The Winner of the June 2015 Call to Action!

The Winner of the June 2015 Call to Action!

KylaJune marks the halfway point for fulfilling those New Year’s money resolutions—and we’re holding you to them!

To help combat resolution fatigue and summertime burnout, we offered goal resuscitation 101 from a CFP and brought you the 168 Hours Challenge for rebooting your work/life balance. We also compiled five new finance reads for summer, so you can tote money motivation in your beach bag.

With resolutions on the brain, we posed this June Call to Action question: Did you ever revive a New Year’s resolution you’d given up on halfway through the year? If so, how did you go about getting back on track to accomplish it by December?

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We received great responses, from a couple who joined forces to rework their post-wedding budget to a woman who reupped her savings game halfway through the year. Thank you to everyone who shared!

And congratulations to this month’s winner, who will receive $100 to help her achieve her financial goals: Kyla Hickey, a copywriter and executive assistant from Los Angeles.

Check out Kyla's story of rallying mid-year to make progress on student debt.

"By 2012, I was two years out of college with an overwhelming amount of student loan debt. I had just moved to L.A. and was working at a low-paying receptionist gig for a few weeks until I started as a full-time assistant at a music agency. Even though I had been making regular monthly payments on my student loan, the progress was so minimal that it felt like there was no end in sight.

After reading up on some get-out-of-debt strategies, I decided to make a New Year's Resolution for 2012: to pay off a student loan of around $5,000.

Some people argue that the debts with higher interest rates should be paid off first so you save more money in the long-run, but I knew that I would lose heart if I focused first on a big, high-interest loan that would take years to pay off completely.

So instead, I chose the smallest private loan that also happened to have a high interest rate, even though I had a few federal loans that had smaller balances. I continued to make minimum payments on all my loans, but began making extra payments (sometimes three or four per month!) to that one student loan.

To do this, I cut costs by devising a smaller grocery budget, calling our Internet provider to secure a lower monthly rate and halting any unnecessary spending. I also sold a few things (extra furniture, old electronics) on Craigslist.

At first, it looked like I was on track, but a sense of debt fatigue quickly kicked in and I started spending more money and paying less to my loan each month.

Towards the end of the year, I decided I needed a way to feel good about my progress—however small. I created a spreadsheet that tracked my payments and the balance on my loan. Instead of spending money on restaurants or online shopping, I got back on track with my goal and even made multiple payments per month.

I still have a few years to go until I'm debt-free, but whenever I feel a bit down, I go back to my spreadsheet to see the starting balance. It's a great way to stay motivated!

It took me into another New Year, but in the spring of 2013 I finally paid off that loan, bringing me that much closer to becoming debt-free.

My advice? Acknowledge your goals, honor your progress and keep moving forward."

Thanks for sharing, Kyla!

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