Getting Back on Track to Pay Off Student Loans

This is a transparency post.

I have strayed away from my money goals recently and it has been a struggle to get back on track. In March and April, I was just swiping my credit card left and right. 

I just finally paid off the credit card balance I racked up. My balance had gotten into the 1,000s. It was crazy.  Luckily, I paid the balance in full before interest was assessed. However, I could not put money in my savings account and had to use it to pay my credit card balance. I am not proud of that. It will never happen again. 

I choose to get back on my A-game. I need to come with a plan to tackle my student loans. My first step is figuring out how I got off track to begin with. 

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Spring-Time Fine with New Sephora Purchases

Press Waffle Co. Brunch at Legacy Hall
Press Waffle Co. at Legacy

Yesterday, my friend and I graced Sephora with our presence and our money lol. We started the day with brunch at Press Waffle Co. in Legacy Hall. The food was delicious. I got the Southern Belle Waffle which I 10/10 recommend. 

Then, we took a detour to Sephora to get some products.

Now that spring and summertime are approaching, I am committing myself to get out of the house more and enjoy the vibes.  I am so happy that the vaccines are out. Once I get vaccinated, I will feel more comfortable going out. It is crazy to think that we have been stuck in the house for a year. I hear the roof-top bars calling me all spring and summer long. 

This season I want to spend more energy up-leveling my look, so I purchased some makeup and skin-care products to enhance my look. I have always admired women who can effortlessly slay their makeup. One day, I am going to get to that level, so I am going to start now. 

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Pick Yourself and Try Again

Notice: I wrote this article a year or so ago, but I still think it is worth sharing. Around this time, I had just started to get back on my feet after getting my full-time job after a season of uncertainty. Let’s take a jump into November-December 2019.

Okay, first off let me start by saying I apologize for going MIA. I have just been overwhelmed by the number of changes that I have occurred in my life since August 2019. Most of them really good except for the fact I damaged my big toe (it no longer bends anymore and got a cyst on my shoulder (which is so ugly to look at), I am trying not to stress over it. I will be honest those two things are making me really sad. However, there has been some good news.

In case you are wondering where I have been the last four months. Here is what I have been up to:

1. I got my First FT job

Ya’ll I got my first FT job. I got this job back in August right when I was planning to move back to SC because my job search was proving to be unsuccessful. At the very last minute, like I was literally coordinating with my parents my trip back home, I recieved an email stating that I got the job meaning that I could spend more time in Dallas. YESSSSSSS! God came through. So I am still getting used to my new job and adjusting to the culture but I am so thankful to have this opportunity,

2. I work two jobs

I currently work at my FT job (during the week) and my part-time job at a retail store (on the weekend). It is a lot but it makes me feel secure financially just in case something were to happen. Initially, I only planned to keep my part-time until my probationary period ended for my FT job. However, I realized that having the part-time job can provide me with some extra income to meet my financial goals. So ya girl is managing the two job life. (In reality, the two jobs are managing me.)

3. I got my first one-bedroom apartment

This is by far the new change to my life that I am most excited about. I have my own apartment all to myself. I wish that I did not have to handle this rent bill all by myself but I guess I will take. The apartment search was a thing but now I have an apartment that I can decorate and turn into my safe haven which is pretty great.

4. I GOT RID OF MY CREDIT CARD DEBT

Honestly, I do not know how I racked up about $2,000 in credit card debt but I did in such a short amount of time. So, when I got my FT job eliminating my credit card debt was a must because paying interest is a no, like a HECK NO. So I recently paid that off in November and I couldn’t be happier. Now, the biggest challenge is to not let that happen again.

Creating Monthly Financial Milestones Will Keep You Motivated

In April 2020, I started creating monthly financial goals to accompany my budget to help me stay motivated. There is something about being able to cross out the goals that you have achieved at the end of the month.

The reason creating these goals can be super beneficial is because it gives you something to strive for. When you create a budget, it is easy for that information to become just numbers on a page. By creating these goals you can accomplish by sticking to your budget it switches something in your brain and makes your budget more meaningful and tangible.

Over the past 11 months, I have really come to the understanding that getting your finances in order takes a lot of mental work. It’s not the math that we get stuck on but our emotional relationship with money that causes us to make poor decisions or stay in the same cycle.

The Importance of Creating Financial Goals

By creating financial goals on a monthly basis it gives you a way to give yourself a pat on the back. You will have all of these goals that you accomplished or came close to accomplishing written down that explicitly shows how your budget has helped you make small strides to reaching your overarching goal.

How to Create Financial Goals

For instance, if you want to travel to Africa in the next 10 months and you know that it will cost $2,000 for the overall trip then you will need to save $200 a month. So every month you can write on your monthly goal I need to save $200 for my trip to Africa. Everytime you successful do this check it off on your goal for the month.

And your goals do not have to be specifically tailored to saving money. If you know there are some challenges to reaching that monthly savings goal like eating out. A goal for yourself for that month could be “I am not eating out for this month” or “I will only eat out a max of 3 times or spend a $100 on eating out.

I recommend that you create a max. of 3 goals so that you don’t overwhelm yourself. These goals should be your priority for the month. Anything more is extra.