How Social Media Finance Guru Carmen Perez Paid Off $57K in Under 3 Years

Hey Rach I’m Carmen Perez from Make Real Cents I have over 30,000 followers on Instagram alone and I’ve been able to pay off $57,000 in debt in less than three years. (upbeat music) I’ve made every money mistake possible. I’ve borrowed against my 401K, I had terrible credit which caused me to actually get a job offer rescinded. I’ve had to pay 18.5 % interest. How I started saving to be able to turn that situation around was probably the thing people want to hear least about, the word budget. (upbeat music) It was single handedly the most effective too to tackle my debt. After putting a budget in place I took it a step further by implementing the cash envelope system. Any of the budget categories that you can take money out for you set up envelopes based on those different categories. Once that envelope is empty, that doesn’t mean you whip out you debit card and make the next purchase. That means you gotta get very creative about what you’re gonna do next. Then you start building the habit of getting a tighter control and grip on your spending. (upbeat music) The most gratifying part of this entire process was all the options that I had available to me once that debt was paid off. We were able to buy a home, I was able to quit my job and get into another career. There were so many more opportunities and things that opened up once that debt was finally paid off, I had a limitless world in front of me and that was the coolest and most gratifying part of the entire journey. (applause) There’s plenty of ways you can tackle and go about tackling your debt and its just great, one to get organized, and then two, put a plan in place so your just not all the – all over the map hot mess right. Right. So one of those ways to do that is putting in place something that will deflate your interest right so that plan that you can put in place is organizing your debt from highest interest rate to lowest interest regardless of the amount. You’re gonna make the minimum monthly payment on all these debts while tackling and ferociously throwing as much money as possible, trying to put as much money from your budget and anything extra that you can towards this first debt with the highest interest rate. And then once that’s done, That’s the crutch, the 17% or 18%, Some people have them Yes. I will always pop a balloon, I’ll lie to children I’ll pop a balloon. (pop) (laughter) (applause) You do the honors you do the honors Alright so once that debt is is done you’re gonna take money and roll it over to the next debt while still continuing to minimum To keep the process going and going… And going and going and going so you’re gonna kill that one So you eat this one next. (POP) There we go, you eat that one Then you’re down to just these two. And the student loans, like can I do this one? This is my big one That’s a biggie (pop) There we are alright all right Until you get to the last one and you’ve literally (pop) deflated all your interest (applause) and killed it right. So then the next tip is prioritizing your budget and organizing that in a way that is literally think about Christmas gifts or any holiday gifts, you’re gonna put the most important person at the top, and then maybe your co-workers and all that go down towards the bottom and if they get a gift they get a gift and if they don’t they just don’t no feelings hurt right, Right So that’s how you wanna look at your budget so the way that I did it was organizing it, hey you need a – You have to have a roof. You have to have a roof over your head that’s everyday stuff right. Breakfast and lunch You do have to eat. You do have to eat which is very important I’m sure right. (laughter) Dinner you’re gonna wanna throw up there. So the reason why I broke it out like this is me and my spouse we actually split majority of our bills right but for breakfast and lunch we don’t do that together so I meal prep and allocate a very specific amount of money towards that, Right right right And split the dinner cost. I gotcha All right so the next thing either insurance or utilities depending on whatever your Yeah you need you need power You need power you need water You need all of that, you need to be able to shower so that depending on what you think is a priority you can organize these whatever which way. This is how I do it. No I think you’ve got it just right. And then the household right. And insurance you can’t drive a car without it You can’t you can’t get sick. This category is gonna be where you can get the most money out of your budget. Areas that you can actually cut in order to put more money towards your debt, all right so that includes for me dry cleaning I actually don’t really like to shop so I get more longevity out of my clothes by doing dry cleaning. It saves me actually in the long run That’s important to me so You know what’s even cheaper? Febreze and a steamer. Oh yeah that too that too. (applause) Doing it on your own, Doing it on your own. (laughter) The gym extremely important but another area that you can cut to be able to get more money out of your budget. Right and then the last thing personal products this is super important especially for women you know our hair the make up all that Get your do done you gotta get it in the budget somehow right? (applause)

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