Find out what HelloWallet member Jonathan did to take control of his finances and pay down $10,000 in credit card debt in just 8 months.
Taking the First Step
Creating a budget was my first step. Even today, it’s always changing and evolving, but in the beginning it got me to think through each individual category and start a real conversation with my family about where we should be spending our money.
The second step was starting an emergency fund, using HelloWallet’s guidance. What I love about HelloWallet is that it recommended an amount for me. It was easy for me to feel confident that I had the right amount at that current moment. We had our fund fairly quickly – it was easy to keep track of – then we moved on to credit cards.
So far, we’ve paid off 6 cards – almost $10,000. Our progress on paying off credit cards is purely due to the fact that we have an emergency fund, so I feel comfortable. It’s been a huge catalyst for us to move forward. There have been things that helped along the way – some windfalls, some bonuses. HelloWallet kept us on track and kept us spending on the things we needed to be spending on, and feeling secure that we have a cushion.
Perfection Isn’t the Goal – Preparation Is
We’ve had plenty of bumps in the road. It’s far from perfect – that’s how real life is. But having HelloWallet has made getting through those bumps a lot easier. We’ve had to use a little bit of our emergency fund. Last month we had to pay taxes and we weren’t planning on that. It was a huge hiccup. Fortunately, we didn’t have to use a significant amount but it was nice to know that we had more there if we really screwed up.
A Common Point of Communication
A huge unintended benefit of HelloWallet is that it helped my marriage. Now instead of fighting about money, my wife and I have the right plan with a specific step to focus on. I tried budgeting and tried to pay down cards in the past, but my wife and I never had the right tools to share and help us focus. That’s something HelloWallet has given us – the ability to have a common tool and a common communication point. We know how much money we have, we know how much we’re going to pay off, and how much is left to go. Now we just go and execute.