Here’s my current debt standing:
Student Loan: $7,283.39
Loan 002: $0
Loan 003: $2,764.48
Loan 004: $4,518.91
I paid off Loan 002! The way I organized my debt snowball when I finally got to my student loan made a huge difference in my attitude. This is the crown jewel of my debt – the one that filled me with both dread and excitement when I started chunking money at it. I graduated college with about $22,000 in student loans. When I got to it last year after paying off the car, the balance after paying the minimums for 5 years was still about $18k. I sighed when I looked at the balance. Then I realized that I can use the same Debt Snowball strategy to break it up by the individual loans and handle one at a time.
Sometimes you have to play mental games with yourself to keep your sanity through this process. The steps are easy, but they aren’t easy. I had never paid off such a large amount before and I’d only been making more than $18k in just the last 4 years. It seemed insurmountable…but I noticed something when I looked at my loan breakdown online. Each loan disbursement was between $1500 to $4500. When I started the Dave Ramsey plan, my car loan was $6200 and I had paid that off in a matter of 5 months! I could do this. I had already paid off more than $4500, so there was no reason to lose traction. I focused on the loan with the lowest balance and knocked it out in about 5 weeks. I stopped looking at the overall balance and only looked at the loan I was currently paying it off.
It’s almost a year later and I paid off $11,154 on my student loan. Add that to my car loan and I’ve destroyed roughly $17,404 in 16 months! I’ve cut my lifestyle to basically nothing and busted my ass working overtime last year to the tune of an extra $5000 to accomplish this, but when I make that last payment in 6 weeks and 5 days from now, it will be worth it.
If you get discouraged during your debt-snowball, take an inventory of how far you’ve already come. If you could never save money before and you finally have that $1,000 Emergency Fund, that’s a win! If you previously couldn’t do a budget to save your life and now you put aside money for groceries and clothes and stop spending when the CASH runs out, you are on track! Celebrate each win and think about how you’ve grown.
For some extra motivation for my fellow student loan debtors, please enjoy this hilarious song from rapper Dee1.
What are your big wins from paying off debt? How much have you paid off so far? How does it feel to have a plan for your money before your paycheck hits the checking account? Comment below and don’t forget to subscribe!