We’re Debt Free + Saving with Spunk is 1!

Jen SmithBlogging, Debt, Personal Finance11 Comments

we're debt free

Today is a special day y’all. Saving with Spunk is one-year-old! And it just so happens that we also became debt free last week! This journey has been so different than I anticipated. I mean, I guess I didn’t know what to expect going into it. I had nothing to compare it to. We were the first people we knew to go full throttle to become debt free. Two years ago today I was a month out from getting married. I knew this journey was coming and I was riding out my last few weeks of freedom with a little … Read More

Thoughts and Feelings on the Start of our Last Month in Debt

Jen SmithDebt, Personal Finance14 Comments

We are officially in our last month of being in student loan debt. I thought this month would never come, but here it is. How I’m feeling about being almost debt-free. I’m not good at writing about feelings. If I take the time to write something I want it to help people, not give them an inside look at what’s going on inside my brain. But I see a lot of posts about people “in debt” and “debt free” but not many about being “almost out of debt.” We’re one month away from completing the journey of paying off $78,000 … 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

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

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

13 Cats Who Totally Understand Your Debt Payoff Struggle

Jen SmithDebt, Personal Finance20 Comments

Cats Who Get It

Ever think no one understands your debt payoff struggle? Everyone’s taking pictures of their fantastic lives and you’re over here dining on leftovers and tap water. I know your pain, you don’t put 60% of your income towards debt and get to experience the luxury of air conditioning in the summer or hotels when you’re out of town. I’m not the only one who understands you, cats do. Of course, they’re not real cats, real cats DGAF about anyone. These cat gifs though, are the symbol of our plight. I hope they comfort you and inspire you to keep going. … 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

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

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