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

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Financial Friday: My Plan To Get Out Of Debt

Financial Friday

Financial Advice

Financial Friday: How I Got In Debt

DISCLAIMER: I AM NOT A FINANCIAL ADVISOR OR COACH

My goal is to be out of debt by this time next year. This goal is still feasible but I am not going to stress myself trying to make it happen. I owe $21k in student loans and $10k+ to my bank. So, in essence, I owe over $31k. I know that’s a lot and being that I will be a full time teacher in the fall, it’s manageable. Now, you may be wondering how I plan to get out of debt by this time next year. I will save that for next Friday, but first, let’s talk about how I got in debt.

  1. As for student loans, I mean that’s self explanatory. Many of you reading this have four year degrees of some sort and racked in a surplus of loans. We all know what a pain in the ass they are. I know some of you may have more and some of you may have less. But yeah, being the child of parents who made too much money, I did not receive any free money. My four years in college were borrowed. Originally I owed $26k, but now it’s $21k (interest). I will talk about how I paid that down next Friday.
  2. I got my first credit card in college because I heard that was the thing to do. It was a way to get credit and before I know that having a credit score was BS, I wanted to have a line of credit. My limit was $2500 and I maxed it out quickly and not by going on shopping sprees. Soon as I got the credit card, my car broke down. The A/C went out, my fan broke, I had to replace all four tires. That $2500 went fast and not by choice either. It seems every time you get more money, something always happens to where you have to spend it. Just my luck, my car hated me. I eventually had to get a new one. All that money just wasted.
  3. I got my second credit card a few years after the first because I was working for a nonprofit organization and I could not make ends meet. I was legit struggling. I never made it to my next paycheck without being in the negative. That one maxed out pretty quickly due to more unforeseen events. That limit, too, was $2500. So now I am at $5k that I owe my bank.
  4. I then took out a loan for $2500 from my bank because I worked for another nonprofit, and the last month of my contract, they decided to not pay me and it was two months before I got a paycheck from my next job. I was pissed. I had no money to pay bills, buy food, put gas in my car, nothing. So that put me at $7.5k that I owed my bank. Oh, it gets better.
  5. Remember how I had to get a new car? My old car was paid off and I am so sad that I ended up having to get a new car. So, I had to take out an auto loan to get my new car and that was $9500. That put me at owing my bank $17,000! Yes, all to my bank. I cried a lot because I was like on top of loans, how am I going to swing this?

This is how I got in debt, not by careless spending (that’s how I stayed in debt and still am), but by unforeseen events. I couldn’t help any of my situations. Stay tuned for the next Financial Friday post to see how I now only owe my bank $10k and my loans are now $21k, and how I am paying some of my debts down.

xoxo,

Simply Moniqua

Financial Advice

Financial Friday

DISCLAIMER: I AM NOT A FINANCIAL COACH OR CONSULTANT

In the past month or so, I stumbled upon a guy on Periscope named Shanaan Dawda. He is a financial coach and I have heard several different financial coaches but his scopes caught my attention. For starters, he’s only two years older than me and he has paid off all of his student loans. That’s unheard of for people my age! I mean, it really is. The average millennial has $29,000 in student loans (I have $21,000) and many of us are living paycheck to paycheck. We are barely making ends meet and it’s really hard when you have a four year degree and don’t have a job to pay for it.

Anyway, listening to his scopes are so inspiring and they give me so much hope. I even bought his book, From Paychecks to Power and I have been reading it continuously. I have not finished it because at a certain point it talks about after you get out of debt and I want to wait until I am completely debt free to finish.

He talks about his financial blunders and being scammed, he even had his identity stolen. He talks about a typical college student trying to make money the fastest way possible. He then explains about his parents being in debt and how he doesn’t want to end up like them.

The best thing about this book that has helped me is he financial plan. He talks about finances in his scopes and he really breaks it down. He spills all the tea and that is really what many people, young and old, need to hear. I wish there was a curriculum like this in high school to really explain to us the damage of credit cards and student loans.

He even talks about how he has a credit score of zero because he doesn’t borrow. If you can’t pay cash for it, then you don’t need to buy it. He gives so much insight, and he is a CPA, so he knows what he’s talking about. He paid off over $26,000 in just 11 months and that is admirable. Granted I don’t make nearly as much money as he was making when he was making these financial gains, but I am on a get out of debt plan that is in his book.

I won’t go into detail about the book, but he tells a lot of secrets in the book and on his scopes that many of us believe the opposite from what we are told by money hungry banks and sales people. I can say that if I get a teaching position that I will be able to pay off my debts by this time next year. All my debts paid before I’m 30??? I mean how good will that be? Then I can do whatever I want.

I have made a vow to myself to never get another credit card or loan as long as I live. If I cannot outright pay for it, that means my behind does not need it. We always tend to buy things we don’t need, nor can we afford. We need to stop it, immediately. Have you ever thought about how our country is in debt and 76% of us are living paycheck to paycheck because we are in debt?

We buy things that we can’t afford to impress people that we don’t even like and/or who don’t even care. Let’s be honest, we care way too much about what other people think and about showing others up. If you can’t put a significant down payment on a house, don’t buy it. If you can’t pay cash for a car, don’t buy it. I want a tiny house, something small, moveable and costs less than college tuition.

In America, we seriously have some unrealistic goals and expectations. We are more about what we can show people than what we can afford. We would rather be in debt than to have someone have more than us. We put more value in stuff than our finances. It’s really sad.

Set some short term financial goals and I will see you guys next Friday with the first task!

xoxo,

Simply Moniqua