money management

How I Cleaned Up My Finances Before Walking Down The Aisle

After getting engaged, my fiance and I decided to go to pre-marital counseling. The first few sessions were about our upbringing, religious beliefs, and future goals. Then the counselor comes out of nowhere with finance, and the information was shocking. I hadn’t realized that when we get married, our money matters merge. The better our finances were individually, the better it was for our future. I left that session feeling defeated. We never really discussed money, so; my fiance had no idea how much “baggage” I was bringing on board.

My Financial History

I had five credit cards (all maxed-out), several thousand dollars in student loan debt, and a credit score of 500. I managed to keep them from defaulting or closing by paying the minimum balance and deferments, but it only put a bandage on the problem. If I could walk down the aisle with a clear conscience, I had to turn things around before our big day. It wasn’t going to be easy, but I was determined to try.

Debt Consolidation Helped Immensely

My student loans were still in deferment so, I decided to focus on my credit card debt. After a bit of research, I found a site called BriceCapital.com. They are a team of financial advisors that assist consumers with high-interest high-balance credit cards. The company offers debt consolidation loans that restructure your debt and sometimes save you money.

I did my due diligence and read some reviews on the agency. The debt consolidation offers seemed to help people do everything from clean up their credit card debt to covering tax hikes. I decided to reach out. I got approved for a loan that saved me in interest, late fees, and monthly payments.

Income-Based Repayment Plan

Continuing to defer my student loans was only increasing my debt. Although I had several thousand dollars to repay, I figured it was time to start contributing something. I contacted the student loan providers and explained that I couldn’t afford the monthly payment. They were able to sign me up for an income-based repayment plan. Essentially, they worked out an arrangement that fits within my budget. The best part is that I could apply the savings from the debt consolidation loan to my student loan payments.

Odd And End Jobs

I wanted to accelerate my debt repayment plans so I’d be closer to debt-free by the time I get married. I realized my income wasn’t enough, so I started looking for ways to make money on the side. I figured if I applied the money from these jobs to my debt, I could knock it out faster.

Since I already had a full-time job that demanded a lot of my time, I opted to complete odd and end jobs for cash. I taught English as a second language online, ran errands for my elderly neighbor, and joined a rideshare service. Between the three side gigs, I shrunk my debt by hundreds every month.

Invested In Our Future

Over the next few months, I’d been so diligent with paying down my debt and earning extra cash that I could invest in our future. I had about $100 a month I could dedicate to an investment. I decided to try my hand at the stock market and have been investing steadily ever since. The interest is growing monthly, and now my fiance and I have something to fall back on in the future.

I had no idea how my financial past would impact my future with my fiance. The moment I discovered this problem, I began taking steps to turn things around. Although it meant investing more time, money, and energy, it was worth ensuring we’d have a fresh start. I used the strategies above, stuck to my guns, and within a year and a half, we were walking down the aisle without the burden of debt following us.

About the author

Justin Weinger

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