Financial Finesse Journey Gems

Doing Whatever It Takes

How I leveraged my income to reduce debt

So here it goes…

Throw it back to my 18th birthday. I head to my credit union shortly after and apply for my first credit card. The credit limit was $500. I thought I was rich. Not fully understanding what a credit card even was- I head down to Circuit City.  When they still had brick and mortar stores open. I spend about $350-$400 of my $500 limit in one day. I bought a brand new 5-cd changer stereo system. I wanted one sooo bad, and what better way than with my credit card? I mean having one means I have money now right? I had no idea what a credit score meant. Credit utilization? What is that?  I just knew I had a plastic card that added 500 extra dollars to my pocket.

Circa 2006
18 years old
Current salary: $7.50/hour

By the time I reached my undergraduate years, I was introduced to student loans. For what ever reason, I didn’t associate loans and credit cards to money that had been borrowed. If I am being honest, when I took out student loans, I didn’t look at the interest rates in its entirety. I did however, understand that subsidized loans were better than unsubsidized ones. Ignorantly yet blissfully living through my adult years with no real understanding on how to handle money.

Officially a UF Gator
Visiting family was always a priority

I grew up in a household where my mother hustled. Easily juggling 2-3 jobs at a time. Never revealing how hard she was working to make ends meet. She hustled so that I could do better. So I could do better. We didn’t talk about money. But she illustrated work ethic that was out of this world. Became a homeowner. She did what she needed to do with the tools that she had.

My early concepts of money started at home
like many other people

But am I doing better? My bills are paid. But does that mean I am doing better?

This is the very reality that I decided to finally confront once and for all. I’ve talked about it multiple times but I haven’t put in the work to get there. Wealth building isn’t solely about how much money you make, but how much money you keep.

I want to be out of debt. I want the money that I bring in to work for me. I want to retire early. I want financial independence.

Related Article: Ballin’ On a Budget

Understanding your desires. Your wants. And your why’s are the first steps to action.

What would you do right now if you didn’t have to trade time for money?
I still need money. The bills are still very much there. I don’t have it all together. But I do everything in my power not to miss out on the “once in a lifetimes.” Intentionality has become one of my best friends.

So I can’t afford it all. But I can’t put a price on 𝐭𝐢𝐦𝐞.

That’s my why. That’s why I’ve embarked on this debt-free journey.

Time has no price tag

I began travel nursing October 2018.  I’ve done well financially but I can certainly do better. I have began tracking my expenses again. And stopped allowing my temporary feeling of comfortability to defer my goal. I’ve placed a timeline on my goal of debt freedom: September 2020.  I will check in every 2nd and 4th Tuesday of each month. Sharing my triumphs and challenges. My goal? I hope that someone reading this will embark on their own journey of debt-freedom. If you’re already debt-free- feel free to share!

Utilizing this time as a travel nurse
to tackle my debt

Starting debt as of August 2019:  $ 82,841.17

Suggested Reading:

4-Hour Work Week: Timothy Ferris

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