Earlier this year, my husband and I took Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University Program. This program goes through baby steps on how to pay off debt, how to master budgeting, saving for emergencies and set a plan for the future.
Although my life looks great – traveling to different places and enjoying wonderful meals, the truth is that my life was completely chaotic for the past few years. Sometimes my husband and I would travel without really having the money and paying rent with our credit cards. We were so deep in debt, that it felt as though we would not get out of the hole.
My husband introduced me to Dave Ramsey and his whole program. Although I agreed with his methods and saw actual results, I was resistant thinking I needed to sacrifice my lifestyle.
However, after taking Dave Ramsey’s FPU program, I have still been traveling and you know what the best part is? I get paid to travel!
Many of you may be wondering how I am able to travel and get paid for it. Well here’s the secret – get a job that pays you to travel. Whether the purpose of the trips is to go to tradeshows, conferences or meetings, you would still be able to travel.
Aside from my 9-5 job, I also work on the side for a company that sets performances around the world. This means, I have the opportunity to travel to different places – all expense paid and I make money on top of that for my hard work.
In fact, this year while trying to save up $1,000 for our emergency fund (one of the things Dave Ramsey has you do), I ended up going to Chile for a week to assist with one of the performances and received more than enough to put towards our emergency fund. I didn’t sacrifice anything! I used PTO at my full-time job, and came back home with more than $1,000 for the emergency fund. On top of that, I traveled to another country, took some photos, came back with more content for my blog and had extra money to put towards debt!
How to get out of debt to travel more
Of course, not all of us are lucky enough to find a company or job that will pay you to travel. Luckily, there are other ways to travel without going into debt. However, the next few steps do require sacrifices, such as cutting down on lattes and unnecessary things.
The following few steps are part of Dave Ramsey’s Baby Steps. He has 7 of them, but below you will only find two major ones that have helped us so far.
Save $1,000 for your starter emergency
This is the first baby step out of the 7 and one you want to accomplish as soon as possible. Yes, you will need to do a budget in order to get your starter emergency. Once, you have this saved up, you will start to feel much better about your situation.
Tip: If you have created a budget and still cannot save the $1,000, start selling items you do not need or get a part-time job. Something I learned in the program is that this part needs to be done with gazelle intensity.
Use the Debt Snowball to pay off all debt
This is where things start to get intense. Once you pay off your first debt, this actually becomes exciting and you will absolutely feel free. In this step, you also want to cut up your credit cards, so go ahead and do that! No you do not need the credit cards (you do not need all that debt!).
Now that you have a budget in place, you will be able to see where you can use your money. The way the Debt Snowball works is that you will sort your debts from smallest to largest and start attacking the smallest debt. Make the minimum payments on the others, but attack the smallest putting as much as you can towards it.
During this time, you need to make sacrifices such as no more lattes every morning, no more going out to expensive restaurants on Fridays and absolutely no more spending money you do not have!
Now as someone who is still on this step, I am not spending money on travel. I am either exploring my city – going to free events, tours and doing anything that won’t cost me a pretty penny. So instead of paying for travel, explore your city’s free activities! There’s plenty we do not know about our own city so take the time to explore it, while you get yourself out of debt.
The idea with these steps is to get you out of debt, so you can travel more. So if you really want to travel, sell everything, pay your debt and go travel! Of course, I do recommend to check Dave Ramsey’s other steps. His steps are not only to get you out of debt, but also helps you plan for the future.
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