As a little girl, I always wished for the classic American dream, going to college, getting married, and buying a house. At 8 years old I figured I would be able to have all of this done by 22 since that was so far away. After graduating college with debt, I knew I couldn’t have my dream until I started a plan.
Here is how I went from a broke college graduate to buying my own house with cash.
Create A Budget
When I was in college I never thought about money. I had two part-time jobs in college and I would spend my money on things I needed, but mostly wanted. It was very easy for my friends and I to run to the mall after a stressful week of tests to have some retail therapy. In college, this wasn’t a big deal because all I had to worry about was just my grade and I didn’t have to worry about any bills.
After college things change when I moved out of my parents' house and realized how expensive life really is. To survive the change I had to create a budget. I sat down with my paycheck and planned where my money would go instead of wondering where my money went. My budget included rent, utilities, food, transportation/ car insurance, internet, entertainment, saving and debt.
At first, I thought a budget was going to be restrictive. I quickly found out my budget gave me the freedom not to worry anymore about overspending, but more importantly, it taught me to prioritize what I needed versus what I wanted.
Pay Off Your Debt
I graduated college and I had no idea how much debt I was actually in, I got a letter from the loan company I used saying I had to start paying off what I had borrowed. On the loan website, I saw that I had a total of 6 student loans that I took out from the government during my college years. I was shocked that I took out that many loans.
I listed my debt from smallest to largest and started to put extra payments to my smallest debt. After my first extra payment, I realized that the loan company was saying I didn’t have to pay that loan the next month, but I wasn’t fooled because I knew the interest on that loan was still growing. Once I paid off my smallest loan I felt empowered to keep up my work and knock out my debt.
I ended up selling some of my belongings that I didn’t use or care for on Ebay and Facebook Marketplace. All of these little things started to add up and I was able to really focus on paying off my debt. And before I knew it I was able to pay off one after another.
Buy A Fixer Upper
At 24 I knew that whatever house I ended up buying probably wasn’t going to be my forever home, so the requirements I had for the house was something I could afford in an area and that I felt comfortable in. When looking at houses I was looking at foreclosures I could fix up. I looked at many different foreclosed houses, some were too destroyed to even think about fixing them while others just had some work that needed to be down.
The house I ended up buying was trash throughout it, walls with holes in them, floors with carpets ripped out, and no appliances at all. The home overall was livable and in a great town. To save on cost I painted and fixed the dry wall with the help of loved ones and YouTube tutorials. I bought “new to me” appliances on Facebook Marketplace, auctions, and consignment shops to buy a fridge, washer/dryer, gas stove, and dishwasher. Most of the appliances I bought used can still be bought new in stores which saved me thousands of dollars.
Buying a foreclosed house was hard work to fix up, but now I have a house that I own with no mortgage or rent to worry about. It might have been the craziest thing I have ever done, but now I have so much financial freedom to live my life how I want to.
In the comments down below tell me that you are doing to reach your financial freedom goals.