In the last few months, I started 2 new jobs and bought a car. But let me start at the beginning. In 2016, I made a resolution, along with the usual lose weight promises of years past, this year I had a plan of focusing on my financial future. Managing my debt. I asked myself what goals I wanted to accomplish in 2016 and developed a plan of how to accomplished those goals. I made a vision board and then I drew my own mind map. I was watching motivation videos on YouTube and TED talks. I would watch Suze Orman and Dave Ramsey and be inspired. I was on a goal of financial self-improvement.
I made it a goal to find a higher paying job with my company. I mastered the “tell me about yourself” question and practiced my response in the mirror. I was confident. And after multiply revisions to my resume, careful crafted cover letters and multiple interviews, my hard work paid off. I got a job. Yeah me! Three years after graduate school, I finally got a job in my field. With new job came more responsibility and lots of late nights and new goal oriented friends. It was while speaking to my new friends that I first learned about a part time, side hustle, opportunity. I was hesitant at first. Sure, I wanted to make extra money but I didn’t want to give up a weekend day to do it. I enjoy my weekends. I like sleeping in late. Then going for a stroll around the park. Meeting up with friends and getting breakfast. After several weeks, another friend told me about the same opportunity. She was very positive about it all. She was able to manage her full-time position and this new opportunity while setting her own hours. The side hustle appealed to me because it didn’t require me to be in a specific location. I would be an independent contractor. I would schedule my own time. I started the new opportunity late last year and I can say that I absolutely love it. I love the freedom. My 9 am to 5 pm, is filled with stress and anxiety but it helps to pay the bills. My side hustle is my passion. It’s invigorating and brings so much more joy.
Like I mentioned my goal has been my financial future and this part time job is allowing me to make extra payments on my student loans and car payment.
I have been focused on paying down my student loan debt. I’m very happy to say that in the last 3 years I have significantly reduced my student loan debt from more than $40,000 to about $17, 000 on my very average NYC salary. My goal for this year is to completely pay off my smallest student loan by the end of the year.
For those of you who have followed this blog for some time, you might remember that, in 2013, I was in contract on my dream apartment in Brooklyn, NY, only to lose it because the coop board felt that my student loans were too high. At the time, I hadn’t stated student loan repayment as yet. I had just graduated from graduate school and I was eagerly awaiting a promotion with my company that never materialized. I was more than depressed.
These last 3 years, motivated me to be more attractive to a coop board. I decided to begin an aggressive loan repayment and aggressive savings plan. I took yearly vacations, however I compromised on dining out and cut most unnecessary spending. I still had my moments when I bought on emotions but for the most part I curbed a lot of my spending. I did all of this mind you while still on a single income.
And then early last year, my hooptie broke down and was too expensive to fix. I decided that it made more financial sense to instead buy a new car. Well, not a brand-new car, but a better car. A car that had an AC and oh yeah a radio that actually worked. A car that didn’t require a jump start every time I got into it. It took me a few months of research but I found a small reasonable price pre-own car. I borrowed from my savings for a down payment then financed the rest. I have been putting an extra $116 each month to my car payments.So now I have monthly car payments. I plan to finish paying for this car by October 2018.
Still, I’m in a better financial situation than I was 3 years ago. My ultimate goal and the reason I started this blog has been to document my home buying journey. My financial life is part of this journey. I will continue to document my debt free journey here. Currently I’m not actively apartment hunting. However, I have been browsing real estate listings from time to time. I have been stalking one particular apartment building for several months now.