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Two Years to Be Debt Free if…


I spent some time today playing with forecasting my debt free date based on the two remaining debts – student loans and car. If I pay right at double the minimums – $307 and $500 (self set minimum) – I have two more years until I will be debt free.

That does not make me happy. And for the first time, I felt a significant twinge regarding our car loan. But it did pass quickly. I truly love and Princess does truly love our car. So moving on…

My goal is to look at my budget and see if I can squeeze out some additional debt payments to expedite my debt free date. I don’t know how…but I would like to be debt free no later than Princess high school graduation date, May, 2021.

Just a year and a half to pay off $50K in debt. It’s not insurmountable. But it is going to take some serious work and dedication.

I think that date is ideal as I will be essentially “done” with children at home at that point. (Not saying they won’t be living here anymore, but those that are will be working and contributing in some form or fashion.)

I’m not sure how I will do it quite yet. But I have learned that when I work backwards from a goal or deadline, I tend to me much more successful. Perhaps I have been going about this all wrong since the beginning…

Any thoughts for feedback on this goal? This plan? This mindset? Any tips for accomplishing this?


  • Reply jj |

    I went to a talk on financial independence for women – given by author of the book Bank on Yourself. Once you continue to budget, make good $$ and pay your debt down and really stick to things – you can get this done. I myself am going to try again to cut down on unnecessary spending soon, so I can refocus.

  • Reply Joe |

    I’m glad to hear you talk so seriously about tackling your debt.

    But I would start by posting your math for this calculation. Unless something has changed dramatically, not sure how this can possibly be true for your student loans (yes, ~$900/month for 2 years would pay off the car).
    Last I could find you have $~34,000 in student loans. You need a payment of about $1400/month for 2 years to cover that.

  • Reply angie |

    So are you going back to full debt focus and backing off a retirement savings?

    I thought paying off the car wouldn’t matter since it would be transferred to princess once she graduates HS?

  • Reply Sarah |

    In your August update, you posted that you owed $55,578 on your two debts. You had not yet begun paying on the car loan. Your fall budget had you paying $700 on the car and $307 on the student loans, or $1,037 a month. This post says your debt is $50,000, so either you have been paying significantly more than your planned budget, or your numbers are off. Regardless, as Joe mentions above, the monthly payment to clear this debt in two years will be significantly higher than you are expecting according to your calculations. I applaud your determination, but I encourage you to be realistic. Given your obligations to Princess’ private school and travel expenses for Gymnast and you, you will have some hefty expenses to contend with on top of the debt. Just like you have taken on more debt than you can handle, tying yourself to enormous repayments will put your household budget on shaky ground with little to no leeway for the unexpected.

    • Reply Joe |

      Wow, thanks for finding that older (but not really that old) post, a real reality check I think.
      Comments and advice on that post turned out to be pretty spot on, as well.

  • Reply Mrs. H |

    I am not a math teacher, but this doesn’t add up. If you double your monthly minimums of $307 and $500, you are paying $1614 a month. Over 24 months that adds up to $38,736 BEFORE any interest accrues.

    I get not “liking” that paying these off is going to take more than two years…but that is the reality of your situation since you added the car loan. Unless your income or other expenditures change dramatically, you do not have the means to become debt free any sooner. Time to buckle down and face reality. This will be a marathon, not a sprint. Stay the course, stop reworking you numbers endlessly. Just commit to a monthly plan and stick with it to make steady progress.

    You can do this…but there is no quick fix.

      • Reply Mrs. H |

        I’d say this calculator is giving you a false idea of what the reality is if it told you that you could pay off $50,000 plus accruing interest in two years with monthly payments of $1614.

        Even with round numbers there’s no way that adds up.

        I’d suggest setting a series of small goals you can work toward attaining to keep momentum and spirits up rather than being so focused on tweaking numbers to force a certain end date. You can run a thousand online calculators with different “if” scenarios, and none of them mean anything if they’re dependent on nothing going wrong or changing in your financial world for two years. Accept that this might take longer than you’d like, and focus on the progress you are making.

        Your biggest hurdle is still your mindset about debt, and making big financial decisions based on emotions rather than realities. Until you get really honest with yourself about that, you will likely continue to stay in a debt cycle..paying off and taking on new debts, but never really getting out from under it completely. Many people live their entire lives that way. You have to decide if you want to be one of them or not.

        You have made great progress, Hope. I wish you the best in figuring out the rest.

    • Reply debtor |

      “stop reworking you numbers endlessly. Just commit to a monthly plan and stick with it to make steady progress.”

      I wish i could pin this to the top of this Blog. Hope I believe you had some success with weight loss in the past (can’t be bothered to go and check now) but debt payment is really like dieting. All diets work – you just have to stick to one.

      I don’t understand your posts any more when it comes to debt – the numbers are always a little fuzzy and we dont normally get actually spending but just new plans. Not sure how you have paid down so much already from your last update – i think this lack of transparency (when it comes to financials) is what bugs people the most. It also makes it hard to give relevant advice. If you have income coming in from some other source just say it (or if someone else is helping you pay bills).

      Could you start a monthly debt report? Like, first of the month – here is my total debt. Just anything for more accountability/transparency

      • Reply Ellen |

        I said this in another comment. My ex husband’s first wife used to love playing the victim and would tell the world that he didn’t help her with anything. In reality, There was no child support order in place because she knew she would get less on paper than what she got from him willingly.
        Now I can’t for sure say that’s what’s happening here, but things don’t add up to me. As a mother, I couldn’t just send my child to live with a parent that has been “non-existent” (and “violent“) and hope for the best. And dead beat dads don’t just pick up and say sure I’ll take my teenager to live with me; especially one that has been described as high maintenance.

  • Reply Janie B. |

    I should add–this is just to address the debt!

    It doesn’t begin to touch the costs of daily living . . . utilities, food, school costs, business costs, housing costs, etc.

  • Reply Cwaltz |

    Instead of using the debt calculator with far off numbers you should be plugging in the numbers you placed in your budget. Yes, I realise you are trying to add additional funds to your payoff but the reality is you are not commiting these funds regularly. The reality is you have committed $700 monthly to the car which means it will be paid off in around 30 months. You have committed $307 to your student loan which means without extra commitment you will be paying this for 9 years. Even with snowballing debt your budget essentially has you paying off debt for a little over 4 years, not 2. Instead of focusing on the time span focus on incrementally lowering that front number. Challenge yourself to bring your debt total below $50,000 this year. Eat the elephant(your debt) a little at a time. By the way, when will you be updating us on your debt and your budget? You have not done a debt update since August and your extension of fall’s budget did not include princess schooling or the retirement line item you said you desired adding. Both of these items would diminish the $1000 cushion that you said would be put towards debt. If you aren’t real with your numbers with us these posts are just exercise s in futility.

So, what do you think ?