If you’re looking to get out of debt, learn how budgeting changed my life and how it can change yours too, then this post is for you. (Free PDF worksheet at the end of the post to start your budget.)
Crippled with anxiety, I looked at the number on the screen. I knew my student loan debt was high, but holy crap, $63,606 dollars was way more than I thought.
Many Americans have a rough estimate of the amount of debt they have, but actually seeing the number is completely different. And seeing my number on the screen that day, was the wake-up call I needed. My current student loan debt as of today’s date is $23,599.97.
If you aren’t a math person like me, that means I paid off over $40,000. Yes, almost $40,000 by myself!
How Budgeting Helps
Budgeting helps by giving you a plan and the freedom to accomplish that plan. You aren’t just going to drive to Florida without directions, right? Okay, so maybe you’re really good at reading signs and have wonderful navigation skills, but that isn’t me and probably isn’t most people. But, budgeting helps you get to where you want to go. It’s the fuel you need to start the car.
Budgeting allows you the confidence you need to set goals and to feel relaxed.
I heard a quote recently and I think it’s perfect for budgeting.
“It’s often the small things that no one sees that result in the things that everyone wants.”Craig Groeschel
It’s the small things that no one sees that will get you to where you want to be. It’s the grain and hustle that will get you to a place of financial freedom.
1. Create A Plan
Creating a plan allows you to know where you’re going and where you want to be.
This means, write out your debts, even if it’s painful.
Getting it on paper helps because it’s a visual of what you have and what you want. You want those numbers to say zero at some point.
Your debt could look like this:
Student Loans $20,000
Capital One Card $300.00
Target Card $500.00
2. Write Out A Budget
Many people ask what budgeting app is best, but I personally think it’s whatever what works best for you and your life.
Some people still like to use a pen and paper to write out their budget, while others like budgeting apps.
I personally use the EveryDollar app and the Debt Free app. Both are free, which is even better.
With writing out your expenses, also include your income. You aren’t going to know how much is coming in and what you have for your bills without this important step.
I attached a PDF version of a budgeting template for you for free so you can start your journey today.
With writing out your budget, also start an emergency fund. Dave Ramsey recommends $1,000, but I actually like to have more. It’s really what works best for your life.
If you’re okay with $1,000 then this is fine, but if you need a little more, that’s fine too.
Also, make sure you start sinking funds as Dave Ramsey likes to say. This is money you set aside for things like the future vet visit, Christmas, or your Aunt Holly’s 60th birthday celebration.
3. Still Enjoy Life
I used to be a big stickler with my budget. I had no time for fun and everything extra that I had had to go towards my debt.
Please, don’t do this. Yes, budgeting changed my life, but having a life is just as important.
You have to make time for yourself and still enjoy your God-given life.
For me, my non-negotiable is paying for gymnastics. I love gymnastics and I pay to tumble still. It gives me enjoyment and it allows me to still work on getting out of debt, but also do it with grace.
So, please put in your non-negotiable. Maybe your non-negotiable is getting your nails done or going out to dinner with your friends on Friday night, but whatever it is, enjoy it.
Getting out of debt isn’t easy and it takes determination, grit, and hard work, but it still can be enjoyable. Budgeting changed my life and it can change yours too if you allow it.
If you are looking for more resources with paying off your debt, Dave Ramsey has an amazing course called Financial Peace University and also has a book called The Total Money Makeover which goes over his baby steps to getting out of debt. (The Total Money Makeover is in my Amazon Storefront and if you purchase I do receive a small commission.)
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