I've struggled the past two weeks to come up with a decent blog topic because nothing eventful has happened in my life. Dry January has really been hard on my creativity because I don't get the fun stories from going out. I've literally done nothing in two weeks except go snowboarding and buy an Instant Pot, and neither of those would be fun to read about. (Except I do think everyone should own an IP, but that's another story). I guess the most exciting thing that has happened to me was paying off almost $4,500 in credit card debt, which I'm very excited and proud of. My debt was always fairly managed, but I was never good at keeping money in a savings. I had a pretty decent nest egg when I had my first job, and then I spent it all when I fell in love with Hudson at the pet shop. Then, I rebuilt it back up to a comfortable level and my friends persuaded me to go to Mexico (for the second time). Last year, I had a decent savings.. and then I got fired. My financial situation has always been a struggle, but I finally have it (back) under control. And this time for good.
I would never wish credit card debt on my worst enemy. There is literally nothing worse than trying to pay off thousands of dollars while getting hit with 25% interest charges each month. The second I paid off all (four) of my cards last week I closed out three of the accounts and kept one as an emergency card. I found it funny that when I tried to cancel my cards they offered me incentives to stay, like a lower interest rate or $25 back on my next statement. It was like they were encouraging me to go back to being in debt. I shut that down. I feel like at 26, I have finally developed a working budget and plan for all of my finances. I invest in the Acorns app, I opened a second bank account and direct deposit my second job paychecks right into there with no debit card to take it out, and I've learned to live off of my first job income only. All of this along with about six cash back apps that I use for everyday purchases. I am finally doing good.
This is the time when we should be saving. I'm 26, living on my own, with no kids. My only dependent is my dog, and his financial needs are quite small. I love Hudson and I would never change having him for the world, but if I could go back and do it again, I wouldn't have used my savings account to buy a dog. I wouldn't have used my savings account to go on vacation, and I definitely wouldn't have racked up so many unnecessary charges when I was unemployed. Having a second job that I never see the paychecks of is great because then I don't even have the temptation of spending it. It can sit in that account and build up and act as my savings for the long-term goals I have, like buying my dream car or buying a house someday.
I said at the start of January that 2019 was going to be my year, and this is how it starts. I encourage everyone to create a budget that works for you. I took the advice of my roommate, Alex, and budget based on my paycheck. Now I don't have to hit the last week of the month and worry that my entire paycheck has to be spent on rent and how I can afford groceries that week. Now, I divide all of my bills by my weekly paychecks, and then move that money to a separate account to have the bills paid out. I get to live off of the extra each week. Now I can know exactly how much I have to splurge on a night out or if I can really afford those cute shoes at the mall. I finally have it under control. A budget doesn't need to be a complex thing, Excel has templates that you just plug in your own numbers with. A budget can be in the notes section of your phone or on your computer. As long as you have a budget in some form, you are already more financially successful than a lot of people. We are already drowning in student loans, don't make it worse by paying off credit card debt. Get rid of the cards. Pay them off and cut them up. Credit cards are toxic. Find a way that works for you, stick to it, and pay off that debt!
Author - mallory
I've always lived a wild life, so here I am to document it for the world... be ready for some fun adventures, xoxo.