Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Living Single: Monthly Update

Back in March I started talking about how I wanted to start working towards financial freedom, especially since I'm now out of college and don't have that extra interest backed cash coming in every few months. (High five to those student loans!) What is starting to become a challenge is the fact that those student loans have to be paid back.

I know. Crazy. I don't remember being told that. Damnit.

So I have heard a lot of buzz around about Dave Ramsey and even recall my parents following his lead when I was a kid. I found his website {here} and found a lot of great advice. I wanted to know more! So I used my fabulous Google Chrome set up, seriously, I heart the Googlie; and found a ton of videos online.


I spent all morning on Sunday watching these videos and getting some great tips and steps to success. One thing that I noticed is that though a lot of his info is tailored to families and people in relationships (#singleladyfun) there's some things that I can incorporate into the single lady life I'm living.

For instance setting up a budget. My new favorite thing is Google Drive. You can create all kinds of documents just through Google without having to buy expensive software that if you're like me, you can't really afford at the moment. Plus it's fairly dumdum proof which I appreciate.


In my Google drive I set up a folder for all my "budget" goodies. Everything from paying off student loans, car, credit card debt, monthly budget, and a spending register. However I have no clue how to use or set up a spreadsheet.... I'm an English teacher... numbers are not me friend.


So in the truest nature of Google... I googled it! Managed to find some great resources and even found a preloaded spreadsheet that you can modify and fill in the blanks with your amounts, etc. (Shown in screenshot above) Here's the link if you want to try it out for yourself: Budget Spreadsheet


This page explains how to use the budget planner and even gives a pretty thorough tutorial if you need it. Plus it's just a great website for people like me who are starting out and want to get ahead in this money game. Check it out here: 20somethingfinance.com

For my debt repayment spreadsheets (sorry no screenshot) I used this one: Cardan Avalanche Spreadsheet. It was great because it allowed you to put in the interest rates and see how paying extra has an IMMEDIATE impact. For example if I pay even an extra $100-$200 on my student loans each month I end up saving a couple THOUSAND dollars in interest over the life of all of my student loans which is roughly 15 years for the federal loans.

Plus the handy thing about Google Drive... They've got an app for that! This is what it looks like on my Samsung Galaxy SIII. Of course my phone is an android or Google based phone which makes it easier but the app is free and easy to use, the larger documents take longer to load if you're not on WiFi but it you are using the register to track your purchases it's handy so you can just get on it, add it in, done.

I am a girl that loves clothes, shoes, nail polish, purses, and buying dog treats and toys. So for me the hardest part of this whole process has been just simply doing this:


I think if I can demonstrate enough discipline I can do it. I know I can do it, but it's not going to be easy. If you have any tips/tricks/words of wisdom or advice. Please feel free to share! I'm all ears. 



*PS. Google didn't ask me to do any of this. I was just sharing awesome things I found, for free, that work. :)



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