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.