How To Improve Your Budget to Pay Off Debt

Jen SmithBudgeting, Personal Finance25 Comments

budget to pay off debt

Making your first budget to pay off debt can be scary. It’s not as simple as assigning percentages because every person’s finances are different. But the results are in and budgeting is a necessity to achieving your financial goals. Sure you can get by without a budget but you won’t get ahead without one. My husband and I have been budgeting together since before we got married and it’s set a foundation for us to be able to pay off over $64,000 over 18 months. There are a ton of methods, spreadsheets, printables, etc. to create a budget, but I … Read More

11 Steps to Avoid Burnout When Paying off Debt

Jen SmithDebt, Personal Finance9 Comments

avoid burnout while paying off debt

The key to avoiding burnout while paying off debt is to reinvigorate your motivation. Here are 11 ways you can stay motivated and energized to avoid burnout when paying off debt. 1. Work With Purpose The first step to any journey is identifying the destination. It’s no different in becoming debt free. But debt freedom isn’t the destination. It’s an essential stop along the way, but understanding that there’s life after debt is imperative to making it out of debt and staying there. What’s your purpose for getting out of debt? Ours is to have career and lifestyle freedom. We … Read More

How to Find Affordable Acupuncture Near You

Jen SmithFrugality, Personal Finance10 Comments

community acupuncture

As a licensed acupuncturist and personal finance writer, sometimes I’m given confused looks as the two seemingly don’t coordinate. But as many of you will know who read my blog and hang out with me on Facebook Live, acupuncture school is how I racked up all my debt and the primary way we paid it off. So when I had the opportunity to write about affordable acupuncture when I was interning at The Penny Hoarder it was my two worlds perfectly colliding. I’ve been practicing for about five years and have seen acupuncture work wonders in people. When people ask me … Read More

7 Important Things to Remember When Buying a Car While in Debt

Jen SmithPersonal Finance18 Comments

buying a car while in debt

You may find yourself in a place where buying a car while in debt is a necessity. Here are some important things to remember when making your decision. In 2014 I had over $50,000 in student loan debt, a job that would never make me more than $50,000 in a year and a busted car. I hadn’t planned on needing a new car for a few more years so my savings were not enough to pay cash and I was stressed from having to find rides and knowing how much this new car was going to cost me. I cringe … Read More

Why Vulnerability is the Key to Financial Health

Jen SmithPersonal Finance10 Comments

Vulnerability and Financial Health

Whether you have money in the bank or no penny to your name, if you’re committed to being vulnerable you will have good financial health. I kept my debt and indulgent spending in the dark for a long time. The shame and guilt of my financial mess overwhelmed me to the point of anxiety. So I hid it for years. I listened to Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University when I was halfway through college. I had no clue about budgeting, credit, and debt until that course. Unfortunately, I had $25,000 in debt and another $25,000 to go. I wasn’t ready to … Read More

13 Ways to Save Money at Restaurants that Won’t Embarrass Your Friends

Jen SmithPersonal Finance, Savings32 Comments

Ways to Save at Restaurants

My husband and I didn’t travel well together for a long time. When we’d leave the city he’d get increasingly paranoid about spending money and for me, all inkling of a budget left my mind as I imagined all the new fun and food there was to be had. And I have too many memories of arguments with my husband, Travis, because he refused to order his own entrée, opting to only eat the food left over by our friends. So now we plan beforehand so he knows we have the money to spend and I don’t spend it all … Read More

Countdown to Student Loan Freedom – 120 Days to go

Jen SmithBudgeting, Personal Finance8 Comments

Best Summer Ever

We’re putting 59% of our total income toward achieving student loan freedom. Want to see the budget we’re using and how we’re spending the other 41%? You’re in luck. When I say we paid off $53,000 of student loan debt in a year people are flabbergasted. They think it’s awesome but they always have an excuse as to why they can’t do it. “My loans are three times as much as yours.” “I have a kid, I can’t work any extra hours.” “I literally can’t think about my loans, it gives me anxiety.” We don’t have lucrative jobs, we didn’t … Read More