There is ONE thing that is standing in the way of most of us saving for retirement. And that is that wayward bitch, debt. From an outsiders perspective, other countries must think Americans LOVE to be in debt — we like to buy things on credit we can’t afford and probably don’t need and then spend the next few decades paying it off.
For those people facing massive student loan debt, that could mean your first decade (or more) in the workforce is spent paying the government back, plus interest.
I am relatively lucky in the realm of debt. I didn’t take out student loans, I own my old, gold Toyota Corolla I’ve affectionately named Gladys, and I’ve never taken out a loan from a bank. My credit is ‘excellent’ and I grew up knowing that you sure as shit better have the money before you go buying something. I’m certainly not saying any of this to brag, I’m simply acknowledging my circumstances are likely not the same as yours, and that’s okay — there is a way out of any amount of debt.
Please keep in mind, not everything I write here will be of popular opinion, and I think some need a kind of harsh dose of reality when it comes to debt. I’ll never write something maliciously, or make anyone feel badly about owing money to the bank; the goal here is simply to learn from one another and get as many people on the right path to being financially independent as I can.
I am also NOT an expert in literally anything money related. I started this ‘Adulting 101’ section on our blog because somewhere in the US school system some dum-dum forgot to teach anyone the basics of life. That is, what debt is and how to deal with it, how to do your taxes, how to take out a loan from a bank, how to buy a house and about a million other practical things. I am in the process of learning all of these things myself, a tad bit late albeit, but better late than never, eh?
So, if you are in the same boat as me, and want to start aggressively paying off your credit cards, understand what it means to save money for retirement ( and how much you’ll need), what the fuck the difference is between a Roth IRA and a regular IRA, whether you should have a money market account, a CD or a 401k, ya girl is here to do the same.
I will aim to be as upfront as possible and disclose as much money-related information as I’m comfortable (or is safe) to do.
I want to retire early and go live in France drinking wine and shoving French cheese in my face, I want to be able to handle an emergency like needing new car tires without having heart palpitations over the bill, and I want you, reading this, to be able to do the same.
This week’s resource: The Debt Snowball
The Debt Snowball is the obvious choice and there’s a reason Dave Ramsey is the OG of pretty much everything debt-related. Give it a read and see if there’s anything in there you can implement…and then DO IT, like this week!
I will be sharing resources every post. It may be a podcast episode I just listened to, a book about money I’m currently reading, or an article from someone with an ‘expert’ status. If you have any great resources, please send them my way via the comments!
My current total debt: $999.00