Money

Free

I cannot even begin to tell you how much I have been looking forward to being able to write this very post one day, and the day is finally here.

The Background

Last May, I opened up about a very serious financial situation I had let myself get into. You can read the original post here, but basically, I let myself rack up $11,000 in credit card debt on three separate cards from overspending and not managing my money wisely. I consider myself a bargain shopper through and through, but not sharing how much debt I was dealing with on here was making me feel like a fraud since readers were impressed with my grocery budgeting, when in reality, I had little choice.

That post remains one of my most popular, which I find amusing since this is a weight loss blog, but I think that the discipline required for money management is very similar to that required for managing your weight, so maybe it’s not that far off after all. Since there was so much interest, I went on to do two more posts on the topic; one about the first steps in taking control of your finances, and a second with tips on how to live healthy on the cheap.

The Follow-Up

Since that mini-series on finance last May, I had one major unexpected expense come up – moving into my own apartment since my (ex)boyfriend and I broke up after four years together. I had to pay a security deposit on the new apartment (and didn’t have one from my old apartment to offset it), plus had to hire movers, furnish and decorate the place, and am paying more in rent now that I live alone than I did when I lived with my ex.

Despite that, I have been working VERY hard to knock out the debt, cutting back where I can, using extra money to pay off my credit card, and while still living reasonably, trying to be very regimented with my finances.

I think you can guess where this is going:

As of today, I am 100% debt free.

 

I got a modest bonus at work from last year in yesterday’s paycheck and used the entire thing (and then some) to pay off the last bit of debt and it officially went through today. Logging into Mint.com and seeing “$0” as my credit card balance is something I have literally never seen until this morning.

I can’t even begin to articulate how freeing this feels, and honestly haven’t really gotten my head around it yet. I am sure it will hit when I get my next pay check and, for the first time since graduating from college 6 years ago, I won’t be transferring any of it to pay off my credit card(s).

I don’t plan to do things or live much differently than I have until now, because my goal is to start aggressively saving money. I want to take the same amount of money I was paying towards my credit card and instead put it into my savings account, and my goal is to have 6 months of expenses (~$10,000) in savings by the end of this year.

I am so excited!!!!!!!