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Ashley’s February 2016 Debt Update


Hi all!

I hope your weeks are starting off on the right foot and that you’re making the most of your extra day (February 29th) this year! : )

Here’s my debt update from the month of February:

PlaceCurrent BalanceAPRLast Payment MadeLast Payment Date Original debt, March 2014
Capital One CC-17.9%-Paid off in March 2014$413
Mattress Firm-0%-Paid off in May 2014$1381
Wells Fargo CC-13.65%-Paid off in May 2014$7697
BoA CC-7.24%-Paid off in June 2014$2220
License Fees-2.5%-Paid off in April 2015$5808
PenFed Car Loan-2.49%-Paid off in January 2016$24040
ACS Student Loans$85966.55%$20February$8215
Balance Transfer student loan (Former Navient 1-01)$14120% (through April 2016)$700February$5937
Medical Bills$58860%$25February$9000
Totals$97,839 (Jan balance = 98,890)$1261Starting Debt = $145,472

As I’ve mentioned a few times, the first half of this year will be spent heavily in savings-mode so this month’s debt update is lower than normal. I have, however, made a little 2016 Debt Table to help me keep on track with my big goal to put $30,000 toward debt in 2016. Check it out:

Month 2015 2016 GOALS 2016
January $1678 Goal: $3500 $4013
February $1822 Goal: $1000 $1261
March $653 Goal: $1000  
April $1796 Goal: $2000  
May $1708 Goal: $2000  
June $725 Goal: $4000  
July $2125 Goal: $4000  
August $2250 Goal: $2500  
September $2575 Goal: $2500  
October $5513 Goal: $2500  
November $2751 Goal: $2500  
December $2522 Goal: $2500  
Total $26118 Goal: $30,000  

So even though this month’s debt payment is lower than average, I’m still right on track (actually ahead of schedule) with my goal debt payments.

I hope all is well with you, friends! Have a great week!


  • Reply AT |

    If you are offered another 0% interest rate credit card offer, will you take it? It seems like it has worked out well for you so far. Might be an interesting blog topic all on its own.

    • Reply Ashley |

      I’m absolutely planning to do this again! My plan is to pay off the current balance transfer in March. I want to take one month “off” just so there’s no funny business (I want to be absolutely sure the account is cleared before initiating a new transfer because the interest rate sky rockets from 0% up to 17% and I want to have one month with a zero balance so I know there’s no overlap/weirdness/etc). The month “off” is in April, and then I’ll initiate a new balance transfer in May.

  • Reply Kili |

    Hi Ashley,
    feel free to point me towards a previous post if it’s been explained already:
    But how did you come up with the amount you plan to contribute each month?
    (e.g. why is the goal 4000 in June / July; and only 1000 in Feb?)

    • Reply Ashley |

      I never explained it before (this was the first time I showed my little goal sheet). My thought for the beginning of the year (with exception of January) was to go low since I’m planning to dedicate more money toward savings during the first half of the year. The two huge months during the summer ($4,000) are because I know I get larger paychecks during the summer from my part-time job (because instead of the pay being spread across an entire semester, I get paid two lump sums in summer. It’s the same rate per class, but a shorter time-frame, which makes my checks much larger). The rest of the year is just kind of a crap-shoot, lol. It’s basically just a goal I set so I could be on track and know how much I needed to be putting aside every month in order to hit the $30,000/year big goal.

  • Reply debthaven |

    I’m so glad things are going so well!

    I have a few thoughts / questions. You don’t have to answer them of course!

    – When are you planning on house hunting?
    – Will those license fees need to be renewed?
    – Have you ever considered refiguring your “debt payment” page so that the active debts are on top rather than at the bottom? If you do do another zero-interest transfer, you’ll probably end up on two pages, so it would be nice to see everything immediately and on the same page.
    – Do you have a timeline for keeping up both the FT and PT jobs? Or are you planning to do that long term?

    Best of luck!

    • Reply Ashley |

      I’m happy to answer some questions! : )
      1) We’re thinking of starting the house-hunting process in May, with the hopes to having a closing date in late summer (our current lease is up in August, though we’re able to go month-to-month if needed).
      2) The license fees officially and forever-more done. They won’t be coming back.
      3) I can reconfigure the debt table. I can change the default so it shows however many lines are needed (so it won’t spill over onto a new page), but it does seem to make more sense to have active debts at the top. I’ll do that for next month.
      4) I don’t think I can keep my PT job long-term. I love the job, the people I work with, and the income (it’s such great pay!!!), but it’s just too much to keep both for the long haul, especially as my duties and responsibilities with the FT job are ramping up. I’m going to do everything within my power to keep the PT job at least for the full 2016 calendar year. And then I’ve thought I would keep it in 2017 through the end of summer (which means teaching spring and summer 2017). My thought is I don’t want to quit in the middle of an academic year, so if I’m teaching Fall 2016, I want to teach Spring 2017. But then it’s dumb to quit in the summer because that’s when I get paid the MOST so I’d be done after the summer semester.
      This is just my thinking right now. If it starts becoming a hindrance to my FT job, I’ll have to pull out since I can’t let it affect my regular day job. But my hope is to make it through to the end of summer 2017.

  • Reply Angie |

    Have you looked into refinancing your student loans at all yet? With your rates so high and more companies popping up you could be saving a ton of money. If you could agree to a shorter repayment time frame, say 10 years, I bet you could get your rate down to 5% or lower. 5 years would give you even better rates. I know it doesn’t seem like a lot, but its almost 1500 a year in interest saved. And it would be a lot easier than continually managing balance transfers. Seriously look into Sofi or Earnest. They can give you a quote without a hard credit pull.

    Now that I think about it you may be waiting until after mortgage approval and such. That may be a good idea if buying a house will for sure happen this year. It would keep your required payments low for the mortgage consideration.

    • Reply Ashley |

      Yeah, I don’t want to do anything with credit for the time being due to the upcoming house stuff. I’m also just a wee bit nervous about going the private company route just since it doesn’t have the same safeguards as the government backed loans (e.g., forbearance, etc.). But you’re right that my interest rates are SKY HIGH and I’d love to save money on interest. It’s something I’ll certainly look into after the mortgage stuff is all squared away.

      • Reply Angie |

        I believe with the newer companies you are still eligible for delayed payments or forbearance during a reduced income or job loss. Looking through the Earnest FAQ you may also choose to refinance only specific loans (i.e. you could choose only your high interest loans). And I believe also can do this multiple times. So this may help with your desire to have smaller payoff “buckets.” It also counts towards the student loan interest deduction.

        I do agree to wait out the year on the housing so you can get the best possible mortgage rate. So maybe revisit for 2017. Keep up the awesome work. I don’t know how you do it all!

So, what do you think ?