Real Talk: BUDGET

At this point we are all motivated to begin something great and take on 2018 in full force. By now we each have a list of all of the great things we would like to accomplish this year. May it be in your career, financially or personal goals to travel more and have fun!

It’s been 6 years now since I graduated from Culinary school. Although I can say I had so much fun while I was in school for those 2 years, I can honestly say I wish I would have been smarter! I left with an Associates Degree in Occupational Science, a Diploma in Patisserie and Baking, and last but not least $85,xxx.xx in student loan debt! Goodness! What was I thinking!?

I like many students who attended this school had dreams and aspirations of becoming an amazing chef. But fresh from high school with no knowledge or experience out in the “real world” I fell into the glitter and glamour of having an education from a “fancy” school under my belt. Needless to say, that didn’t help very much when I was on my way out and looking for a job. Yes I was given the opportunity to work as an intern for a few months in restaurants and bakeries I had always wanted to work in, but making $11 an hour only part time with almost no wiggle room to make more money was tough! Not to mention my $85+thousand dollars in student loans where about to come into repayment. I had dig myself into a hole too deep to get out of. Could I keep up with my living expenses and student loans? No, not at all. I had a car payment I could barely afford and I was living at home with my parents and I couldn’t even pay them rent! Borrowing twenty bucks for gas here and there was getting old. So, I had to make a decision. Stay at the bakery I love making $11 an hour unable to afford a sustainable fugal life. Or quit and move on to a career that can fulfill my financial needs.

So that’s exactly what I needed to do. As much as it broke my heart and made me feel defeated I quit the job I loved to move on to try to find a career that could keep my head above water so to say. I worked 2 even 3 jobs at one point to make ends meet. (at this time I still deferred my giant student loan.) I kept pushing because I knew if I worked hard enough I’d get the job I needed to survive. That’s exactly what happened, four years ago this month I started with a company that paid me $20 an hour, trained me, and continues to invest in me. Now I make $80k+ a year and I am getting back on track to pay my outstanding $85k+ in student loans that haunt my life! Hard work pays off and this road I’m on has been tough to travel but I won’t give up!

So you’re probably thinking… “Why are you still in debt with student loans?” Well good question, it wasn’t until this last year that I realized student loan debt isn’t something we have to live with all of our lives. Millions of Americans live with student debt and think it’s normal. Loan companies make it all too easy to defer loans, out of sight out of mind. While the interest just keeps accumulating and we are just digging a deeper and deeper hole for ourselves it’s almost all to easy to just pay the minimum on it and move on.

I have been so fortunate to have meet my boyfriend who is so financially responsible. He has made me realize how much more I can get out of my life once my loans are paid off. I’ve never been more excited.

As of now I have 6 FedLoans totaling $14,920.40

And 2 Parent Plus loans Totaling $70,559.60

Also I have about $2400 in credit card debt I plan to tackle this month of February. I started off the new year with a bang to show how serious and determined I am. I paid off 3 Credit cards totaling $2,494,40! I am new to this “adulting thing” and I am taking the steps I need to get to where I need to be. I am so grateful for the job i have and the advice I’ve been given. There is something about being financially independent that gives me hope and brings me so much happiness. I am proud of myself and where I am going!

I will keep you posted on my progress this month!

Where are you on your journey? What are your goals for 2018? I am open for tips and questions if you’d like to leave a comment below!

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