“I am totally debt free, and make more than enough money to travel the world!”
This is my money mantra.
Managing finances has never been one of my strengths, but two months ago I resolved to finally take charge of my money and get organized. You can read about the first stage in this journey here.
After that last post I entered into a financial black hole. For two weeks I worked through all of my expenses – reviewing literally every purchase I’d made in the past year and sorting them into categories to see exactly where my money was going.
It was an intense and somewhat depressing process. When the bank statement and spreadsheet induced haze cleared I looked back over all the money I had spent that year. I realized that I was spending A LOT more than I had estimated. Worse yet, I was living well above my means; spending more than I was taking in.
My financial neglect had left me with about $7,000 in credit card debt in addition to the over $43,000 I had in student loans. I felt the weight of that debt on my shoulders. It was oppressive. It is oppressive.
I’ve got to get handle on this debt. Debt and fear of money holds so many creative people back. It’s a theme I hear over and over; it’s difficult to pursue creative passions and take creative chances when we have to make that huge loan payment every month.
Well, the good news is that since starting this financial journey in June I have made huge strides! In just two months I have created a budget that prioritizes my values, worked out a plan to pay off my credit cards by the end of 2016, and paid off over $1000 of that credit card debt.
I am on my way.
Today, I paid off one of my credit cards. You guys, it feels so good! A bit of that weight has been lifted off my chest. For the first time in my life I feel truly in control of my finances, and I am excited to use my money to fund the life of my dreams! Now, when I look at my bank account it brings me joy, not a sense of dread.
In next month’s financial update I am excited to share with you a few of the tools that I’m using to track my money and create this new sense of financial freedom.