbucks, the club, the movies, dinner, lunch, whatever. A couple years of just saying no, has paid off for the countless years of living reckless and saying yes, balling with no money of my own (all charged or borrowed).

Let me know your financial journey in the comments below.

xoxo The Black Vegan Author

Financial Advice

Financial Friday: Cut Expenses, Add Hustles, Getting Out of Debt

I have been on a “kicking debt’s ass” journey for the past couple of years. I am so determined to be out of debt at 30 and so far, I am on the right road. In the past couple of years I have paid off a credit card ($2500), a personal loan ($3500), the IRS ($500), medical expenses ($200) and as of this month my teacher certification program ($400). Altogether that is $7,100 in two years. That may not seem like a lot to those who have paid off more, but for someone with similar debts as myself, that is a lot, especially considering my main sources of income.

If I still lived at home, I would be halfway through  my loans and my car would be paid off, but life happens and circumstances arise. How did I pay off these debts, you may ask? Here are somethings I did and somethings that others I know have done:

  1. Cut my cable and got an Amazon Fire Stick. It is the best decision ever. I was late to the game, but better late than never right? I know many people who have taken this route and noticed how much money they were spending on cable.
  2. Meal prep and cook at home more. This is a huge thing to cut money and to cut weight, being that we are the fattest country in the world. Meal prep saves you from cooking during the week and from putting on those extra pound.
  3. Upwork is a freelance site that I use to ghostwrite, edit novels, papers, essays and so much more. There are all kinds of freelance jobs on there from virtual assistant to graphic designer. Find your niche and get to work.
  4. GrubHub, DoorDash, UberEats and Postmates are other ways many millennials are making money. They’re like Uber and Lyft, but for food. Someone orders food, you pick it up and deliver it.
  5. Kick your Starbucks habit. I would be afraid to see how much some of you spend on Starbucks in a year and I am sure y’all are too.
  6. Apply for odd jobs like dog walking, babysitting, personal assistant, in home cleaning jobs, etc.
  7. Buy clothes from thrift stores and secondhand shops. $300 purses and shoes are not necessary and will not add value to your life.

There are so many ways to save and make money to get out of debt, you just have to be willing to make sacrifices.

Other Financial Posts:

Financial Friday: Minimalism Saves Money

Money & Health (plant-based living)

Financial Friday: My Plan To Get Out Of Debt

Financial Friday