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I may be the only one that feels this way, but 2018 flew by. I feel like I was just ringing in 2018 and here we are in 2019 already. Where did the time go?? 2018 was a crazy year with lots of changes in my finances.
I went into the year with intense focus to pay off my debt as fast as possible. I made huge sacrifices and worked lots of side jobs to try to get my debt free date to be closer and closer. That was my plan for 2019, until June when my car once again had issues that needed to be fixed.
I switched gears and started cash flowing for a new to me car because my car had so many issues in warranty that I was nervous to keep it out of warranty. All of those costs would have fallen on me once it was out of warranty. So, I spent a few months cash flowing to that fund and paid minimums on my debt.
Then I realized that instead of getting a new to me car, I would just keep this as a car sinking fund and keep my car for as long as I could. This has so far worked out really well for me. I have a large sinking fund that I have already used a few times to fix my car.
I ended the year back in hyper focus to pay off my debt. In November, I hit my 3 year date of being on my debt free journey and managed to pay off $105k on my teaching salary. I added side jobs and have been working diligently to increase my income to pay off my debt as fast as possible. My debt holds me back from so much and I can’t wait until it no longer prevents me from doing things. I also finally wrote my ebook in 2018 that outlines how to master your finances as a twenty something, I share all my tips and tricks in it!
The things I did to pay off so much debt in 2018
If you’ve been following my journey, then you know that I have had the same salary from my teaching job since 2016. It’s hard to be on a debt free journey and not have your main source of income even come close to matching the rate of inflation. Fortunately, I didn’t let this stop me. I decided to work a before and after school program to supplement my income.
Yes, this takes away from my own time and extends my school day, but it’s worth it when it’s adding a significant amount to my income. This does take away time from my side hustles and free time, but I know that this is all temporary.
Also, I have been slowly decluttering my space and selling the things that are worth it. It’s not much, but it has added up to about $300 total. Of course, I continue to work my side jobs of tutoring and babysitting, I really committed to babysitting this year and it has definitely paid off.
One of the biggest moves I made was refinancing my high interest private student loans from 7% to 4.97%. My monthly minimum payment increased, but the amount I will pay in interest decreased. If you’re considering refinancing, check out my post that outlines how you can make the decision if it’s right for you!
My plan for 2019 to pay off debt
2019 is going to be such an exciting year for me, I can’t wait to see where it takes me. I am planning to do everything I can to lower my expenses and increase my income until June. I’ll do this by following a strict budget, you can find the template I use here. My goal is to get as close to paying off my private loans as I can before July.
The reality is that I won’t be able to completely pay off this loan before July, the numbers just don’t add up. But, I want to get as close as possible because I am planning to move out in July and my private loans carry a hefty $865/month minimum payment. If I can get this out of my budget, it will make it much more affordable to move out.
Also, I am planning to find a new job in June and I can’t wait to see where that takes me. I’m so excited to start something new and see what I can do in a new role. This also means that I have so many things in my budget that are totally up in the air once July hits. Normally, this would totally freak me out, but I’m so excited for it!
The first 6 months of 2019 will be all about sticking to a very tight budget and sending all extra money to my debt. I plan to find more ways to increase my income, declutter my space to prepare to move out, and enjoy every minute of this year making memories with loved ones. What do you plan to accomplish in 2019?