Welcome to the first post about my personal finances, aka my money diary. Now before we dive into my personal finances; I thought it would only be right if I share you with you my money story. How I got to where I am now, 27 years old and in over $200,000 worth of debt.
RELATED POST: How to Get Out of Debt
My first job was a courtesy clerk at Albertsons. This was my first experience with money and boy was it fun. All the money I made during that time was spent on clothes, food, and fun. Unlike most high school seniors, the urge to save money for college was not something I had to experience. At the time I already signed my athletic scholarships. From my understanding, I would not need money because my tuition, food, and housing were paid for. HAHA!
When I actually got to college that was when I wished I saved all that money. I quickly learned that 100% scholarship did not really mean 100%. This was when I first started to learn to hustle. I would give rides to other athletes for a fee or let rent out my car for the day for a fee. Looking back that was a terrible idea. First, it was my dad’s car. Second, anything could have happened while folks were driving it.
First Credit Card
I manage to escape undergraduate school without pulling out a credit card. It was not until I got accepted into law school that I applied for my first credit card. In actuality, I think I panic when I pulled out this credit card. Law school was the first time I had to pull out student loans. I had been used to starting college with my books waiting for me at my locker. I did not understand that most professors did not expect you to get your textbooks until refund checks had been issued.
So with that credit card, I paid for my law school textbooks. Now, life would have been fine had I just stopped there, but of course, I did not. As my credit limit kept raising, I kept spending.
2016 – the year of debt.
In 2016 I accumulated over $15,000 of new debt, excluding my student loans. I took out a bar loan to pay for my bar course and application. Maybe the only smart thing I did was only taking out exactly what I needed to pay for my bar course, applications, and bills. Unfortunately, I underestimate how long it would take me to find a job.
When I finally landed a job I was out of money. I had no savings and the job was not paying for relocation. With my discover card maxed out, I applied for another one to pay for moving expenses and other things I did not need. In addition, I opened up a mattress firm account and a room’s to go account. All the things I now wish I did not do because I already want to replace all the furniture I brought.
After receiving my first paycheck the reality of exactly what I did hit me hard. I had racked up so much debt and monthly bills that it felt like I was going to be living paycheck to paycheck as a licensed attorney.
In May of 2017, I made the decision to pay off all my debts. However, I did not get serious about this debt journey really until December of 2017. I was not quite sure how I was going to accomplish paying off $200,000 worth of debt, but I knew it was going to be done.
With this journey, I open up my money diary to my readers. My money diary is a way to hold me accountable and share with you my money lows and highs. Read more about my plan to paying off debt at this here.