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How Paying Off Debt Gives You the Freedom to Choose the Life You Want

Why You've Got to Listen to This Episode...

In today’s episode, I’m talking with Kumiko Love of The Budget Mom who paid off $77,000 of debt, and more recently, bought her dream home…in cash! We’re going to talk about Miko’s journey—how her money mindset played a major role as she paid off debt and started to reach for bigger goals, what financial security and independence means for her, and dive into her process for getting started on your own debt freedom journey. There is so much power, freedom, and security in getting out of debt and giving yourself more options. I hope this episode will inspire your own journey, whether you’re well on your way or just getting started.

Moments You Don't Want to Miss

  • [08:24] How Kumiko would reward herself whenever she would hit a goal and how those rewards were part of her biggest mindset shift
  • [12:19] Kumiko shares what financial security and financial freedom mean to her
  • [17:46] How to get started with paying off debt even when you don’t believe it’s possible
  • [20:21] Kumiko’s 3-step process for creating a successful budget as well as how to budget when you have fluctuating income
  • [36:48] What she wishes all moms knew about money
  • [39:50] Chelsea’s Top Takeaways

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Creating a plan for debt freedom is the first step!

Key Takeaways to Apply to Your Own Money Journey

We’ve rounded up our top three takeaways from today’s amazing episode to highlight the most impactful things we learned from Miko that you can take into your own money journey.

1 - Choosing Not to Take Care of Your Money Takes Away Important Opportunities

When Kumiko first took a close look at her debt, she got angry. Not angry at the world, but angry at herself for not realizing the cost of her debts and all the opportunities she was missing out on because she had to pay those debts.

Miko has been able to grow her business, buy a home in cash, and is saving for financial independence and the option to retire early. Those things would not have been possible without her stepping up and engaging with her money.

You can do anything you want in life—not everything, but anything. As long as you don’t shut the door on opportunities by spending outside your means or on things that aren’t important to you.

2 - Throughout Your Debt Payoff Journey, Reward Yourself

Complete deprivation isn’t the path to success.

I am so glad that Miko said this. Her $1 Cokes at McDonalds may seem so miniscule to you – but to her it was a way to treat herself, have gratitude for the little things, and remember to honor who she is and that the things that matter to her matter.

When you first start a debt payoff journey, it’s so easy to get tunnel vision. To believe that the only thing that matters is paying off your debt as quickly as possible. Forget rewards, forget emergency funds, forget birthday presents.

But over time? That eats away at your self-worth. It makes you hate budgeting and want to give up on the whole process since you’re treating money as more important than yourself and your family.

Decide on what little things bring you joy and figure out how to prioritize them. Those ice cream dates with your kiddos will feel so empowering when you know that the money work you’re doing is letting you afford them without stress. (And doing them less frequently usually means you appreciate them more too!)

3 - Your Money Journey is a Journey of Self-Discovery

We talk a lot here about the emotional aspects of money. You might get motivated to pay off your debt or reach a financial goal out of fear or anger. But to grow in your journey, identify what you really want, and find peace and security with your money, you have to engage emotionally with it.

What is freedom for you? What are your fears? What expenses do you have that really are only an effort to fill an emotional void?

Treat each step of your journey as an opportunity to learn a little bit more about yourself. You’ll find your confidence, connect with your passion and purpose, and be able to create a life you love and are proud of.

Links & Resources Mentioned

Connect with Kumiko

Kumiko Love (Miko) of The Budget Mom is an Accredited Financial Counselor and a single mom who has fought her way out of $77K in debt. The Budget Mom is empowering women everywhere to regain control of their financial lives with tools like The Budget-by-Paycheck WorkbookTM, expert advice, and a supportive network. The Budget Mom blog goes far beyond other financial advice resources, offering lifestyle tips and money-saving strategies in addition to easy-to-follow explanations of financial terms. As Miko shares her own personal financial journey, abstract concepts become real-life action steps. Mom to a spirited little boy and devoted to the growing community she has created, Miko lives in Spokane Valley, Washington.

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