5 Greatest Financial Tips for Young Adults

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It’s no secret to my faithful followers that I have a senior in high school.  Now could not be a better time for me to gain financial knowledge, develop investing skills, and understand credit education.  I’m anxious to learn and share that information and the practices I’ve implemented to improve my financial situation with not only my audience but my children as well. Especially my teenager getting ready to soon transition into young adulthood.  Although, I have a wealth of information to share,  below are the greatest 5 financial tips for young adults!

5 Greatest Financial Tips for Young Adults

1.  Use Credit Wisely

When I started college in 2001 and even still now, freshman are bombarded with credit card opportunities.  It was those opportunities that introduced me to credit card debt myself.  I’ve been educating my high school senior on good credit practices.  This includes encouraging her to avoid credit (as best practice) or to only charge what she can afford to pay back at the next bill cycle.

2.  Avoid Student Loan Debt

As my high school senior approaches college, and even before, I’ve encouraged her to avoid college loan debt as much as possible.  I’ve encouraged to take advantage of the early college option which would allow her to have completed all her college prerequisites by high school graduation.  Taking college courses is another option available to juniors and seniors at her school.  Finally, picking a major and determining if she can reach the same goals with an associates degree as opposed to a bachelors.



3.  Save 

My daughter has been working for about 6 plus months now, after quitting her first job.  Originally, we encouraged her to save something from her paycheck and she would, like $5.00.  Afterwards we challenged her to save $500 by Christmas, which she has and wants to continue.  She decided that she would like to save as much as possible so she will not be restricted by money (or the lack thereof) in college.

4. Minimize Expenses

Approaching college, I’ve taught my daughter how to shop with coupons, plan as much as possible, and determine needs vs wants.  These are all imperative in minimizing expenses.  Beyond college, we’ve discussed moving back home as opposed to renting, and avoiding purchasing a new car with a new job during or after college.

5.  Be Patient

If you are wondering what patience has to do with finances, I’ll explain.  In my debt story, most of my debt (aside from student loans) derived from wants over needs, and satisfying those needs immediately with credit.  Emphasizing the importance of patience as a life virtue, will hopefully prevent my daughter from those impulse purchases and additional costly (and unnecessary) credit transactions.

Honestly, all of these financial tips could be learned and implemented at any point in life.  Hell, I’m just learning them within the last 16 months or so.  As a parent, we can appreciate our mistakes so that our children can benefit from the lesson!

If you have a child in college or on the way, be sure to begin a Target College Registry.  Target has all the college essentials to make the college dorm room feel like “their room” away from home!

What financial tips are you teaching your children?  What financial tips would you have liked to have learned earlier?

How I Save Over $800 Doing One Thing!

how-i-save-over-800-a-yearI’ve been on my Debt Free Journey for over a year now.  It’s ongoing (hence the name journey).  I’m always looking for ways to trim excess spending from my budget to increase my debt snowball payments and get out of debt much sooner.  Additionally, I reflect often and run some numbers to track my progress, successes, and failures.  So you can imagine my surprise when I realized I was saving over $800/year by doing ONE thing!

How I save over $800 Doing This 1 Thing!

I Cut Subscriptions!

That’s Right!  I cut subscriptions.  Five subscriptions to be exact.  Often, subscriptions are broken down into smaller payments to market as “affordable.”  Companies advertise “just $9.99” or “for only 10 bucks” to grab your attention and make it seem affordable!  Well I eliminated those subscriptions which put a little more than $800 back into my pockets.  That $800 does not include the $1000/year I save from cutting cable! Let me share exactly what I stopped subscribing to.

Newspaper  $12.80/month

The newspaper was the first subscription to go after cable.  I was only receiving the Sunday paper (for the coupons) and had absolutely no use for the remainder of the paper.  As a result, papers stacked up.  In addition to unused papers, the customer service was awful and sometimes I wouldn’t receive the paper.  As a result…I cut it.

Teen Magazine $22.00/ year or $1.83/month

My girls deny subscribing to the magazine and I don’t quite remember signing up myself.  However the magazines came and I accepted UNTIL my account was automatically debited $22.00 for an annual subscription.  I contacted customer service and complained and stopped the subscription (and got my money back).  Teen Magazine also gave me a year free.  After that year, it was over.  My girls don’t miss it because very similar content is found other places for free!


Just Fab Shoes $39.95 + Shipping/monthly

“For just $40.00/month” I could get the latest shoe fashions delivered to my door and be considered a VIP member, accumulate points, and receive free items…is what hooked me in.  “Cancel anytime” they said.  “Skip at no additional charge anytime” was something else.  $39.95 would turn into $120 as the shoes piled up in my virtual cart to earn “free shipping.”  I attempted to cancel 4 times as I was charged the $41 something fee, because I forgot to “skip” my month and discovered that “skip any time” really meant “anytime by the 5th of each month” OR PAY THIS MONTHLY SUBSCRIPTION FEE!  Finally I was able to survive the temptations offered to keep me as a “VIP valued member” and gain an additional $40.00/month!

Amazon Prime $99.00/year $8.25/month

Canceling this subscription may have been the hardest decision I’ve ever had to make.  The only other retailer I love more than Amazon is Target!  But I pulled up my big girl panties and made the executive decision to cut the cord after evaluating why I loved the membership so much.  Amazon Prime membership was convenient because I had an Amazon Credit Card.  However when I paid Amazon off, I no longer had the urge to conveniently browse Amazon for “knick knacks” and “whatnots”  Since I was no longer “busy shopping” I no longer needed the convenience of 1 day shipping (which appealed to me the most).  That was it!

Microsoft Office $10.51/month

Social work sometimes can equate to work at home.  Before, at my previous job, completing documentation at home meant I needed compatible software to what was used at work.  This resulted in me paying to rent Microsoft Office for $9.99/month, equaling $10.51/ month with tax.  About 6 month into my journey and about a year renting the software, I noticed I had already paid for Microsoft Office, had I purchased it out right.  Google Docs has become a much more affordable option, is user friendly, and I love the fact that the documents can be easily accessed by logging into my account!

If you’ve done the math that is a total of $74.39/month and $892.68/year!  $892.68 from these cancelled subscriptions plus my $1000/year saved from canceling cable is nearly $2000!  Unfortunately, I was not immediately able to see the benefits in my debt snowball payments.  These expenses actually brought me down to “my means” which is as equally important!

So actually this was a couple of things but fell under one category!  As much as I would love for this post to reflect my Debt Free Expertise, I am still flawed.  I’m recently paying for the Careful Scents Freelance Subscription which is $39.00.  However I see that as an investment which will hopefully have a return pretty soon!

Would you consider cutting subscriptions?  Have you already done so?  Do you miss any of them?

5 Money Habits to Avoid in a Mate!


Choosing a mate these days has become so effortless.  This “microwave society” that provides just about everything instantly is partial to blame.  With online dating sites and social media DM’s, it hard to know exactly who the person you’re talking to really is.  Whether you’ve met your mate in person, or via the internet there are 5 money habits in a mate that need to be avoided or addressed as soon as possible.

5 Money Habits to Avoid in Mates

1. Impulse Buyers

Impulse buyers usually make big purchases randomly, unexpectedly, and usually without any logical explanation.  Such purchases may include new cars, boats, RV’s or more.  Impulse buyers may also make reasonable purchases, such as clothes, but spend excessively.  Impulse buyers may also partake in random trips that can be costly without planning and may even invite you along.

It’s difficult to know if impulse buyers are spending cash or credit on such big purchases.  Either way, if spending cash, the cash will not be around long and if paying credit…run!  Just kidding!

2. Big spenders or Ballers

Very similar to impulse buyers, mates that are big spenders spend excessive amounts of money the majority of the time.  Specific behaviors, in addition to those listed above, include VIP services at the clubs, excessive  dining out at expensive restaurants with crowds of people, and/or shopping trips with lots of purchases and/or purchases for friends or family.

Again, it may be difficult to know if the “baller” is spending cash or credit.   If you’re the mate to the big spender and receiving the benefits then it may not appear as a “warning sign” but it can be.


Lenders or enablers are a bit different, but still people should raise concerns.  Lenders/ enablers may be financially responsible, have good credit, and savings.  They may pay bills on time and make mature financial decisions.  However, they may continue to lend money or enable family members or friends financially.  Continuously lending huge amounts of money or supporting someone’s life style can become a finical strain.

Dating a lender/or enabler, I feel is the most difficult.  As the mate you are placed in a compromising situation.  You may be aware that your mate is being taken advantage but how do you tell him or her to stop taking care of or lending money to his mother, sister, niece, or adult child?

4. Avoiders

Avoiders will usually avoid their financial responsibility.  Specifically, avoiding debt collector phone calls and avoiding opening bill statements.  This group may also avoid paying certain bills to either make impulse purchases, spend big time, or lend money.  Additionally, avoiders may also be avoiding financial responsibility because they can not afford it, even though employed.

Avoiders may be the easiest to confront about their habits and convince to a make financially responsible decisions.


5. Debt Believers

Like the name, debt believers, believe that debt should exist, it’s okay to have debt, and everyone has it or should have it.  Do not believe this.  Usually the “debt believers” will contain all the qualities above because they see nothing wrong their habits.  Debt believers may also be living way beyond their means and also think that it is okay.


What Now?

You may have noticed one or all of the signs above and wondering what to do now?  If you have noticed any of these 5 warning signs in your mate then it may be time to make a serious decision about the future and how it may be effected by these traits.  If you feel that the mate is worth continuing to be with or you are already married then a serious conversation may be necessary.  Below are some techniques to facilitate that conversation.

How To:  Financial Conversation

The below tips should be kept in mind when having the financial conversation.  It’s important to keep an open mind to try and understand your mates relationship with money, as well as being able to offer advice.  Additionally,  avoid jumping to conclusions when it comes to this conversation.  There are several books, youtube videos, and blog post that address talking about money with your mate.

  • Open body language
  • “I feel” or “I think” statements as opposed to blaming or defensive “you” statements
  • being respectful
  • Listening carefully and reiterating what you heard to ensure clear understanding.
Have you ever dated anyone in the above categories? How did that go?


How Parents Can Afford College without Debt


I’ve started accepting guest post every first and third Wednesday of the month!  Today’s featured blogger is  Amy Nickson.  You may have seen her work on several other blogs!

How parent can fund your child’s education without incurring debt?

The sad reality is that many parents put their dreams on hold to save money for their child’s college education.

Most parents think that sending their children to college is more important than saving for their retirement days. Some feel that one should put saving for retirement before anything else, as their retirement fund is essential for them when they lack the ability to work on their own. However, when parents incur debt in the latter half of their life, they may not get enough support to get rid of that debt.

If you have a child, you need to fund college cost and you also need to save for your future. But the million dollar question is; how can you successfully manage your child’s education cost while giving debt a miss?

How to Fund Your Child’s Education without Debt.

  1. Determine your expenses

To create a budget, you must determine an amount you need to spend for your child’s education. But, at first, you need to choose a college you would like to send your child.

Thus, you’ll understand the total amount you need to spend on tuition cost, boarding, textbooks, supplies, and extracurricular, activities etc.

  1. Formulate a budget

Formulating a budget is important, but it can be a bit tricky for parents who are funding their child’s education. You have to consider other accounts like IRA (k), 529 savings account, and emergency fund while creating the budget. Try to deduct all expenses from your total income to understand how much money left for other expenses. Make sure you exclude all unnecessary expenses; otherwise you won’t be able to follow your budget.

  1. Be an early bird

Start saving for your kid’s education as early as possible. The price of commodities, the education fees, and the tuition costs are rising fast. So, if you want to prepare yourself for paying your kid’s college fees, then you have to start saving money just after the birth of the child. Thus, you can have enough money in your bank account to fund your kid’s education.

  1. Analyze the EFC

You need to analyze the exact Expected Family Contribution (EFC) that you’re supposed to make towards your child’s college education costs. This is often determined by the Federal Government based on all the information you provided in the Free Application for the Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). You have to provide information about your income, net worth, assets and child’s education costs. All such information can deduce the amount that you can contribute towards your child’s education. The lower EFC you can show, the better grant your kid will receive.

  1. Let your child get involved

You must involve your kids in this matter. If your income is low to cover the cost of a private college, then talk to your child regarding the matter. Don’t borrow money beyond your affordability; otherwise, you’ll suffer during retirement. Ask your child to join a part-time job. If the child chooses a college beyond his means, then he has to take responsibility for its funding.



  1. Take advantage of 401 (K) offered by your employer

If your company offers a 401(k) savings plan, then take advantage of it. Thus you can grow money tax-free. You can get more advantage of free money if your employer offers a dollar-for-dollar percentage match.

For example,

Suppose you’re earning $1,000 per week and your company is offering a 5% dollar-for- dollar match.

If you’re contributing 60% of your weekly gross income into your 401(k), then your company needs to deposit an additional 60% into your account, which means you’re saving nearly $3000 free money into your retirement account in a year.

  1. Review your life insurance policy

Some people pay more than what they need on their life insurance policies. Thus, a large part of the monthly income goes towards the life insurance premiums. If you’re one of them, then review your life insurance policy instead of wasting money on an unnecessary coverage. You can save money toward your retirement fund or child’s college fund.

  1. Try to automate your savings

Once you automate your savings, a portion of your paycheck will save in your accounts automatically every month. Thus, you’ll be able to save money even on a tight budget.

  1. Open a 529 savings plan

529 savings plan allows you to save tax-free money for your child’s higher education. Ask your family members to contribute to 527 accounts instead of wasting money on expensive gifts.

  1. Seek professional help

Sometimes you may get confused about your priorities in life. Being a parent, you always want to pay for your child’s higher education. But you shouldn’t ignore your financial future. If you’re not getting answers yourself, then you can talk to a financial advisor for help. An advisor can tell you how to save for your child besides your retirement account.

Final words

Remember, stealing money from the retirement account is a big No-no. Taking money out of your savings dedicated for future is a big mistake. Remember, retirement savings is a necessity. Your child’s education cost will be managed with your help or without your help. Don’t feel ashamed if you’re unable to fund your child’s education. There are many options for your child but fewer options for you when you’re unable to work even.

Finally, federal financial aid provided by the schools are the right options for struggling parents who want to protect their child from the vicious cycle of student loan debt. Browse online to find out more information. If you still want to take out student loan debt, then talk to a financial advisor to know the best option suitable for your financial situation.

 amy-nickson Amy Nickson is a web enthusiast. She is associated with ovlg.com where she shares her expertise through her crisp and well ­researched articles based on money management, money saving ideas, debt and so on.

How to Stop Spending Too Much Money NOW!

How to Stop Spending Too Much Money


I’ve recently shared that I’ve been on my Debt Free Journey for a year now.  I plan to share exactly how much debt I’ve managed to eliminate within this year in a later post.  Now, however, I’m addressing what got me into debt and what exactly I’ve done to get out of debt. My first step was to stop spending too much money NOW.

By now you should know the key to getting out of debt is to earn more and spend less! While I definitely don’t consider myself an expert at earning more and spending less, I do think that the things I’ve done to stop spending too much are achievable and can be helpful to someone.  

What I did to stop spending too much money  

1. Track and Analyze my Spending

On a monthly basis, I review my bank statements.  I categorize my spending into gas, fast food, groceries, clothing, and bills and totaled my spending in those areas.  An additional category is miscellaneous which is where I payed close attention to see where exactly where I could cut cost.  I was able to realize just how much “little things” added up such as vending machine trips, candy and sodas from the gas station and random trips from the grocery store, Dollar General, and Target.  Afterwards, I would attempt to decrease spending in all areas by at least 10 percent.

2. Avoid triggers

If you follow me on Instagram, then you’re aware of how tempted I was by Target.  I would take random trips to Target, browse every isle, and spend hundreds of dollars on things I did not need, and some I did.  After maxing out my card, I did the same to my Mister’s card until we had TWO maxed out cards for one household.  Shortly after, I decided to begin my debt free journey.

To avoid behaviors that placed me back in debt, I removed my Target from my pocket book and had my mister place at the top of my closet in a pocket book without me looking.  Afterwards, I cut it up.  Now, to continue avoiding triggers, particularly emotional spending, I’ve unsubscribed from email list to avoid the temptation of online shopping, removed all my cards from my wallet, and shop with list in most cases.

How To Stop Spending Too Much Money-2

3.  Use cash

It took me a long time, like a really long time, to develop the habit of using cash instead of swiping my debt card. It also took me a long time to remove my debit card from my wallet and use cash only or the cash envelope system.  The cash envelope system is not working so well for me right now, swiping my cards had become so normal.  I plan on being more diligent and consistent in my efforts.

4. Develop a Budget

I developed a budget about three months into my debt free journey.  That budget did not work out so well after one attempt and I went back to my old system of paying bills, however I made sure to assign an increased amount towards my debt snowball payment.  I’ve since developed a zero based budget, which continues to be a work in progress.

All the above techniques have been helpful in preventing me from spending too much money and paying off debt in this first year of my debt free journey.  It does require lots of determination and discipline, which I didn’t have in the beginning.  Which why, it’s probably called a journey!

In addition to the techniques above, I’ve stopped spending money on these 4 things as well:

  1. Dunken donuts coffee
  2. Manicures and pedicures
  3. Fast food
  4. Pocket books and shoes

Here is a video explaining exactly how much debt I’m in and why I began my journey!

Please add any tips you have to help people from spending too much money below?  Is there anything that you stopped buying that you added back into your budget?


Avoid Financial Regret

avoid financial regret

Today’s post is a guest post from Michael.  Micheal blogs at Super Millennial.

Regret..it’s an awful feeling to have in your life.  I’m not quite 30.  I’m lucky to not have much regret, however this Business Insider article got me thinking of how much financial regret some people will have in their life. The article mentions five financial experts and the money regrets they look back on in their life.

Business Insider Financial Regrets to Avoid

  • Failure to do research to make an educated decision
  • Not listening to your gut if it doesn’t feel right
  • Not investing sooner
  • Living beyond your means & getting into debt
  • Ignoring a collection item

These are all very legitimate regrets and sure a lot of people are currently suffering from, or currently leading a life that will lead to these regrets. Let’s take a look at these five financial regrets and the necessary steps to take to make sure you never feel this type of financial regret in your future.

Failure to do Research

The article references a CPA who didn’t do his research when he bought their first house. Buying a home is most likely you’re biggest purchase ever and need to do your research. Before you even begin looking online at houses, do RESEARCH the following information:

· Use a mortgage calculator to find out what you can afford & the monthly payment amount (make sure to include taxes, insurance & HOA fees)
· Will you have any savings or will all your money be in your home?
· Evaluate if the house needs repairs, if so do you have the additional money?
· Is your credit score high enough to secure a low APR loan?
· How does it compare to other houses in the neighborhood?
· Would you be okay living there 5-10 years?

There are 100 additional questions to ask before buying a house but the same applies to buying or leasing a car. Make sure to do your research! These high-ticket items will be around in your life for a long time so make sure you really want it and can afford them.

Not Listening To Your Gut

The article references someone feeling pressured when meeting with financial advisors and the bad feeling they got during the encounter. Listening to your gut in most situations is usually the best solution; whether you’re unsure about taking a new job, feeling pressured by a salesman for a “limited time offer”, or hiring a financial advisor. In most situations you should at least sleep on big decisions for a night. If your gut still doesn’t like it the next day, don’t do it.

When it comes to financial advisors I think if you’re net worth is under $100,000 then you can manage your own finances. Paying someone to do it may be convenient but if you don’t learn now you may never. Most people who acquired wealth have had a solid understanding of their finances. That includes how much money they save, how much they spend, and where they invest. Here are some other ways to stay on top of your finances:
· Invest Enough in your 401K to match your employer match
· Open a Roth IRA to maximize retirement savings

Avoid Financial Regret 2

Not Investing Sooner

I’ve always been a saver but didn’t begin investing until I was 25. As the article mentions Jeff Rose, fellow blogger of Good Financial Cents said “if only I had started a Roth IRA at 18.” But let’s get real, from 18-22 the last thing on your mind is learning about low cost index funds and tax sheltered accounts.

Unfortunately after that age people then get busy with work, additional education, having a family, and keep up the same excuses. “I don’t understand investing, I don’t have the money right now, or I’m not going to retire for like 40 years.” While one or all of those may be true it’s important to take the time to learn about personal finance or investing earlier, rather than later. Not only will investing earlier compound your potential gains but it will create a habit for your brain to always invest a portion of your income and set up your older self for success. As mentioned previously start investing in your 401K and open a Roth IRA to ensure you can start benefiting from compound interest over time.

Living Beyond Your Means

How often do we all see this? People that make the same or less than you do but always seem to be living the life on Instagram…anyone can do it, but typically they’re just racking up high interest credit card debt trying to impress everyone.

Just STOP, do you need to buy bottle service every weekend? Or buy a car with a $500/month payment? Probably not. It’s important to understand how much you make, create a budget, and stick to it every month. Don’t rack up debt trying to impress everyone; you’ll create a vicious cycle that will be tough to climb out of when you realize how much interest you owe on your credit cards. Here are some other ways to stay on top of your spending:

· Track Your Spending with Mint or Personal Capital
· Track Your Net Worth (Download my net worth tracker here)

Stop trying to keep up with the Joneses…they’re broke!

Ignoring A Bill

Finally the last example is ignoring a bill that eventually ends up in collection. If you get a bill, pay it off, no matter how small, get the receipt and store it away. Even one item can have a serious impact towards getting a loan or even negatively affecting your credit. Bottom line…pay the bills! To ensure you don’t miss any bills I also recommend setting up automatic bill pay for your cell phone,
Hopefully everyone can avoid financial regret by sticking to a few simple, easy financial rules. Always do your research for big purchases, listen to your gut (it’s rarely wrong), start investing, don’t overspend trying to impress people and always pay your bills on time.

What has been your biggest financial regret?  

MichaelMichael L. is the creator of Super Millennial. He teaches millennials how to evaluate their financial situation, simplify money management & learn how to automate your investments to reach their financial goals. Subscribe for his personal finance “Keys To Success” and blog updates here. For additional updates, follow me on Twitter!

August Side Hustle Income


August Side Hustle Income

Hello! I’ve decided to return to sharing Side Hustle Income reports as a means to motivate others on their Financial Freedom Journey!

New Visitors!

I do Side Hustle Income reports to show exactly how much money is earned from side hustling.  I continue to work a full time job and that income is not reported.  Side Hustle Income reports, originally Online Income Reports,  began in 2015.  These reports stopped when Goal Digging to Happiness stopped producing income.  However, I’ve decided to return to reporting my Side Hustle Income.

Side Hustle, or “side hustling” is a common term within the personal finance community.  A side hustle is considered to be any task or tasks that earn additional money to be applied towards debt payments.  Side hustles include blogging, a part time job, Youtuber, amazon seller, anything that brings in additional income!

In 2015, I earned about $4000 in side hustle income, with only starting in March 2015!  I was able to pay off 3 credit cards and

August Side Hustle Income Breakdown

Side Hustle as a Therapist:                     1050.00

Google Adsense:                                        102.37

GDTH:                                                             0

Selling Items:                                                  0

Natural Hair Care Specialist:                           0

Total:                                                          1152. 37

The categories listed above are ALL my side hustles.  Earlier this year, I earned extra money doing hair in a shop however that stopped.  My schedule become more and more hectic at my full time job and I was unable to be consistent with appointments.  Shortly afterwards, I decided to do therapy on the side, which has been my most lucrative hustle yet.  There is potential to work less hours and make more money at my part time job but the benefits of my full time job are needed at this time.

Debt Payment Progress

I’m currently on my LAST credit card with hope to have it paid by the end of October or before!  $600.00 of my side hustle money was applied to my debt snowball payment this past pay period and over $1000 in all for the month of August!  This brings my consumer debt number  to $1966.58.  

August 2016 Side Hustle Income Report


I started a Goal Digging to Happiness youtube channel!  There I also provide some insight of my debt freedom journey as well provide a personal look into my life with 5 children.

With only one credit card left, I’ve been able to make other investments. My insights on work independence has changed drastically after a recent incident at work.  Since then, I’ve been more interested in having the option of work flexibility, although it is not my goal at this time.

After October, the mister and I will be FINALLY joining finances.  Joining finances will increase our debt snowball payments and speed up the debt free date!

September Goals


  • Pay $1000 towards WFCC
  • Build Emergency Fund

Goal Digging to happiness

  • Complete course and implement techniques
  • 1 blog post weekly


  • have one meatless meal/week


  • Do a crafting, DIY with family
  • plant my fall garden
  • go on a date
  • Enjoy all the pumpkin spice I can!

What do you think? Do you think I should be applying more to my debt snowball?  How do you determine your debt snowball payment?

Debt Free Journey: Year 1

Debt free journey_ year 1
This post contains affiliate links. I receive a small commission for each purchase you make at NO extra cost to you. I promote quality products, that I have personally use. All opinions are my own.

If you are new here, WELCOME.  If you’ve been here before Welcome back and thank you for returning!

August 27, 2016 will make an entire year on my debt free journey and the birth of Goaldiggingtohappiness.com.  Here is my very first blog post!  I’ve spent the past couple of days thinking about what has changed in my life, how I’ve changed, and the good and bad of my journey thus far.  If your wondering how could being on such an empowering journey could have any negatives, sit tight, I plan on sharing.  I’ll also be sharing exactly where I am on my debt free journey and where I plan to be in the future.

Debt Payment Update

Amazon 290.9 PAID
Paypal 29.99% $1,136.65 $866.11 PAID
Bill Me Later 29.99% $1,157.99 $1,092.57 $589.80 $294.00 PAID
Citfinancial 13.64% $1,925.70 $1,948.98 $1,709.10 $1,685.24 $1,659.70 $1,388.95 $647.00 PAID July 31, 2016
Wells Fargo 26.49% $2,562.76 $2,506.96 $2,482.80 $2,455.50 $2,687.35 $2,965.16 $2,939.43 $2,592.72
Total $7,283.90 $6,369.62 $4,771.70 $4,434.74 4,347.05 $4,354.11 $3,586.43 $2,592.72

To see exactly where I started, click here.  I’m down to my very last credit card!  I hope to have this paid off by October 31, 2016 or before, I’m leaning more to the before.  Immediately following the month that I pay off Well Fargo, I plan on applying that month’s debt snowball towards my baby ER fund which is not/has not been funded as of yet.

Future Debt Payments

Once our baby ER fund is funded, we (the mister AND I) plan on tackling transportation debt.  We’d like to have our transportation debt paid by December 2017.  Those debts are as follows:

Motocycle loan:                           $4494.59

Tahoe:                                         $6292.72

Honda 2014:                                $16,649.14

Total                                              $27,436.45

Debt Freedom Journey Positives

1.  More money

This is obvious.  In the last 2 months I’ve been able to include sinking fund accounts into my budget and I’ve had money in between pay periods as opposed to before my journey where I’d go from paycheck to paycheck.

2.  Budget

I’ve been budgeting consistently and it has truly changed my outlook on money.  Developing the mindset of telling my money where to go as opposed to my money telling me, has relieved much of the stress about money that I previously had.  For me, organizing my money has lead to my success thus far.

3.  Organization

Once I began to see the affects of my budget and organizing my money, I began to desire the same organization in other aspects of my life.  Particularly, my home.  I’ve created some great spaces, purged some things, and plan to continue in other aspects like work and parenting.

4.  Confidence

My confidence in myself has increased tremendously as I’ve accomplished task that other’s have criticized and judged.  I now believe that anything is possible as long as I put my mind to it.

Debt Free Journey Negatives

I don’t have a huge list of negatives.  The main negatives are the sacrifices and the criticism.  I’ve had to sacrifice lots of things, mainly time.  Time away on the weekends as I work my part time, that I could be enjoying my family.  Another sacrifice, time related, is family vacations.  For the last two summers, my family hasn’t been on a vacation and that has sucked!

The criticism, bothered me a lot when I first started but I was able to deal with it once I realized how common it is.  I wrote a guest post about some of the criticism I received on My Debt Epiphany.  Most of that still holds true today.

I still have not determined exactly when I plan to be completely debt free because I continue to be on the fence about paying off my student loans while on the Human Service Loan Forgiveness Payment Plan.  I also continue to go back and forth about early retirement or working until retirement (I’ll talk more about that later).

Additional Income

I continue to seek out additional ways to earn passive income.  I’m currently considering an income property and I’ve also started a Youtube channel.  I’m just as inconsistent there as I am here.  I plan on improving that.  My youtube channel will focus more on my debt free journey AND my family life.  Finally, Goaldiggintohappiness.com has it’s own Instagram page, Please follow me!

Debt Free Journey Helpful Tips

How has your journey been? How much more debt do you have?

2016 Goal Review and Debt Update

2016 Goal Review


First I’d like to apologize for the inconsistency here at GDTH.  Due to unfortunate circumstances at work, I’ve been extremely busy, like earning 75 hours a week busy, which has made it extremely hard to find time, energy, and motivation to write.  I understand that constancy is important for blog success and I’m working really hard to get back to a routine and am even considering outsourcing and guest post.  If you’d like to submit please let me know here.

June 30, 2016 marked the first half of the year as well as the end of the second quarter.  Since we are already half way through the year, I thought it would be a great time to evaluate my progress on my yearly goals and reevaluate any goals that are no longer relevant, may take longer than expected, or need revising.  Below are the goals I made at the end of the 2015 year for 2016 and the progress made thus far.

2016 Goals

  •  Fully finance our home improvement  FAIL (actually revised) This has been placed on the back burner.  This post explains more.  
  • Establish and build an emergency fund IN PROGRESS This is still in progress but will be completed by December 2016.  
  • Stop using all credit cards and be out of credit card debt by December 2016- SUCESS I’ve stopped using the cards and am on target to have the last two paid off by September 30!
  •  Earn or exceed $1,000 blogging income by December 2016  FAIL I completely lost focus with GDTH, which is so unfortunate because I probably could’ve been making more money from it by now and could’ve potentially met this goal.  Check out my previous Blog Income Reports below.  
  • Lose 10-15 pounds- FAIL
  • Generate or exceed $5,000 in side hustle money IN PROGRESS Thus far I’ve made about $3,000 and unless I lose my PT, I should exceed this amount!
  • Increase my income my 10% SUCESS I recently got a raise and the combination of the raise and my PT income should place me at the 10% increase I need to excel my debt pay off.  
  • Increase my financial knowledge IN PROGRESS Initially, my goal was to read a book a month.  I read one in January, none from February to April, and then 3 in May. Nothing since.  
  • Self improve ONGOING
  • Eliminate overpayment loan SUCESS This was paid in full in April!


December Side Hustle Income

November Side Hustle Income

We decided to revise our debt repayment plan.  I will be at the point in August that I can apply ALL my part time income to my debt which should successfully have my final credit cards eliminated by September 30, 2016 or before.  Beginning November 2016, the mister and I plan to both tackle all vehicle debt with the goal to have all paid by December 2017!  Afterwards that will leave my student loans, which I’m still on the fence about actively paying to eliminate while on the loan forgiveness program.

Since we’ve decided to work on eliminating the auto loan debt by December 2017, we’ve decided to DIY as much of the home addition as we can possibly do while saving for a contractor with goals to have it completely funded by December 2018.  However, those plans may change drastically.  My baby boy desperately needs his own room, and I can only imagine the peace we would get with the teens upstairs on their own level.

Debt Repayment Progress

Jan Feb March April May June July
AC 290.9 PAID
PP $1,136.65 $866.11 PAID
BML $1,157.99 $1,092.57 $589.80 $294.00 PAID
CF $1,925.70 $1,948.98 $1,709.10 $1,685.24 $1,659.70 $1,388.95 $900.00
WF $2,562.76 $2,506.96 $2,482.80 $2,455.50 $2,687.35 $2,965.16 $2,873.16
Total $7,283.90 $6,369.62 $4,771.70 $4,434.74 4,347.05 $4,354.11 $3,773.16

Here is the previous debt repayment update posted.

I’m super excited about being close to having my credit card debt eliminated and having that HUGE burden off my shoulders!

How have your 2016 goals been going thus far?




I’m bringing another DIY!  You can my May DIY here.  I’ve taken on a new interest in creating great spaces in my home as well as updating my home on a budget of course.  To stay within that budget, I’ve taken a liking to DIY’ing and have had some great results in doing so, in my own opinion.

Doing it myself is not something that comes naturally, however being creative is.  The patience and time it can take to complete one task can become a little overwhelming especially in a time where most everything is instant.  I began my DIY’ing with small task, in baby steps, beginning with one project/room at a time.  This helps to stay within my budget as well as evaluate my next steps and avoid the overwhelming feelings and cost that can come from taking on huge projects.


For June’s DIY, I reupholstered a chair to create a reading/sitting space in my bedroom.  Creating a reading space in my bedroom was part of the bigger picture project of updating my bedroom which I’ll discuss in a later post.


I purchased this chair from the Habitat for Humanity Store for $15.00! In selecting this chair, I looked for a chair that was fairly simple to disassemble, made of real wood (easy for staining), had a good cushioning (replacing cushion can be costly) and was cumfortable. This chair met all those requirements!


I then disassembled the chair. To disassemble I simply unscrewed all the screws under the seat and the seat came right out.  As for the head/back rest, I had to pop out the wood circular fillers and then unscrew.

Once taken apart, I sanded the chair to get the brown wood stain off.  If I was going to paint the chair, sanding wouldn’t have been necessary but I wanted an Ebony stain to match our bedroom furniture.

Following the sanding, I stained the chair with two coats of Ebony stain which cost about $10.00 for the brush and stain.

While I allowed the stain to dry overnight, I selected the pattern for the reupholster and reupholstered the seat and back rest.  The fabric for the reupholster was purchased from Hobby Lobby with a 40% coupon which made 1 yard plus $8.37.  In addition I purchased some fabric flowers for $7.99.


Once the stain dried, I put the chair back together and placed the chair beside my window because I love natural lighting, and wanted to create a good working, reading, sitting space in my room.


In addition to the chair, I added a side table I had gotten from Habitat for Humanity about 3 years ago that was sitting in my attic.  I originally purchased the side table for $10.00 which is faux wood panelling and had a dated wood stain.  I spray painted the table black.  I also added a $.49 basket and $.99 glass vase from the Salvation Army.  The mirror was laying around the house so I added it behind the table to make the room appear larger.

I’ve loved the space since creating it!  I’ve sat in this space while blogging and also sit in this space and have my morning coffee.  Collectively, this space cost me less than $50.00! My master bedroom upgrade is now totaling less than $70.00 which include the fan from May’s DIY!

Have my DIY’s been helpful?  Would you like to see videos?  Do you have a DIY or would like to begin DIY project, if so please share?