Throughout my teen years and early adulthood – I always heard negative comments & vibes about budgeting and finances. I looked at finances as a scary monster in the corner that no one should look at. I thought, I’m paying my bills on time AND I still have money leftover. I must be doing fine.
Boy was I wrong.
I have always known about credit cards – and opened my first one when I was starting at Purdue. I opened my first credit card to build my credit. It was all sunshine and rainbows until about my junior year of college. Jordan and I had just got our own apartment together & there were now two college students – living on their own.
Luckily, I went through school with enough financial aid / scholarships that we had enough to pay for all of our bills through my school money – but anything else we wanted… that was another story. I thought – hey we have these credit cards (opening 1 account turned into 3 accounts)… We will charge anything we need right now, because someday we will be able to pay the credit card off. Some day we can stop making minimum payments and pay it all off.
I am grateful to report that has happened – but not without intense budgeting – and a sweet gift from my hubby. More on that later….
Where Did We Start?
When I graduated college, I left with approximately $10,000 in credit card debt and $25,000 in student loan debt. (I lucked out with an affordable monthly payment on my student loans – so I’m not focused on paying it off early).
Yes, you read that right. TEN THOUSAND DOLLARS – in credit card debt. Between taking a few classes through Ivy Tech, which wasn’t covered through FAFSA and charging a few hospital bills, I had racked up unnecessary debt.
I thought I was going to be in debt forever.
I made a plan. That’s all it took. I made a plan to save more than I spend – and at the end of each pay period dump every penny of my checking account into my credit card. I focused on the card that had the highest interest rate first, then worked my way through the three credit cards. My plan resembled the “snowball debt” payoff method, but I edited it a little to work for us.
It took about 6 months to pay all $10,000 off. But, I will admit – I did have a bit of help. About 4 months into my budgeting plan, Jordan came to me with a gift. A $5,000 gift. He took the money out of his personal savings account – that he had been working so hard to build up and gave it to me.
I won’t lie – I cried. He cried. We sat, hugged, & cried. He told me, he wanted to repay me for taking care of him financially during our time in college. To thank me for using my school money for our apartment when I could’ve easily saved it up. He wanted to take care of me.
This is why I didn’t title the blog – I paid off $10,000 in debt in 6 months or something catchy like that. Because I did not. We did – as a team. He saw an opportunity to support me, and boy did he pull through. I could not have reached my goal of being credit card debt free without him.
I wanted to share my journey with budgeting with you all as the first post in my budgeting series. As we wrap up 2019, I am looking to refine our budget for the 2020 year and will be sharing this process with you all.
See more about my life.