Today we’d like to introduce you to “Ms. Raleigh”.
Hi Ms. Raleigh, we’d love for you to start by introducing yourself.
I run the @banksfinancial Instagram page. My page started as a means to track my financial journey to debt freedom and also a place where I hope to motivate others to take a hold of their finances.
In 2019, I had reached my breaking point with myself and my husband’s financial situation. Each month after paying all of our monthly bills and debt obligations, we would have little to no money left over for things that made us happy. It became harder and harder to pay for date night, weekend getaways were no longer affordable, and we barely had any extra funds left over to continue activities we enjoyed like going to the spa. We were frustrated and confused at how we got to this point and worried that our future would consist of only working to pay bills and debt and not having enough money to really enjoy life.
In January 2020, my husband and I decided that we no longer wanted to be in debt. At that time, we had about $72,000 worth of non-mortgage debt, which was costing over $1,600 a month in debt minimum payments. This included a car loan, three retirement loans, two maxed out credit cards, and one student loan. Once we decided it was time to pay off the debt for good, we put ourselves on a debt pay off plan. I also began reducing our expenses, canceling unused subscriptions, lowering our utility bills, and tightening our grocery budget. I was able to free up a lot of money by doing that. We also increased our income by going after promotions at work and also selling items on Facebook Marketplace. With the extra money from lowering our living expenses and increasing our income, we are able to aggressively pay down our debt, and as of July 2021 we have about$13,000 of debt left to go.
My Instagram page is my journal, it is where I record our progress, celebrate our wins, and motivate others to take control of their finances.
Can you talk to us a bit about the challenges and lessons you’ve learned along the way. Looking back would you say it’s been easy or smooth in retrospect?
The journey to debt freedom has not been easy. Sometimes it is a struggle to stay motivated to paying off the debt and committing to not getting into any more debt.
There is a level of dedication and discipline that comes to meeting any goals. Having the discipline to say no because an expense is not in our budget, being willing to not forgo the latest cell phone model in order to save money on expenses, and remembering our reason why we set out to accomplish our goals.
Thanks – so what else should our readers know about your work and what you’re currently focused on?
You can find me on Instagram @banksfinancial.
On this page, we show another side to the financial freedom journey. Even though this page is narrated by me, we are a family of six -myself, my husband and our four kids. We want others to see that even a large family is capable of accomplishing debt freedom.
I share our goals, our milestones and wins, and I share tips and tricks that I have learned along the way. I just hope to motivate others to pay attention to their finances and to think about the future. Will the current state of your finances allow you to live the life you dream of? If the answer is no, I hope to motivate you to make a change.
Can you talk to us a bit about the role of luck?
I would say none. We have been extremely intentional in everything we have done. We have worked hard and been consistent with accomplishing our goals.
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/banksfinancial/