Throughout my Debt Free Journey the Instagram community has completely welcomed, inspired and encouraged me. I wanted to make a series where I interview others in the #debtfreecommunity so that everyone can read, share and learn together.
I thought for the first one I would interview myself (because that’s not weird?) so that people would know what sort of questions I would ask.
If you want to be in the next interview comment below or send me a DM on Instagram. I’d love to do one a week!
A bit about you:
My name is Nataasha and I’m a 28 year old single girl, living in QLD, Australia. I’ve lived here all my life. I don’t have a partner or kids. I do plan on having a child though, on my own through a donor. In my day job I work as an assistant with a large telecommunications company. I have 2 bachelor degrees from University but never used them.
What is your current finance situation?
I am officially debt free as of 15th June 2018! I started in June 2017 with a total of $11,489, which was a mix of a personal loan and credit card debt. It took me exactly 1 year to pay off my debt.
In terms of savings I only have about $1,500 in my Emergency Fund. I need to build this back up.
What was your turning point / reason?
My turning point came when I had just turned 27 and I was really struggling… I was constantly broke. I had money to pay my bills but other than that I had no savings and tens of thousands of debt. I always told people that I just ‘couldn’t afford to save’ but in reality I was just spending far too much money. I was a bit of a shopping addict and I was in denial that I was part of the problem.
I knew that I wanted to become a mother and that is one of my main reasons for wanting to be debt free. I wanted to be comfortable when it came time to have a child and not have debt payments. I wanted to have savings and maybe buy some property at some stage.
What did you do to pay debt?
I started when I read “The Barefoot Investor”. I had seen it around on Instagram as i’d been a ‘lurker’ of the debt free community for a little while. I read the book in one sitting and was hooked. I changed my banking from Commonwealth Bank to the bank Scott recommends (ING). I followed all of his advice and put a plan in action. My goal was to be debt free in exactly 12 months.
I found myself a side hustle (on top of my full time job) working on the weekends at a fruit shop. I worked 6-7 days a week to increase my income. To earn more money I also sold unwanted stuff on Facebook Marketplace and did surveys.
I also did a balance transfer on my loan and credit card debt to get rid of the interest (I was paying 14.4% on my loan and about 17% on my credit card).
Have you had any particular setbacks during this journey?
I haven’t had any major setbacks, I’ve been pretty lucky in that respect *touch wood*. Motivation was a little bit of a set back, there were periods of time where I just lacked motivation and slipped off the wagon a bit and spent some of my emergency fund. I’ll have to work to get that back up again now. Having the Instagram community helped me stay on track though.
Where do you see your finances in 5 years?
Hopefully a lot of savings. I’m currently saving a baby fund and a bigger emergency fund. Hopefully I’ve invested in shares or something else by then too. I have no idea what to do when it comes to shares so I’m not sure yet. *Fingers crossed* I’ll be a mother as well. My dream would be to live in a tiny home.
What advice would you give a beginner on their debt free journey?
Read ‘The Barefoot Investor’ by Scott Pape. It hands down changed my life. After that start simple, work out what your current debt is (some people don’t even know how much they owe) and start from there. Write down a budget and just take it slow initially if you have too. Making a huge life change can be scary, so don’t leap right into it. Taking baby steps is ok…
Getting your spending under control is also critical. Try and break any spending habits you may have. Tracking what you spend and creating charts like the one in my picture above help to keep motivation. You can clearly see how far you’ve come when you look back at pictures like this.
Most of all just remember “You got this”.