Month 1: The First Step I Took Toward My Goal To Be Debt Free

I have a dear friend named Danielle. I met her in 2013 through Blue Key when she was a student at the University of Georgia (Go Dawgs!). We have kept in touch over the years and despite living states away, she has become a cherished friend of mine.

Danielle and I typically talk about a couple topics that are usually the last thing people like to talk about with one another: religion and money.

Awhile back, we were talking about faith and our financial lives. We expressed how we struggled with money. She recommended a course she took called Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University. After she told me I had to pay for the course, I wasn’t digging the idea. So I didn’t take her advice and decided to “save” the money.

Toward the end of 2015, I started to catch on that I really did suck when it came to money and how to handle it. Again, Danielle and I were in one of our catch up sessions and at this point in time after applying what she had learned from the course and seeing results it no longer became a suggestion thrown out there. She flat out messaged me, “DO IT.” In all caps and everything.

In December, she provided me a link to find a location near me and they just so happened to have one very close to my apartment at a church. They were running an early bird special to sign up at $89 rather than the $100+ it can be. So I took the plunge and paid for it.

My kit arrived and it included a workbook, book, supplies, a chart, and more. It made me excited and anxious to learn.

The class started in early February 2016. I arrived at the church and walked in the small classroom. I was greeted by the leaders, an amazingly cute retired couple, that told me to grab a paper nameplate, write my name, and encouraged decorating it with stickers they provided.

It was a small class size of about 12. I looked around and saw that I was without a doubt, the youngest one there. We went around the room and sort of explained why we were there and what we were hoping to accomplish by taking this course. Once I was up, the others commended me for taking the brave step to enroll and take actions now rather than later like they had. I was praised for being preventative and proactive.

For such an uncomfortable topic, the class was a cozy space to openly discuss and learn with others.

One of the first assignments was to figure out what debt we were dealing with and add it all up. We were also instructed to stick to paying the minimums on our bills. We would eventually learn the game plan on how to tackle our debt later, which I will blog about soon.

After going through my student loans, car loan, and all five of my credit cards, my grand total was $39,802.84.

As someone that at the time had about zero knowledge of money (what’s a deductible?), no actual game plan of how to tackle my debt, just starting out in the real world, and not making that much money, it was a tad overwhelming. Daunting, really.

And while it does seem like a lot to me, I know that there are people out there that have debt 3 times as much as I do in just student loans. Sadly, the way it is in society right now, I consider myself lucky, fortunate, blessed, and every other synonym like it that my student loan debt was barely in the $20,000 range. How crazy is that?

So I took the first big step of simply enrolling and going. Now I was going to show up every Thursday night for 9 weeks to learn and start tackling the baby steps. It was an amazing course and I can’t wait to share what I have learned from it in future posts! Stay tuned!

the-extra-sprinkles-1

Sometimes we can’t do it all on our own. We certainly don’t know everything. Education doesn’t need to stop once we complete high school or college. Luckily, there are classes and online courses to teach us so many things. Is there something you want to learn more about? Want to be better in the kitchen? Sign up for a cooking class. Want to be a better Instagram-er? Seriously, there are courses you can take on that too. The possibilities are endless! What will you be a student of?

With sprinkles on top,

Rachel

4 thoughts on “Month 1: The First Step I Took Toward My Goal To Be Debt Free

  1. Danielle says:

    You got this. Everything thing worth doing and worth having is going to be hard work and difficult, but in the end they make you a better person. I can’t wait until we can look back on these times together and say “look how far we’ve come…”

    Like

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