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How Two Young Teachers Tackled $111,000 in Debt

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

In today’s episode, I’m talking with former teacher and founder of Inspired Budget, Allison Baggerly. Finding herself newly married with hefty debt, pregnant, and facing astronomical daycare costs, Allison knew something had to change. We’re talking about how easy it can be to be unaware of the future impact of debt, how Allison learned to separate emotions and spending, and why budgeting is not a one-size-fits-all move you make.

Moments You Don't Want to Miss

  • [03:51] Find out which of Allison's fears was a driving factor to making a change
  • [09:14] Allison’s key strategies for curbing emotional spending
  • [14:15] How she and her husband lived differently as teachers as they tackled their debt
  • [17:48] What it was like to make that very last debt payment
  • [25:40] Why tracking your finances unlocks freedom from your debt
  • [42:43] Chelsea’s Top Takeaways

What Are Your Family Money Values?

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Key Takeaways to Help You Tackle Your Own Debt

As always, we’ve rounded up our top three takeaways to summarize what we believe are the core points to remember from Allison

1- You Can Pay Off Debt on a Lower Income

So many headlines and news stories focus on these unicorn debt payoff journeys. The couple who pays off $200,000 in 9 months! But then you find out they make $600,000 a year. Or got some big inheritance. As absurd as some of those stories are to the average family, don’t let them discourage you from thinking you can pay off debt. You can.

2 - You Need to Pay Attention to Your Spending

Fortunately or unfortunately, there is no getting around this. As Allison mentioned, when they didn’t track their spending, those small $5 or $10 expenses didn’t seem like a big deal. But when they looked at them all together, they made a big impact.

And while reviewing your spending once can make you aware of those small purchases, you have to keep tracking if you actually want to cut back. Because those emotional and habitual expenses sneak up on us, especially when we’re tired, stressed, or overwhelmed.

Find a budgeting system that works for you. I use and love You Need a Budget, Allison uses Quicken, some people swear by pen and paper, but find a system that works for you and stick to it.

I promise, even once you’ve done it for a while and feel like you don’t need to budget anymore, as soon as you stop tracking—your expenses will go up. And chances are, you’ll be spending money on things that don’t bring you any more joy.

3 - Your Goals & Your Methods Should Be Unique to You

Allison made such a good point about us all needing to find the money systems that work for us. Just like you have to choose a budgeting method that works for you, the process you use to manage your money also has to work for you.

When we think about systems and routines, I think we sometimes start to believe we’re robots that just need the right programming. But all of our lives run a little differently. Our personalities are all different.

Learn from experts like Allison and I. Try different apps and strategies. But tweak what you learn to fit who you are. You know yourself best. And it will make creating long-term change so much easier.

Links & Resources Mentioned

Connect with Allison

Allison is a blogger, influencer, speaker, and the founder of Inspired Budget. As a teacher and small business owner, Allison combined her passion for teaching and finances to help others learn how to start budgeting. Since starting Inspired Budget in 2017, Allison has been able to retire as a teacher and take her desire to help others full time. Now she is helping women all over the world get started with budgeting when they feel lost and overwhelmed. She has built a tribe of over 88K Instagram followers that turn to her for budgeting advice and inspiration to save more than they ever imagined!

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