How I Plan to Pay Off Over $130,000 in Debt

Debt is no fun! It’s a constant burden that I know from first hand experience. I am committed to being intentional about my spending habits.

pay off student loan and credit card debt

THE DILEMA

The year 2021 was rough for me. Life was happening to me! I became emotionally overwhelmed with the situations in my life, including ending a relationship, being a single mother, and leaving a high paying job for a lower paying job.

Over the course of about five months, I gained 50 pounds and racked up over $22,000 in credit card debt. This blew my mind! So now I must pay off credit cards as well as student loans. My student loan total is currently over $110,000. I am currently developing a strategy to pay off my consumer debt. I am also making life changes that will help me lose 60 pounds.

So what happened…. How in the world did I accumulate so much debt in such a short period of time.

First came the income shift. I went from a high paying job to a job that paid significantly lower. Like seriously! My monthly pay was literally cut in half. I went from bringing home around $5,200 plus “bonuses” every month (some months my net income reached about $6,850) to bringing home around $2,600 per month. My bank account experienced a major shift, but my spending habits did not!

Secondly, I ate my feelings. I’ve labeled myself an emotional eater. I had some major life events during this five month timeframe. I sunk into a depression that involved spending lots of money on food. And I don’t mean cheap fast food. I still wanted the expensive meals from my favorite sit-down restaurants. The more money I spent, the more weight I gained.

In October 2021, I started taking depression medication. The medication helped, but it took a few months to find the right prescription and dosage for me. Now (March 2022), I am mentally prepared and ready to transform various areas of my life.

THE PLAN

Shedding debt is similar to shedding weight. I found out the hard way that my financial habits and health habits go hand in hand. My plan to shed my debt weight mirrors my plan to get rid of excess body weight.

Set a Goal
After establishing my baseline, I needed to set reasonable, achievable goals. Realistic, manageable, and well-planned goals can mean the difference between success and failure. My goal is to get rid of all my credit card debt and get rid of 60 pounds in 2 years.

Create a Budget
I reviewed my past spending and did some calculating. The big problem was: I had been over-spending by hundreds of dollars every month. I was also too afraid to sit down and crunch the numbers, so I procrastinated. No wonder I was in debt!

After watching YouTube videos and conducting other research, I decided that zero-based budgeting is best suited for me. I have started diligently tracking every penny I spend. Tracking each dollar ensures accountability for my actions. I can no longer avoid opening my bank account apps. I am forced to look at the numbers, and keep it real with myself.

Not only do I need a financial budget, I also need a food budget. I reviewed each line on my credit card statements, and realized that majority of my credit card debt is from spending money on FOOD. The more I emotionally ate, the more debt I accumulated as well as excess pounds. I will definitely be eating out less and cooking more. I now have a strict budget for groceries which caps how much money I spend on food. I have had the MyFitnessPal app on my cellphone for years. This app is an easy way to track the caloric and nutritional content of food. For five months, I dreaded using this app just like I dreaded looking at my bank account apps. The MyFitnessPal app forces me to remain aware of my caloric intake for each day.

Increase Income
After calculating the numbers, I saw in black-and-white that I was living above my means for months. My income is too low to simply cut spending. I plan to increase the amount of money I bring home. Therefore, I am currently looking for additional sources of income. I discovered Poshmark and started selling clothes from my closet on the platform. I am also searching for another part-time job.

Accountability
By sharing my journey with others, I hope to maintain motivation for myself as well as empower others to reach their financial and health goals. My friends have joined in, and we meet up to exercise and cook together. I also have an online group of friends who share similar experiences. You can hold me accountable and/or share your journey inside my free Facebook group – QueenPOWERment.

THE RESULTS

The final results are not in yet – obviously LOL. Stay tuned and watch me activate my power to achieve my bank and body goals! I believe that the same successful weight loss principles can be applied to getting out of debt and staying out of debt. I will be managing my weight loss by balancing caloric intake with exercise, while simultaneous managing my finances by balancing (hopefully exceeding) my income and expenses. So, I’m basically on a debt diet and weight diet at exactly the same.

I will be sharing tips and my progress here on the blog as well as on my YouTube channel. I hope you will support me on YouTube by clicking here to watch and/or subscribe to the channel.

Have you gotten out of debt? Have you lost weight? Can you relate to this article? Let us know in the comment section below.

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