Let’s talk about debt

Here’s the reality of things…

I joined the military in 2014 in hopes of finishing up my last year and a half of my Bachelor’s degree in Microbiology without having to drop a couple grand (which I did not have) or taking out student loans. I’ve seen the damage that loans, credit cards and anything that could land you in massive debt can have on a person. My entire life I’ve been against all of that and a couple other major things.

So there I was, 20 year old me with NO DEBT to my name and a couple dollars in my bank account heading to Illinois to complete my basic training. My first paycheck in the military was $500, which I sent one half to my mother and the other to my at the time girlfriend. Fast forward a year later and one deployment under my belt I had been able to save almost $4,000 and only had to worry about paying the basic necessities (rent, groceries, etc). Did I mention that I got married? Well, I did (another thing I was against) and those savings went straight down the drain, credit cards got taken out and loans put in my name… Take my advice and DO NOT pay your significant others debt, put YOUR NAME/SIGNATURE on anything that is not going to benefit YOU and STOP trying to keep up with The Jones!

Fast forward to 2018, March 17th to be exact and as of today I am $37,341.12 in debt not counting the $30k mortgage. For two years now, I’ve been guesstimating paying most of my things off by 2020 and trying to stick to a very strict budget – haven’t been 100% successful, but still gunning. After doing some math yesterday I realized that if I want to use my time in the military to increase my savings account, 2020 might not be plausible… and then I thought “get a part time server job, make killer tips and put all that towards by debt!” Sounds easy enough right?.

Now let’s move some numbers around:

  • Auto Loan #1 $10,038.23 (mom is taking over this account for 1-2 years)
  • Auto Loan #2 $14,583.60
  • Credit Card    $6,482.48
  • Consolidation Loan $5,068.81
  • iPhone 8 $660
  • Phone case $38
  • NGIS (hotel damage bill) $470
  • Lawyer fees min $75 per visit

Except for the lawyer, these are things that get deducted monthly from my checking every month. Without taking into consideration what extra cash I can scrap up by selling things that I no longer need and a part time job I want to pay off the $5k loan by January of 2019, the $6k by December of 2019 and the $14k by December 2020. I’m still debating if putting my tax refund towards one of these is a smart idea. The reason I’m focused on these three ones is because they are the ones that will sink me if I don’t get rid of them by the end of my military contract. My tentative plan is to put my tax refund (roughly $2k) towards the $5k loan. I’m intrigued by the snowball method (paying off the lowest debt first and once done putting that money on the next one on top of the minimum you were already paying). The others I already know will be paid off by December 2018 so I’m not worried.

Fast forward to coming across this:

bv_baby_steps_main

At this current stage in my life, perhaps 5/7 steps apply to me; I’m currently on baby step 1 trying to have a starting point of $500 for an emergency fund and I just put in my first $100 yesterday. My main goal and hardest throughout all this is to STICK TO MY BUDGET! and STOP living paycheck to paycheck.

Stick around to see how I plan on achieving this and my journey through many of lifes up’s and down’s 🙂

Have any debt chronicles you wish to share? Comment below or DM on instagram @petieandplantbased

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