My Getting Out Of Debt Journey Starts With Income
I want to get out of debt so bad it hurts. I don’t know how much you owe, but I bet it’s not as much as I do. Gulp. The number is significant, but I’m not going to let it overwhelm me.
I’ve followed a specific financial blueprint over the last five years to get to where I’m at now and I’m starting to pay down my debt with a big chunk every month.
Here’s my story:
I have $75,000 in student loans. These are mine. My husband has $30,000 in student loans.
We haven’t used our degrees as we’ve tried to take care of our 6 growing kids. We also like to play, a lot. We like dirt biking, boating, vacationing, and more. So this isn’t like we’re trying to get out of debt while living on ramen. No thanks.
Okay, so, let’s talk about the next chunk of debt.
We had a car loan for $27,000 and our house loan was $278,000.
Let’s be clear. That’s a lot of minimum payments to try to get to every month without ever actually making progress. We tried the snowball thing, but ugh, that was exhausting. I can’t even tell you how frustrating it is to try to pay down $27,000 a month when we’re split across multiple payments. We also weren’t making a lot of money.
Why Can’t We Catch A Break?
However, we were able to qualify for a refinance loan on our house.
We decided to refi with a lower rate and roll all of our loans into one big loan. We would have only the one payment and then make bigger chunk payments, instead of splitting across all of the loans with a frustrating lack of progress.
We also got some extra money out so we could try to do some home repairs. Now, though, we have some money sitting in savings as we’re trying to figure out what we’re doing with the cash – put it back on the loan or repair the house?
As of right now, our house loan equals $448,000. Oh my word, that’s insane. INSANE.
How did I get here?
How did I get to the point that my debt was over half a million dollars? I can’t even breathe when I look at the total.
When we moved up to our house, my husband was working over full-time day in and day out and he was missing out on time with his kids. We love to play, remember? But there was no time because he was working so much and then would come home and have to work around the house to get things done.
I’ve been working from home for fifteen years in multiple roles – medical transcriptionist, legal transcriptionist, bookkeeping, proofreader/editor, credit collection calls, author, virtual assistant, ad consultant, business coach, productivity coach, web designer, graphics designer, book formatter, course creator, funnel creator, digital product seller, and more.
Every year since 2017, my income has gone up 30% or more.
Here’s a breakdown of what my income has looked like since 2006:
Beginner medical transcriptionist, collections call worker from home, also went to school full-time to get into the program for radiologic technologist.
We had 3 kids at home that my husband watched while I worked and went to school. We were always looking for a better plan.
I was getting better at medical transcriptioning and I started the radiologic technologist program at school. Full-time again.
Full time medical transcriptioning (which is not spelled out in time, but in workload. I was doing full time work in part-time hours) as well as full time school and finishing up my last year for my program.
Full time transcriptioning, graduated from the program, couldn’t get a job doing the rad. Tech. thing and I got my first book published by Wild Rose Press. I was extremely excited. We got pregnant with our fourth child.
My husband got a part time job as a bus driver. We were able to qualify to buy a home with no other debt. Our home was worth $154,000 and we were able to get a new home owner’s loan.
This is my transcriptioning income only and not including my husband’s income. I’d only made $390 in book publishing royalties. I continued writing and learning about graphics and websites, and more. But I was working most of my free time as a transcriptionist – and getting up at 2 AM to work until my babies got up at 7 AM. That’s when I worked. I didn’t have a choice. And I’m grateful I was able to do that.
Continuing FT transcriptioning and writing. Another book is published by Carina Press with Harlequin. My writing income hasn’t increased, but my output has. I’m trying not to go crazy with transcriptioning at this point. Still lack of sleep, but I’m home with my babies.
I was slowing down because I was pregnant with #5. And tired. So tired. But I was still writing and still working as much as I could. We were putting our money away as much as we could, but things come up, right?
My income was up but then my at home income dropped because I gave birth to my sixth child and I decided I needed a break from full time work. We had 6 kids under 9 years old at home. I needed a break and hubs had a great job working for the highway district. It was an income drop, but we were fine.
My book income started to increase. I sold a lot of books in just a few months. We put it in savings and got the house ready to sell.
Not sure what I was doing, but we moved into our new house, took on a new loan for the home. Hubs was working good, but making $58,000 a year. Great money, but he did not like his work environment. That ruined how he was at home, too.
He wasn’t happy and I had to do something. I’m a fixer. That’s what I do.
I started writing and working with work in mind and not like it was a hobby. That was the most important thing. Get my money to do something for my family, not just be extra change. The most important thing to me was getting the hubs home and out of the work environment he felt trapped in.
How could I get to the point where I was making enough to get him out of work?
My husband stopped working on January 1, 2017. He didn’t go into work once that year. We had to take a huge hit in our income, but we didn’t have any debt. Besides the house payment. That changed and I’m ashamed it happened, but it did.
I was writing more and working as a virtual assistant and website designer/maintenance.
My books were doing better and I was getting better at graphics design, website design, virtual assistant work, and more.
Money was going up and I was so grateful to keep my husband home.
My consultations are getting better and better as well as my book income. My author income is 80% of my total income.
Book income is 90% of my income, but my client work is at a steady pace and I’m happy with the coaching I’m able to do.
Approximately 30% increase in income every year makes for a good, slow and steady growth that we’re happy with.
My goal for next year is $300,000. That’s with specific things in place.
Why Can We Help You?
In case you haven’t noticed, I don’t have a blog or anything where I try to tell you how to write a blog to make money quick. That’s not what I do to make money. We make money here by doing everything BUT telling other people how to run a blog.
Do we run a blog? You bet. But that’s because we believe other people can do what we do and we believe the sky is the limit – if you want it bad enough.
Here at Working At Home Mom, we’re hoping to help you answer some of these questions:
How Do I Increase My Income?
How Do I Increase My Yearly Income?
How Can I Double My Income?
How To Make The Most Of Your Income
How Do I Get Out of Debt Without Extra Money?
How Do I get Out of Debt On My Own
You can take a side hustle and turn it into a well-paying career with the right plans and guidance. Anything is possible, mama. You just need to know how.
We can help you with that.
So stick with us and watch how I’m going to tackle my get out of debt goal with budgeting and other pay-myself-first plans.