Hello, and welcome to Journey to Saving! Thanks for visiting. While I blog anonymously, I go by E.M., and I am a 20-something year old just starting out on her financial journey. I recently relocated to North Carolina with my boyfriend and two cats (pictured to the right) in an attempt to lower our expenses. Previously, we were living in New York, paying $1,250 for a basement apartment. We knew there wasn’t an affordable future for us there, and we are excited to start this less expensive chapter of our lives =).
Here’s a look at my financial journey thus far, so you know where I’m coming from:
I started my first full-time job at the beginning of the year, after I graduated college. In June, my grace period ended, and I was faced with paying back my student loans. At first, I was only paying the minimum amount. I figured there was no rush on paying them off, assumed that it was normal, and decided to save as much of my paycheck as possible. While this sounded lile a good idea in my head at the time, I later realized it would have been much more beneficial to make extra payments to my student loans from the beginning.
While I did create an emergency fund by living with my parents until mid-2013, $18,000 of student loans was waiting to be paid back. I did my best to make my college education as inexpensive as possible, but it was time to face the facts. I realized rather quickly that I didn’t want to be paying these loans back for another 5 years.
I was introduced to the personal finance world by reading Get Rich Slowly, and am thankful that happened. I decided to start blogging in May to keep myself accountable, to take part in an awesome community, and to help others. There are so many bloggers I have to thank for inspiring me to accelerate my payments and rid myself of debt.
I took a lower-paying job toward the end of 2013, where there was less stress (sometimes money isn’t everything), and then said good bye to NY in April. Our expenses are now lower than ever, and we are able to save much more than we were before.
As we knew we wanted to move, I made sure to have a savings buffer in place beforehand as I’d be coming here without a job. Having saved so much is allowing me to have the freedom to try to make a living as a freelance writer. It’s amazing as I don’t feel pressured to make an immediate decision about my future. I’ve rushed into taking jobs before, and it never ended up well.
I’m currently taking things day by day and seeing where life takes me. I hope you join me!
I want to help you start your financial journey
My goal is to reach out to fellow millennials facing a similar situation, and to motivate them to join me on my journey of obliterating my student loan debt. So many of my peers think it’s normal to mosey along, paying the minimum and watching the majority of their money go toward interest. I want to let them know that doesn’t have to be the case. By cutting expenses and being smart about your spending, you can find extra money in your budget to put toward your debt.
I talk about all of that here. I post monthly budgets so you can see how much I spend and where it’s going; the endless benefits of being frugal; financial struggles I face; the importance of defining your values so your spending aligns with them; and I periodically post updates on my student loan debt. It’s a long journey, but I personally believe there’s a lot of value to be had in the experiences we face in paying off debt.
My ultimate end-goal is to become financially independent. I plan on keeping my frugal habits even when my student loans are paid off, so I can invest what I was paying toward my debt. By starting early, time will be on my side, and it will be fun to watch the numbers grow year after year. I realize it can be hard to stay motivated, and that is what I’m here for! I hope to inspire my readers, through honesty and transparency, to take their financial situation to the next level.