When I first began following the Debt Free Community on Instagram I was drawn in by the stories everyone would share about their debt free journeys. I find it fascinating to read about the progress others are making and also reassuring to know that I am not the only one in my position.
Your Debt Diary is a guest blog series by money bloggers and members of the debt free community for My Debt Diary. Each week someone new will share their debt story. This week Laura from @ljsdebtfreejourney shares the ups and down of her debt free journey so far.
What stage are you at in your debt free journey right now?
I started my debt free journey in June 2018, so still relatively new. But I have learnt so much in that small amount of time
What is your debt total?
I started at £14,003 exactly, currently at around £13,800. It pains me to put it down on paper, such a massive amount of money and not much to show for it in my life!
What is your “why”?
I am a cliché, I guess I was never taught the right from wrong. My parents always had debt as long as I can remember, I never thought anything bad of it – that is until I found myself there. It all started at 18 with a store card, unlimited clothes, it felt amazing. Then came credit cards, nice car, nice holidays etc. I moved into my first rented house at 18, bought lots of house things and lived the free-spirited teenage life.
Then 3 years ago I met my partner, and for the first time in my life I didn’t want nice things anymore. I wanted to be able to see a future with my partner, our own house, a dog, children, see parts of the world. And I couldn’t see the future. All I could see was the sheer amount of money I owed and no way out. Having to spend more on cards each month, just to be able to get through the month because of how much interest I paid. Something had to change!
Are you following a specific plan or method?
I hadn’t up to now. My main focus was learning the ways, how other people were dealing with their journey. I switched most of my credit cards to 0% and took out a personal loan with the rest at a much lower rate. I seem to have adopted the Dave Ramsey plan without even realising it. I’ve already started sinking funds for things, de-cluttered the house and used earnings from surveys to start my emergency fund. This seems to be working this far so most likely the method I’ll carry on with.
What challenges have you faced along the way?
My biggest challenge has been getting my partner on board. He’s very black and white in the way he thinks, he’s never had debt, he works hard for his money but never lives beyond his means. Sometimes he doesn’t understand how I got to where I am and whilst I’m not after any sympathy, some support is needed. Over time, as I’ve learnt my ways and started to make progress he’s come on board a little more. Now I feel much more comfortable to discuss it with him and he’s been quite encouraging at times. My only other challenges are myself. Allowing that inner spender to come out and trying my best to keep her down!
What are you doing to speed up the progress of your debt free journey?
I put a lot of time and effort into the little things to help now (cashback apps, survey sites). In doing this and putting that money away, I find my salary doesn’t get dipped into anymore. This means there is more money left for snowballing on top of my minimum payments or planned spends instead of using the credit card. It really is amazing how clearer things become after a bit of organisation!
When do you plan to become debt free?
I originally said 5 years, but as the days go by I can hear that biological clock ticking away in the back of my mind – This is my motivation for doing my upmost to make this much sooner. Fingers and toes crossed, but we all know this will only go away from hard work, not luck!
I’d like to thank Laura for today’s post. Please make sure to visit her on Instagram at @ljsdebtfreejourney.
You can read last week’s post here. If you would like to share your story with Your Debt Diary please leave a comment below with your email address or Instagram and I will get in touch. You can find me on Instagram here.