My financial moment of realization that I didn’t have to live in debt was when I realized that I make enough money that I should be able to buy a pair of shoes or take a vacation without worrying about money. This moment came after being in a relationship and sharing expenses for 2 years, it was just me and my money after that. And my money didn’t go as far as I would like. I made a conscious decision to make a change, it’s been hard and there have been a lot of road bumps along the way but I’m slowly making progress.
I got my finances in order by first analyzing my spending using Mint.com and making a budget. It’s taken a couple tries to come up with a budget I can stick to, but the important thing is I have a budget that works for me. Next, I made a list of all my bills, dates they are due, and how much; I put the dates the bills are due on my calendar at work, at home, and on my phone (I’m kinda forgetful). The next step was to figure out who I owe, I made a list of all the people I KNOW I owe and pulled my credit reports. Then I made another list of the debts according to my priorities to pay them off. The only thing left to do is follow my plan.
I give myself a weekly allowance and whatever is left over at the end of the week goes into a jar for my “tattoo fund”, this seems to be working pretty well so far. Like I have mentioned before, I have started selling things on eBay, using coupons whenever possible, and using the Food Share program to buy most of my groceries for the month.
It’s a long road, but at least I’m on the road to financial independence.