The daily Facebook “memories” are a funny thing. Most of the time they remind me of adorable pictures I posted of my kids from when they were itty bitty, or a super funny moment that I had since forgotten. Sometimes the “memories” show an old side of me that doesn’t even exist anymore.
This past month, I came across something I posted back in 2009:
I remember “that girl” from 7 years ago. Even though she was frugal, she didn’t have a budget. She put everything on her credit card—she made sure to pay it off each month, but when that time came, there was little room for groceries or anything else. “That girl” from 7 years ago was in denial that she and her husband were racking up $25,000 just in INTEREST on student loans because they didn’t “have” the money to pay on it, so they annually deferred it. Because of that, they were ignorantly accumulating over $80,000 in student loan debt to pay back. “That girl” from 7 years ago saw no hope of ever getting ahead financially.
“That girl” from 7 years ago felt stuck.
I’m not “that girl” anymore, and I’ll never be again.
Just over three years ago, my husband and I started our Financial Peace University class. I learned to get on a budget, how to reallocate our money for our benefit, and we never turned back. Bills are no longer stressful for me. To be honest, paying them is kind of fun (did I really just type that?). I especially love seeing the balance of our student loans go down every few weeks.
Speaking of that, in the month of September we paid off $2,976 (just $24 short of our monthly goal). You can click here to see our current balance and progress.
Here is what we did to make that possible:
- I supervised the ACT on a Saturday morning.
- Randy’s painting business has slowed down quite a bit, but he was still able to do some painting jobs to contribute.
- I subbed several days during my plan period, line-judged for volleyball, completed some curriculum committee work, and supervised Saturday morning detentions—all of which I received “extra duty pay” from my school.
- Our gas and water bills were both lower than we have budgeted, so that extra money went to the debt.
- My Bondbons business had a ridiculously good month. Part of this is due to the fact that I catered 80 dozen bondbons for a wedding at the beginning of September. That’s 960. Just take a look:
That’s covering my entire kitchen table, by the way.
This. All this. The wedding catering and the current balance on our debt are true testaments of patient endurance. When I started Bondbons almost three years ago, no one would have placed an order this enormous. It took time for me to prove myself to others, to build up clientele, and learn how to take decent looking pictures from my phone. And the debt. It’s been a long, stressful road, but it’s almost over! Every amount of money, small or large, that was thrown at the debt has made a difference and gotten us to where we are. If we never would have buckled down and got serious, 90% of our monthly payment would still be going to interest, and I’d still be “that girl” from 2009.
I like “this girl” from 2016 better.
Stay tuned for our next update from October.