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It’s now month 25 into our debt free journey and still can’t believe we’ve paid off $101,059 so far. Here’s a chart to get a good look at our progress so far.
Just goes to show you that paying off debt happens over time.
Little by little, day by day, any small progress will get you closer to your goal.
At the end of each month, if you get any money left over from budgeting or found money from saving, throw it at debt. That’s how you can make progress towards knocking out debt.
If you’re looking to get a kick start for your own debt journey start off by grabbing a debt thermometer and enroll in the free 5-day Debt Free Bootcamp below.
Have Fun During Your Debt Payoff Journey
Covid-19 has really put a damper on travel this year.
Safety is a real concern and there’s no way we wanted to travel outside the country while this pandemic was going around.
Before this year is up we still wanted to do some fun things while staying safe.
Last month, we went to Six Flags and were pleasantly surprised how they kept up with social distancing allowing people to have fun safely.
This month we decided to go back for a nice little weekend getaway again.
If you’re starting your own debt free journey, make sure that you’re still setting some room for fun. It’s important to do that because you don’t want to sacrifice the things you love to do while getting out of debt.
Becoming debt free doesn’t have to be a miserable process full of giving up on the things you love to do.
Squeeze in some fun here and there without having to break the bank doing so.
Let’s find some ways for you to have fun and pay off debt at the same time.
Use Travel Reward Cards
Did you know that credit cards will reward you with bonus points that can cover your travel and trips?
There’s a lot of credit cards out there that are currently offering mega points for using their cards.
This is how my husband and I travel for free during out debt free journey.
This doesn’t mean going out and applying for tons of travel cards, you’ve got to figure out how to best get the most out of these cards without going further into debt.
We’ve learned the hard way when it came to credit cards. Before our debt free journey, we had 8 credit cards with over $33,000 on them.
We knocked it all out and now use 1 single travel rewards credit card at a time, paying off the balance in full each month.
What I’m suggesting is, use only 1 single travel rewards card and use it for all your monthly expenses. Pay off the balance in full every month. This will help your credit score and allow you to get those promotional bonus points.
At the same time, if you have other credit cards, pay minimum payments on the rest and work your way towards knocking them out of your life as you move forward in your own debt journey.
This method has helped us tremendously with finally learning to use credit cards properly and reaping all the benefits credit cards has to offer.
Use Rakuten & Orbitz
Before you book any trip, always check Rakuten first to see if there’s any cash back offers before booking.
Rakuten is one of my fav sites when it comes to getting cash back online.
It works very simply like this:
- Join Rakuten
- Find your online retailer (Macy’s, Amazon, Walmart, Orbitz, Travelocity, thousands more)
- See if there’s any cashback deals
- Click on the store link where it sends you directly to the online retailer
- Or simply download the Rakuten Chrome Extension which will easily show you right away how much money you can get back when shopping online
- On the backend, Rakuten will get you money back for your purchase
- Once you reach $5, get your money via PayPal or a check mailed to you
So far I’ve made $51.46 + another $50 on my other Rakuten account that gives me a total of $101.46. Over $100 in cash back from shopping online, money that would’ve been lost if I didn’t use Rakuten.
It’s definitely worth checking out so you don’t miss out on any cash back from shopping online.
Sign up is free and my special link here will get you $40 for free when you spend $40 (It’s like getting $40 for free!) Rakuten won’t disappoint, check them out.
This is a limited promotion Rakuten is offering, get it before they take it way!
Orbitz is one of my go-to travel sites. They always seem to have the best prices when it comes to travel + hotels.
Another thing I like about Orbitz is that they give cash back in the form of something called Orbucks.
Say for instance you booked a hotel through Orbitz at $100, you’ll earn 4% back which gives you $4. With the Orbucks, you can apply it towards your next booking with Orbitz.
Don’t knock these cash back offers guys, it may not seem like a lot but over time they definitely add up. Next thing you know, you can have enough to pay for your next trip.
For this recent trip to Six Flags, I received $6.23 cash back from Rakuten and $5.34 from Orbitz, which gives me a total of $11.57.
I love getting money back don’t you? Try Rakuten and Orbitz out before you book your next travel.
Earn Free Money Playing Games
Did you know you could actually get paid to play games on your phone / ipad?
That’s how I earn a bit of side money whenever I get some free time at night watching TV.
Swagbucks is where you want to go to get paid to play games on your phone or ipad. Swagbucks also rewards you for surveys, polls, questionnaires, trying apps, watching videos, shopping online, submitting receipts, and more.
However, I mostly use Swagbucks to pay me to play video games which is so easy and awesome.
How to get paid playing games with Swagbucks:
- Sign up for Swagbucks
- Find a game listed you would like to try
- Get the downloadable link to the game via your e-mail
- Make sure to fulfill the Swagbucks rules to redeem your points (example: reach level 15)
- Play the game and get rewarded with Swagbucks
It’s super simple and legit guys!
So far I’ve received 14,010 SB points which is $140.10 mainly from playing games on my phone.
During your spare time, earn some side money playing games, trying apps, filling out surveys and more on Swagbucks.
Sign up for free with Swagbucks and get your $10 welcome bonus to start make some side money.
Should You Still Make Payments Towards Student Loans?
So, I currently have only 2 remaining debts. 1 is my student loan and the other is a personal loan from family.
At the moment federal student loan payments should be suspended for everyone and there’s no interest accruing, which is awesome for now.
This is totally up to you whether or not you would like to continue making payments.
I am still making payments towards my student loans for 2 reasons.
First reason is that any payments made during this time goes STRAIGHT to principle. This basically means that your money goes a lot further to knock out this debt.
If there was interest involved, any payment you make will get split going towards interest and principle which ultimately slightly weakens how far your money goes towards knocking out this debt.
Second reason I’m still making payments is that my current balance is slightly over $17K. I’m aiming to get it down to at least $10K.
As you all may have heard, there’s a lot of talk about student loan forgiveness. I’ve been following closely on this issue and it’s looking like President-elect Biden may want to forgive $10,000 all across the board for everyone who holds federal loans.
If you have federal student loans $10K and under, it may not be a bad idea to hold off on making payments until this process goes through.
Since student loan payments are on hold, this may also be a good time to build your savings if you need to.
Nothing is written in stone yet so we’ll have to wait a few months before we see any promise upheld. Just make sure to save some money to cover student loan payments if they don’t extend the pause on payments or if loan forgiveness doesn’t ever go through.
So remember guys, it’s important to set some time to have fun in your life even though you’re in the process of paying off debt. Also, keep in mind that you can find ways to travel for free and get the most bang out of your buck by using the right travel rewards, Rakuten, and Orbitz.
Let’s also hope that $10,000 worth of federal student loans will be wiped out, fingers crossed!
See you all next month!
By the way.. If you haven’t started your own debt free journey, start today! Try out my free 5-day Debt Free Bootcamp that’ll give you some awesome tips to help you take control of your money and get debt free!