My name is Kayla, and I am a 30-year-old wife and mom to an adorable little girl. Some might say that I grew up privileged. My parents were good with money. My brother and I didn’t want for anything. They taught us the principles of how to be successful and how to manage money at an early age. Saving and giving were both a priority. So, now you may be wondering “How did you get to the point where you even need to document your debt free journey then?” Well, I got caught up, as a lot of people have, with trying to keep up with the Joneses’. Who are they anyway?
“How did you get to the point where you even need to document your debt free journey then?”
I graduated from college in 2011 with a bachelor’s degree in Public Relations from Florida A&M University, but my current profession is as an Email Marketer in the financial services industry. Upon graduation, I set two goals to accomplish once I landed my first job and neither involved saving for retirement or paying back my student loans. They were to 1. buy a Louis Vuitton bag and 2. to buy a luxury vehicle; I actually accomplished both. I always assumed I was great with my finances because I “budgeted” a.k.a. paid my monthly bills on time, used coupons and shopped clearance, and was able to purchase two homes before my 28th birthday. Thanks Mom and Dad. However, that was not the case.
My ah-ha moment came the moment my husband and I came back from our honeymoon in May of 2018. We maxed out a credit card of $4,000 in order to sail the Western Caribbean seas. I finally felt that enough was enough especially since we were bringing in over $100,000/year, but living paycheck to paycheck with no savings. I started researching various hashtags on Instagram to find information on how to get out debt, and that is how I stumbled across the #debtfreecommunity. I discovered Dave Ramsey and instantly purchased the Total Money Makeover on iTunes. I read it in two days on my lunch break, and vowed to start my journey to debt freedom the following month.
Tallying up my debt was scary (and even scarier the second time around once my husband finally got on board – more on that later). I started out with $75,000 worth of debt, including a $450 medical bill left from giving birth to my daughter three years prior, six credit cards, a personal loan from my Mom (she paid off my student loans to keep me from paying a ton of interest), and an auto loan. I managed to pay off the first $20,000 in just six months thanks to hard work, dedication, and the #debtfreecommunity as a support system. And, I became credit card debt free after only eight months!
Team Work Makes the Dream Work
In January of 2019, my husband decided to fully commit to joining the debt free bandwagon. We’re a part of a small group through our church and our topic for the semester just so happened to focus on how to do finances God’s way. Combined, our total debt number was just over $145,000. Yikes! At the time of this writing, we’re sitting at less than $110,000. This number may seem scary, but I know we can clear it with our dedication, sacrifice, and all the budgeting knowledge that we’ve gained along the way.
“Two people are better than one, because they get more done by working together.”
– Ecclesiastes 4:9 NCV
The topic of discussing personal finance has been taboo, but together, we can change that by breaking that cycle. My goal for this website is to simply share our journey and inspire others, regardless of income, to obtain debt freedom as well. I’m not a personal finance expert, and I’m learning along the way. I’ve changed the way we budget many times since we first started, but the most important thing is that we haven’t given up. I’ll detail exactly how we budget, what methods we currently follow or may have abandoned, and how we plan and save to prepare for future expenses.
Thanks so much for your support. Do not be shy; feel free to follow me on Instagram and message me at any time. I am practically an open book.