There were at least 5 barriers that kept me in debt.

Aggressive debt repayment wasn’t part of my to-do list when I started working after graduation. My goal was to start my career.

It wasn’t until I experienced a Quarter-Life Crisis that I had to reevaluate my priorities. Read about this here.

Here are the obstacles I had just a handful of years ago:

1. Lack of financial knowledge

You would think I knew how to budget and keep my finances in order because it’s the adult thing to do. That wasn’t the case! My thinking was, as long as I’m paying the minimum on my student loan debts and saving money I’ll be financially free in no time

Dave Ramsey, Robert T Kiyosaki, and many other money gurus jump started my quest for financial knowledge. This curiousity led to my goal to be debt free. Read about how I was able to pay off $36K in 6 months.

2. Lack of creating specific financial goals

Here’s what my goal was: pay off my debt.

So many things are faulty with this goal! In order to successfully get anywhere we need a road map. In goal setting this is in the form of a SMART goal. Read about setting SMART goals here.

3. Treat yoself mentality

Women be like “Hair done, nails done, everything did.” Women is me. I am Women.

I’ve told myself, I work hard for my money so I deserve this. Ultimately this cost me about $317.98 a month!

While I do believe we shouldn’t limit ourselves from enjoying some of these things, we still should prioritize debt repayment. Read about what I no longer spend money on here.

4. FOMO/YOLO mentality

I went out every weekend and every day I had off. Experiencing each concert, festival, or going to new places in the city were an essential way of life. Vegas was a lifestyle! I wonder how I was able to afford that because I wouldn’t even think of spending that much money now.

When my friends went somewhere I didn’t want to miss out and when there were weekends we didn’t have plans I would plan something!

Find out how much FOMO cost me here.

I’m now content with JOMO: joy of missing out. I’m a grandma and I love the thought of how much I save every time I stay in!

5. Blaming everyone except myself

When it came to my student loan debt I played the victim role too well. Often I blamed my parents for not paying for my college tuition. I believed that people who decided to get a degree should be given money by the government in the form of instant student loan forgiveness or free college education.

Never once did I blame myself for deciding to attend a school I couldn’t afford or continuing out of control spending habits. Over time and after a few life experiences I stepped out of that mindset.

Read about why I believe student loan debt shouldn’t be an option here.

“Have you ever thought to yourself, ‘Damn, I’ve changed’?

While reading this back to myself I think, woww whooo issss thisss?! I had such a negative mindset about finances then. A negative mindset in general. Imagine the kind of person I was! I shudder at the thought… 

Without these negative experiences we wouldn’t appreciate positive experiences. Read about the advice I would give my younger self here.

I’ve changed, continue to learn, continue to evolve, and hope that I can help others along the way.

Millennial Challenge

  • What barriers do you believe prevent you from getting out of debt?