Road to Financial Freedom Part IV

A lot has changed on our debt free journey. Here's an update on where we are now.

Journey Update

What’s up guys? It’s been over a year since our last update. Yikes! Sorry for the long delay. We recently went below the six figure mark! This was really big for us. To see only five digits now shows us that we really are making progress. As of right now we owe $96,361.15. That’s $21,377.30 paid off since our last update, and $26,138.71 paid off since we started. We have also paid off six more loans (eight down, twelve more to go). So much has happened since our last update, so let’s dive into the details.

Something Had To Change

2019 was a very rough year for us financially. Because of the demotion that I had in February of that year, we weren’t able to make that much of a dent for the majority of the year. From February to August, we both spent a lot of time trying to find a new job. Neither one of us was working in a field that we went to school for, so we weren’t making a lot compared to what we could be making. I went to school for IT, but I was working a customer service job (the position that I had been demoted from was an IT job). Shannell went to school for communications, but was working a social media job. We felt if we both could get a job in our field, that we could finally get over the hump and attack these loans fast. The thing was, we couldn’t get a job. Application after application, we weren’t getting any callbacks. It was extremely frustrating to say the least. Something had to change, or we were gonna be stuck in this position for years. In August, I finally took the leap and started my own web design business. That brought in some extra money right away, but it still wasn’t enough. Sallie Mae, our biggest debt, was about to be due again. We had been deferring her for a year, because the minimum monthly payment was outrageous—almost $800! What’s worse is that our loan had grown by $6,000 over that 12 month period. The interest rate was ridiculous! We tried to defer again, but they denied us. They managed to lower our interest rate significantly, and even lowered our minimum payment to $385. Even with all of that, we still weren’t making enough to pay it all. We had to take an alternative route, so we decided to get part-time jobs. This wasn’t the easiest decision to make since we were still newlyweds. If each of us worked a part-time job, it would take away a lot of our time together. But if we remained doing the same thing we were doing, we wouldn’t be able to live the life we truly desired. Being financially free was a huge goal for us. Money is the number one issue married couples argue about, and it is also one of the top reasons for divorce. In order to be financially free and avoid the money fights, we had to get rid of this debt fast. Shannell took a part-time job substituting elementary school kids, and I took a part-time job delivering pizzas.  

Work, Work, Work, Work, Work

We saw results immediately. We managed to pay off another loan within the first month of us working. All of that working was quite an adjustment to get used to though. We were both working about 3-4 days a week. Our days would be very long; work our full-time job in the daytime, and work our part-time job at night. A lot of times our day wouldn’t be over until midnight, which caused us to be very tired in the beginning. We had to be more intentional about making time with each other. Before working these jobs, we always had a designated day of the week for date nights. Now it’s just whenever we are free. If we’re both off, or if we have free time before work, we make time for each other.

Because of this, a lot of our dates are spur of the moment. It hasn’t been easy, but it has definitely been worth it. I used to always hear Dave Ramsey tell his listeners to go deliver pizzas to help get out of debt fast. He would say how you could easily make an extra $1500 a month by doing it on the side. I honestly never believed him, but he was right. I’ve hit that number and even gone a little higher almost every month since I’ve been doing it. And the crazy thing is, it’s literally the easiest job I’ve ever worked. One of the things that has been a challenge for me delivering pizzas, is seeing people that I know. I’ve seen family members, people from college, and even people from church while I’ve been at work. What are you doing working here? Didn’t you go to college? Oh y'all must really be struggling! You’re a disappointment! Now they may not even be thinking those thoughts, but that’s just how I see it when I see them. I then remember why I’m doing it and the overall goal. I’m there to change our family tree and make the pathway to pursue after our dreams a little easier. Another thing that has been a challenge is seeing our family and friends. We’re always turning down offers to hang out now because of work. I know some of them thought we were crazy at first (some of them probably still think we are lol). I love to hang out and have fun, and I hate missing out on stuff, but not nearly as much as I hate being in debt. This is only for a season. Remember in the words of Dave Ramsey, "Live like no one else, so later you can live and give like no one else." Stay Anomalistic My Friends!

Here's a breakdown of how much we owe as of right now:

Evan Xavier
Always cheesing for absolutely no reason 😁

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