If you’ve been following me via social media, or are a part of my private Facebook community, then you may be aware that I am on a journey to becoming debt free! My journey with finances have been up and down over the past few years and frankly, I’m ready to get off the roller coaster! I don’t want to owe anyone and more importantly, I want to pass down healthy money habits to my children. I am breaking the cycle of living check to check, owing others, and living beyond my means! Financially, I was not taught much about money and it shows, but it stops with me! Financial freedom will be mine and a part of my legacy!
This month- in January alone, I am proud to say I have paid off almost 2K toward debt alone! As a mama on a single income, this was no easy feat. This was only debt which includes my car loan, credit cards, personal loans and more!
And let me tell you, that shit was hard! In addition to money going towards debt, I still had basic living expenses. I mean food easily costs a few hundred a month! Electricity bill, water bill, car insurance, cell phone, other house expenses, my sons expenses- you name it!
￼As hard as it was, I’m sure I could have paid down more. I’m not perfect or afraid to admit that I do make random purchases (hello amazon) or sometimes spend more than I budgeted for. I know over time it will get better.
I use a few different methods and follow different influencers to help me on my journey. The biggest is Kumiko Love AKA The budget mom. Using her budgeting by paycheck method has helped me tremendously. In addition, she’s uses cash envelopes as Dave Ramsey does so he’s on my list as well. Back when I was buying my home, I had huge success with some of the methods from Patrice Washington. Most recently I began watching Jordan Page on YouTube. I love that by taking tips from all these different influencers, I can tweak their methods and make them my own. As one influencer may not fit all my needs, I am doing what is best for me- and it is working!
To list a few, here are some basic changes I’ve made initially to be able to put more money towards debt:
1 No cable. I pay for Hulu and Disney plus and my sister pays for Netflix… yeah she slid me that password lol
2 Using cash! I always said I didn’t like cash because I would spend it too quickly. That couldn’t be the furthest from the truth! I would swipe my card like I was balling! If I have cash, I’m more inclined to spend it on what I allotted it for (I’ll explain the cash spending system another time)
3 Unsubscribing from promotional emails! Those “sale” emails are easy click bait! Next thing you know I have a cart full and spending money I could be saving or putting towards bills/debt!
4 Sustainability. This is still a work in progress. I try to use things I can use over and over again. ￼I recently got a reusable Kcup that I use ground coffee in. It saves me from buying Kcups that I use once and throw away. Speaking of coffee, I just became a coffee drinker a few months ago. With this, I make my coffee at home! This also saves a ton!
5 As I make my sons lunch everyday, I was going through ziplock baggies like crazy. I now use bento style lunch boxes. I also have tupperwear containers. I haven’t bought ziplock bags since school began this past August!
This lunchbox is called bentgo kids. We also have an omnibox which includes a thermos (he often takes hot food) and a few yum boxes! Let me know if you need links to any of these lunchboxes!
I know that with a little more discipline, I can pay off more debt, save more and be debt free in no time! I will be sharing with you each month how much I paid off and changes to my lifestyle that allows me to do so! Feel free to join me on this journey! There’s nothing like having accountability partners! Also share with me some ways you are able to save or pay down debt!
Don’t forget to join my private group on Facebook group where I share a more detailed experience! Link here 👉🏾 https://www.facebook.com/groups/1813377328986490/?ref=share
Modern Day Black Mama
Keara L. Elam