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Progress on Eating Out, Plus a Health Update


It’s been a couple of weeks since I’ve been able to pop in and provide everyone with an update. We’ve been making some progress on things and are really happy to see results in trimming back our eating out. Here’s what’s new…

Less Eating Out For Our Family

Our family has actually been doing really well with not eating out recently. We haven’t cut it out completely, but we’ve managed to trim our $1,000/month habit down to $300 in just one month. We are taking the $700 in savings and tossing it at our debts (IRS first).

Next month, the goal is to get that figure down to $150 total for eating out during the month. Right now, with how our lifestyle is, that is a good goal for us. With us both working from home and having our little one home full-time, eating out will still happen occasionally because we are tired. However, the savings we’ve seen has been extremely motivating. We haven’t wanted to eat out as much and leftovers started to taste better when we realized how much money we were actually saving.

Despite cutting back on eating out, my health still hasn’t been the greatest. In fact, it’s felt like one thing after another recently.

Latest Health Update

I am scheduled for a heart monitor to be placed for the long weekend tomorrow. I’m hoping this provides us with some answers as to what’s been going on. I’m still dealing with heart palpitations just about every day, sometimes multiple times a day.

On top of that, I’ve become increasingly aware of several other issues. Tinnitus in my ears when I bend over (which I do a ton with a child under the age of two in the house), nausea every day, dizziness, headaches, chronic back/pelvic pain, and just general fatigue. It has been exhausting. So, I’m hopeful that the heart monitor can help address what’s going on. Either way, there will likely be a number of doctor’s appointments in my future still.

The silver lining here is that I’m able to take care of this. A few years ago, we wouldn’t have been able to handle any of these expenses (though it’s still stressful now). I have insurance. Plus, everyone else in my family is very healthy. All of these things are blessings, even when I’m feeling awful.

Read More From Amanda:

Ashley’s May 2023 Debt Update


It’s been a minute since my last debt update and these are some of my favorite posts, as they keep me accountable! So without further ado, here’s where my debts stand as of May 2023.

May 2023 Debt List

DebtCurrent BalanceOriginal BalanceAPRMinimum PaymentMay Payment
Carmax$9,513$20,539 (10/2021)3.45%$374$374
Mohela$26,561$96,020 (2014)0% currently$0 currently$0


Since my last update in February, I’ve paid $2,291 on the car (an average of $763/month). I always make the first payment at the beginning of the month and the over-payment at the end, and I haven’t yet made the overpayment this month. I’m hoping to pay at least another couple hundred in principal-only overpayment this month. My goal is to get this debt paid off by the end of the year. That’s a stretch goal, as it means payments will need to be a bit hefty (over $1300/month) for the remainder of the year. But I plan to make a substantial overpayment during my 3-paycheck month next month, so it’s still realistic and do-able.


I’ve made no additional payments on my student loans since my last update in February, but the big update is that my loans were officially transferred from Aidvantage to Mohela when I was accepted into the PSLF program. Per their online tracking tool, I still have 41 payments to go until I’m eligible for loan forgiveness (approx. 3.5 years). Right now I’m making no payments and, instead, put money into a dedicated High Yield savings account that I eventually plan to use for paying down student debt (and/or paying off the car early???). The account ear-marked for student loans has $2163 in it currently. Ideally, I’d like to save up enough to pay off the lowest student loan in full. The lowest loan is $4702, so I’m still quite a ways off and this is a lower-priority savings item right now, as my main focus is paying off the car.

Progress feels slow going given that I’m just chipping away at these relatively large loan balances. But I’m committed and especially excited to pay off my car! I’m putting so much toward it right now that it takes a big chunk of my monthly budget! Once that debt is cleared, it will free up a lot of money for other savings and debt-payment goals. Can’t wait!

How do you prioritize which debt(s) to pay first? Snowball method? Avalanche? The most psychologically satisfying? Something else?

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