I have so much to offer the world. I’d be doing such a disservice if I didn’t share it.
I absolutely love traveling and love learning about culture. Whether it’s international, the other side of the country, or the next town over, exploring and being worldly has always been a big part of my life. Unfortunately, once I vowed to make student debt payoff a priority, travel and exploration has had to take a back seat to save money. However, that hasn’t stopped me from constantly daydreaming about where my next adventure could be, especially when inspired by points travelers around me.
I’d like to blame some of my favorite travel bloggers for not allowing me to let my travel dreams go. There’s no way I can constantly read about budget trips to Iceland on the Thought Card, amazing vacations to Dubai on Angelina Travels, or exploring Madrid on the Blog Abroad and not have the travel bug gently but persistently whispering in your ear. It’s just not possible. So of course, I’m faced with the issue of how I’m gonna fulfill my worldly travel dreams like these fantastic bloggers all while paying off debt – not to mention taking care of a newborn once he’s born this July. So of course, the question comes in. “How can I afford to travel when I already have so much on my plate?”
Others may say you need to have a credit card to be a points traveler. I’m trying to avoid the plastic completely. Join me…
I love my parents dearly. My parents gave me a lot of things throughout my years that I could never thank them for enough. They gave me a memorable childhood. They’ve provided me with a love of dance, a strong sense of self, the ability to love and the courage to chase my dreams. They also equipped me with a thick skin and strong morales. All things I find are beneficial to a bright a future.
One thing they did not give me was a college fund. As a result, I found myself taking out loans on top of loans for a school I really couldn’t afford. And of course, I had to deal with the poor financial planning upon graduation. That meant adjusting my lifestyle tremendously to make on time payments, deal with harassing phone calls from student debt collectors, live with my parents much longer and worry about ever moving up. My parents weren’t rich by any means and still managed to provide a full life for my brother and I so I don’t fault them at all for my struggles.
Thankfully, I have since learned how to better manage money and have a great plan in place to be completely debt free in 3 years. The stress hasn’t completely gone away and I’ve still had to adjust my lifestyle but it’s great motivation for reaching my goal. I know it won’t be like this ever. It’s just what I need to do right now.
Despite the stress, struggles and sleepless nights I’ve encountered from drowning in student loan debt, I refuse to have a college fund for my unborn son. And it’s not because I have the mentality that, “I struggled so you should to.” It’s because I don’t believe in what college funds represent.
Even though I’m struggling with student loans, I won’t be creating a college fund for my kids – and maybe you shouldn’t either. They might do more harm than good.
“It’s time I realize I have something special to offer the world”
It was Tuesday night and I was at yet another work event with my husband. Being that he works for so many teams filming their sports events, we get invited to banquets with delicious food almost every week for two months straight. And while they’re always very interesting. It can get very tiring. I’m usually attached to my husband’s side as he works the room barely saying a word. Basically, I’m like his trophy wife at that moment. While it may bother some women, I’m fine with it. Those banquets are my husband’s moment to shine and I’m just happy to be invited along to get some of those left over rays. No one barely speaks to me and if they do it’s very brief. It usually goes something like this.
Random person at banquet: “Hi, I don’t believe we’ve met before. Do you work for the team too?”
Me: “No, I’m just the videographer’s wife.”
We are deserving of something more special than we realize.
I can sell anything to anyone as long as I believe in the product.
Is it me or does it seem like everyone is always trying to sell something? I log onto Facebook and a new friend is selling Mary Kay or It Works products. I open an app and there’s an ad selling another app. I walk to my car and there’s a flyer for a photographer selling his or her services. Or I go to the gas station and I see the cutest Girl Scout selling some delectable cookies. (That last one isn’t so annoying but you get the point). Bottom line – it seems like every aspect of your life has become some sort of sales pitch and everyone is making a profit but you. There’s always someone who paid for their last vacation by selling their baked goods at church, dug out of debt by selling unwanted items on Ebay or Facebook, or covered their monthly cell phone bill by trading their gold. Even I’ve made great progress paying off student debt by selling items on Facebook yard sale sites.
Mean while, you are sitting there stumped wondering how you can get in on the action. Yes, having multiple streams of income seems to be the “in” thing right now. And selling items seems to be the easiest way to do it. But what happens if you don’t have anything of value to sell? Considering we are at the top of spring, many of you may have already purged all the unneeded items that would have been in sellable condition. However, that doesn’t mean you have nothing of value to sell.
When I first told people my plan is to be debt free by age 30, I always get a few different reactions. People are either really impressed with my drive or they give a sarcastic smile and blatantly tell me I’m crazy because debt is just a part of life we need to accept. Though my decision seemed crazy and limiting to some, I knew that its much better than being normal. Frankly, other than deciding on my career and marrying my husband it was one of the easiest decisions I could ever make. And I’m guessing it wouldn’t be hard for you either, if you had to deal with things that I do.
I was sick of my heart dropping every time SallieMae called and coming up with excuses to avoid them.
I was sick of seeing a majority of my paychecks being spent on debt for a school that made me miserable.
I was sick of having to take student loan payments into consideration before every financial decision I made.
I was sick of feeling like I was dealt a life sentence for getting an education.
I was sick of putting my lofty travel plans on the back burner to hundred of dollars of student loan payments each month.
I was sick of feeling ashamed that I didn’t do my research before college and therefore found myself in a hole of debt on top of debt that far exceeds my income.
I was sick of the realization that I’m unlikely to be able to ever afford a house because I my student loan balance is already almost identical to a mortgage.
I was sick of watching my credit score drop because of difficulty making payments and a burdening debt to income ratio.
The normal thing is to do is be in debt. The crazy thing to do is get and stay out of it. Let me teach you my crazy ways.
I know Valentine’s is long gone. You’re probably wondering why I’m writing a post about the gift of love. You may be thinking, “Did you I forget to post this in February?” or “I shouldn’t be writing about Pi Day.”
No, I did not lose my mind and simply forget about that Valentine’s Day. On the contrary. I’ve actually had this post in mind for while and purposely decided to hold off on it. You see, I have a problem with our culture. We only seem to celebrate love once year – maybe twice if you count Christmas and birthdays. That’s not exactly a good thing. We should be celebrating love everyday. The passing of Valentine’s Day doesn’t mean love shouldn’t be celebrated.
And no, this celebrating of love doesn’t always need to be about romance and family. With the hustle and bustle of work, bills, laundry, dinner and more I think it’s just as important to love ourselves as we do others. Loving ourselves daily is just enough to give us the strength needed to make it through the day. Of course, finding that love and inspiration on a daily basis isn’t always that easy. Continue reading
I think we all want to do something or say something to make a difference but we often don’t know how.
I had an epiphany the other day. I’ve been doing myself and those around me a disservice. I haven’t been speaking up when I should. Other than writing letters and posts about topics I feel strongly about and truly matter, I haven’t spoken about them to any one – sometimes not even my husband. As a matter of fact, I haven’t said much of anything. I haven’t really shared motivational quotes with friends, haven’t uttered anything even remotely inspirational and barely mumbled my usual perky tidbits. For some reason, I’ve changed.
I’ve been completely silenced. And I have no one to blame but myself.
You know the phrase, “If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all.”? Of course you have – we’ve all had it beaten into our heads from the time we’ve entered kindergarten. I’d like to think I’ve lived according to life lesson about kindness. The only problem is I’ve taken it a step further.
I subconsciously decided to live according to the foolish and non-sense based, made-up adage, “If you don’t have anything wise, uplifting, or completely life changing to say, keep your big mouth shut.”
“There’s just not enough hours in the day.”
How many times have you either said that to yourself, to a friend or thought it when staring at a long to-do list?I know I have on nearly a daily basis. No matter how well you plan, how concise your to do list is or how early you get up, you can never manage to get everything you’d like accomplished. So we wish, hope and pray that somehow we’ll be granted with just a few extra hours.
And when it doesn’t happen we look on in awe at all the other people who seem to get everything done. Like how the hell did Beyonce manage to film a video, perform at the Super Bowl and prepare for a tour no one knew about? Or how do all those “sharks” manage to keep track of all the business ventures from Shark Tank? Hell, how did the working mom across the street manage to do story time at school, prepare for the work presentation, cook dinner and take all four kids to after school activities in the same day all while managing to look as glamorous as Beyonce.
You can’t do it all, but you can do all that matters.
I’ve always been a very driven, goal-oriented person. When I set my mind on something, nothing else mattered. So when I was in high school and declared that I would be a millionaire by 30 no one batted an eye at it. After all, I had accomplished many other long term goals in the past so why should this one be any different?
Yet, here I am three years away from 30 and I’m still swimming in student loan debt, making a modest salary, and figuring out the difference between want and need as I declutter my tiny apartment. In other words, I’m not even close to being a millionaire. Hell, I’m still trying to figure out how to scrape together money to get my friend’s wedding North Carolina this year and my cousin’s wedding in Trinidad next year.
I must admit that I have made some great financial progress over the years. My debt has significantly decreased, I most definitely ended 2015 richer than I started and my savings account is continuously growing. However, that still didn’t add up to my becoming a millionaire by 30.
Not a millionaire yet? Chances are you’ve been going about it the wrong way.
Normally, I would make this post a play on words and remind you that if you have friends, family, good health or even one reason to smile you certainly aren’t broke. But unfortunately, I know that finances are big part of everyone’s life. No matter what you do there a times when there never seems to be enough of it. So while the cheesy quotes and heart warming tidbits might be great for showing you why you are rich in life, the below are actual accountable examples for the logics and realists out theres who need reassurance that their idea of broke is simply in their heads.
Your credit score might suck and the future is still a bit shaky, but you’re still not as broke as you think.