What is Your WHY?

My current debt payoff amount:

Car Loan: $2,303.36

Student Loan: $17,941.09

Total: $20,244.45

Yes, I’m below the $3000 mark on my car loan!  And below the $18,000 mark on my student loan.  If you’ve been following me for the last few months, then you’ll see that I’ve paid off about $4000 on my car since November of 2014.

Now, this progress is a little bittersweet for me.  Unfortunately, I have one of those temperaments where I have little patience and want things done, like, yesterday.  I was hoping to pay my car off by the end of this month, but it’s not going to happen.  I just don’t have any extra room in my budget, unless I completely destroy it.  I’m receiving a bonus tomorrow with my regular paycheck, which I thought would pay off the car loan, but it turns out I calculated the tax rate incorrectly.  I anticipated my regular 17% tax rate on my bonus, but turns out it’s closer to 31%.  Ugh. Continue reading

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I Have a New Addiction

As it stands, here is my current debt amount.  You’ll see some drastic changes.

Car Loan $3,108.82

Student Loan $17,925.69

Previously, I was saving to get my braces, targeting the end of March for my savings to be complete and to get them on.  However, the boyfriend threw a slight (but wonderful) hiccup into that plan.  He asked that I wait until the end of May to get them on.  I’m guessing that he’ll be proposing around that time, because he said that it was very important to him that I wait.  In addition to braces, I’m also waiting on a proposal!  (R. thinks he’s really sly.) Continue reading

People Come First

I’m going to start opening each post with my Debt Snowball update from now on.  It’s good to have a visualization for me and for you, the reader.  Here goes:

Current Debt:

Car Loan: $3,790.10

Student Loan: $17,983.31

Total: $21,773.41

I’m a happy camper!  These numbers tell me that everything I’ve been doing with my budget, with scrimping and sacrificing, and taking on side gigs/overtime has been working!  I’m finally below the $4,000 mark on my car (YAY!), below $18,000 on my student loan and below $22,000 on my total debt.  There was a very low point about 8 years ago when I never thought I’d make so much progress on my student loans and have a car very close to being paid off.

When I did my taxes, I lucked out and ended up getting a return of $107.  It’s not much, but it’s extra money I didn’t have before.  That and another $108 from the part-time gig, and the $151 already budgeted, that gave me $366 to apply towards the principal.  It’s like I tell myself on long runs, slow and steady wins this race.  I’m starting to get antsy from seeing the light, but I have to be patient because there is only so much money available to throw at my debt without completely destroying my budget.

With that being said, I did get a very important reality check from R. a few days ago.  We had discussed going up to Iowa this year for Christmas to visit his family.  Originally, it was my idea since they rarely get to see him during the holidays.  When the topic came up again, I told him that I really needed to focus on my debt payoff this year and maybe we should wait until next year.  He gently reminded me that we’d be engaged sometime this year and that his grandparents are getting older and he might not have the chance to visit them again.

I felt terrible.  I’m not that close to my family, so sometimes I forget how normal families interact.  I need to remind myself that yes, paying off debt is important, but not as important as family and friends.  Never will I let my debt payoff steamroll over those I love again.

Here’s a video that epitomizes that you can still live your life and pay off debt!

What are some life events you’ve experienced while paying off debt?  I’d love to hear!  Please comment/like below. 

 

 

 

Are We There Yet?

Currently, this is where my debt stands:

Car Loan: $4,197.94

Student Loan:  $18,080.42

Total: $22,278.36

I’m starting to feel like that whiny little girl on a road trip with her parents.  I know this debt-free journey isn’t for the faint of heart, but it does get…dare I say, a little boring.  I no longer live paycheck to paycheck since I’m on my budget, but in a way I still do.  The only time I feel like I’m winning is every two weeks when I make that extra payment on the principle of my car loan or see my savings balance increase when I add to my car maintenance fund or braces fund. Continue reading

Start Looking Around

I’m dedicating this post to my friends who have hopefully been inspired to change the way they look at their debt and finances.

Debt is as much as a philosophical issue as it is monetary.  The way I treat money is different because I’ve changed the way I perceive debt.

Dave Ramsey always says, “The borrower is slave to the lender.”  That’s hard to argue with.  Each time I borrowed money in the past, I allowed myself to become beholden to the lender.  You no longer have control of your money, because someone else is entitled to a part of it.

A few years ago, I worked as a bank teller.  I’ll never forget a particular customer I had working in the drive-thru.   She drove up in a brand new Mercedes and was dressed very professionally.  Perfect hair, makeup, expensive handbag, dripping with jewelry.  You all know the type.  She wanted to make a withdrawal.  I brought up her account and… she had less than 20 dollars in it!  I was floored.  I just assumed she had money because she possessed expensive things. Continue reading

Run, Don’t Walk

There are a few things I need to clear up for those who are wanting to start this plan for the first time.

This is not for the faint of heart.  If you commit to getting out of debt, you have to throw all your resources at this.  Run, don’t walk.  The thing is, you have to be willing to suffer for a short time to be able to reap the rewards of the 7 Baby Steps for the rest of your life.

What I’m about to say may shock you, but stay with me.  My income is roughly $40,000.  My boyfriend’s is $125,000 (yes, his brain is extremely wrinkly).  Our household income, even though we separate our expenses, is $165,000.  These are the things we’ve done to scrimp while I go through my debt-free journey.

Continue reading