As you guys will recall I talked about my goals for 2017 in my New Year, Bigger Dreams post a couple of weeks ago. One those goals was to save more money, in order to start saving I must look back at my financial story. I was always good a saving money and finding great deals. I started working at the age 14 ,I have only been unemployed for 1 month in past 23 years. Although I had a stable work history my finances were a mess!
While I was never taught to budget or save money it was something that came natural to me. My family say I am like my grandmother. She also was very selective on what she spend her hard earned money on and was also a great saver. It all started back in 1997, my freshman year of college.I had to rely on student loans, because my family did not have the money to help with the financial cost of college.
For my first year of college I racked up about $6,000 in student loan debt. Just because I could get the maximum amount in the loans I did, even though I didn’t need it. Big Mistake. The final total is for over 18 years of college. Yes, 18 years this is due to me stopping and starting college and earning 3 degrees. Undergraduate=$60,000 Graduate=$17,000= $77,000 , yes such a large number. Unfortunately I am racking up hundreds of dollars in interest everyday as well.
Luckily I was never one to get many credit cards. I did open on discover card in undergrad and that was a big mistake. The credit limit was $500 and it took me almost 7 years to pay it off. I was trying to buy a house and I ended paying $1200 to clear it up. Right now I do have a Belk credit card, which I haven’t used but twice, and has a $175 balance at this point. I also have a PayPal credit account with I used to buy my IMac, which I since paid off. Afterwards I purchase more items and now have a balance of $1300.00.
I bought a car last year after not having a car note for 4 years. My son turned 16 and I gave him my old car and bought a new (used) SUV. Its balance is $20,000
Me and my Ex bought a house about 11 years ago. After the divorce, I keep the house, the current balance is $64,000
Total=$163,000 in DEBT
My goal for 2017 is to start being smarter with my money and to eliminate my debt. I have already taken some steps toward my goals and already started by saving myself $210 a month/2,500 a year in my 1st month. Post on how I achieved this coming soon. If you are tired of living paycheck to paycheck or just want to improve you finances, join me on my journey. We can share tips and grow together.