Early steps to budgeting

So far I have read Dave Ramsey’s Total Money Makeover. It has been helpful in some areas in terms of managing the feeling of dread and understanding that money can be controlled as long as I commit to a budget.

I have rarely budgeted in my past, it’s always been hard. It’s like weight loss. I try for a couple months but always fall back into old habits. Does anyone have tips or tricks they use to help manage their money?

All my debt

I told you I would be honest. So far, I am working through a system to pay things back. Please know that when you look at this I am being honest with my finances. It’s scary to admit this to strangers on the internet, but if there is one thing I can do – it’s to show that I have made mistakes during my life… I want to start to correct them now.

You see how much I make a year (estimated). This is my debt:

 

CREDIT CARDS: $16,117.99

PERSONAL LOANS: $2,420.36

FEDERAL LOANS: $60,240.00

PRIVATE LOANS: $91,694.00

 

That’s a total of $170,472.35 in debt. $170,472.35! I am that deep in the hole. I am taking this one step at a time. Stay tuned!

(if you don’t panic, I won’t panic)

Every journey begins with a few small steps.

Hello world! This is a bit of a random step for me, but allow me to explain.

I am a new nurse working in the midwest. I am 28 years old, just graduated in April of 2018. With my current Nursing Bachelor Degree as well as my previous degree in Arts (a Bachelor degree), my total debt, including student loans, credit cards, etc, totals in the six-figures.

I am terrified of my future. I have next to no money saved, and the monthly payments I have simply to work towards paying back all these debts is becoming insurmountable. Where I have friends who graduated 6 or 7 years ago, already debt-free, already married and raising children, here I am struggling to survive.

I am creating this blog to serve 3 purposes:

  1. To help work through my problems. For so long, I worked many jobs and paid no attention to my spending. I have slowly dug myself into a hole over the past 8 years with little to no regard for my future. Here I am at a turning point. Things have to change. If I can’t be honest about my finances, then what chance do I have of digging myself out?
  2. To share my experiences. I know many people – including my classmates – are struggling with debt. They hoped to find a good job as a nurse right after graduation so they could start paying back bills. It’s a symptom of this generation I suppose – the urgency with which we need money to survive. Through this blog, I will be working to save money, find tips and tricks to help me – so that hopefully I can pass along my learning to you, my reader.
  3. To serve as a creative outlet. I have always felt creatively inclined – always loved to write, and to read… With nursing consuming my life right now (and with little additional time for myself), I am hoping that beginning a blog will help keep me sane. In one form or another, I need an outlet to work through problems and get a moment to escape from my life.

I don’t know how this will be structured, I don’t know if anyone will read this or will even care about my problems. I do promise that I will be extremely open about my debt, about what I owe, because when I read self-help books and how other people got out of debt, I appreciated knowing the exact dollar amount and what it took to break even.

 

This is my journey – it begins today!