3 Major Life Changes I Made on My Debt Free Journey

When I look back on the last year or so of my debt free journey, there are 3 major life changes that I made that really stand out. These 3 changes stand out because each of them were major catalysts in my journey to debt freedom.

Without them, I might still be in debt right now. And the best part of all? Anyone can do these 3 things. Read on to learn more about the 3 major life changes that I made on my debt free journey.

 

This post is all about the 3 major life changes that I made on my debt free journey.

imperfect finance | 3 major life changes on my debt free journey

1. I Got a Part-time Job

Back in February 2019, I was starting to get really impatient on my debt free journey. My income from my full-time job as a data analyst was good, but it wasn’t enough to get me out of debt as quickly as I wanted. At this time, I knew I had to find a way to increase my income so that I could throw more money at my debt and pay it off as soon as possible.

As soon as the idea of getting a part-time job popped into my head, I ran with it. I cannot tell you how many people said things to me like:

Why would you do that to yourself? Can you just relax? You’re already doing well on your debt free journey. You don’t need to get a part-time job, too. Etc. Etc.

But I blocked it all out. Getting a part-time job felt right in that moment, and when I get stuck on an idea that I feel strongly about, it’s almost impossible for others to change my mind!

So, I started looking for part-time jobs. I knew I wanted something local (I really didn’t want a corporate job – just a personal preference) and something low key. After some searching, I stumbled upon a local ice cream shop on Indeed.com, applied, and had the job within a week!

imperfect finance | ice cream part-time job

My first day on the job was Valentine’s Day 2019. The ice cream shop was just one block away from my apartment in downtown Raleigh, so at the time, I could walk there in just a few minutes! It worked out really well.

I ended up making about $9 an hour plus tips. On average, that came out to be about $12-13 an hour. I worked anywhere from 1 to 4 days a week for about a year on top of my 9 to 5 job and ended up making about $5,000 to put toward my student loan debt.

It was a great experience overall, and something that I do recommend if you think you can handle the pain points (yes, there were a few struggles!). I write all about the pros and cons of having a part-time job in this post.

 

2. I Created an Instagram to Track My Debt Free Journey

You might be thinking to yourself, “how is creating an Instagram “life changing”?” – but hear me out.

I had created a blog called Debt Free Determined in December 2018 but really only posted on it from time to time.

One day, on my way home from my full-time job, the idea of creating an Instagram to track my debt free journey progress came to mind.

I didn’t know of anyone else tracking their debt free journey on Instagram, but still thought it might be fun. Little did I know there was an entire community of people on Instagram with the same idea as me!

Creating @ImperfectTaylor was one of the best decisions I could have made at the time.

imperfect finance | @imperfectfinance

As I started posting on @ImperfectFinance (which is now @ImperfectTaylor), more and more people cheered me on. The support from others motivated me to work harder and also made me feel less alone. No one that I knew in my personal life was on a debt free journey, but on Instagram, I had hundreds of “friends” doing it with me. And the more time I spent on Instagram seeing what others like me were up to, the more I was inspired to keep going.

Here are some debt free journey accounts I recommend.

Creating an Instagram to track my debt free journey was a game changer for me. I had about $36,000 of debt when I created @ImperfectFinance in May 2019, and I finished my debt free journey in May 2020. I paid off $36k in that one year, and I really don’t think I would’ve done that without the support from everyone that follows @ImperfectFinance.

 

3. I Got a Roommate (For the First Time Since College)

I graduated college in May 2015 and had a job offer right around that time for my first-ever job. Most of my friends and fellow graduates were going to work in Washington, D.C. but I wanted to do something a little different, so when I got a job offer in Raleigh, North Carolina, I jumped at the opportunity.

I was so excited to not only start my career, but to also move to a new city. I didn’t know anyone in Raleigh at the time, but that didn’t scare me; I was overwhelmed with excitement, and more than ready to start a new chapter of my life.

My dad had helped me find my first apartment and I was absolutely in love with it. Getting a roommate at that point in my life didn’t even cross my mind – I was ready to be independent and to live on my own.

I officially moved to Raleigh the last week of June/first week of July 2015, and my first day of work followed shortly thereafter. Since that time, I lived on my own in a one-bedroom apartment.

I felt so strongly that I would never have a roommate again, until… I got bit by the debt free journey bug.

I got my part-time job scooping ice cream in February 2019, started @ImperfectFinance in May 2019, and in the summer of 2019, my lease to my one-bedroom apartment in Downtown Raleigh was coming to an end.

imperfect finance | @imperfectfinance

At this point, getting a roommate was really a no-brainer for me. I was paying $1,400 a month for rent for my one-bedroom apartment (which felt so expensive), I didn’t even really like my apartment all that much, and I was getting really serious about my debt free journey.

When I crunched the numbers and realized I could save about $600 a month if I moved away from downtown and got a roommate, the decision was easy to make.

I don’t really think I realized just how hard it would be to go from not having a roommate for 4 years and being super independent to living with someone again (especially someone I didn’t know!), but everything ended up working out in the end, and I cut about 5-6 months off my debt free journey because of that change.

Have you made a big life change on your debt free journey? If so, tell me about it in the comments below!

 

This post was all about the 3 major life changes that I made on my debt free journey.

 

Other posts you might like:

student loan guide

 


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About Taylor

A few years after graduating college, Taylor made it her mission to become debt free. After paying off all $60k of debt, she began to blog about what she's really passionate about: personal development. Nowadays, Taylor blogs about the topics of Mindset, Money, Health, and Career for women. Read more about Taylor here.

"It's Per$onal" is a super popular and anonymous blog series about the personal lives and finances of women all over the world. Check it out!

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