I’m Nate. Nice to meet you! My wife’s name is Heather. She’ll be sharing her thoughts here too.
I’m a 24-year old from the Southwest, looking for financial flexibility and wanting to share our story, tips & thoughts.
I’ll be upfront.
I don’t have an extreme debt payoff story like many others in the personal finance world.
And honestly, Heather and I aren’t looking to create one. We’re not going to stop responsibly using some of the money we earn to enjoy life. That’s our approach anyway.
What we are looking to do is pay off our student loan debt in a reasonable time and give ourselves more financial flexibility by taking creative steps in order to hack our budget. We’re going to share those steps.
Not everyone has tens of thousands of dollars saved away where they can all of a sudden decide to start using that to pay off debt.
Not everyone is willing to live with 4 roommates.
Or you may have kids or other responsibilities that don’t give you as much flexibility with your money each month.
That’s fine! There are a lot of people in your boat.
Not everyone can create a headline “I payed off $38,000 in student loan debt in 1 year!”
And while the extreme financial stories are great motivation, you have to start somewhere.
The small wins.
I’m hoping that my story will show you that it’s OK to take a step back and take care of your financial situation at a pace that may be more realistic for you.
What are your financial goals?
What’s your goal with money?
Get out of debt?
Establish an emergency fund?
Personally, my short term goal changes. At the moment, our main goal is to pay down our $38,000 worth of student loan debt.
Really, the blog will help keep us accountable. But my long term goal is to save for retirement and have enough money to manage my wife’s type 1 diabetes when we’re older and complications arise.
My finances now? I won’t focus on specific numbers on this post since they change (rather, take a look at my monthly budget), but to give you an idea:
I work full time in the digital marketing industry. My wife works ~30 hours a week tutoring a child with autism. Yearly, our salary runs around $85,000 as of 2015. 2 1/2 years out of college and we know we’re lucky to have this type of income.
We have a mortgage payment. ($1069/month)
We have a car payment. ($490/month)
We have student loan payments. ($252, but we typically pay more)
We don’t carry credit card debt.
We have a Roth IRA. A 401k we’ve contributed to since graduating college.
We understand we’re very lucky to be in our situation. We’re comfortable. We can save on a monthly basis.
There are thousands (…more?) of other money-management sites out on the internet.
Why should you care about Hacking Your Budget?
Well, every website has a slightly different perspective. You should find the site that you identify with the best, and I hope you can relate to my story about managing your finances, making smart decisions, and hacking your budget.