Two years ago, January 2015 to be exact, I restarted my debt repayment. I was beginning month number 3 at my current job. This was my first full-time position since I quit my old job in June of 2013. I was glad to be making enough money to start back putting extra towards debt finally.
I will be the first person to tell you that it was not the easiest thing to do at first. After only paying a little bit of money here and there for the last few years on some of the bills, it was a drastic change paying more money on them. It took a few months for me to get used to it. A few of those months, I didn’t put as much as I could have on certain loans. One was in deferment, and I didn’t start paying over $50 on it until the middle of 2016.
I was also still using my revolving credit (credit union loan) from time to time. When I logged into my credit union’s online dashboard, I the loan was there as well as my checking and savings accounts. I could easily transfer money from the loan to either of those accounts if I needed to. Unfortunately, I did that a few times in 2015.
My full-time job didn’t pay as much as I’d liked, so I knew that I had to find a side hustle. For the majority of 2015, the only side hustle that I was doing was eBay. Even though I was making over $200 for most months, it wasn’t enough to make a real dent in my debt. I was nervous, but I started freelancing in November of 2015. That helped me close out 2015 with a bang.
I started January with seven debts. By December, I had paid two of them off. I began 2015 with $72,703. 05 worth of debt. By December, I was down to $69,919.18. That was a decrease of $2783.87. I was all right with that being that 2015 was the first year of the debt repayment. I could have paid more, but I used some of my money to set up an emergency fund. I also had to pay several car expenses. I was fine how 2015 turned out.
I started 2016 with a freelance client. That was extra money that I didn’t have at the beginning of 2015. I liked having it. I was able to put more money on my debt. As always, something happened, though. I ended up having to get new tires a couple of months into the year. The good thing was that I used some money from my emergency fund. The bad thing was that I had to slow down on extra payments and put the money back in my emergency fund.
I also found a few more clients as well. I started $2016 with $69,919.18 in debt. I ended 2016 with $66,495.50. That was a decrease of $3423.68. I thought it would have been a little higher, but a lot of the payments that went towards one of my student loans only went towards the interest. The good thing was that I was able to pay off my Wells Fargo student loan and my Bank of America credit card. Those were two milestones for me right there. I only have four debts to go.
Have I gotten frustrated along the way?
Not really. I got myself in this predicament, and I will get myself out of it. There is nothing to be mad about. You live life, and you learn. I won’t make these mistakes again.
Right now I have momentum going in 2017. I had my largest debt decrease ever in February. I plan to keep that up. Also, I’ve made the decision to look for a higher paying job. My current job is cool, but earning more money is the best way to get rid of this debt. It will speed my debt repayment process up a lot. I’ve recently gotten into investing (shout out to Eric from The Black Market Exchange). I want to be able to put more money into that. The date that I want to have my debt paid is still October 17th, 2018. I’m not changing it. I just have to work harder and take these side hustles to another. It will be done.