Today I did something a bit revolutionary for me: I cut up my credit card. I have never been a big credit card spender. I tend to charge a little here, a little there, and almost always its on something I can live without. Just looking at my purchase history on my credit card its exclusively comprised of clothes I didn't need, dinners I could have gone without and crap I can't even excuse (hair perfume from Sephora has and never will be a necessity). But this big step for me is part of a bigger step that I really want to tackle: becoming completely debt free.
It's extremely disappointing to me that my generation never wants to talk about money but is so obsessed with making more of it and showing it off any chance they get. Social media has made it very easy to compare what you don't have to what everyone else does. It can be extremely depressing scrolling through Instagram, constantly wondering "How the fuck is she affording that?". This comparison to others is an entirely different problem, but why don't we ever talk about how we are (or aren't) affording that? Why is it still taboo to talk about money? And why aren't we honest about our debts?
I recently watched a video by vlogger Aja Dang that I found incredibly refreshing. I had watched Aja's video's in the past for an escape from my own reality. She's smart, entertaining, beautiful, in great shape, and overall a great distraction from the dirty dishes in my kitchen sink. So when she posted a video revealing her student loan debt, I was really taken aback. I thought this girl was perfect--I mean none of these vlogger girls have any real problems right? At least that's the narrative I would tell myself when I compared my life to theirs. It was so damn refreshing to hear someone talking openly and honestly about money. It gave me perspective on my own life (and my own debts), reminding me that I am not the only one with a little baggage. Aja now vlogs her bi-monthly budget which she says keeps her accountable, but it also inspires the hell out of me!
So here goes: I am not perfect. I have some baggage. Some financial baggage. And that is OK. What I have decided is not OK is sitting back and doing nothing about it. Considering that I am getting married in a couple months, I can think of no better time than now to come up with a concrete plan of tackling my debts so that we can live with less anxiety and more freedom. My fiance is truly the bees knees and I would never want to be a burden to our love. Being that we struggle to fight about anything, I would hate it if money became a point of conflict. In an effort to avoid any of that happening, and to hopefully inspire a few of you to have honest discussions about money, I am listing all my current debt below in the order I plan on paying it off. Full transparency. Because this kind of stuff only gets worse living in the shadows. Considering that our generation is the first in American history that is projected to do worse financially than their parents, we need a bit more financial honesty!
Credit Card: $930.44 (Goal: payoff by March 31, 2018)
Auto Loan: $10,700 (Goal: payoff by January 31, 2019)
Graduate Student Loans: $98,000 (Goal: payoff by March 1, 2023)
This is a start (and a big step for me) but it will be something that I document here, sharing my process for tackling my debts and what works/doesn't work for me. While this is all extremely scary, and a bit embarrassing to document, I think it could be extremely powerful in starting a conversation about money within our generation.