Thursday, December 13, 2012


The clock is winding down on my debt and I'm getting so impatient it's not even funny!  Everyday I wake up dreaming of a 0 balance on that student loan.  It will all be said and done at some point during the weekend after next weekend.

I have to remain focused and keep calm.  I already feel myself getting a bit too antsy and behaving like I have a lot of money.  In fact I have none.  Once my debt is finished, I will have no money whatsoever, and my next long term objective is to save save save so that I have an emergency fund at the least.

Debt is not fun.  Avoid it.  After all this work and throwing all my money away to the bank, my prize at the end is a whopping $0.  That's kinda depressing!

Today's Debt Defeating Accomplishment(s):

  • Having the patience to sustain waiting until the end!

Saturday, December 8, 2012

T MINUS TWO WEEKS!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Two weeks left

Two weeks left

Two weeks

Two weeks

Two weeks left!!!!!

In two weeks I'm done.  That'll be it.  All my debt will be GOOOOOOOONNNNNNNNEEEEEEEEE FOREVER AND EVER AND EVER.  I can't wait.  I'm so ridiculously excited it's not funny.

Only $2,300.00 left.  That's it!  That's all!!!!!!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Found Money

I found $60.65 in an old dormant account I completely forgot about.  This is great news!  My idea: Empty the account out and put it toward my debt.  Any extra money I earn/find I essentially refuse to spend on anything but killing debt.  The tricky situation here is that it takes quite a lot of work and time to get this done.  I had to fill out quite a lot of paper work (this account hasn't been touched since 2005) and a lot of time went into wakening the accounting from dormant status.

Anyway, point being, I found the $$, and it's going away.  At this point it won't speed up my debt defeating at all, I'll still be done by late December/early January, but at least I'll save some extra $$ from my income during the last payment month.

Today's Debt Defeating Accomplishment(s):

  • Finding money and throwing it at the debt!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

November's End

In about 3 days I get my monthly income from work, of which I have already allotted a good chunk toward debt.  This amount will put me down to the low $2000s range left, and leaves me with just about one more month before I've completely paid off all my debts.

Now that I see the debt crushing coming to an end, I wonder what it is I will do with the new found $$ that I'll have. There are so many interesting things I'd like to do and so many interesting things I'll feel free to do. 

Today's Debt Defeating Accomplishments:

  • Searching for toiletries in bulk online.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Avoiding the Circumstance

I managed to avoid my money giving situation to the person close to me by sending a parcel to indicate that I care.  I think this gesture was a good one, allowed me to save money, and allowed the individual to learn that I won't be there for financial support.

In other news, I can taste the end of the debt attack coming soon.  My original plan was to be complete by February but I project to be done by early January.  I'm looking forward to sharing the end and the success when it comes.


Today's Debt Defeating Accomplishments:

  • Saying "No, I can't afford it."
  • Giving up my log

Monday, November 19, 2012

Helping Out

Last night I made a potential mistake. I promised someone close to me that I would help them out financially.  Why is this a potential mistake?  Well, not only could it set me back on my road to being debt free, but I've helped this person out before.  Maybe I'm an idiot for helping out again, but this time I made it clear to the individual that they need to get their financial affairs in order and start taking responsibility for their own life.

To be honest, with respect to clearing my debt, this situation is not a big set-back whatsoever.  I'll still be debt free by early January.  However, it's the principle of the situation that I worry about the most.  I truly hope that this individual re-gains strength in his life, for from this day on, I will never assist the individual in any financial matter whatsoever.

Today's Debt Defeating Accomplishments:

  • Promising a future without financial assistance to the aforementioned individual.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Disciplined Weekend

My budget allows me $160 for entertainment for the month. This includes going out with friends to bars, going to social events, and eating out.  Typically I spend about $20-$40 on Sunday afternoons as a way to relax with some buds at various areas around town.

Instead, yesterday I tailgated a football game with a bunch of friends.  This was my first time tailgating.  What fun!  And expenditures?  Let's take a look:

Mango juice - $4
Champagne - $8
Tortilla Shells - $6
Cups - $4
Parking - $10
Two beers at nearby bar - $12

I spent about $42 on Saturday by 3:30pm.  For some of you that may seem like pennies in your weekend spending, but for this guy who is trying to clear his debt AS SOON AS HUMANLY POSSIBLE, this is quite a general waste, and over 1/4 of the month's entertainment budget.  However, this is quite okay overall.  I have a budget set for Thanksgiving and I generally don't use my entertainment funds at all on weekdays, so I shouldn't be dipping into the fund at all until the last weekend of November.

Today's Debt Defeating Accomplishments:

  • Deposited monthly part-time job earnings to go toward debt!
  • Cooking for Mon-Wed.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Nearing the End

So I did some calculations, and it looks like I'm going to be done with my debt sometime in January.  I can't believe it.  It has been so fast, yet soooooooooooooooo long. 

Living on 30% of my gross income has been quite an interesting experience.  My quality of life has not changed much at all, and it let me know what is truly important to me.  It has been quite an amazing ride, and I'm very very excited about the end coming.

I made a dream budget for my first debt free month and noticed that there even if I add in the frivolous things I want to buy, I still have a lot of extra for savings.  I've built a habit of not spending, and with budgeting every month, I can continue that great habit.


Wednesday, November 14, 2012


My boss gave me an opportunity to do some freelance work on the weekend that will give me an extra $600!!!  Guess where that's going?


I'm really excited about this extra boost.  Combined with my income from my part-time work (which starts coming in at the end of November) and my regular income, I'm going to be putting a very sizable dent on my debt this coming month.


Today's Debt Defeating Accomplishments:

  • Cooking at home despite being lazy.
  • Avoiding alcohol purchases though temptation arose.

Saturday, November 3, 2012


It has been a while!  I was in the process of losing my computer and gained a temporary one to use in the meantime.

Things have been going well overall.  I stayed within my budget (for the most part) in October, and I'm on to bigger and brighter things for November.  In fact, that's not exactly true, since I've made a more strict budget for November . However, some things are certainly still true.  I'm making headway toward my debt!  Just sent off another $2,000 check, and waiting for it to be cleared so I can determine how much debt is left, but it should be around $5,300 or so.

I can't wait.......the engines are burning and I'm really pushing through.  Only a couple of months left at the most, which is fantastic!

Today's Debt Defeating Accomplishments:

  • Avoid Starbucks drinks!
  • Planning my November budget.

Friday, October 26, 2012


Only 5 more days until Halloween which means only 5 more days until I get my next pay and hence my next debt installment!  I'm starting to really enjoy this process.  I'm just over 3 months away from being debt free, which is extremely exciting!  Just 3 months.  Oh how I can't wait until these 3 months are up!!!

I haven't been posting much in October because of some internet connection issues.  I had a laptop that was funded by work that I had to return so I'm on an old laptop right now that doesn't have as much flexibility.  I'm starting to become accustomed to it though so things are working quite well on that end.  I'm very happy I didn't decide to buy a new laptop and hault my debt destruction plan.

Today's Debt Defeating Accomplishment(s):

  • Eating out cheaply when others didn't want to.
  • Buying fruit as a dessert at work

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Losing my Laptop

I'm in quite a bind and I'm not sure how to deal with the situation.  I have a laptop that I've been using that was subsidized and now needs to be returned.  It's a rather expensive laptop, and I'm quite hesitant to pay for a new one cash, so it looks like I'll be without a similar model for a while.

This will be a real test for me.  Much of my day, both work and entertainment, is spent on my laptop.  I think I'll likely go through a withdrawal period and I'm not exactly sure what I'll do with the newly found time, but I presume given where I live that I'll become much more active and relish in the outdoors.  However, this might tempt me to spend more, as I'll be out in society more.

So what to do?  Well, I actually think the solution is to kick up my reading addiction!  I love reading, and find it to be a very soothing form of entertainment.  It's a great way to feel like you're talking to an expert in a particular field instead of getting opinions or information from an uninformed dear friend.

I'm looking forward to the transition despite my inner hesitations!

Today's Debt Defeating Accomplishments:

  • Resisting buying a new laptop
  • Going to the library to pick up books: Free Entertainment!

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Shift Adjustment

This month I decided to allot more money toward groceries than I have in the past, and less toward entertainment/restaurants.  I've found that I still have quite a bit of grocery money and not much entertainment/restaurant money by mid-month.  This leads me to believe that it's time to go shopping for a bunch of food.

I think such a shopping trip would deter me from wanting to eat out in the first place, and would probably get me to eat at home even more than I already do, or at least, entertain at home a lot more.  Maybe it'd be a good idea to hold a small potluck/get together!

Today's Debt Defeating Accomplishments:

  • Eating out cheaply.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Low Expenditure October

I've barely spent money in October.  Even with a pretty strict budget I've generally not spent much money at all.  Besides groceries, so far I've ate out once, and spent about $10 on transportation, plus an extra $10 today for a board game event and lunch at the event.

It's amazing how I'm not overly affected by this either.  I've been cooking up a storm at home and consequently eating most of my meals during the week for "free".  Work provides fresh clean water and tea/coffee (which I rarely use).  Otherwise, I've been relaxing and enjoying my time doing fun activities that don't require much spending but are still fulfilling.  This includes things like going to the park, going for a walk, hiking, playing sports, etc.  Active, fun lifestyle while saving lots of $$$.  I love it!

Today's Debt Defeating Accomplishments:

  • Avoiding eating out, and hence saving!

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Pride: A Debt Defeater

Today, I'm very proud of myself.  I looked at my debt, and it totals $7126.26.  When I started out, my debt total was over $30,000.  WOW.  I've accomplished so much, and I'm very proud of it.  I only have a couple of months to go to beat this thing out and then it's DONE.

Sometimes I think it takes a lot of effort to do this, but honestly I live quite well within the income that I have.  I've never been a huge consumer so I have no problem not spending much on things.  I love cooking at home, and stopped drinking so that has been a huge help toward saving.

I can't wait until it's over....over for good!  GO ME!!

Take A Year Off?

Thus far, living under the budget that I've made has not made a dent to my personal well being all that much.  So, I was thinking, what if I saved this aggressively even after I paid off my debts?  If that were the case, let's do some calculations.

I could save about an $1500/month and still have plenty of room with the remaining budget.  My first non-debt month would be February at the latest, and my current contract job ends September 2014.  Thus, I'd save $1500/month for 19 months, leaving me with $28,500.

That's a good chunk of change!  This would not include any extra money I made from my business or other related savings.  I could use this to start toward a down payment on a condo wherever I move (if I don't stay in California, of course), or use it to do some other very interesting things.

I'm very pumped about this idea!  I think I could easily live on $28,500 for a year as well.  So if push comes to shove, here's to a potential year off!

Friday, October 5, 2012

The Power of No Alcohol

I did a little experiment to see how much money I would have spent this week if I was drinking alcohol.  Here are a few events that arose and the amount I would have spent:

  1. Tuesday:  Friend invited me to his birthday bash, last minute, at a bar.  Drinks would have been about $10-$15 for me, and of course a special drink for the birthday boy would have added another $10.
  2. Thursday:  Friend invited me to his going away party (he's only going away for 2 weeks!)  Beers at a relatively expensive place could have easily run up $20.

So just in this week I saved on the order of $30-$35 by not drinking.  Not too shabby!

Today's Debt Defeating Accomplishments:

  • Not drinking; a great way to defeat financial and health debt!

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

I Ate Out!

I haven't eaten at a restaurant since my birthday, so this was exciting!  I went to a local place that had Mediterranean food.  I had always wanted to try it out, but I've been cooking at home very consistently so I always had lots of food.  Now that I'm done with drinking, I figure it would be okay to spend a bit of money on a tasty meal.

And boy it was!  Servings were quite large: a very meaty gyros sandwich with all the fixings, and a HUGE plate of herb and spiced fries, only for $7.50 (taxes included).  This was not a sit-in restaurant so no tipping on top of that.  Since I don't eat out too often, I made sure to enjoy the experience fully.  I took a book from the public library and sat down for a leisurely read while eating the meal.

All in all, great place.  I'll be back in the (not too near) future!

Today's Debt Defeating Accomplishments:

  • Eating out, on not too much $

No Drinking: A Debt Defeater

I've made the decision to stop drinking until my debt is paid off (at least).

I noticed that the bulk of my entertainment expenditures came from drinking at bars, and after my ridiculous expenditures last Saturday night, I told myself I've had enough.  There's only so much one should be spending on these things, and they don't bring any value health wise, so I've pretty much had enough.

I'm down to a total of about $500 of expenditures for October, minus rent and phone.  That's excellent! I can't wait until my checks clear to see how much debt I have left.


Monday, October 1, 2012

First response!

Today I got my first response for my business!  This is exciting.  A new client may lie ahead in the near future.  I'm extremely excited about picking this up.

The tricky part now is evaluating what rate to charge at.  I value myself highly in my expertise so I plan to charge quite a lot compared to the competitors out there.  I hope this works out!

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Over Budget Weekend

I spent WAY too much money on Saturday night.  I now have to restructure my October budget because of this.  On the one hand, I'm really angry at myself about this.  On the other hand, I learned a few things from this.

  • Spending more money does not imply more enjoyment.
  • Don't take your debit card out with you.  At all.  Period!
  • Discipline over the long term is required for this to work out.  It's hard to keep discipline through a marathon and slip ups happen.  The key is not to let them happen again.

Friday, September 28, 2012

Cool Happenings

Last night I went to an upscale work event where I got to meet some very impressive people and world class employees.  It was a great event, but moreover, it was a nice social event that was free to me.  I've found that I've been very lucky to work for my company, that has so many interesting, enjoyable, and free social events to partake in.

Along those lines, I learned from a friend that the gym at my work (which is free) has boxing lessons which are free as well.  One on one boxing lessons from a seasoned veteran boxer at no cost is something I must take advantage of while I'm here.  It's great for my health, and moreover, such lessons would be extremely expensive from any other source.

I'm looking forward to finding more amazingly enjoyable opportunities like this!

Today's Debt Defeating Accomplishments:

  • Finding free activities at work.
  • Sending out monthly debt repayment check.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Cell Phone: Toward Debt Defeating

I cut my cell phone bill by $40/month!

I called T-Mobile (my cell phone provider) to ask how I could cut down my cell phone costs.  The first thing I knew to do was:

  • Cut out my $5/month international texting.  I use this to text my brother but our text  #s average quite lower than the $5 would cost.  Moreover, it was essentially for when he was in an emergency, and that doesn't happen monthly.
  • Delete insurance, $7.99/month.  The main reason for this is, there's still a $130 deductible on the insurance, and the phone itself costs under $300, so the phone would almost pay for itself even *if* something were to happen.
  • Delete unlimited calls.  I'm not a phone chat person so there's no need to have unlimited minutes whatsoever.

All in all, a great debt defeater!

Today's Debt Defeating Accomplishments:

  • Slashing the phone bill!

Monday, September 24, 2012

Last Week of September

September is ending and I've been mostly on budget which makes me happy.  I get my monthly pay this Friday but won't use any of it until the beginning of October.  I'm looking forward to a prosperous October!

This month went very well overall, with some things I would have liked to have tied up.  In particular, this past weekend was a bit costly and frivolous but I enjoyed myself and stayed mostly within my budget.  

One of the tricky things coming up is wanting to join a sports team.  In some respect, this could be very easy in fact.  It just requires me to time public transportation correctly, which is not a big deal whatsoever.  I can't wait!!

Today's Debt Defeating Accomplishments:

  • Buying whole foods to reduce grocery cost.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Rough Debates

The past few days I've been really wanting to get a very cheap car now before paying off my debts.  Getting around has been quite fine, but I wanted to start picking up some sports and hanging out with friends from farther areas, and in order to do so I'd essentially have to drive (especially for more evening faire).  I'm at a crossroads really.  Wanting two things that seem disparate.  I'm not so sure what the smartest choice is.

On another note, I spent $20 frivolously today, which is something I really shouldn't have done, but since there's only just under a week left in September, and I've been under budget with my food expenditures, I figure I'd give myself the leeway to enjoy.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

The Business

After completing my full-time work today I spent time building the website for my new consulting business.  I'm extremely excited that I went from never building a website to having one up and running in less than a couple of hours.  It's barebones right now but in a few days it'll be quite nice.  I'm looking forward to promoting my services worldwide, and using profits for debt defeating and money savings, along with giving some away as college scholarships.

I'm extremely ecstatic for the prospects of this business and have full faith that it will work out very well!

Today's Debt Defeating Accomplishments:

  • Online business website development.
  • Spending $3.80 on dinner out (go Subway!)

Monday, September 17, 2012

30 and Loving It!

I turned 30 this weekend!   This means, for instance, that I spent my budgeted $80 on my birthday fund.  I actually got a surprise extra $100 that I used toward shopping as well.  You only turn 30 once.

I've had a tough last few days in terms of discipline with the budget, mostly prompted from it being my birthday.  Moreover, I got an extra $400 for a job I did a while back, and I've been very tempted to use it on personal items:

  • A small laptop that I could use for myself.
  • A desk/chair for my room.
  • A bike for commuting to and from work.
But on the other hand, I know the huge advantage I will get by putting this money toward my debt.  I've got to stick in there, got to do what I can, and can't stop anytime soon.  I'm even on my way to being out of debt January 1st instead of my expected February 1st completion.

I'M ON MY WAY!!!!!

Today's Debt Defeating Accomplishments:

  • Avoided going out for beers w/ friends.
  • Saving my $400 instead of spending it.

Friday, September 14, 2012


Today I got a surprise check in the mail for $400 for services I did a while back.  When I opened my mail and saw the check, my immediate reaction was excitement.  I thought about the many things I could do with this, maybe buy a new desk for my room, or something along those lines.

I decided against all of this, and made the decision to just leave it in savings for now, and most likely put it toward debt.  That extra $400 could put me ahead of schedule in terms of debt defeating, and that my friends would be FANTASTIC!!  This is the first time in my life that I saved newly found money :)

Today's Debt Defeating Accomplishments:

  • Saved found money instead of spending it!

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Proactive: Road to Debt Defeating

After I finished up work today I spent some time trying to promote myself as a freelance independent contractor.  To do this, I called up a buddy who lives a time zone away and who is in the same business to ask him how he went about starting.  His suggestion was to directly call certain people who are in the area in order to establish contacts.

Let me tell you...I was *terrified*.  The thought of calling people out of the blue and asking for contacts freaked me out.  What if they said no? What if they hung up?

It turned out that most people were either mildly receptive or extremely receptive.  I was quite surprised and I'm elated at the success I've seen thus far.  I actually have some meetings for coffee in the upcoming weeks and I'm very excited about that.

On another note, I'm trying to promote my business by holding a free presentation at the local library.  This I'm excited about as well, and very nervous about.  My main worry is that nobody will show up, but at the same time, that'll leave me in the exact same place I am now.

Debt defeating has built my confidence up much more than I ever thought it would.  Really going out there and being motivated to get what you want brings a new level of confidence that is just unmatchable.


Today's Debt Defeating Accomplishments:

  • Making contacts for my new part-time business!

Debt Motivation

I've had many people ask me how I stay motivated toward this debt defeating goal.  I'm shocked it has almost been a month, and I've maintained my goal to the fullest, nickel and diming my experiences, and earning extra cash to facilitate my debt defeating goal.

One certain motivator is this blog.  Every day I have to write about what debt defeating accomplishment I made, and that motivates me to make sure I have something to write about each day! Yet another motivator is Joe Mihalic's blog.  His accomplishment of eliminating over $90,000 of debt in 7 months is beyond impressive, and I truly look to him for wisdom throughout this process.  A final motivator is my parents.  I speak to them weekly and update them on how the goal is going.  By now they're frustrated about hearing about it, but they really do egg me on each time I mention it, and are truly happy I'm working toward debt freedom.

Today's Debt Defeating Accomplishments:

  • Deposited $20 into my checking account that I made off a book.
  • Had a tasty Mexican dinner out:  under $5 total!

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Potluck: A Debt Defeater

Tonight I'm going to a potluck friends of mine are holding, which will be followed by a movie.  I'm really excited.  It won't cost me a thing, I'll just be cooking using ingredients I have here at home.  Debating between spinach salad and sweet potato fries, but we'll see.

I figured this would be a good idea to do because I did end up overspending on Sunday, going to a pool party in the afternoon buying mimosas.  I've found that doing this debt defeating thing over the long haul really takes daily discipline and some days are just a bit off, so you have to really balance that with days where you're very disciplined.

Today's Debt Defeating Accomplishments:

  • Social event with $0 expenditure!

Monday, September 10, 2012

Selling Struggles

Today I tried amping up my selling abilities, in order to increase income and get OUT of debt!  I took a look at craigslist to see if there were items being sold at very cheap prices that I could re-sell on ebay for a significantly lower price.  I also went to a local thrift store to see if they had specific items on sale that were sellable at a reasonable price on eBay.

Overall it was a learning experience that didn't turn out so well.  I got quite frustrated with it, and couldn't find anything that was reasonable to sell.  I think it might just have been the day, and I'm fully aware that great opportunities may lie ahead in this field, so I won't give up!!

I'm looking forward to giving it a try again and getting great results!

Today's Debt Defeating Accomplishments:

  • Shopping for items to sell on eBay.
  • Article published on InfoBarrel.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

$0 Weekend?

Okay, I'm not sure if I've done this *ever*, but I've literally spent $0 this entire weekend.  Now I know I'm trying to live frugally and save so I can pay debt off, but $0???  Friday night was a great relaxing event with friends from work (on work's dime), and Saturday I read, caught up on some chores, and watched some movies on Netflix.

Now it's Sunday morning, and I was invited to go to a pool party.  Will I truly be able to make this a $0 weekend, or will the pool party invite opportunities to spend some dollars?  I'm not against it; at this point I'm operating way below the expense level I gave myself.  I am slightly conflicted though, because I'm gaining so much momentum that I feel like I ought to continue not spending, especially because I know I'll be spending next weekend (it's my big 3-0).

Tune in tomorrow to see what happens!

Today's Debt Defeating Accomplishments:

  • Having $0 of expenditures for the weekend.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

A Talk With Mom

I typically call my parents on Saturday mornings to see how the week went.  This week, I decided to open up some discussion about finances, and I was quite surprised by how much they didn't know nor cared about their financial situation.  Both of them have had hard times in life, so they're just happy to be alive. I tried to convince them that some financial freedom might help them get out of their situation, but it didn't seem to help.

This is something I'm starting to seriously worry about, because in particular, I'm not convinced that either of them has the capability to live okay financial if something happened to the other one of them.  I'm also not convinced that they know how deep of a financial bind they really are in.

Despite this, they've been extremely supportive in my endeavor to defeat debt, and to start my own consulting business.  I'm very fortunate and happy to have parents that encourage me to do the best I can in life, and don't make me doubt my own ability.

Today's Debt Defeating Accomplishments:

  • Spent $0:  A night with me and Netflix
  • Booked a conference room to hold my first public talk for my business!

Friday, September 7, 2012

Evening On a Budget!

I'm quite lucky that I have plenty of opportunities to party on little to no money.  I'm taking advantage of such an opportunity this evening.

Every month, work hosts a get together for the younger employees.  This event is completely social, generally very fun, and involves lots of free food and alcohol.  That'll be my main social event for tonight, at no cost to me!  People typically go out to eat afterward, but I have a mean shepherd's pie that I made this morning that'll be waiting for me afterward (if I can even eat afterward).

If it's the case that you don't have such opportunities, I highly suggest having at home events with friends on Friday nights.  I know this is sort of annoying for the single people out there, but to be honest, if dating/relationships are your concern, most people I know who have found solid relationships found them through friends of friends at house parties and such.

Today's Debt Defeating Accomplishments:

  • Friday evening on the company's dime!
  • Put an extra $400 toward my debt!

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Dining-In: A Debt Defeater

A friend of mine is in town for the week and called me up to see what I was up to.  We know each other from graduate school and he happens to have grown up in the area I now live, so we've met up a few times since I've moved here.  Typically our evenings involving going out to a local bar here, so the expenditures look like this:

His Drinks + Tax + Tip:  $12-$18
My Drinks + Tax + Tip:  $12-$18

Total:  $24-$36

I spend most of it on this (mmmmm):

Now granted, this is not so bad, and we have a good time while we're there.  As I'm trying to defeat this debt, I had a different though:  dining-in as a debt defeater.  If you've read my blog you'll realize that this is something I've done before in fact.  Now what do the costs look like?

I Buy & Make Food:  Under $5
He Buys Beer:            About $7

Total:   $12

Not only is this half the minimum price we would have paid, but the benefits are astounding.  We don't just get two drinks each, instead we get:

A six pack of beer
A meal for two
Leftovers for afterward

More importantly, I know what's going in my food because I made it.  None of that hocus pocus crap that's in whatever you get when you eat out.  I'm really looking forward to dinner tonight!

Today's Debt Defeating Accomplishments:

  • Saving $$ on beer and food!

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Cooking: A Debt Defeater

The past 24 hours have been pretty great!  I've been cooking up a storm lately, which includes making a cream of mushroom based chicken sauce w/ pasta, and a yummy frittata.  The other day I cooked a loaf of banana bread with some bananas that were becoming too ripe, and some simple baking ingredients I had in the house.  It looked something like this:

Lemme tell you, making food is extremely enjoyable!  Moreover, it's healthy for you to know what ingredients are in the foods you eat.  Moreover, it's so cost efficient!  I'll definitely be cooking a lot while my debt is being defeated.

Today's Debt Defeating Accomplishments:

  • Cooking to avoid restaurant eating.
  • Playing board games with friends: free social outing!

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Budget, and a Failure

Today I finalized my September 2012 budget.  I think things will work out, and in fact I can see myself being under budget overall.  The stats look something like this:

Rent + Utilities -          805
Food + Restaurants -   325
Phone Bill  -                100
Transportation -             40
Toiletries/Supplies -       40
Birthday -                      80
Friend's Visit -               90
Phone Replacement -   130
Netflix -                          9

Total                            1629

This is pretty good.  I believe I won't end up spending that much at all on food & restaurants.  My phone screen cracked and I have insurance on it, so that explains the phone replacement charge.  It's interesting to note that my phone bill is so high.  I should re-consider my phone situation after my contract has ended.

In other news, I failed at one of my goals, which was not to buy alcohol at a bar for September (I know, and it's so early!!)  I went to a fun Improv jam in town, and had two beers.  I justified this because the cost of a beer was the cost of a coke, which was the cheapest beverage on the menu anyway.

Today's Debt Defeating Accomplishments:

  • Completing September's budget
  • Shipping amazon book, hence earning profit

Monday, September 3, 2012

The Book, The Business, and the Bar

I just finished a book on financial success, and it gave me some great tips on building my mathematical consulting business.  This will allow me to earn quite a bit of revenue in the future, or open doors to be able to.  I'm very excited about the new found line of work, and excited about the passion and dedication I have toward earning extra cash outside of my day job.

In fact, if you have any questions and would like to know more, please contact me.  I am very interested in helping people understand the mathematics behind their finances so they don't get ripped off by big banks and financial advisor out there trying to make a buck out of people misreading fine print.

In other news, I was out with friends yesterday and I successfully avoided paying for a drink.  I'm keeping with my September goal of not purchasing any alcohol at bars!

Today's Debt Defeating Accomplishments:

  • Spent $40 on a week's worth of groceries by going to a cheaper grocery store.
  • Finished my financial success book.
  • Sold one book off

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Visiting Friends - Oh the Expenditures!

A great friend of mine from graduate school is visiting for the long weekend, which is very exciting!  Yet, it's making it difficult to stick to my monthly budget.  See, he is a huge fan of eating out very often.    I enjoy eating out on occasion but if I'm going to reach my goal, I can't be eating out often whatsoever. He generally generally refuses to eat food people make if he has the option of not waiting and eating out instead.  I suppose it's possible to combat this by, for instance, making meals while he's sleeping or showering.

In other news, my budget has me putting an extra $830 this month toward my student line of credit.  I put rough $300 in today, so here's where I stand:

Student Line of Credit - $9,794.23 
Bank Line of Credit - $0
Bank Visa 1 - $0
Bank Visa 2 - $0
Car Loan - $0
Misc. Other Debt - $0
Savings - $1,379.00
403(b) - $5,725.14

Today's Debt Defeating Accomplishments:

  • Added another $300 toward paying off line of credit.
  • Making meals for visiting friend instead of eating out.

Friday, August 31, 2012

Bye Bye Miss Misc!!!!!


Student Line of Credit - $10,060.12
Bank Line of Credit - $0
Bank Visa 1 - $0
Bank Visa 2 - $0
Car Loan - $0
Misc. Other Debt - $0
Savings - $1,379.00
403(b) - $5,725.14

I am SOOOOO freaking stoked.  I'll be moving $379.00 from my savings into the Student Line of Credit as well....but man, I'm SOOO SOOOO excited.  Only 1 debt left to go!  My motivation is hitting new levels, and I can't wait to kill that Student Line of Credit debt.

(It should be mentioned that the bulk of the money I used to pay off the misc. debt was from the savings I had from extra work during the entire summer!)

Today's Debt Defeating Accomplishments:


Thursday, August 30, 2012

Cut the Crap!

I'm working on my monthly budget for September, and it's looking good.  At first, I had a few line items that looked something like this:

Groceries  $250

Restaurants $80

Alcohol @ Bars $100

Upon reflection I thought "Wow.....really?  That much on alcohol????"  So guess what I did folks?

Groceries+Restaurants $250

Alcohol @ Bars $0

That's right.  No bar hopping for me in September.  This is fine actually.  I'm lucky enough that there are fun social events through work for younger employees that offer alcohol.  Moreover, notice this is alcohol @ bars that I'm cutting out.  This will just encourage me to host friends over to drink instead, which really makes for a more intimate environment.


Today's Debt Defeating Accomplishments:

  • Cutting alcohol @ bars from September budget
  • Landing a part-time job

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

The Interview

So I had the interview for a part-time job (online) today.  It was a great time!  Chatted with a guy in my field about things I currently do, and sounds like he's excited to have me involved.  I'll apparently hear back in about an hour as to whether or not I'll be hired.

Part-time job => More money => DEBT FREE FASTER!!!

Today's Debt Defeating Accomplishments:

  • Interviewed for a part-time position.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012


So today started a new frontier for my Internet revenue experience: I published my first article on InfoBarrel.  Well, it's technically not published yet but it's awaiting approval.

InfoBarrel is a site that allows you to publish articles, and you can gain revenue from those articles through Google AdSense if enough people click on related advertisements.

I'm stoked!  Learned a lot from Pat Flynn on how to go about this, and I'm waiting to see how the results pan out.  Hopefully it will have been worthwhile (though I recognize it takes time to see results).

Today's Debt Defeating Accomplishments:

  • Wrote my first InfoBarrel article.
  • Google AdSense account accepted.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Pat Flynn

So today I spent a bit of time looking for other sources of revenue to kick debt in the butt.  A while back I had read about Pat Flynn, who has the famously successful (and recently, Forbes chronicled) blog Smart Passive Income, a blog that gives you insight on ways to successfully earn a living online passively (i.e. even in your sleep)!

Now I have no plans to make an entire living via this avenue, but I sure will use it to attempt making some extra income to help toward debt.  In Pat's Podcast (podcast #15-17), he mentions that one of the quicker ways to make money online is through articling on sites like InfoBarrel.  Pat himself makes upward of $400/month on his articles that he wrote back in 2008 (I believe) and has barely touched since!  I think that sounds awesome, so I'm gonna go give it a try!

One of the most interesting things thus far about trying to beat debt is not how rapid I'm moving toward the completion of the goal, but the number of new and interesting things I'm trying out that I never would have otherwise.  I'm extremely ecstatic for all these new ventures, and I definitely recommend trying to clean debt fast as an avenue to them!

Today's Debt Defeating Accomplishments:

  • Created advertising account for this blog.
  • Created InfoBarrel account to start articling.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

The Talk

Today I sent a friend of mine a link to this blog, and she found it interesting how candid I was being about my debts.  Interestingly enough, she then admitted to me that she had a few thousand dollars of debt after graduate school, having come in with a considerable chunk of savings.  She had not shared this debt admission to anyone, not even her long term boyfriend, and felt quite shameful of even having it.

It's interesting how we confess so much to our friends and loved ones about our deepest emotions, our most profound fears, our dreams, and extremely secret details about our lives, but that we rarely share our emotions about our financial state.  Heck, it was even extremely difficult for me to build up the confidence to post my financial information freely!  But one of the huge benefits of doing this is accountability for my goal to get out of debt ASAP.

Today's Debt Defeating Accomplishments:

  • 2 Books sold on ($68.92 - shipping).
  • Ordered business cards for consulting business.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Weight Loss?!

So, since I got rid of my car, I've been losing weight!  What a great added bonus.  I think it's the 2-3 hours of walking a day that has really made this happen (since I walk to the gym, and walk to work, which are each about 30 min each way).

Some great added perks to getting rid of a car to defeat debt!

Friday, August 24, 2012


I sold my first book on Amazon!!!!  It was so exciting to see the purchase go through so quickly.  My net profit off it is $35.....that's $35 more toward my mountain of debt.

I have lots of other books I plan to sell.  One book at a time.... :)  Whatever it takes.

Frugality is the way to go in the next few months.  Today I found it quite difficult.  There was a bit of an ant problem at my house, and I had to walk 1/2 hr both ways to get ant killer material.  With a car it would have been an easy 10 minutes.....but I'm determined to not live with a car until the debt is


Thursday, August 23, 2012

The Little Engine....

Today I had a friend over for dinner, and we eventually got to a discussion about student debt.  He's in quite a different situation than I am, facing $90,000 of student debt.


Anyway, I told him about my plan to get rid of debt as quick as possible, and he was extremely supportive.  It helped a lot in pushing me toward my goal of getting this debt OUT asap.  

One of the trickiest things I've found with all this is having friends who support your endeavor.  I think many of them are not interested in making such deep sacrifices that compromise lifestyle, but in the end this is the path I find most comfortable for me.  Surrounding myself with great motivating people is just what I need.

By the way, I made Shepherd's pie for dinner with leftover ground beef I made for tacos the night before.  So the excellent company, great dinner and enjoyable evening cost me 3 potatoes.  What a great alternative to eating out!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

First Ebay Experience!

Today I spent my post-work time trying to think of clever ways to make some extra money.  Two natural things came to mind:  Getting rid of stuff, and get a part-time job!  I spoke to a friend who has a  contact to a part-time job I would enjoy phenomenally, so let's hope that works out.  That leaves getting rid of stuff.

My first thought was to get rid of books that I haven't touched in over two years.  No use having them laying around, especially ones that I have in .pdf form (legally).  What other way to get rid of books then to sell them online!  Well, I've never done this before, but my momentum from selling my car on craigslist gave me the drive to try my first post as a seller on ebay.

Let me tell you something.  I know nothing about ebay at all.  I've bought one item on it, and as I mentioned above, I've never sold one.  Despite this, my fears, and my hesitations, I went in head first and posted my item for sale.  I've had 8 visitors to my selling post (unfortunately no bids), but I feel the excitement already.  There's certainly something to be said about ignoring fears in order to achieve goals.

Well, we shall see how it goes!  Stay tuned to find out.

Dude, Where's My Car?

So today was my first day of aggressive attacks on my debt, and here's where I stand:

Student Line of Credit - $10,060.35
Bank Line of Credit - $0
Bank Visa 1 - $0
Bank Visa 2 - $0
Car Loan - $0
Misc. Other Debt - $3,225.51
Savings - $3,171,21
403(b) - $5,255.91

Yup.  Ladies & Gentleman, I sold my car!  Look at how beautiful that rid of $16,608.35 of debt in one shot!  I sold the car for about $15,500.00 so I put in about $1,100.00 of my own cash.

Frankly, the car was a convenience.  Though I live in an area that essentially "requires" one, I can feel free to buy one, cash, when I have the money for it.  For now, that is not an essential part of getting this debt mess cleaned up asap!!!

Not only was the car sale a relief, but my budget reaped the benefits overall.  My monthly transportation cost was drastically reduced, and my insurance bill was eliminated.

Next goals:

i) Get rid of the "Misc. Other Debt" item.  I should be able to do this by combining $1,150 or so from my next paycheck with Savings-$1000, so that I still have an emergency fund.

ii) Find ways to increase my debt reduction speed!!  I want OUT, ASAP!!

p.s. You may be wondering how my savings increased.  I worked a very small extra part time summer job that allowed this to happen.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Welcome to My Life

Welcome to my blog!  Here you'll read my journey toward financial freedom from debt!  Simply put, I am sick and tired of debt and want it OUT of my life ASAP.  Here, you'll see me through my journey of eliminating the debt as fast as I can.

First, let me tell you a little bit about the back story.  I decided to be candid in the explanation.

I grew up a very smart kid, typically near the top of my class, graduated class valedictorian, and got a big fat scholarship to a prestigious college that, combined with working during off semesters, gave me enough money to graduate college with a profit.  (The excessive use of commas here was intentional.)

I then went on to graduate school where I received a nationally renowned scholarship.  That combined with some teaching assistantship work should have allowed me to live comfortably and pay my way through graduate school quite easily.

But I was financially unfit, negligent, and stupid in the worst ways.

I was not much into buying expensive clothes.  I certainly didn't spend much on cars, or other luxury items.  What I did do was eat out....A LOT....go out to bars with friends.....A LOT.....and go on weekend vacations to fun party places.....A LOT.

After all was said and done, I graduated with a Ph.D., and nearly $14,000 in debt.  Having no access to money at this point, I accrued even more debt to pay for my transition from schooling to the workplace (including first and last month's rent on my new place, transportation costs, furniture purchases, etc.)  Being the intelligent Ph.D. graduate I was, I naturally made the following intelligent decision when faced with these debts:

I took out a car loan to buy a new car.

I deserved it! (Right?)  After all these years of hard work, it just made sense for me to be rewarded.  Of course, this left me in the following financial situation by November of 2011:

Student Line of Credit - $10,500
Bank Line of Credit - $1,500
Bank Visa 1 - $1,500
Bank Visa 2 - $770
Car Loan - $19,425
Misc. Other Debt - $3,500
Savings - $0
403(b) - $500

Worst of all, I thought this was normal (more on that later)!!!  Well, regardless of what I thought, this was certainly unintelligent.  At this point I made steps to pay down the debts.  Though mathematically it makes more sense to pay off the highest interest rate debts first, I went with Dave Ramsey's plan to start with the debts that I owe the least on and clear them out to have small wins.  By the end of July of 2012, my finances looked more like this:

Student Line of Credit - $10,500
Bank Line of Credit - $0
Bank Visa 1 - $0
Bank Visa 2 - $0
Car Loan - $16,608
Misc. Other Debt - $3,300
Savings - $1,005
403(b) - $4,500

I completely paid off my small debts, paid my car loan regularly, and even put $5,500 in savings and retirement, over a period of about 9 months.  Not too shabby.  But at this rate, it would take me forever to reach my ultimate goal:  Get OUT OF DEBT for LIFE, and start saving for my future!

So today, on August 21, 2012, I decide I've had enough (in fact I decided this several days ago).  My journey and goal is to get through this debt as fast as possible.

My particular plan is to follow Dave Ramsey's baby steps.  Baby Step 1 - Put $1,000 in an emergency fund (check).  Baby Step 2 - Pay off Debts in order of smallest to largest.  Let the small wins at the beginning let you build momentum for attacking debt, and pay minimum payments on the rest while attacking them one by one.  When one is knocked out, use the previous payments to attack the next smallest debt.  Etc.

So....where do I stand today?  Stay tuned.