Debt free by 30 progress – June 2017

Here is our debt free by 30 progress for June 2017!

Debt free by 30 progress – June 2017

debt free by 30 progress - june 2017

As of June 1, 2017, we are $49,716.72 in debt – a $675.14 decrease from May 2017.

Not going to lie – we didn’t make as much progress as we wanted to this month. But alas, a decrease is a decrease.

Debt free by 30 progress – June 2017 breakdown

Here is the breakdown of our debt for June 2017:

debt free by 30 progress - june 2017

Per the chart above, our debt breakdown as of June 1, 2017 is as follows:

  • Car loan – $6,522.79 (down from $6,871.30 last month)
  • Credit cards – $20,255.55 (down from $20,390.82 last month)
  • Student loans – $22,938.38 (down from $23,129.74 last month)

Here’s a breakdown of our debts on an account level:

debt free by 30 progress - june 2017

Debt free by 30 progress – June 2017 updates and notes

  • This is our smallest decrease in debt yet. Granted this is only our second month doing these monthly updates, but still – seeing less than $1k of progress doesn’t feel any good.
    • Also, we made negative progress on Credit Cards #2 and #5. Rookie mistake – we paid these bills a day late. #facepalm
  • The plus side is we’re under $50k of debt officially! Even though we didn’t make as big of a dent as we should have this month, seeing the numbers go from $50k+ to $49k+ did feel the tiniest bit satisfying. Now to get to $48k… then $40k… then $20k… you get the picture 🙂 Baby steps, people!
  • On the side income front, nothing really happened this month. I listed some clothing items on eBay in May (see the vlog here) and was completely discouraged when nothing sold in May. But right when June 2nd hit (the day after I gathered all these numbers for an update), I got my first sale! And shortly after, my second! It was definitely a lesson in patience.
    • In addition to eBay sales, we are going to try our hand at selling with Amazon FBA. This will be our side income experiment of the month. We budgeted a couple hundred dollars this month to see what kind of return we can get with this. Will keep you guys posted!

In short – not the best month in my opinion. However, the rest of June still awaits and I’m hoping to do some real damage!

How did you do with your debt this month?

AMDG,
Lisa

Vlog – selling my clothes, farmers market haul, and deals to meals

Hi all!

Check out my very first vlog on my Youtube channel: Lisa vs. the Loans!

Selling my clothes, farmers market haul, and deals to meals

The other weekend, I sorted through my clothes to figure out which ones to sell – you know, since I’m on that #debtfreeby30 kick. I’ve included one of my main tips on figuring out which clothes to sell.

How to figure out which clothes to sell

Basically – one day, you hang everything in your closet reverse (you’ll see in the video what I mean).

Then, each time you use a clothing item and hang it back in the closet, you hang it the normal way. After a few months, you’ll start to notice which items in your closet aren’t actually being used.

I did this when Juan and I moved out in January. It’s been an easy way to keep track of which items of clothing I normally reach for.

The vlog also follows us as we check out the farmers market that’s right downstairs from us as well as our first time trying out Deals to Meals!

Make sure you check it out and like/subscribe so you don’t miss out on any future vlogs on Lisa vs. the Loans.

Where do you normally sell your excess clothes? 

AMDG,
Lisa

Debt Free by 30 Progress – May 2017

Here is our debt free by 30 progress for May 2017!

Some bloggers have income reports, I have my debt report 🙂

Debt free by 30 progress – May 2017

debt free by 30 progress may 2017

As of May 1, 2017, we are $50,391.86 in debt – a $1,213.33 decrease from April 2017!

We’ve made a small dent in our debt free by 30 progress in this first month. It’s not exactly where we need to be, but it’s a great start I think.

Debt free by 30 progress – May 2017 breakdown

Here is our breakdown of our debt for May:

debt free by 30 progress may 2017

Per the chart above, our debt breakdown as of May 1, 2017 is as follows:

  • Car loan – $6,871.30 (down from $7,233.56 last month)
  • Credit cards – $20,390.82 (down from $21,055.37 last month)
  • Student loans – $23,129.74 (down from $23,316.26 last month)

 

Here’s a breakdown of our debts on an account level:

debt free by 30 progress may 2017

Debt free by 30 progress – May 2017 updates and notes

  • Juan received his yearly bonus last month, so we put that to good use (see next bullet point)!
  • We’ve completely eliminated Credit Card #1 last month! This is great because last month I predicted that we could only throw an extra $200 to our avalanche. Instead, we made it work and we’ve paid off the $500+ balance on CC#1! Woo hoo – bye Felicia 27.99%!
  • As far as side income goes, we haven’t really started quite yet. However, this month we are planning on selling a bunch of our clothes and other items around the house online. Probably on eBay, but if you’ve got a suggestion on where we could sell that you find is better than eBay  – let me know in the comments!

All in all – so far, so good. Paying off Credit Card #1 entirely was a great motivation boost! Also, I know exactly what we need to work on (cough SIDE INCOME cough).

Let’s do this!

AMDG,
Lisa

Best budget for beginners – the 50-30-20 method

Whenever I think of the best budget for beginners, I always think of the 50-30-20 budget.

Maybe I’m biased because it was my first budget when I graduated from college. But in all honesty, I think this method is a great one to start with no matter how old you are or what situation you’re in.

best budget for beginners

Best budget for beginners – the 50-30-20 method

I made a video on my Youtube channel about the 50-30-20 budget where I go over what it is, what I like about it, and even what I don’t like about it.

You can find out why I think the 50-30-20 method is the best budget for beginners below:

What is the 50-30-20 method?

The 50-30-20 budget suggests that you spend your money as follows:

  • 50% to your needs

    • Your needs are basically your expenses that you have to pay in order for your basic needs to be met.
    • For example:
      • Rent/mortgage payment
      • Minimum payments on your debt
      • Groceries
      • Electricity/utilities/water bills
  • 30% to your wants

    • This is exactly what it sounds like – you get 30% to spend on whatever you want!
    • For example:
      • Hobbies
      • Entertainment/going out
      • Eating out
  • 20% to savings

    • Your savings range from short-term to long-term. Basically, this amount is going towards taking care of the future you.
    • For example:
      • Emergency savings
      • Retirement contributions
      • Big purchases: car, house, etc.

Why is the 50-30-20 method the best budget for beginners?

So, why do I think the 50-30-20 method is the best budget for beginners?

  • It’s simple

    • When you’re putting together your very first budget, you want it to be simple. Anything complicated will just overwhelm you and make you want to give up on a budget entirely.
    • You only have to categorize your expenses into 3 categories: wants, needs, or savings. Again – this simplifies tracking your spending, which can be a daunting task in and of itself.
  • You have room for your ‘wants’

    • For some reason, the personal finance space gets a bad rap for telling others that you shouldn’t be spending on wants at all. This simply isn’t true – allowing yourself to spend on wants can keep you sane while you’re on a budget, making it a more sustainable change.
    • When beginners immediately cut out all fun spending, it can be helpful at first. However, in the long run, doing so can lead to resentment which might lead to uncontrollable spending later on. Allowing yourself to have room for wants in your budget allows you to put a cap on how much you can spend each month while still making progress on other parts of your finances.
  • The guidelines can serve as markers of your financial health

    • When categorizing your expenses into the three categories (needs, wants, savings), you can instantly see whether you’re doing well with your finances or not.
    • For instance, if your needs constantly fall at or below the 50% mark, you know you’re on the right track. However, if your needs are considerably above the 50% mark, you know you need to zone in on that category and make some changes.

Why is the 50-30-20 method not for everybody?

  • It may be too general

    • Yes, I mentioned its simplicity as a plus. But it might actually be too simple for some.
    • There are just some expenses that might not fit into a need, want, or savings category. Instead, you may want to get more specific with your spending categories.
  • Your goals don’t align with the 50-30-20 split

    • The 50-30-20 method is a great beginner’s budget, particularly to keep your finances in balance. However, if your finances aren’t balanced to begin with, the 50-30-20 split might not be ideal for the moment.
    • For example, 30% allocated to your wants might be way too much, especially if you’re deep in debt. Instead, you might want to lower your wants budget temporarily so you can throw extra money at your debt.

Even though it’s not a perfect method, I still think that the 50-30-20 budget is the best budget for beginners.

Have you ever done the 50-30-20 method before or are you doing it right now? What do you think of it?

AMDG,
Lisa
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