Debt Confessions: Blair’s Story

BlairGMD’s Note: Hello Friends! Welcome back to Debt Confessions: my new series featuring other bloggers/readers who are fighting their way out of debt. Here you will read about the good, the bad, the ugly, and the truth when it comes to the dreaded, dirty D word. Today’s post is from Blair at Life, Dollars and Sense. Take it away Blair!

Entering Debt Nation:

My debt story didn’t start by abusing credit cards. I didn’t spending years living the lifestyle of the rich and famous and ignoring my bank account. No, I got into very common, “ordinary” debt, in the “ordinary” way through student loans from my undergraduate degree and a car purchase shortly following. I don’t think I was a frivolous spender during that time. While I did study abroad for a semester I spent the rest of my college career working one, sometimes two part-time jobs. When I purchased my car, I bought a used, reliable, fuel-efficient model. Nothing flashy. Still despite my efforts this left me with $51,000 in debt.

Resisting Ordinary:

Within months of graduating from college and starting my first job I realized that I wasn’t a fan of my hard-earned money going to my debt each month. I determined that I don’t want the cycle of money coming in the door one day and back out the next to pay old debts to be my “ordinary” way of life. I just don’t want to have society’s “ordinary” student debt load that is paid by an “ordinary” job for the next 25 years like so many in North America. I asked myself, what if I want the opportunity for something extraordinary to happen? What if I want an extraordinary career that lacks consistent income? What if I want to quit my job and do months of extraordinary traveling?  What if I want to be extraordinarily brave and become a business owner? Wouldn’t it be easier to do any of those amazing things without “ordinary” student and car debt?

With those thoughts in mind I created a plan to fight for freedom from my “ordinary” debt and become debt-free within three years.

Fight to Freedom:

Since starting the journey I have eliminated over $31,000 in debt. It hasn’t happened all at once. It has taken many small extra payments each month. I have had to work hard to resist lifestyle inflation as much as possible and keep my expenses low. I have held myself accountable each month on my blog where I force myself to face my debt numbers and my progress. I read personal finance blogs to keep myself motivated and to meet so many others that share similar thinking.

I hope to be completely debt free by June 2015.  My debt journey has been a learning experience. While I began to simply become debt-free, I am already thinking of my financial position beyond that point and how I would like to reach for financial freedom in the future.

Bio: Blair is a 20-something yoga and food loving CPA living in New Orleans, LA.  She shares her journey for debt freedom and her love of personal finance and living life to the fullest on her blog Life, Dollars, and Sense. Watch her trials to find the ultimate balance by following her on Facebook or Twitter.

If you are interested in submitting your story to my Debt Confessions series, please email me at girlmeetsdebt {at} gmail {dot} com!

14 Comments on Debt Confessions: Blair’s Story

  1. Laurie @thefrugalfarmerNo Gravatar
    January 6, 2014 at 4:51 pm (3 months ago)

    Blair, thanks so much for sharing your story, and huge congrats to you for choosing to be “unordinary”. We too, gained out debt with nothing flashy, just too many extra “few dollars” here and there for too long a time. The unordinary life of those heading toward debt free sure is grand. :-)

    • BlairNo Gravatar
      January 6, 2014 at 6:23 pm (3 months ago)

      Thanks Laurie! Yes, I am looking forward to that debt free day!

  2. Tonya@Budget and the BeachNo Gravatar
    January 6, 2014 at 5:52 pm (3 months ago)

    Hi Blair! I’ve seen you around the PF world here and there for awhile now! It sucks that even “ordinary” “goodish” debt can be so burdensome. Congrats on what you paid so far and good luck with your journey!

    • Blair@LifeDollarsandSenseNo Gravatar
      January 7, 2014 at 6:05 am (3 months ago)

      Thanks Tonya, paying off “goodish” debt still makes me feel so much lighter and financially stable.

  3. Dear DebtNo Gravatar
    January 6, 2014 at 9:15 pm (3 months ago)

    Blair, you and I have a similar story. I wasn’t a crazy spender, but student loans ultimately got the best of me. I also wonder what it would be like to travel, be freelance and have more adventures, but I am limited in how many risks I can take. It’s frustrating and stifling. That is one of my biggest motivations is that I do want more adventure and flexibility in my life.

    • Blair@LifeDollarsandSenseNo Gravatar
      January 7, 2014 at 6:06 am (3 months ago)

      Thanks for the comment Dear Debt! I agree completely….without monthly debt payments life as so many more options

  4. Hayley @ A Disease Called DebtNo Gravatar
    January 6, 2014 at 11:48 pm (3 months ago)

    Congratulations Blair on your progress so far, it just shows what hard work and dedication can achieve. I racked up debt through carelessness at first and eventually I racked up even more debt by having limited funds when I needed cash for ‘important’ things – just the result of years of having my finances squeezed so much that I couldn’t cope with emergencies. I look forward to reading more about your progress!

    • Blair@LifeDollarsandSenseNo Gravatar
      January 7, 2014 at 6:07 am (3 months ago)

      Thanks Hayley! Realizing that there are others trying to become debt free has been such a great motivator

  5. KatieNo Gravatar
    January 7, 2014 at 3:36 am (3 months ago)

    Absolutely loving this series! Love to see that there are other people out there challenging the “ordinary”, it can be so hard when everyone thinks what you’re doing is crazy.

    • Blair@LifeDollarsandSenseNo Gravatar
      January 7, 2014 at 6:09 am (3 months ago)

      I completely agree. The PF world is my saving grace. I find lots of my peers think I’m crazy or that it is not realistic or worth the effort.

  6. Shannon @ The Heavy PurseNo Gravatar
    January 7, 2014 at 10:03 am (3 months ago)

    “what if I want the opportunity for something extraordinary to happen?” Love your thought process here. So many people mistakenly think they are living an extraordinary life by living beyond their means. I love that you realize that in order to live an extraordinary life you need to have financial freedom so you can follow your heart wherever it may lead you. Good luck on your journey, Blair! With your attitude, I have no doubt that you will live an extraordinary life!

  7. KK @ Student Debt SurvivorNo Gravatar
    January 7, 2014 at 3:24 pm (3 months ago)

    My debt (student loans) was “normal” debt too. I wasn’t out spending extravagantly or buying expensive luxury items. It’s funny how we’ve been socialized to think that certain types of debt are better or worse than others. Debt is debt and it’s hanging over you whether it’s “good debt” or “bad debt”. Keep plugging along and you’ll be debt-free before you know it!


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