Paying off debt, saving money, and reaching big money goals are easier to accomplish when you have support (from family of friends) or have seen stories of success.
I've always found so much inspiration and motivation after reading success stories! That is why I've decided to start featuring YOUR success stories. I believe that these will help motivate those who are on a similar journey.
Enjoy this amazing financial transformation from Rebekah!
Frustration was the main feeling that would occupy my mind when I thought of my family's finances. I made it through college debt-free and only had a family loan to take care of before becoming debt-free but I was still so frustrated. This family member who loaned us money bought my husband and me a car when we got married. They told us we could pay it back at our own pace. “Pay back at our own pace? Awesome!” or so I thought...
“At our own pace” meant no plan and whatever was leftover after a month of non-budgeted spending was put toward that debt. The frustration started a couple of years later when we were still paying back this loan for the car.
We were expecting our second child and I had so many big dreams for our family! I envisioned being debt-free and saving for things I really wanted like our future home.
We already knew where we wanted to build but hey, building a house is not cheap! I had a vision of a house that was home, with everything we would ever need and nothing more. I could see our complete future family living there with the kids running around and playing in the backyard as I cooked dinner in my dream kitchen. This was one of my biggest dreams and this is where I decided that enough was enough. It was time to take control of my financial future.
Luckily, I have an amazing husband who was supportive and went along with me as I jumped into personal finance- budgeting, savings goals, car payoff goals, and yes, our eventual home goals. Our plan was coming together beautifully! Now we needed to find a way to track everything. Because I tend to nerd out over organization and planning, I set up an excel workbook to track our budget as well as debt payoff and savings goals.
How I Paid Off $24,000 in Debt: Rebecca's Story
Overcoming a Mountain of Debt: Bethany's Story
For the debt portion, I had a countdown, payment tracker, estimated time of being finished, and a few different types of charts all on that one excel sheet. I also created a chart to put on the fridge and a paper link chain in our bedroom to help visualize the best getting smaller. (Did I mention I am a huge fan of visual reminders?!) Sure enough, we buckled down and paid off the remaining 20k in 8 months, and let me tell you… it was one of the most freeing feelings to be able to say that we were 100% debt-free.
Moving on to our next goal, an emergency savings fund, and a new(to us) car, I looked for other ways to visually track the progress (as my homemade chart wasn’t too great) and stumbled on Debt Free Charts from another financial account I follow on Instagram. I was amazed at the variety of charts that the site provided and the value of the cost - I had about 10 different charts in my account to try out by the time I checked out. After printing these beauties out, I placed the savings chart in front of the car chart on the fridge and we were off to the races, with a newfound desire to focus on our goals.
Currently, we are done with the emergency savings chart and have moved on to the car savings one. And guess what chart is underneath that one? Our house downpayment chart! These charts have given me a visual way to stay on track and keep up with our progressing financial goals and give me a brighter sense of what the future holds for our family.
If you’re anything like me, you’ve probably started and stopped your goals a million times. You might just be missing a tangible way to hold yourself accountable and find some joy in the journey. I challenge you to take the next step, whether that be deciding a fixed amount for your goals, or just writing them down so you can start developing a strategy to win financially.
I don’t know what your journey looks like, but I believe that you can achieve any goal you set your mind to if you have the right tools, a solid plan, and a growth mindset.
You can find the charts Rebekah used on her journey on the Debt Free Charts shop or direct links below:
Starter Emergency Fund (FREE)
Car Savings or Payoff Chart
Down Payment Savings Chart (or Down Payment Savings Game)
Do you have a motivational personal finance story? I'd love to hear it in the comments!