Welcome to Between two debts! In this segment, I’ll ask a question every week and answers I receive will find their way here.
This week’s question was inspired by the following post from Zero Day Finance.
We all define success in different ways. There is usually that one moment where everything seems to click in your head.
What was the defining moment that put you on to the right path for you?
Graduation and starting my first job got me steered towards personal finance. I’d always been a saver, but now that I was “on my own” in the “real world”, I had to get serious about things. Now that I had my student loan bills coming due, but was also finally making good money at my first post-college job, I had to start tracking everything. I started putting some money away with my 401k as well. My main goal at that point: Get to a positive net worth. I knew it was going to take a while with all my college loans, but with tracking my spending, automating my saving, and sharing an apartment with 3 other roommates, I was making my way! Stephanie from – graduatedlearning.wordpress.com @StephTheBlogger
My defining moment was a month into my first job when I signed up for my mint account. As I set up goals (build an emergency fund, save for a trip, pay off student debt, etc), I realized that being debt free wasn’t that far away at all. I remember playing a lot with hypothetical contributions that day. ‘What if I crank it up to 300/month? 400? 500? More?’ That was the tipping point for me. I went from $200-300 a month to $1,000 a month, which shortened my debt length by years. It wasn’t hard to get used to the change; turns out I didn’t need as much discretionary spending as I was giving myself. I ended up averaging a $900 per month repayment throughout the course of my debt. The rest was history. Jane from cash-fasting.com @cashfasting
My own answer
I was driving home from the casino. I had lost again. I didn’t lose much, just a few hundred. But that few hundred took me a while to save. Not just because of my low income but because of all of the payments I was obligated to pay every month. I realized I was spinning my wheels financially and something needed to change. Ten months later, here we are. 🙂
That’s all for this week. Next week, there will be a new question and (hopefully) some fresh answers. Thanks for reading!