This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Capital One 360
This past year has been an emotional roller coaster and it’s all been centered around one thing. Money. Before I get into the nitty gritty of what I am about to share, I should let you know money has never been important to me or so I thought until I looked back on my life. I grew up in a modest household where we didn’t have a lot but we had enough. I grew up knowing that my family wouldn’t need a lot but I struggled with wanting the things I never had. New cars, college education and my own house were just a few things I knew I wanted. What I didn’t plan out was how I was going to get there.
We started young. I got married at 18 and by 20 I had my daughter and by 21 I had bought a house. I was proud that I was able to save money and start our path of growing up. What I didn’t plan on was how I was going to pave that path. Being young, I wanted more. I wanted the nice things everyone else had like the latest technology and trips. We weren’t financially ready for all of that, not one bit. Fast forward a few years and we are over $60K in debt NOT including our house. We were struggling and we couldn’t keep up. I had to revise my mind set and work towards feeling more financially stable.
This past year I have worked hard to pay off the debt I created and I am happy to say 90% of the debt (beyond school loans and home mortgage) is paid!
- No more credit cards. I eliminated the many payments and unnecessary interest and moved to cash. I do have one credit card and that is a Capital One card. This card we use only for emergencies or purchases we know we can pay back to utilize the rewards.
- Cash for everything. Cash is king they say and it is true. Anytime we are looking at a big purchase, we always ask if there is a cash discount. We paid for the Clever Teen’s braces cash up front and received a discount. We were able to purchase our truck for cash and was able to negotiate a lower price.
- Living within our means. I know, sounds like common sense right? But even at times where I think it may be within our means, I thoroughly evaluate our income and the amount it will take away from to make sure we are making the right decision.
- Pay all the debt. I started the year out by pulling our credit reports and making sure we were paying everything off. I started small and continued to work my way down the list for outdated debts. We actually found errors in our reports as well so we were able to work with the companies to remove these to bring up the credit scores.
- Being thrifty. It’s no secret that I like saving a penny where I can. I rarely buy anything new unless it’s needed. I scour sites like Craigslist or look at thrift stores if it’s something we need. I also eliminated unnecessary payments for luxuries like trading cable for Netflix. We also use coupons for things like eating out and activities. Making coffee at home has been a life changer as far as saving $$, I’ve brought down that obsession errrr, expense by 85%!
- Making extra income where we can. While its not steady, we do often sell things on sites such as CL or Offer Up to make a little extra $$$. We use this money for things like vacations or the kids activities.
I am not only declaring my financial independence to you (and my family of course), but I shared it in the Capital One 360 Financial Independence contest where they are giving away $1776 in cash every day! You can enter here too http://bank360.com/my360
What is your financial independence?
This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Capital One 360.