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How Rachael Paid Off $50k!

“Never spend your money before you have it.” —Thomas Jefferson

“A goal without a plan is just a wish.” -  Antoine De Saint Exupery

 

It's no secret that getting control over your money and then getting out of debt is no small feat for most of us. It takes conviction, a strong "why", a plan, a budget and LOTS of encouragement. And as a coach, I've seen that one of the best ways for our students to stay motivated is to hear other people's stories, listen to their struggles and live vicariously through their wins.

This is the whole reason I started this "Journey To Debt-Freedom" series. I wanted to curate a reservoir of personal stories that will help you "find your own story" and keep marching forward toward your personal finance goals and ultimately to debt-freedom and beyond. 

Along those lines, if you have a "debt-free" or "on-my-way-to debt-free" story, I'd love to share yours with our audience. It's always such a gift to our subscribers and fans to hear your particular story AND will help you, especially if you have a a blog/platform/YouTube channel you want to promote (although that's not at all necessary).

Next up in our "Journey To Debt-Freedom" series, meet Rachael Taylor!

Rachael wrestled with debt for about a decade of twists, turns and setbacks, but has finally crossed the finish line.

So, join me in welcoming Rachael!

 

Introduce yourself, Rachael

 

Hey there, I'm Rachael! I specialize in teaching entrepreneurs how to create, launch & market digital products & courses with simple systems & funnels, so they can have passive income and earn what they deserve.

FUN FACTS: I'm an online teacher who loves dogs, writing, horseback riding & finding the balance between playing video games & being as active as possible with Yoga, running, Pilates & fun outdoor activities.

 

Give me a little bit of background about your financial situation and your decision to "tackle it". Tell me about how much debt you've paid off so far and in how much time. What is your debt made up of?

Entering college and the work force with fibromyalgia had a set of serious challenges and it limited the kinds of jobs I could apply to and truly be successful at. While I looking for the right job and continuing to apply, I found myself working part-time 2 or 3 days a week at Trader Joes.

After I got injured on the job lifting a case of water that was too heavy, too high and too much for me, I became my own business owner after becoming a Certified Pilates Instructor. But even then, I was still living paycheck to paycheck and barely making my car payments, let alone being able to qualify for renting an apartment outside of my parent's home.

Because of this financial limitation, I was living anywhere from $5000 - $10000 in debt to my parents, not counting credit card for basic things like groceries, insurance and gas. And while the bank of Mom and Dad is better than the "bank" it put a lot of pressure, strain and shame on myself as they controlled me through my finances and the money I owed them.

I decided to tackle this by becoming a multi-passionate business owner, with in-person Pilates teaching and an online coaching business that removed location and time restrictions. In the last 3 years, I really began tracking my money - using Quickbooks and excel spreadsheets to keep track of interest rates for credit cards, the money I owed my parents and how long it would take me to be debt free.

I also began automating savings - $20 a month - that just magically went into my account where I trained myself to leave it and respect that it has a different purpose than my checking account.

Two months ago, I paid off the last $2000+ that I owed my parents and am now officially debt free from them, and I continue to be debt free each month from my credit cards. My spending is more specific and I choose what I invest in, and when I invest in it.

The weight that has been lifted off me and the joy I feel in my daily life has been something that has been missing for nearly 10 years.

 

Looking for a way to get started on your own debt-free journey? Check out my: 

 “Debt-Elimination Quick-Start Guide”. This free resource will have ALL the tools, forms and printables you’ll need while moving through this 30 day challenge.

 

 

What was "the moment" you decided, "enough is enough" and what actions did you take or resources did you use to get the process started?

I decided about 3 years that enough was enough because only I could control my finances, and how people could make me feel about my saving, spending and money habits. I started tracking my spending, tracking my debt and keeping my eyes facing forward as I carefully controlled what I chose to invest in.

My money mindset also changed drastically - instead of focusing on what I didn't have, I started focusing on what could be possible.

 

Looking for a ways to live more frugally and address your debt? Check out my: 100 Frugal Ways To Save Money And Get Out Of Debt.

 

What was your "why"? What kept you going when you wanted to quit? How did you stay motivated?

My why came from always being very independent and knowing that having debt was a block to that desire.

My relationship with my family was and is very important to me, and I could see the strain it was starting to have when someone else feels like they can control your money because they have a claim to it.

 

Describe your "belief system" about money and (if/how) has it changed? Maybe even talk about how you were brought up to think about money and how that changed as you progressed through the process.

My new belief system around money is - "There's always more out there, and I'm ready and open to receive it."

I grew up with the belief that no matter how hard you worked, it would never be enough - so you might as well get comfortable being upset that you'll never have what you want. Harsh, right? Gotta love money stories!

 

What have been the biggest/toughest sacrifices you've made in your personal finance/debt-elimination process?

The biggest sacrifice has been saying no to traditional friendship things like constantly eating out or buying tickets to things all the time.

But it's actually created a lot of opportunity to be creative about I spend time with friends, and we've found a lot of connection and fun through things like staying at home with board games, cooking together and spending the day doing free activities like hiking, biking or paddle boarding.

The craziest thing I did to get out of debt was use money that had been set aside for my "wedding fund" (when I was very, very, very single) and use that to start my online business and pay off credit card debt, and more than half of what I owed my parents.

I also made sure that all my subscriptions on my computer like Norton, Word, etc. were separate, as well as my own phone plan.

I sold my personal Pilates Reformer for to the studio, left the gym and started doing workouts at home with a free app, I sold my car to CarMax, started taking public transportation and walking to the grocery store, I got a Ralph's card so I could buy things in batches and on sale, and I went through all my subscriptions and memberships to make sure that money wasn't leaking out anywhere it shouldn't be.

 

Describe how it feels to be debt-free. 

AMAZING. It feels wonderful to be in complete control of my finances. I know exactly where all my money goes every month, how much it costs to run my online business and what I need for cash to live.

It feels great to be informed and to have savings that consistently grow, little by little, and are there should any emergency happen that I need it for.

To be completely money free of my parents is also one of the most adult, liberating and empowering feeling I could ever possibly describe!

 

This “$1000 In 30 Days Challenge and Resource Pack” is designed to help you find, cut and/or earn $1000 inside of 30 days so that you can: pay off debt with it, save it or invest it.

Here's the free downloadable/printable PDF.

 

What are some pieces of advice you would give to someone who's ready to get serious about tackling their finances?

Start by looking at the numbers, and don't let yourself be shamed about where they are - it's just a number.

Track those numbers by writing them down and figure out how long it will take you to get out of debt. No amount of savings is too small - $10 every month will do more for you than $0 every month.

Set it up so it's automatic and you don't even have to think about it. Then train yourself to not raid your savings and get yourself used to having extra in your account.

Money can bring up a lot of emotion around "not being enough", but it's just a number. Start to look at money for what it is, a resource, and not a qualifier of your worth.

 

Where can we find you (website, social media, etc.)?

[email protected]

W: https://www.thecreativerachael.com

IG: https://www.instagram.com/itsthecreativerachael/

LI: https://www.linkedin.com/in/rachael-elizabeth-taylor/

PI: https://www.pinterest.com

 

Call To Action

Now that you've heard Rachael's story, maybe you're ready to take a closer look at a "framework" to start your own "journey to debt freedom". And, if you’ve hung out on this platform for any length of time, you’ll know I’m all about helping you to take action. And here are two very easy next steps to keep you moving in the right direction:

  1. Download our free PDF guide that goes along with this series: “Debt-Elimination Quick-Start Guide”. This has a very comprehensive and dedicated video on establishing your “why”.
  2. Head over to YouTube and start with the “Day 0” video. You can totally binge-watch the whole series if you want. That “first pass” will give you an idea of where you are and what it’s going to take for you to get to the next level with your own personal situation. And again, starting with your “why” is the absolute most important step.

I want for you to capitalize on any and all emotional momentum you’ve gotten from this piece of content by committing two just getting started by completing those two actions I mentioned above. If you’ve done that, congratulations, you’ve started! Now just follow the breadcrumbs and please let me know what’s helpful and what you might need more detail around.

 

What To Do After That

After you complete the "quick start", maybe you'll be ready to take a closer look at a "framework" to continue your own "journey to debt freedom". So, I want to offer you another completely free resource that will help you map out your money with even more confidence.

Ready to get total control over your money? Introducing My FREE 8 Steps To Erase Debt Guide

These are the steps I personally followed to obliterate $43,000+ of debt in 2.5 years

Maybe your number is bigger, maybe it’s smaller. Either way the principles are the same and I want you to have them.

  1. Stop All Retirement Investing (Until Step 4)
  2. Build A Budget
  3. Starter Emergency Fund of $1000
  4. Eliminate Debts Smallest To Largest (a.k.a The Debt Snowball)
  5. Full Emergency Fund of 3-6+ Months’ Expenses
  6. Invest A Minimum of 15% Income Into Retirement Accounts (and increase savings rate to 50%+ if possible)
  7. College Funding (if applicable)
  8. Pay Off The Home Mortgage
  9. Build Wealth, Serve, Be Ridiculously Generous And Go FI (Financial Independence)!

I’ve created a simple, easy to follow “8 Steps To Erase Debt” guide that you can use as your foundation as you navigate the absolute annihilation of your debt forever. 

 

Here are some additional options to help you accomplish your personal finance goals:

  1. Check out our YouTube Channel for "how to" video guides.
  2. Join our Zero Debt Tribe Community on Facebook, a group of friendly, like-minded personal finance enthusiasts, budgeting nerds, debt-eliminators and “FI-ers” who are there to help each other succeed? Click here to request to join for support and encouragement!
  3. Our library of Free Products & Printables.

 

What do you need help with the most right now?

And finally, I want to encourage you and challenge you to get started in this process. You can do this by downloading this blogpost as your guide. The downloadable pdf contains all the printable forms and instructions you need to get this process started.

So, I’d LOVE to hear from you. The biggest compliment you can give me as your coach is to share your progress and your takeaways in the comments below.

I wish you nothing but great success in your personal finance endeavors and please let me know how I can help you accomplish your goals.

To your freedom,

Brad

Your Virtual Money Coach

[email protected]

 
This post may contain affiliate links. If you click & make a purchase, I receive a small commission (at no extra cost to you) that helps keep Zero Debt Coach up and running. Read my full disclosure policy.

 

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