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With $65,000+ of debt I'm on a mission to reach financial freedom. Follow along with my monthly updates to see how much debt I pay off, my income, my credit score, and the ups and downs I experience along the way! Get out of debt with me over at Living like Leila!

Welcome to my monthly debt analyses! This is where you’ll find links to detailed break downs of all of my debt. Each month I also share my credit score, income, and the good/bad things that happened financially throughout the month!

I am very transparent and open about my financial standing because I’m not afraid to share this information, hopefully it is beneficial to you. Read below for more about my journey and my financial goals!

July 2017 (Total Debt = $63,700): The Beginning
August 2017 (Total Debt = $64,827): +$1,126.63
September 2017 (Total Debt = $65,733): +$906
October 2017 (Total Debt = $65,353): -$379.67
November 2017 (Total Debt = $65,039): -$313.70
December 2017 (Total Debt = $64,639): -$399.80
January 2018 (Total Debt = $64,403): -$236.22
February 2018 (Total Debt = $64,375): -$27.97

My Debt Story

Exactly 6 months after I graduated with my Master’s, I got  an e-mail from Navient, my student loan provider. I created a login and was taken to my ‘Account Summary.’ There was a list of my 11 subsidized and unsubsidized loans, totaling over $49,000. This was the start of my quarter-life crisis.

I did a little bit of research on repayment plans, and decided to choose the graduate repayment option. With this option, your minimum monthly payment will increase every 2 years (assuming your income and savings will increase).

Here’s what that would look like:

  • 24 months at $288
  • 24 months at $379
  • 24 months at $499
  • 24 months at $657
  • 24 months at $864

10 years and almost $15,000 of interest later my loan would be paid off.

I set up automatic payments (which reduces the interest rate by 0.25% by the way!) and the first will occur on August 13, 2017.

Here’s the thing…I hate the idea of carrying this debt on my shoulders for 10 years and I hate that I would spend an extra 15k in interest. Instead, my goal is to pay this off by the age of 30 (or by 2023)!

Here’s another thing…I have almost $6,000 of credit card debt AND I owe my sister about $6,500, both of which are still growing.

It’s a lot.

It’s overwhelming.

It’s suffocating.

It’s stressful.

My dad tries to remind me to never get stressed. It’s hard though and I’m trying to stay positive. I decided to create this blog to motivate me, share my debt free journey, and maybe vent a little bit!

My top financial goals

#1: Get a new job

I am not making enough at my current job and considering I have my Master’s in biology I am qualified to work in a field with higher pay. Preferably, I would like a job with steady income (something my current job lacks), an annual salary, benefits, and weekends off!

#2: Pay off all of my credit card debt by July 2018

Credit cards have saved me multiple times. I know a lot of people dislike them, but without them I wouldn’t have made it. Eventually, I want to get to the point where I purchase something with a credit card, take advantage of the rewards, then pay it off immediately to avoid interest charges.

#3: Pay my sister back by July 2018 + an extra $1,000

I owe her a lot of money. It burdens me daily. We have a house together (well, it’s under her name), but I am months behind on my share of payment because I simply cannot. She also lent me a couple thousand to study abroad back in 2014, I’ve paid back more than half of that but I need to pay it ALL back. Thankfully, she doesn’t nag me about it nor kick me out. I want to give her an additional $1,000 just to make up for it, plus the interest she incurred for my trip.

#4: Pay off my student loans by the age of 30 (or 2023)

This gives me about 6 years. It would be ideal if I could smash it down to 5 years but we’ll see as time goes on. Like I said, I don’t want this debt hovering over me for years and years, the faster it’s gone the better I’ll feel.

#5: Max out my Roth IRA every year starting in 2018

So far, I have put $1,400 into my Roth IRA account. The maximum amount you can put in each year is $5,500. A Roth IRA is a mutual fund, I put money in, experts use my money to invest in multiple stocks, and through compounding interest my savings will increase. This is “risky” investing, the stock market crashes, the stock market rises, your savings will do the same. Either way, it will benefit me by age 60, as long as I don’t touch the account until then.

#6: Create an emergency fund of at least $10,000 by July 2019

Things happen and not being prepared for those things can be really risky and scary. It’s quite difficult to save for emergencies though when you’re not making much and having tons of debt to pay off. I’ve gotta find a way. I’m going to use Digit for majority of my emergency savings, it saves for you automatically, you can add more money if necessary, the monthly fee is super affordable, and they reward you 1% of your total savings every 3 months.

#7: Have $1,000,000 by 30

Yes, you read that correctly. I wanted to type out all the zeros because it’s even more exciting. Lofty goal? Maybe, but it’s something I’ve always aimed for. Basically, I want to be worth $1M by 30 between my life insurance policy, Roth IRA, and personal checking/savings account. This goal is 100% doable.

#8: Become financially free

This means a few things to me. By financially free I mean I want to have enough money to never feel burdened by financial problems. I want to be self-employed, work remotely, love what I do, and do whatever I want/need to do when I want to. I don’t want to wait until retirement for those things…the sooner the better.

These are big goals and it comes down to some super tight penny pinching plus making more and extra income. I’m determined to get through this!