Tag Archives: debt free by 30

Our debt free by 30 plan – how we plan to get rid of our debt in less than two years

This post is our debt free by 30 plan!

In case you missed it, I recently declared we would be rid of debt by the time I’m 30.

Obviously the first question we asked ourselves was – how are we going to pull it off? It’s a huge stretch goal for us, but we’re motivated more than ever!

However, huge goals like this don’t just happen by accident. We had to come up with our debt free by 30 plan.

Our debt free by 30 plan

Our debt free by 30 plan

When it comes down to it, the only way we can be debt free by 30 is to pay more than the minimum payment toward our debt each and every month. Basically – we need to find more money.

In order to do this, we have to tackle the problem from two sides. Meaning the plan is to – 1) lower our expenses, and 2) increase our income.

Lower expenses

Lowering our expenses is the easier part of our debt free by 30 plan (in my opinion). Currently, we plan on tackling this side of the coin by:

  • Cutting gym membership costs in half

    • A month or so ago, I was a member at the Crunch gym that was closest to my office. Although the gym was relatively nice, I knew that I simply couldn’t keep paying that monthly cost while in debt.
    • The plan – I found a gym near our apartment for half of what I was paying for Crunch. I love it because it’s close to where I live and it has everything I need (basically, all I needed was a squat rack). Plus, it’s family-owned! #supportsmallbusinesses
  • Slicing our allowance money considerably

    • Juan and I combine our finances, but we do give each other an individual allowance every month that we get to use on whatever we want – no questions. While I do think that having an individual allowance is incredibly helpful when budgeting for two, it really isn’t helping us out of our current problem, which is our debt.
    • The plan – The both of us are spenders, through and through. So the plan is to slice our allowance money by more than half. We decided not to completely eliminate this from our budget because I’m a firm believer in allowing yourself some “fun money” in your budget, even if it’s a measly amount.
  • Spending less on eating out

    • Going out to eat is one of our biggest budget busters. We love trying new food and exploring our area for new restaurants and happy hours. Unfortunately, this habit directly affects how much we can pay toward our debt.
    • The plan – we are planning on going out to eat only once per week. This is a huge decrease from when we would go out almost 3-5 times a week. I’ve already started taking homemade lunches to work and on the days when I forget to do so, I simply make myself a PB&J sandwich which is free at my office.

Increase income

As helpful as lowering expenses can be, there can only be so much you can do to cut your expenses. That’s why part of our debt free by 30 plan is going to focus a lot of energy on increasing our income. Although this isn’t as easy as cutting costs, earning more has unlimited potential.

  • Building our online presence

    • With this new #debtfreeby30 challenge, I’ve consequently triggered a revival of this blog. I’ve also started a YouTube channel under Lisa vs. the Loans in hopes that I can teach about personal finance in my own unique way. My husband has also started his own YouTube channel, JustUrAvgNerd (it spells out JUAN, get it? ;)), which currently has tutorials on making custom Funko Pops.
    • The plan – for transparency’s sake: building our online presence opens up money-making opportunities to us – income from potential sponsors, affiliate links, and advertising are some ways we could make money online. We know this requires a ton of work – building an audience is especially difficult and can be time-consuming – but it is something that we’re truly interested in.
      • For the record – I’m not looking for just any company to sponsor me or for me to be an affiliate of. I’m only looking for opportunities that align with who I am and what this blog stands for.
  • Buying and selling

    • I’ve been reading a lot about how everyday people buy items on clearance from local stores, sell on eBay or even Amazon at market value, and make a considerable amount of money doing so. It almost seems too good to be true, but we won’t know until we actually try it out.
    • The plan – to start this venture, we’re going to start selling some clothes/books/other unwanted things around our apartment first. Then the money we make on those items will be split between debt paydown and being set aside for purchasing items at local stores to eventually sell online.

 

We have a ton of other ideas on increasing our income, but these are the two we are going to be focusing on in these first few months.

So there it is – the plan that will (hopefully) lead us to become debt free by 30! It’s ambitious, it requires a ton of work, but as I said – we are highly motivated!

I’m sure we will be revisiting this plan every other month or so, just to see if these things are actually bringing us closer to our goal to be debt free by 30.

What did your plan look like when you were getting out of debt? How did you lower your expenses and/or increase your income?

AMDG,
Lisa

The state of our debt – April 2017

This post wasn’t easy to write.

In fact, I’ve been dreading it for months.

But in my recent declaration of becoming debt free by 30, I promised to document our journey to becoming debt free on this blog – including the ugly numbers.

So, here we go…

The state of our debt – April 2017 – $51,605.19

As of April 1, 2017, we are $51,605.19 in debt. And that ain’t no April Fools joke.

Alright, alright – let me have it! I can already hear the groans, the disappointment, the eye rolls all the way from here! I know, our debt is unbelievable to me, especially because I can read back to a previous post on this blog where I’m literally describing how close I am to debt-freedom. *sigh*

Life moves fast, y’all.

The state of our debt – April 2017 breakdown

Let’s get into what kind of debt we’re in. Here’s our breakdown:

State of our debt - April 2017

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

  • Credit cards – $21,055.37
  • Student loans – $23,316.26
  • Car loan – $7,233.56

The state of our debt – April 2017 updates and notes

  • Even though all of our non-mortgage debt fits into three categories, it is made up of fifteen different loans (see below).
  • We have decided to tackle our debt using the debt avalanche method. This means we’re paying the minimum payment on all of our debt and any overage is going to the debt with the highest interest rate. The order of the payoff of these 15 loans is as follows: State of our debt April 2017
  • I mentioned in my first post of debt free by 30 that we can only afford the minimum payments on our debt. Well, this month, we’re vowing on throwing an extra $200 to Credit Card #1. It’s not as big of a dent as I’d like, but it’s a start. Hopefully next month we can pay off Credit Card #2 completely.

*Deep breath* Alright. There it is – all of our debt in its ugly, all-consuming entirety. The first step is acceptance and knowing your numbers. Well, $51,605.19 is our number.

We’ve got a lot of work to do.

AMDG,
Lisa

Debt free by 30 – our new goal

Today is my 28th birthday and today I’m calling it – I will be debt free by 30!

Debt free by 30 – our new goal

I think Juan and I are finally ready to start fully attacking our debt. Debt free by 30 is our mantra for the next 2 years and I’m committing to blogging all about it!

Debt free by 30 means getting rid of all of our non-mortgage debt by the time my 30th birthday rolls around. This also means staying out of debt once and for all!

I’ve been MIA on this blog mainly because we have been moving, travelling, and getting over sickness. But all throughout these past few months, Juan and I have been talking and talking about how we’re sick and tired of sending our hard-earned money to someone else. Well – now we’re sick and tired of talking about it! It’s time to finally do it!

Debt free by 30

Debt free by 30 – the why

Why is it so important for us to be debt free by 30? First of all, for me at least, our debt gives me anxiety. I worry about not being able to make the payments if one or both of us were to lose our jobs.

Secondly, there are so many things Juan and I would love to do (such as travel, invest more time in our hobbies, and saving more for our retirement), but instead of saving up for these things, we’re throwing money at our debt.

Overall, becoming debt free by 30 will allow us to say “yes” to more things we actually want to experience and “no” to things we are simply doing just to make our debt payments.

Debt free by 30 – the challenges

Debt free by 30 will be a huge challenge for us. First of all, we have a ton of debt! More on the actual numbers later. Secondly, we’ve got some other non-debt financial goals this year we want to crush.

Lastly, we only have enough room to pay the minimum on our non-mortgage debt. Paying the minimum on our debt will have us debt free in approximately 5 years – by then I’ll be 33 and although “debt free by 33” does roll off the tongue better, I still prefer to be debt free by 30. The sooner, the better!

Debt free by 30 – the how

Obviously, we won’t be debt free by 30 if we’re paying the minimum payments on our debt – that’s simply not going to cut it. So, first thing’s first – we’re going to commit to pay more than the minimum each month.

The second thing we are committing to is increasing our income. We are both your average 9-5ers with decent income for our location, but we need more if we want to truly be debt free by 30. So we’re going to commit to build a side hustle or two with the goal of the extra money going immediately to our debt.

Debt free by 30 – accountability

At work, we have these things called “BHAGs” which stands for Big Hairy Audacious Goals. That’s what becoming debt free by 30 is for us – it’s big, it’s hairy, and it’s incredibly audacious.

The only way we can conquer this BHAG is to continually track our progress these next couple of years. That’s where this blog will come in. I hope to update the blog with our debt progress monthly as well as any updates on our side income. I’m also hoping to post more vlog-style updates on the Lisa vs. the Loans Youtube channel.

Debt free by 30 – who’s with us?

I know we’re not alone. If you haven’t turned 30 yet and are sick and tired of your debt, feel free to join us! I want to hear all about your goals and would love it if we can all encourage each other in this effort.

Take the Debt Free by 30 pledge with me and don’t forget to follow me for updates on this BHAG of ours!

AMDG,
Lisa