Sallie & Perkins Conduct an Interview

Happy New Year, frugalistas!! Okay, yes we are fifteen days into the new year, but it's our first post of 2014 so we can get away with wishing you all a Happy New Year still. We are back and more excited than ever about eliminating all our disgusting student loans. It's pretty exciting to know that this is the year we'll become debt free. We are ticking away at those payments and cannot wait to see every single balance read $0. We really can't even fathom a life without student loan payments... but it's so close and getting closer to being our reality.
So today we're conducting a little interview! We have a friend here with us today who also is passionate about paying down her debt. Katie from Clueless with Cash has been so fun getting to know over the past few months and it's always nice to talk to people who can relate. Now, we hate that anyone has debt, but we know it's a sad reality that many of us do, so we have to stick together and encourage where we can. We thought what better way than to motivate some of our readers than to give you another inside-look at a debt situation and what that gal is doing to change it for the better. 
S&P: Tell us briefly about your debt situation
Katie: I'm sitting on $60,000 worth of student loans and almost $5,000 worth of credit card debt. I was not prepared for college at all and I definitely had no idea how to manage money at 18! I took out private loans and enjoyed nice apartments, frequent shopping and eating at restaurants. After graduating, I have been working entry-level jobs for minimal pay so my credit card came in "handy" to help me afford things. I paid it all off once but this past year I moved into an apartment by myself. That was expensive! I may have also had a few sessions of retail therapy on that bill, too. Ooops! The 0% interest rate on the credit card expires in May so I plan to have that paid off by then. Then all extra income will go straight to student loans and hopefully I can watch those numbers go down! 

When did you start really focusing on your debt? Was there one certain turning point?
That's a good question. I started realizing the impact student loans would have on my life my senior year in college. I paid a tiny bit off before payments were actually due but it was chump change compared to the total bill. For years I was only able to pay the minimums thanks to a second job. 2013 was the first year I was able to pay more than the minimums and it felt great, even if it meant living with my parents for a while. I paid off $8,000 worth of debt and eliminated my smallest student loan. However, I got sick of seeing all my money disappear to debt that I took a few months off and that's when the credit card debt reared it's ugly head again. I decided to bulk up my savings, which I did, and now I'm ready to tackle debt once again. It's an exhausting marathon but I know life will be so much better without this debt!
What are your financial goals for 2014?
I want to pay off $20,000 worth of debt this year. That would eliminate my credit card balance and pay off my next smallest student loan. It's ambitious, considering I still make entry-level pay but I know it will be worth it! The spending freeze this month has been a great start!

What's your favorite money-saving tip?
Distract yourself! When you get the urge to buy something (usually something you don't really need!), distract yourself. Call a friend, cook a new meal, read a book, clean out that junk drawer or closet, anything that will keep you busy for at least an hour. Chances are, the shopping mood will pass when you put yourself in a different situation. 

Best place for a bargain?
The internet! Even if you're not shopping online, always check for coupons and discounts online before you shop! There are almost always printable promotions or coupon codes you can pull up on your phone that will save you at least a few bucks! I always check my grocery ad online before I plan my meals for the week and it's a huge saver!

So there you have it, folks. Katie, thank you for being our first interviewee, we are honored to have you. And more than that, we are honored to be partners in crime on this debt-elimination journey. We weirdly love being able to talk openly about debt and finances with other people in similar situations. Not only do we love encouraging you, but your stories and goals encourage us to keep after what we're doing and not give up, even if/when there are setbacks. Be sure to stop over at Katie's blog and say hello and give her a virtual high-five because she is gonna' rock 2014!!

20 comments

  1. YAY for S & P's new friend who is precious! Y'all can all do it!! No spend January is a huge start and will let you know that you can live without certain things. Can't wait to see the end result!

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  2. I LOVE S&P!! And I am so encouraged by people who are willing to tackle their debt head on! We JUST paid off our last credit card and it feels great-but it is a constant struggle to stay OUT of debt and keep building that emergency saving account instead of taking weekend trips, buying new boots, and decorating our house!

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  3. I have been missing Sallie & Perkins!!!! Happy New Years guys! =) Its really encouraging to hear other peoples stories too, so I'm glad katie shared! going to check out her blog now!

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    1. Thanks, Kelly!! I hope you enjoy Katie's blog too- she is great!! :)

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  4. Honestly, this is one of the BEST resources-- a nice place to (collectively) acknowledge that debt is a real part of our lives but that we have the ability to take control again. Bravo to S&P!! (Although I am totally jealous that you will be out of debt this year.... congrats!!)

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    1. I agree. It's nice to be able to talk openly about other people in similar situations. Too often on social media all we see is shop, shop shop, must buy must buy! It can really make you feel like you're the "weird" one, but I know this will all pay off (literally!) for our future!

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  5. Ohh, I think blogger ate my comment! Love reading your posts and Katie's posts and now all of you at once?! Yes, please! Motivating and super helpful, as always, S&P!

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  6. Hehehe. This was awesome! I love getting all these money tips! =D

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  7. I love S&P! Also, sending a buuunch of good luck to Katie! And to you guys! Hopefully this will be YOUR YEAR!

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  8. Debt SUCKS. My husband still has one student loan that he's paying on and I HATE that it's out there lurking over our heads. I feel like high schools should force seniors to take money management 101 before college or something...

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  9. Yeah debt free year!!!!!! :) You got this Sallie and Perkins!

    Thanks for the great interview and advice!

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  10. Came over here from Katie's blog! Love the Sallie and Perkins part of your blog. I've enjoyed following Katie's as it mirrors my own (my husband and I are also trying to pay off $20K debt in 2014) and am glad I can add your blog into my reader as well.

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  11. I love reading this!! Since I just graduated in December I have six months to save and budget before I start paying off my loans. I just downloaded the envelope system to create a budget and so far I have increased my savings and been so much more aware of my spending! Thanks for inspiring me to get serious about this now and not sixth months from now!

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  12. We have $25,000 of medical bill debt that we accumulated in one year. Ouch! It couldn't be helped. What to do now? We are still dealing with this issue. We are thinking about selling our home and moving in with my parents for a year to eliminate most of that debt. We don't really know what else to do. Right now we are having to pay the minimum because there are so many people wanting money at the same time. Anywhoo...we are trying to make a plan. We are also selling lots of stuff we don't need anymore. What is the plan once the debt is paid off?

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  13. I kind of want to see the reject photos of the Sallie & Perkins photo shoots... I bet there are some good (and horribly awkward/funny) pictures in there!

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  14. Oh YAY! I hate that other people have huge debts like me, but it's also encouraging to read about how they are trying to tackle them. Go Katie Go!

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  15. Yay! Debt SUCKS but it's encouraging to hear other stories so you don't feel alone. Genius advice on distracting yourself, I will have to remember that next time the urge strikes.

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  16. Oh, i really like Meeting new folks today! Characterization is that the most significant factor to me furthermore.job interview And extremely get to Stephanie Perkins' books presently, they are superb :) loved the interview!

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  17. Thanks to the awesome savings on photography goods for this Christmas shopping weekend! I too have bought a few things to get started with my artistic imagination.
    Port Macquarie Photographer

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Thanks SO much for taking the time to read and comment on my blog! I read each one and love to respond and chat with you! :)