NOTE: This does not include my 9-5 income.
Okay, I’m going to be honest. The title is a little misleading, there were some things in play that allowed me to pay off all of my credit card debt (about $10K worth) and put over $17k in savings so let me mention the things that helped me get there in the first place, that might not help you.
Due to COVID-19, I was able to get about bunch back in refunds from planned trips, events (like going to go see Hamilton — still super bummed about this), and trainings that were cancelled. I went in and calculated exactly how much I was refunded and it was about $2800. This is one of the biggest things that helped me get rid of all my credit card debt and stay afloat! Also considering that I wasn’t able to book anything saved me money, because ALL of my extra money usually goes to booking trips.
The reason why I wanted to start off with that is because folks tend to talk about how they saved all this money or paid off x amount of debt, but don’t tell you a lot of things that helped you get there in the first place. If we weren’t in the middle of a pandemic, I probably would still be putting money on my credit cards to go on trips because that is definitely my biggest weakness.
Now, on how I did it — because with all of that considered, I was still able to make about $17k In 10-Months.
And I did it by starting my own business. While my 9-5 income went to life expenses + credit card debt, my business income went to savings + credit card debt (yeah, I had a lot..).
I got a significant amount back in my tax return because my business was at a net loss at the end of 2019. This worked out in my favor (and it’s the reason why you have to make sure you deduct absolutely EVERYTHING you can as a business owner). Half of this went to savings, the other half went to pay off credit card debt I had prior to all the COVID19 refunds. There’s so much information about taxes + owning your own business, especially if you are working at a 9-5 that can help you get a good chunk back in your tax return. You can deduct so many things as business expenses that in turn, will help you have to pay less taxes. Definitely hire a CPA to work with you if you’re not sure where to begin, but Turbo Tax for the Self-Employed is a GREAT resource (costs about $15/per month) that I input all of my business expenses into at the end of the month and helps me know what my profit is.
For 15 months, I was essentially working two jobs: my 9-5 and my business. Although I didn’t make ANY money in my business within the first six months (which is why patience is SO important as a new entrepreneur), by month eight, I was already making the same income in my business as I was in my 9-5. Some months were definitely better than others. This also helped me pay off a bunch of debt that I had accumulated from starting a business in the first place, because things definitely add up. But every investment I made in my business, came back to me tenfold. Also—investing in your business whether that’s through hiring services, using supplies, internet, phone bill, etc. are all tax deductible items!
Last May, I took out a $10k personal loan to consolidate credit card debt + help offset some business costs. I have paid about 30% off and plan on completely paying it off within the next couple of months using funds that I will receive from my closed out retirement fund from my 9-5. Some of you reading this might be saying that’s not a good idea, that I should just re-invest it, but the retirement fund is very California specific and since I don’t live there anymore, I rather pay off this debt that will end up saving me over $700 in interest and will remove that monthly payment.
Lastly, with my move from California to Florida, I sold ALL of my furniture. Literally all of it, which got me about $1500 — all of which went to pay off more credit card debt + road trip expenses. This just goes to show that there are things you probably have laying around the house that you don’t need and you can definitely sell on Offer-Up or Poshmark if it’s clothes related.
I’ve done so much to pay off my debt + put so much aside. I had a lot of expenses such as rent (in California which is ridiculous in of itself), a car payment, car insurance, utilities, internet, credit card fees, subscriptions, business investments, a lot of traveling, ordering food, and “treating myself”.
My business started as a way for me to make a couple extra hundred dollars a month, I dreamed of being a full-time entrepreneur one day, but never thought I would have been able to make that life choice just 15 months after opening my business.
It took a lot of hard work, mistakes, and late nights. So if you’re reading this looking for a quick way to make a lot of money, this ain’t it.
But it only took one person to believe in me to be where I am today. (Honorable mention to Kayley Robsham, my amazing business coach just over a year ago, turned boss!).
For those of you who are just starting or even thinking about starting, you can definitely do it too. It just takes a lot of time, hard work and a ton of patience.
Here’s an Adult Pro-Tip for you: Put your savings into a High Yield Savings account (like with CIBC or Ally) to make money on your money that is just sitting in the bank! You can a 1-1.15% APY while banks such as Chase, Wells Fargo, Bank of America, etc only give you 0.01%! Depending on how much money you have in savings, it could be a nice little bonus!
If you have any questions or want to chat a bit more about what I do, feel free to send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or shoot me a DM on IG at @_janerodriguez.
Talk to you soon!