We have a listener guest today! Zina Kumok joins us to share her financial life and find out what she is doing right and what she could be doing better.
LMM met Zina at Fincon. She vowed to pay her student loan debt off in three years and started a blog to document her progress.
She did it too. As of this month, she has paid off her entire loan balance. She put any extra money, free lance money, birthday money, towards the debt.
Like many of us, Zina had very little finance education. Whatever she made, she spent. At one point, she ate out three meals a day! When she had to borrow money for a security deposit on an apartment, she realized she had nothing to show for the pretty good money she was making.
Zina’s parents were fans of Dave Ramsey and that was her introduction to personal finance. Get Rich Slowly was another big influence as it was for a lot of us.
Student loan debt was the only debt Zina had. No credit card or mortgage debt. She is engaged to be married and is planning on joining finances with her fiance soon. Now that she has some breathing room, she can be less strict on her budgeting. Her fiance is as money savvy as Zina and is also debt free.
Both partners have an emergency fund but want to build it up to six months for of expenses. They have a dog that may need surgery in the future. Pet insurance may be something to consider for Zina.
Zina started an IRA while in college. She now does matching in her 401K. The money that no longer needs to go towards the loan will go towards the emergency fund and retirement. The emergency fund is now stashed in the savings account but Zina realizes this needs to change.
Zina uses Mint and an Excel spread sheet to budget. New tech and old school. The idea of buying a house is not really on her radar right now. Her parents had three offers in four years when they tried to sell their house. That would put anyone off.
Good luck to Zina and her fiance on their wedding and combining their finances. Zina hopes to start a podcast soon so check her site for updates.
Abbey Ale: A golden, Belgian style ale.
Flying Fish Hop Fish: An English style IPA.
Debt Free After Three: Zina’s story of paying of her student loans in three years.
Mint: The easy way to budget.
Betterment: The easy way to invest.