Today I have a huge treat for you guys. I’m so thankful that LaTisha Styles has decided to drop some knowledge off to Young Yet Wise. Who is this wonderful woman, and how did she eliminate 22,000 of credit card debt?!
LaTisha Styles is a motivational speaker, millennial money expert, and spokesperson specializing in simple finance for millennials. As a millennial, LaTisha knows that millennials ARE financially literate and she started Young Finances to help empower her generation. Since starting Young Finances, LaTisha has paid off over 30,000 dollars of consumer debt, invested for retirement, and started a profitable business. LaTisha has been featured in The Economist, quoted in Forbes, and mentioned in US News as a top personal finance expert to follow on Twitter.
“When I made that first swipe I don’t think I knew how much it would affect my life. Living with credit card debt that I could not afford cost me a lot of stress, worry, and unnecessary cash. Yes, it was expensive to be in debt. At one point I had a 24% interest rate on a credit card with a large balance.” Latisha Styles
LaTisha: Absolutely. I truly believe that when used properly, a credit card can be beneficial. It is simply another budget tool. I would consider it an advanced tool because you have to know exactly what your budget looks like before you can use the credit card properly. Each month your credit card should be paid in full. I do not recommend carrying a balance from month to month. Using this strategy and a rewards credit card, instead of paying interest, I get paid to use a credit card each month.
Me: I love how you didn’t put every single dollar and dime into your debt , you still traveled and invested do you think that if you would of put all of your money towards your debt and stayed on a strict budget that you would of been able to still eliminate all of your debt?
LaTisha: I have an issue with very restrictive plans. I know my personality. If a diet promises six pack abs but requires that I never eat macaroni and cheese again, I know it’s not for me. Similarly, I knew that if I restricted my budget to the point where I hated working for money, I would break my payment schedule. Some people can handle a very strict budget, but I cannot. I also understand the power of compounding interest. I did not want to miss out on the time to allow my money to grow. So instead of putting 100% of my extra money towards debt payoff, I split it in half and put half towards investing. I also started a side hustle and used that money to help with travel expenses.
Me: Lastly at Young Yet Wise: Things I wish I learned sooner is a key theme so if you could leave us with one piece of advice you wish you learned sooner what would it be?
LaTisha: I wish I had known that a free t-shirt would cost me thousands in the long run. 🙂 I wish I understood that
But now that I know, I am determined to teach others not to make the same mistakes I did.
Here are the four steps LaTisha Styles took to tackle $22,000 of credit card debt:
1. Setting the debt deadline
Firstly, I set a date. I decided that I wanted to pay everything off within three years. That made it easy to figure out how much I wanted to pay towards my debt with each check. I chose to go with a consumer credit counseling service.
2. Creating the cash budget
Secondly, I committed to using all cash. I knew that I was addicted to using credit and there was no point in trying to get out of debt while I was still using it. I had already gotten rid of all of my credit cards and I created a budget that would allow me to use only cash.
3. Needs vs Wants
During the first few months, I started to teach myself how to distinguish needs versus wants. I prevented myself from impulse shopping with a simple rule. If I wanted to purchase something that was not on my shopping list or was not a part of my intended trip, then I was not allowed to buy it.
4. Building an emergency cushion
Finally, I was honest with myself. I didn’t try to live super frugal or put all of my extra cash towards my debt. I knew that if I simply stuck with my plan, I would have everything paid off on the date that I self-imposed.
I didn’t stress myself.
I still traveled, dined out with friends and put money towards investing and saving.
Yes. I still invested.
To view LaTisha’s other great posts on how to invest, budget, and save be sure to check out her website at http://youngfinances.com/. Be sure to also check out her awesome Youtube Channel, and follow her on Twitter
I know that tackling credit card debt can be hard, which is why I’ve created The Financial Goals and Credit Card Tracker Workbook, use this work book to help you eliminate your credit card debt! Download your free workbook here.
Again huge thank to LaTisha Styles I’m honored to have her here today. Thanks for your advice, but more importantly thank you for informing and helping other people with their finances. We appreciate you!!! Remember, don’t be embarrassed about your debt. The last time I checked blaming yourself was not a form of accepted payment. All we can do is focus on getting rid of it, and not making the same mistakes next time.