Paying Off Debt Gets Done Through The Stupid Little Things

Jen SmithDebt, Personal Finance26 Comments

It’s a new year! And you’re probably reading this because you want to make a change with how you handle your money in 2018. You want to pay off your student loans, start investing, and maybe save up for a big girl vacation, like, to Europe or something. You want to make big changes but very rarely do big things happen to move the needle. It’s the little things that sustain you when you’re trying to make big changes. Like, pay off more money in debt than you make in a year. My husband, Travis, and I paid off nearly … Read More

7 Days to a Better Bank Account – Free Email Course Launch!

Jen SmithBudgeting, Debt, Frugality, Make Money, Personal Finance, Savings7 Comments

I’m overly excited today. I’ve been working hard and hardly working on this for so long (ya know, life happens) for you guys. Read on and let me know what you think! Millennials value experiences over wealth. We would rather travel and spend time with friends than having nice houses and clothes. I love this about my generation and I’m proud to be a millennial. But our lust for life comes with some shortsightedness. The average millennial graduated with around $21,000 in student loan debt and remains underemployed. I was no different. I gladly paid less on my $51,000 student … Read More

Why Unfollowing my Friends Helped my Finances

Jen SmithPersonal Finance18 Comments

Unfollow Your Friends

For the last 15 months we’ve been paying off our $84,000 of consumer and student loan debt. We’re $60K down and have $24K to go. It’s been a combination of hard, easy, fun, annoying, and exhausting. There are times I wish we hadn’t taken out the loans, but I know we wouldn’t have the jobs and friends we love without them. So even in the arduous task of paying them back, I’m grateful. Why Unfollowing my Friends Helped my Finances   In paying off our student loans in such a short amount of time I’ve learned a lot about myself, … Read More

20 Things We Did to Pay off $53K of Debt in One Year

Jen SmithDebt, Personal Finance58 Comments

Pay off Student Loans

In 2016 my husband and I paid off over $53,000 of student loan debt. Our combined income was roughly $88K meaning we lived off $35K and put 60% of our income towards loans. Pinch me. UPDATE: As of August 31, 2017 Travis and I are STUDENT LOAN FREE! We paid off $77,646.54 in 23 months! How to Pay off Student Loan Debt   This was clearly not a casual year for us. It was really easy signing for these loans but it was not easy paying them off. Over $12,000 of my personal income alone was from side jobs and I … Read More

How Legit is Student Loan Forgiveness?

Jen SmithDebt, Personal Finance13 Comments

Student Loan Forgiveness

Everyone and their sister are on some kind of special payment plan for their student loans. But some people get so overwhelmed with the options they just don’t bother with them. With all the talk about student loans, debt, and wealth building I’d be remiss not answer the question: How Legit is Student Loan Forgiveness? Last week we made the final payment on my $51,000 federal student loan (Which balooned to almost $60K with interest.) Pressing that button (actually those three buttons) was a surreal experience. You can even see my bewildered face make that last payment to Navient on my … Read More

The Baby Steps Explained, And Why They Work!

Jen SmithDebt, Personal Finance16 Comments

These are the steps that introduced me and my husband to what financial independence is and for that I am eternally grateful. But a lot of important considerations get looked over if you just find a list of the steps and start crackin. The articles circulating the web are from two camps: Dave Ramsey people, who are relentlessly devoted to the man, and people on the other side, who do math. My goal is to neutrally answer the question: What are The Baby Steps? The Baby Steps, outlined in the book The Total Money Makeover, are the foundation of personal … Read More

10 Free Holiday Activities for Couples Paying off Debt

Jen SmithDebt, Frugality, Personal Finance27 Comments

Free Activities for Couples

  This is where it all started guys. On a quiet summer afternoon I hit publish on my first post titled 10 Free Activities for Couples Paying off Debt and the rest is history. I thought it fitting to do one for the winter as well, seeing how we spend more money this time of year than any other. 1. Christmas Lights Home Tour Every city has a neighborhood that really goes all out with the lights. Take a drive to look at them or walk if the weather isn’t frightful. In Florida, the weather is always great this time … Read More

December 2016 Budget

Jen SmithBudgeting, Debt, Personal Finance12 Comments

Real Life Budget

Are you ready for this? We paid $5,000 of our student loan debt in one month.   That’s crazy even for us! We were able to do this for two reasons: the budget and some discipline. UPDATE: As of August 31, 2017 Travis and I are STUDENT LOAN FREE! We paid off $77,646.54 in 23 months! We never have the perfect budget. In the 14 months we’ve been doing this we’ve always had to tweak here and there to make it work but paying off our student loans is the priority and that puts all spending into perspective. Over the last … Read More

What is 3-6 Months of Expenses and Which Should I Have?

Jen SmithPersonal Finance, Savings21 Comments

The traditional emergency fund is 3-6 months of expenses. Most people don’t have it and some have way more. The one thing most people can agree on is that they have no idea what their 3-6 months of expenses should look like. The first step to having a solid emergency fund is knowing why you need it and what it’s for. If every time you save $1000 you have an “emergency” haircut, you’ll be battling this vicious cycle of emergencies forever. Why do I need an Emergency fund? An emergency fund is for unexpected emergencies. You know they’re coming but … Read More

10 Best Personal Finance Podcasts for Millennials

Jen SmithPersonal Finance18 Comments

best personal finance podcasts for millennials

I used to not consider myself a big podcast person. While everyone else was hopping on the Serial train I was calling NPR like “Can I just have some Justin Beiber?” And I’ll admit I listen to whatever’s on the radio when I get in the car. I’m too lazy and usually running too late to decide what I want to listen to, which album/episode, AND plug it into my broken aux plug. But in the last six months, I’ve been addicted to podcasts. I got into them by writing this blog post. It started out as a list of … Read More