Defining Freedom

As highlighed in the about page, everything took off after watching this TEDx talk by Adam Baker, founder of http://www.manvsdebt.com. It started with defining what freedom is to me. I started with the following list and few notes:

-Unrestrained

-No financial burden

-A job I love with flexibility to change it

-Service/volunteering

-Not evil

-A sidenote: consumerism is not evil by nature. It is a driving force that keeps our current system alive and while this may not the best system… I’ve yet to see anyone come up with something better and I certainly haven’t myself.

-Another sidenote: debt is evil. It is a cycle of working a job to pay for debt you have accumulated because you have a job.

What I arrived at was:

Freedom is a life unrestrained by consumer debt, enabling me to passionately, honestly, and lovingly serve the planet, world, and society.

Perfect! But now I had to start shaping the idea around my values and lifestyle. I started with breaking down my debt. Total, consumer and student loan, debt equals $12,100 at the time of the posting. Roughly 9,100 of that is consumer debt (before you roll your eyes at my mere $3,000 of student loan debt, do me some justice… If it is crippling you, it is crippling you regardless of if it is $3,000 or $300,000. Ok? Ok.). I have a very stable administrative job at a university with amazing benefits. However, my take home pay per month is $1847 and my estimated monthly expenses living in a large city (bare bones) sits at $1550. This leaves me at just under $200 extra a month for savings/repaying debt above minimum payments/fun.

How the hell am I supposed to clear $9,100 (not including interest) worth of debt on an extra $200/month? That would take YEARS (3.2 years, to be exact) and I want to go to grad school! Frustration. Disappointment. Almost hopelessness… But, I asked myself a simple question:

Can I sell, budget, or find roughly $10,000 in a year?”

The answer? A BIG, FAT (scary) YES.

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