Here at Dream Beyond Debt, I believe that you have to stay focused on your dream while you pay off your debt. Your dream is what will keep you motivated. The “Featured Dreamers,” do more than just dream. They have goals in mind beyond the bottom line.
This week’s Featured Dreamer:
Emilie Burke from BurkeDoes.com
Name: Emilie Lima Burke
Occupation: Data Specialist at an Ed-Tech Startup in Baltimore, MD
The Debt: When I decided I was going to start crushing my debt, it was at $22,128.00. As of the end of February, I was down to $20,812.99 (5.9% decresase). By the end of March, I should be under $20,000 and that’s before my tax refund even comes in!
The Dream: I want to be able to buy a house and a new-to me car (something built in the last decade?). Some day, I would like to get a graduate degree and not get more debt to do that. I can’t even consider those things without getting at least out from all my credit card debt. Eventually, I’d like to get married and start a family someday and I don’t want to do that with a cloud of debt hanging over my head.
The Plan: I plan to be credit card debt-free by the end of 2016! This will leave me only with my ECSI and Upstart loans going into 2017. This will not be easy and will require serious persistence on my part, given the limitations of my income, but I am confident I can push myself to it!
Once I have paid off my credit card debt, I will have to evaluate the status of major parts of my life: How well is my car still running? Am I ready to settle down to buy a home? These questions will dictate my financial steps after this first hurdle. Having a plan is great! It’s important and necessary, but it is also important to have a flexible plan that can account for changes in life.
Advice: I had always heard about the importance of budgeting, but since it wasn’t something my parents ever did, I didn’t understand it. Six months into budgeting, I want to scream it from the rooftops: YOU NEED A BUDGET! Investing in software to help make budgeting easier it extremely helpful, too. I invested in Learnvest, but there are cheaper and even some free alternatives, such as You Need a Budget, Every Dollar, and Mint.
The Deets: Emilie is a recent Princeton University grad, currently living in Baltimore, MD. She is half of the brains behind BurkeDoes.com, a lifestyle blog by the two sisters. Together, they write about the struggles of long-distance sisterhood, paying off debt, life management tips, and their obsession with food. She also makes to do lists at MyToDoList.Me. You can follow her around the web: Twitter. Instagram. Foodstagram. Facebook. Pinterest. Bloglovin’