A girl with a plan
*This post contains Amazon Affiliate Links
So I've been talking about my year of change and my goals to improve my life. And thus far things are going really well. I've been kicking ass with my bullet journal, creating some pages that will visually show me where I am on my debt snowball. I have my habit tracker in place so I can see where I'm falling down every month. (A clear and epic winner in the fall down category is my goal to write more.)
My point is that for the first time in a long time I see a light at the end of the tunnel. I know now what my plan is and how I'm going to get there. I'm not so stressed. I spend more time with my family. I sleep better.
Goals are just dreams with a time limit and a dollar sign, right? Well, this girl has got some GOALS.
I know I keep promising to share what I'm doing and how I'm doing it. Well, today is the day I start that journey with you.
Step One - STOP CHARGING. I performed plastic surgery on my wallet. I cut up all of my credit cards so I wouldn't be tempted to use them anymore and I keep them in a jar on my desk to remind me of the goal. It was way harder than I thought it would be. I may have actually cried, even though most of them are maxed out and unusable at this point anyway. It's a difficult thing to let go of a crutch you've leaned on for decades. But guess what, the breath I exhaled as I wiped the tears away was the biggest I've ever sighed. It was hard, it was scary, and it was so fucking liberating. I will never again pay tomorrow for bullshit I thought I needed today. Dave Ramsey says in Total Money Makeover"we all spend money on things we don't need to impress people we don't even like". Isn't that the truth?
Step Two - Move to cash. This one is a big shift for me. Even more so than cutting my cards. I just never carry cash. Twelve maxed out credit cards, for sure. But cash? Haven't you seen that Visa commercial about assholes using cash and needing change screwing up the flow of commerce? First of all, obviously that's not true. No one has ever looked at me funny for using cash. My husband exclusively uses cash for purchases. (Of course, he still writes hard copy checks to pay his bills, AND MAILS THEM WITH A STAMP! so what does he know?) Again, loving the Dave Ramsey method, I made some super cute cash envelopes to keep in my wallet. In fact, I loved them so much I started making them to sell on my Etsy shop. Speaking of my Etsy shop...
Step Three - Make more money. Most people could be comfortable if they lived within their means. But some of us really are struggling, and turned to credit cards not for designer shoes and vacations we should have saved for, but for groceries, gas and keeping the lights on. I not only work full time at a day job, and write books, but I also edit and copy edit on the side. But since I can't rely on payments to come in on time, or for people to have actually bought my books, I needed to find yet ANOTHER side hustle. In addition to adding affiliate links to my blog (no one endorses me and I don't recommend anything I don't use myself,) I also reopened my Etsy shop to try to make a little extra cash to get me through. I try really, really hard not to buy new stuff to put up there, instead using the stockpiles of craft supplies that have been amassed over the years instead. I have washi tape samples, some vintage toys that have been collecting dust around my house, and the aforementioned cash envelopes so you can start your own cash system. The envelopes are cool because they are small enough to fit in your wallet and I try to keep them inexpensive since I don't want you spending a lot of money on frivolous things either. In fact, with the amount of time it takes to make the envelopes, I'm probably undercharging, but whatever. I do it at night and it helps me unwind instead of browsing t-shirt sales online.
So there are my first three steps to financial freedom. I'll be back soon with my next set of tips and tricks for paying down my debt and turning my life around