Day 2 of Blogmas has arrived! And it’s here to stay awhile so sit back, get your reading glasses ready for the tale that has yet to be told. Well, this isn’t so much of a story. Maybe it is, but it’s a rather sad story lol.
I have mentioned here at Precarious Aquarius that I want to make more posts regarding debt, budgeting, and financial wellness. No, I am not a professional. Unless you’re talking about the amazing amount of debt that I have acquired. This post is going to talk about the type of debt I am in and how I am planning to pay it off and become debt free!
You may be wondering, “Dani, how can you be in debt? You’re only 23!” Well you can get a credit card and go into the military at 18 years old, you can sign up for student loans, you can buy a house, a gun, you name it here in the U.S. of A. People (creditors) WANT you to take their money and pay them back… eventually. There is such a thing as revolving debt for a reason. If you’re only paying the minimums each month and you have to acquire new debt to keep surviving, that is what you call someone with revolving debt. Just slowly keeping the wheel moving so that it don’t stop.
Folks. This is gonna get real. These are real numbers. This is and should be a judgement free zone. I have and am learning from my mistakes. Now quick disclaimer, I had a gambling addiction since I was 18 years old and I only quit gambling in 2020. So in almost five years, I have gambled nearly or maybe even six figures. No, I am not six figures in debt (thank the Lord!) but trying to financially recover from all the credit card advances and personal loans that I took out to afford my addiction took a toll on my credit score and my wallet.
Again, only love in the comments.
Amount of Debt
Student loans: $699.00
Personal Loans: $5,875.00
Credit cards: $6,203.00
Loan not on my credit report: $3, 475.00
Grand Total: $41,152.00
I feel like I need to justify my spending, but 95% of my debt is related to my gambling habits when I did gamble. A lot of people tell me I should sell my 2017 Kia Sportage fully loaded to get out from under so much of my debt. I would in a heartbeat except when I got my DUI in the beginning of this year, I totaled the side of my vehicle to the point that there were no door handles. It was bad. It is repaired now, but it severely impacted what I could sell my car for which is roughly $14,000 which still leaves me with a $10,000 loan and no vehicle to drive. Not worth it.
So what am I going to do?
My payments for minimums are roughly $1,600 a month for everything. I gotta make more than that take home pay to live and buy groceries. I am currently jobless. I took out a personal loan of $1,975 when I first became jobless. A month later and that is all gone so I had to borrow more money from my parents and have resulted to selling my belongings. I have a lot of things I don’t need like my gaming console so I sold that for $275 for a little money in my pocket. It bought me time, that’s all this is doing until I get a call back about my interview.
Fortunately Christmas time is the best time to sell belongings because people are purchasing things for Christmas. It is a win win and when I get my feet back under me, I can repurchase these things if I decide I need them.
So what is the plan?
I am just going to work the baby steps of the Dave Ramsey method. First step being save a $1,000 emergency fund for situations like mine. Had I had any savings, maybe I could have held off on that loan. Next step is to use the debt snowball method to pay off debt.
The debt snowball method is putting the minimum payment at your smallest amount of debt and throwing whatever extra you can at that debt. Once that is paid off, pay the minimum of the bigger debt and add the minimum payment of the former debt as well. For example, my two lowest credit card debts are $135 and $300. Both minimum payments are $30 so if I have $55 extra a month to put toward debt, I would pay $85 to my smaller debt and once that is paid off, you would put that $85, plus the $30 minimum toward the $300 debt until it is paid off. And so on.
It is not the most cost effective way to pay off debt because your smallest debt maybe doesn’t have the highest interest rate. However, this is a good method if you need small victories to keep you motivated to continue to pay more debt off.
I plan to work on both of these steps simultaneously. Maybe that isn’t the most effective way since I am spreading myself too thin, but we shall see. I will have a better idea of my debt repayment schedule once I go back to work and earn steady income.
Well this was liberating and terrifying all at the same time! LOL. Much love to you on your debt free journey. Keep your chin up this holiday season.
For any questions or comments, feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.