*This is a guest post by fellow artist and financial tinkerer, Lindsay. Here’s part one of what will be a 12 part series tracking her debt repayment process throughout the year. Enjoy!*
Hello friends! I’m Lindsay. I’m a singer, and I want to share a huge goal with you: I intend to pay off my credit card and line of credit debt by the time I turn 30. (SIDE NOTE: I turn 29 in like, 2 days.)
Now, this isn’t my first time attempting to pay off debt – I actually knocked out a pretty significant chunk (around 15k) about a year ago, but the way I was doing it just didn’t line up with my values.
I was EXHAUSTED.
I worked 40+ hours a week at a desk job that wasn’t for me, bartended at a restaurant on Saturday evenings, sang at my church gig twice a week, had a couple of voice students, and tried to pile on as many freelance gigs as I could on top of it all.
I was so burnt out it’s a miracle I got any freelance work at all!
I was so proud of the progress I’d made on my debt, but when I stopped and looked at my life, I realized I was doing it all wrong.
I moved across the country from Vancouver to build a career as a musician, not as an administrator/bartender. I’d let the thing I valued the most fall the most behind. So I stopped. I majorly cut down on my work, realized that I had the ability to pay off debt quickly if I needed to, and I took it off of my priority list.
And it was ok.
But not really.
Ok – it wasn’t ok.
When I added up my debt payments for the last year, I was so disheartened – I built up credit card debt again from a summer away, and at the end of the year (although I’d been making payments) I was pretty much in the same place financially as I was the year prior.
UGH! I knew I needed to re-evaluate, once again.
What I realized is this: I can’t ignore my debt. But I can’t spend SO much time and effort on my debt that I neglect my career. I need to find a balance.
Over the next 12 months I plan on paying off a LOT.
$12,372.95, to be exact
And honestly, I’m not so sure what I’m in for.
Once a month I’ll be here, updating you on my progress – letting you know a bit more about why it’s important for me to pay this off, what’s working for me, what’s not working… What happens if I get into a summer program? What happens if I need to take time off work for a gig that won’t pay as much as my day job? How on earth can I get rid of this debt without working 3 jobs and eating ramen noodles every night?!
I’m so excited to start this journey, to share my successes and probably a couple of failures with you (I am a human, after all…), and hopefully to have the support of all you wonderful R2R readers. Wish me luck!
Have you ever set a financial goal on a timeline? Would you prioritize debt over your career, or your career over debt? Any tips for me?! (Seriously.)
Want to know what happens next? Read Part 2: Debt-free doesn’t have to mean deprivation