How We Saved $30,000 in 9 Months to Pay off Debt

I write these posts to help and to genuinely encourage others that there is HOPE. So many times we find ourselves in what seem impossible situations financially.

What you are going to read isn’t one of those posts where I’m going to sugarcoat how we saved $30,000 in 9 months and all I had to do is budget. I wish!

I strive to be transparent with you because I believe my transparency will help you to overcome.

I have recently had such overwhelming feedback from my readers sharing their financial struggles, and it’s my mission to help each and every one.

Many are at the point where they are just hopeless and discouraged. If you are one don’t be, there’s an escape for you. It may not be the escape or rescue you envision in your head but there’s one.

So many times our pride hinders us from the very things we want and we don’t even know it.

The bible says “Pride goeth before destruction.”

I’m going to share with you three things my family did to save $30,000 in 9 months.

Here’s a little background

When I say I really mean to say “we”  because I am referring to my family of 6. Saving this amount of money in this relatively short amount of time was most definitely a group effort.

We are by no means rich, although we are well on our way. So don’t read this post by putting us on a pedestal. We are just a normal family who has been blessed to make better financial decisions and become better stewards over our finances.

So what if you are not making $100,000 a year, you don’t have to make that kind of money to be able to pay off your debt or to save money.

During this time I made $10.00 an hour working as a teller at Chase while my husband made about $20.00 per hour working as a sanitation worker.

Nothing impressive.

On top of that, we had four kids to take care of, credit card debt, two car notes, and student loans.

We were renting a home that was approximately $750 a month. A really nice home 3 bedrooms, 2 baths, fireplace and finished basement for $750. Sound like we had it going on, huh?

Not quite!

I have a financial background so I knew we weren’t doing what we really should have been to be where we wanted to.  

I made some drastic decisions without really consulting my husband (this may not work for everyone, so please proceed with caution) because I just knew it needed to be done and I knew if I made the moves he would follow as long as he saw that I had my family in mind.  

So I created a plan to do whatever we needed to do so we could reach our goals, which was to ultimately be more free and become better stewards over our finances.

Here’s How we saved $30,000 to pay off debt in Just 9 months.

Sacrifice

A word we really don’t want to hear.

We live in an age where if it’s not fulfilling or pleasing why do it because YOLO (you only live once)!

OOOOOOOO PLEASE!

But we are not going to go there today.

If I had not decided to sacrifice and put my wants aside for the betterment of my family we would still be struggling and probably in a worse condition then we were.

So guess what we did?

We started packing up that nice, cozy, 3 bedroom house and moved in with my mom and my grandmother.

Oooooo NOOOOO Jasmine is probably what your saying. But o yes sweetie.

My husband wasn’t feeling that at all (that’s that pride), but I packed up my kids and our stuff threw it in my car and we were on our way.

Not too long after my husband was right there with us. That was my chess move. 🙂 

I knew that we needed to do something NOW, not in a few months or next year.

My grandmother allowed us to stay rent-free. We just paid the water bill and helped with anything that needed to be done around the house.

I didn’t even mention I was pregnant with my fourth child at this time. And that’s not even the best part.

Brace yourself for this……

My mom and grandmother live in a one-story ranch that’s not even 2,000 sq ft. There are three bedrooms, a living room, a small dining room, kitchen and one bathroom.

So you are probably doing the math like ok your mom has a bedroom and your grandma has a bedroom so that only leaves one room left, where did you all sleep?

We slept in that one bedroom. YES! All 6 of us.

I made a tiny approx. 100 sq ft bedroom work. With the money, we were saving I bought some paint, bunk beds, a nightstand, and a dresser. I really wish I had a picture because you would stand amazed.

I had my oldest sleep on the top bunk, my two younger ones slept on the bottom bunk (one at each end) and my husband and I slept in a Queen sized bed at the other side of the room.

Once the baby came I bought a bassinet and once she was old enough she slept in the bed with us and we slept like that for two long years maybe three.  

I was also going to school at this time so I ended up quitting my job and then once I graduated with my bachelors I ended up getting a job at a local university that paid $13.95 per hour.

Now, this is where the magic happens.

I started my new job in November so right in time for the holidays. In January we made the choice to go all in financially we both had jobs, we paid no rent, and this is the opportunity we needed to get ahead financially.

When we received our Income tax return that February (which wasn’t a whole lot, but it did help), we saved it and the ball started rolling. We brought in about $4,000 a month at that time so we saved whatever we could.

By the end of September, we had $30,000 in our account.

Was the situation ideal?

Not by far. Of course, I wish I could have stayed in our house and been able to save $30,000.

But the reality was we couldn’t.

But now, we are able to save and we have a house we built a little over a year ago, just because we were willing to humble ourselves and put ourselves in a not so comfortable situation so in the end, we could come out on top.

Is that to say you need to go find a relative who has a spare bedroom and move in with them? NO! But hey I say get in where you can fit in.

I just want you to be willing to go the extra mile for what you want.

So if that means job #2 then suck it up.

If that means finding a side hustle, then get creative. 

If that means downsizing or moving in with some of your folks, then get to packing.

I promise you won’t regret it.

Just simply do what you have to do to get ahead. It doesn’t have to be as drastic or dramatic as my choice was but that’s just what I felt my family needed to do and you will know what your family needs to do as well

Please don’t disregard those smaller things you need to do as well such as stop spending frivolously and getting rid of those bad habits that are costing you money.

There’s always a sacrifice that can be made when it comes to your finances, no matter the size.

Budget

You may be tired of hearing me talk about budgeting because I literally mention it in all of these posts:

If it wasn’t for having a budget we would have never been able to save money like we did.

You may be thinking, of course, it’s easy to save money when you don’t have any bills.

Actually, it’s quite the opposite.

The more money you have the more you are to spend frivolously just because you can.

You better believe the thought crossed my mind every time I saw something I wanted.

Why do you think all these people who make all this money are broke? Because they don’t manage their money properly.

And part of managing your money properly is an effective budget.

We sat down every two weeks to plan out our finances. We would do our grocery budget, account for any bills that we wanted to put towards and plan our entertainment for the next two weeks.

Everything is INTENTIONALLY planned for.

Follow Through

The Follow through is so important because you often lose that initial excitement that you had when you started.

In the beginning, you will be like “Yes, I got some money now I can save and pay off my debt.”

A month later you’re going to be like “I have done good, I think I deserve to treat myself and since I have so much extra money I’m just going to take a little and get those shoes I’ve been wanting.”

Two months later it’s “I’ll just start again next month saving.”

And then BOOM you’re right back in your same old habits.

That’s why it’s so important that you put yourself in a situation that’s going to motivate you.

Staying at my momma’s house with my husband and four kids was motivation 24-7!

So I was often reminded of why I was in that situation, what was needed to get out of it, and to never make the same mistake again.

Whatever you do don’t stop, keep going, I know your reason WHY is enough to push you over that finish line.

You have your own story to tell and I can’t wait to hear it.

 

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