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
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.
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.
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?