Please raise your hand if you’ve ever tried to balance your bank account in your head. When you log on to find that you forgot about the one, two, okay three Starbuck’s runs, taco night and your reoccurring gym membership killing any chance at a balanced budget. I’ve been there longer than I’d like to admit and felt completely trapped by my overspending and bad money choices.
I decided to do an about face and became intentional with my money. This blog is my accountability partner. Knowing that being transparent about the hurdles that I face while paying off student loans can inspire someone else truly motivates me. So, grab a notepad, pen and dust off your calculator. We’re going to right this ship and live the abundant life we were meant to, together.
Having a plan is half the battle. Sticking to it is the true test. Here’s how I did it.
First, I put $1,000 in the savings account linked to my checking. This took me about 3 months to do. I sold an old phone, clothes, old toys and books to a local consignment shop and stopped going to the hair salon for 10 weeks.
Secondly, I stopped using my credit cards. Since I didn’t have a written budget it wasn’t uncommon for me to use my credit card to purchase gas or groceries. My mindset at that time was to accumulate points with everyday purchases. Not using the cards wasn’t easy. Even though I paid the balance in full each month using credit made it easier for me to cover the impulse purchases, thus spending money that I didn’t have in the bank.
Next, I listed each one of my debts in writing. I pulled my credit report from annualcreditreport.com to ensure there were no surprises. To my dismay there was misinformation contained in one of my reports so I had to write the credit bureau to investigate. More information on credit reporting can be found in my post about
Finally, I wrote out each one of my monthly bills to start my budget. Commenced a spending fast for 30 days and watched my checking account balance for the first time in a very long time.
Following a budget works when you decide to tell your money where to go versus your money controlling you.
By using the zero-based budgeting system you allocate every single dime to a category. If you have $30 or $30 Million Dollars a zero-based budgeting system will lead you to an abundant life. I learned these steps by attending Financial Peace University, a Dave Ramsey course that has helped more than 4.5 million people pay off millions in debt.
Abundant living is about living within your means, not having more than you need.
Do you have student loan or auto loan debt? What would you be able to do if you were debt free? Are you currently using a budget? Let us know below.