Meet Felicia Blaise. She paid off $7,000 in credit card debt in 7 months after holding a balance for 8 years. Her epiphany? Realizing it would take her 28 years of minimum payments to become debt free. I hope you are inspired by her story!
"Based on my calculations, if I paid nothing but the minimum of $123 it would have taken me 28 years to pay off. Enough was enough."
What was your "enough is enough" moment?
I was randomly going through my old money plans on my Google Drive when I had an epiphany and realized I’ve had the same credit card debt for 8 years.
Then I thought about the amount of my hard earned dollars I was giving away to the credit card companies and "enough was enough". As a black woman, I wanted more than a negative net worth.
How much debt did you pay off in total?
I paid off $7,028.61 in credit card debt in 7 months. Based on my calculations if I paid nothing but the minimum of $123 it would have taken me 28 years to pay off. Without making any additional charges I would have ended up paying approximately $15,717.00 in 28 years instead of the $7,028.61. By paying my debt down aggressively I saved approximately $7,221.
How did you keep yourself motivated?
I kept motivated by looking at the end goal and telling myself that money does not control me I control it. I also kept my pay down schedule in my sight when I came home as a reminder of my goals and progress made.
How did you manage the days where you just wanted to go out and spend money?
Honestly, I had days where I went out and would overspend. It wasn’t a great feeling at all because I took 10 steps back. However, over time I managed to find alternatives to things I could do without spending money. Some of the free things I did included free concerts and empowerment events, going to the park or even staying home and having people over my house. Budget-friendly and cost-efficient.
What would be your money advice to your younger self?
I would tell my younger self: Girllll... that money is NOT your money. Pay it back as soon as possible so you can keep your hard earned coins in your pocket.
What steps are you taking to ensure your debt freedom is permanent?
I set up systems for myself where I can’t use my credit card unless I have the money to pay it back. The money must be in my checking account before I put it on my card. If it’s not there I can’t use it. Point. Blank Period.
What steps are you taking to ensure you meet your ultimate savings goals?
I setup quarterly savings goals so that I can meet my overall yearly goal. I put x amount of dollars into an emergency savings fund as fast as I can. This creates a sense of urgency for me so that I’m motivated to save as much as I can sooner. Then the rest of the money I can do something else with until the next quart “sprint.”
What advice would you give anyone reading this looking for encouragement?
I would like anyone who is reading this to know that it’s ok to make financial mistakes. It won’t be your first or your last and you will learn from them. What you can do is acknowledge your mistakes and move forward. Write down your goals (make sure they are SMART) create a plan and keep it in your sight as a daily reminder. Show yourself progress and celebrate your wins always.
Thank you so much for sharing your inspiring story with us Felicia!
You can learn more about her and how she's now building wealth on her website at www.feliciablaise.com.