Debt free is the way to be

I’ve received quite a few questions via email about how I finance The Fail Sweetly Project and I’d like to dedicate a post to those questions. I am technically debt free but I don’t think it counts for much because I don’t have house or car loans to pay right now. When I graduated from college I had accumulated $15,000 in student loans. After getting my first job post graduation, I saved EVERY PENNY. I even went as far as counting ALL the change in the various piggy banks I have and putting that into my savings account. It turned out that I had more than $100 in coins! I really wanted to live in Orange County after graduation because it was such an awesome environment. However, reality slapped me in the face and I couldn’t afford it. I ended up moving back home and I still live here now. With all the money I saved from my first job, I was able to pay off all my student loans in ONE year. I know some people don’t have the luxury of moving back home but if you can it’s a great investment. I was very focused on paying back my loans. That’s where all the money went first.

Living at home is not the ideal “cool” thing to do but it really helps you out. I was able to save some money for my emergency fund, housing fund (when I move out), car fund, retirement fund, and The Fail Sweetly Project. Every month I have an amount that goes into each of those categories once the bills are paid. I don’t pay for rent and car insurance (apparently it’s cheaper if you get a family package so my dad takes care of it). My dad made a deal with me that I don’t have to pay for car insurance as long as I can show him that I’m saving money towards buying my own car so he’ll get the one I drive now. I do pay for my own cell phone bill, health insurance, life insurance, groceries, gas, credit card bill, and any other things I want/need. My sister and I split the house phone/internet bill. With that being said, the housing fund and car fund have the most money. My emergency fund has a set amount and I already have that set aside. The retirement fund and The Fail Sweetly Project are a little slower than housing and car funds. TFSP has a set amount I can spend a month. I created a sheet on Excel of all my spendings. I might not spend the set amount every month but I won’t spend more than that amount. I only have one credit card in my name and I always pay off the full amounts each time. My dad has a credit card with all our names and that’s my back up card just in case something goes wrong with my own card. Not to toot my own horn or anything but I have excellent credit. It’s extremely important to have at least decent credit to buy cars or houses. On average I would say I pay around $600 every month for everything excluding TFSP. It’s a pretty good amount to be paying because I know some people pay WAYYYYY more than that. TFSP varies in funding. Sometimes if I get donations from friends or family then I’ll host a giveaway but usually I plan for what/how to spend the amount saved in that fund.

Right now my first goal is to buy my own car. My second goal is to move into my own apartment. Third is to go back to school for my Masters. I want to be comfortable with my finances before I go back to school because I know that will only create more stress and put a dent in my finances. Well there you have it. I hope I answered all the questions regarding my project, my savings, as well as how much I pay per month.

Fail Sweetly,
Justina

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