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Paying Off Debt While Pursuing Big Crazy Dreams

I'm a dreamer, always have been. I truly believe that if you set your mind to it, you can achieve almost anything. Some exceptions being if you can't sing you probably won't ever become a great singer, though you could become a great entertainer.  I dream big believing that the big crazy dream/goal is 100% achievable.

My 2 Biggest Dreams/Goals

I've got two big dreams I'm working towards right now.

Paying off debt so I can be debt free, duh.

Preferably by the time I'm 33, I'll have been out of school 10 years by then. It's a big dream because I'm already halfway to that timeline and nowhere near being debt free.

I'm going to hustle crazy hard in order to make it possible, even then it's a long shot. But until I reach 33 and haven't made it happen, I'm going to keep working like I can. 

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One way I'm making extra debt payments is with Qoins. When you sign up for Qoins, you connect your bank account and then spend as you normally would. Qoins will round up your purchases to the nearest dollar and put that change towards an extra debt payment.

Basically, Qoins will help you pay down debt faster by applying an extra payment for you by using your spare change. There is a $1.99 charge each month. However, they take it out of the spare change they set aside for you so you never see a charge in your bank account. If there isn’t at least $10 in your Qoins account they will roll that amount into the next month free of charge.

Why I'm Chasing After More Than One Dream

However, hustling that hard for that long is exhausting and just hard to keep up. Even with smaller financial wins along the way, it can be really draining to only be working towards paying off debt.

I found that after I paid off my credit card debt in Feb. 2015. I wasn't as productive in paying off debt for a few months. I chalked it up to my moving to a new state and waiting for the financial dust to settle.

Having moved again this year (just across town) I again lagged on my debt repayment. I'm just now starting to get going with some consistent extra debt repayment. I've decided I'm not moving for at least another two years. However, to help motivate me on the way I'm going to slowly be pursuing another big crazy dream of mine.

Travel the World

My big crazy dream used to be that I would take a year or two and just travel the globe. However, I travel a lot in my current day job, and it is f-ing exhausting. I realized that constant travel is not what I actually want. Instead, I'd like to visit a place for a couple of weeks and then stay home for a couple of months, slow and steady travel is now the dream.

Though it won't be possible until I'm self-employed. Until then I can work towards smaller doses of that dream. The first trip - Paris in 2017. You may have read my earlier post about travel hacking my way to Paris, I've always wanted to go. To be honest, part of the reason is that no one in my family has ever been.

Particularly, my sister, we were quite competitive growing up (not anymore) and when she was a teenager she was a People to People Sports Ambassador. She traveled to Great Britain to play soccer in England, Ireland, Scotland, and Wales. I know my sister is a total badass (I brag about her now). But wanting to do something no one in my immediate family (to my knowledge) has ever done was/is exciting.

As I've gotten older the history and art of Paris are what makes me so excited to go. Fun fact about me - I can and have spent an entire day in an art museum by myself and was happy as a clam.

Working Towards Both Goals/Dreams

I still have a ton of student loan debt, which means pursuing travel on a budget. Even though I want to be debt free, I've decided I won't work towards it without having the ability to travel and enjoy my life. I'll just do it in moderation without incurring additional debt.

Life is too short to only pursue one dream/goal at a time. Being able to travel keeps me motivated to keep hustling so I can pay off my debt and pay for my travel goals.

Hustling just for debt is no fun, debt is no fun and it's why I hustle. However, setting aside just a little of that hustle money towards travel keeps me happy to keep on hustling.

So why am I talking about this?

Because paying off debt is only one part of the equation when talking about my finances. There is the cost of living a life I enjoy, the living expenses of rent, insurance, utilities, groceries and more. Figuring out how to fit the cost of travel into my life while paying down my debt took time. It didn't happen overnight. I had a lot to learn before I found the right balance.

The truth is I could easily lose that balance if I'm not careful and always taking note of my actions and their consequences.

Debt is one piece of the financial puzzle and it doesn't define who you are or what you can do, don't let it get you too down. If you are struggling, there are tons of resources out there from books to courses to even webinars.

Best Tool

Chime works by starting a spending account (takes 5 minutes) and opting into the automatic savings plan. (Learn more about getting started with Chime).  Every time I use the Chime Debit Card it rounds up my purchase to the nearest dollar and puts in in savings. Right now they also offer a double round-up bonus on those savings. All those withdrawals add up over time. Chime is free to use, with no monthly fees. With Chime, you end up saving money without having to think about it.

I'm a dreamer, always have been. I believe that if you set your mind to it, you can achieve almost anything. Paying off debt, all of is is one of mine

Liz

Liz is a blogger helping people with personal finance and working for themselves. She shares her own journey to debt freedom and helps graduates dealing with above average student loan debt on her site, Less Debt More Wine. She currently resides in NC after calling Massachusetts home for nearly a decade.

  • “I’ll just do it in moderation without incurring additional debt.” Absolutely this! There’s no reason you have to put life on hold to get out of debt, you just have to be careful about how you pursue those other dreams. Your Paris plan sounds great.

    • Liz says:

      Thanks! I’m really looking forward to Paris, I don’t yet have enough saved/points saved but I’ll get there. I’m going to make it happen.

  • I think having that another goal while paying off debt is a massive motivator! Paying off the debt is a fantastic achievement but if you don’t have those other goals set up you can get demotivated and think ‘what now!’ (which is kind of what happened to me once I became debt free!)

    Paris is absolutely beautiful so you will have an amazing time there in January! 🙂
    Definitely the perfect location to gain bragging rights with your family!!

    Natalya x

    • Liz says:

      Yes, I’m really excited, though I don’t think Paris is somewhere any of my family members is really wanting to go the way I really really want to go.

  • “Wanting to do something no one in my immediate family (to my knowledge) has ever done was/is exciting.”
    Yes! Love this. I grew up in a small Midwestern farm/trailer park town. Nothing exciting ever happened there, and the residents were never curious about the world and lived intellectually sheltered lives as a result. That’s not me; I need to always be learning things, whether it’s a new language, how to blog, how to write better, etc… I’m just starting to learn about travel hacking too – I hope to learn more about the rest of the world someday too! But I also have an a$$load of debt to pay off as well.

    • Liz says:

      My immediate family is definitely not intellectually sheltered, but I definitely grew up with some people that were, I always kind of stood out a bit because we travelled so much as a family (domestically) but I remember thinking it was so cool that my sister travelled abroad, as an adult she and her husband have travelled abroad as well. My parents have travelled to Mexico and London. My brother is currently stationed in Germany. I studied abroad in South America, so I’m really fortunate to have done all the travel I have, but I’ve never been to Europe and I’m very excited to get started with Paris, even with my a$$load of debt. 🙂

  • I think its awesome you want to make travel a priority! I’ve kind of really regretted not taking a trip to Thailand with my cousin during my debt repayment journey and not exploring some more of Europe on weekends while I lived in England. It seemed like a financial extravagance back then, but with the budget airlines deals and some flexibility, I could’ve spent like $300 a month and gone to another country for the weekend each month I lived over there – there’s no way to swing that from the states. It would’ve been worth an extra 3 grand in debt and, four or five extra months to pay it off, to visit 12 new countries.

    • Liz says:

      I’m really excited about it, I didn’t use to make it a priority but I’ve got way too long to go on my debt repayment journey to not live life at the same time. I’m extra excited because today I realized I have enough airline points and gift cards to purchase the flight. 😀 Now just have to nail down the hotel rewards points and spending money.

  • NZ Muse says:

    Now I have a big mortgage I feel the same – I’d love to throw everything I can at it but I still have to enjoy life along the way!

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