Writing this feels like a battle. These words feel like punches to a punching bag. I have had it planned that March would be my “finances” month for a while now, but even with all of my planning I just found myself looking at the rest of my goals for the year and thinking “hmm maybe I can just move finances to April or May and do something else right now.” The honest truth is that 1. I’m not ready to deal with finances on an emotional level and 2. I really, really suck at money.
MY FINANCIAL SITUATION
I feel like I should be more scared to post this than I am, but I am in debt. A lot of debt. Not because I have a secret shopping addiction or something, but because two years ago I took a giant leap into the freelance world and kind of fucked over my already less than ideal financial situation. After college, I walked away with something like 26k in loans. I bought a new car (used car but new to me) when I was 19. I didn’t have health insurance and went to the hospital once. I took out credit cards because I was a teenager who thought I knew what was best. All of those things happened before I went freelance.
I could explain the hardships of being a freelancer and the specifics of my precarious situation but that’s a post for another day. What you need to know about my financial situation was this: I barely made enough money to survive on my best months, the rest of the time, I racked up my credit cards, avoided phone calls and woops, I didn’t pay my taxes for two years. SO. I have spent the past 8 months just getting onto my feet, catching up with old phone bills, old energy payments and in general, making enough to live off of for a steady time. Now it’s time for me to take responsibility for my situation and start making strides on fixing my credit score, paying off credit cards, paying off collections, making dents in some loans, getting a payment plan (and a damned grip) on my taxes and who knows, maybe I’ll go nuts and start a savings account (HA someday).
1. The Reality Check
My first order of business is actually writing down all of the money I owe to whom, as best I know. This is a hard part because my taxes are so so so chaotic that I honestly am not sure where to begin for the past three years. But I’m going to begin. I’m going to find out how much I owe and I’m going to face the facts.
2. The Spending Fast
*cringe* The hard part. I am going to use tips and advice from And Then We Saved and other sources to pretty much stop spending money, you know, for a long time. I’m almost in tears thinking about it. BUT I CAN DO IT.
3. The Payment Plan
I intend on making a payment plan this month to help me prioritize and start paying my shit off. I can feel the rays of hope shining down already. I hope to be able to pay down a seriously significant portion of my debt before the year is over and I also just want to know. I want to know what I have to do, I want to be aware and not avoid my debt like I have been very successfully doing for years. I want to schedule my dates, know my amounts and be responsible for my spending behaviors in the future.
Do you guys have any tips for me as I start out? I am hoping that by the end of this month I will have a ton of tips to share with you!