In today’s 2 Minute Q&A Tuesday, we’re finishing off part 2 of my debt-free journey. I am answering some complex questions that a lot of people struggle with when starting their debt-free journey. Like when does your debt-free journey start? How much emergency fund should you have when paying off debt? What were the biggest life and financial lessons when paying off debt? These are some good questions about the experience of paying off debt and what my family did during our debt-free journey.
Your Debt-Free Journey Starts When You Decide
I am not the only one who’s read many debt-free journey articles and see a large debt being paid off in 12-24 months. It makes you wonder how everyone is calculating the start date of their debt-free journey? The truth is, everyone is calculating that differently. The most important accomplishment we need to focus on is when you decide that your debt isn’t going to be part of your future anymore. The day you decide to become debt-free is the most important date and accomplishment of all.
Starter Emergency Fund
I know Dave Ramsey recommends only have $1,000 for your starter emergency fund. He goes on and on about how it’s not supposed to be enough. But! I am a minority millennial with a lot of financial trauma that I can’t ignore. For me a decent starter emergency fund when first paying off your “scary debt” is 1 month of your bills. This is who much my husband and I had when paying off our student loans. This does not mean that this number can’t be modified based on what you’re going through. Once we started a family we felt a gut instinct to increase our emergency fund to 3 months. Good thing we did, because we got hit with a lot of family emergencies that would have been extra stressful.
Financial Life Lessons
While on your debt-free journey we all learn many valuable lessons that have nothing to do with our finances. For me, it was the importance of listening to my gut. My husband and I were the only people’s opinions that mattered. We knew our financial fears and the weight of our debt. It was up to us to decide if we wanted to pay off our debt quickly or slowly if we paused or pushed through. It’s so important that you consider what your gut is telling you during your debt-free journey. It doesn’t matter how popular it is to pay off debt or not, make sure you’re making the best decision for yourself. Because at the end of the day you’re the one responsible for your decisions, they fall on your back. No one else, so makes sure you’re considering yourself during the process.
- My Debt-Free Journey Pt. 1 – 2 Minute Q&A
- Emergency Fund vs. Secure Job – 2 Minute Q&A
- Paying off Debt during a Pandemic – 2 Minute Q&A