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Ashley’s June 2016 Debt Update

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I’m really excited about this month’s debt update! I’d originally hoped to put a solid $4,000 toward debt this month and, although we didn’t quite hit that number, we did put a full $3,500 toward debt!

I know I’ve said this before, but moment of silence for that huge, astronomical number!

((((((silence))))))

Thank you! I just like to acknowledge that $3,500 is a ton of money!

If the average American household income is $55,000 (source), then this represents roughly a full month worth of net income for the typical U.S. family. Craziness!

See for yourself…

PlaceCurrent BalanceAPRLast Payment MadeLast Payment DateOriginal debt, March 2014
Navient$698266.55%$2955June$74218
ACS Student Loans$85966.55%$20June$8215
Balance Transfer Student Loan #2$68500% (through April 2017)$500June$7650
Medical Bills$57860%$25June$9000
Balance Transfer student loan #1$00%-Paid off in March 2016$5937
PenFed Car Loan$02.49%-Paid off in January 2016$24040
License Fees$02.5%-Paid off in April 2015$5808
BoA CC$07.24%-Paid off in June 2014$2220
Mattress Firm$00%-Paid off in May 2014$1381
Wells Fargo CC$013.65%-Paid off in May 2014$7697
Capital One CC$017.9%-Paid off in March 2014$413
Totals$91058 (May balance = 94,292)$3500Starting Debt = $145,472

Two things excite me about our debt update this month:

  1. We’ve dipped into the $60,000s for my Navient student loans! I know we still owe a ton, but it’s SO exciting to finally hit a new first digit! The entire time I’ve been blogging Navient has been up in the 70,000s range, so this is a huge deal to me! To be fair, it’s only within the current calendar year that I really started tackling the student loan debt-mountain! (note – I was paying toward student loans all along, but not at a very aggressive rate, as I had prioritized other debts first). I can’t wait to continue seeing this number drop!
  2. We’re super close to hitting a new first-digit of our overall debt! At $91,000 currently owed, we should definitely but down into the $80,000s range by next month! EEEK!!! Again (I must emphasize this for newer readers), I know this is still a disgusting amount of debt. But when I started blogging I had nearly $150,000 of total debt, and it feels like just yesterday when we broke the $100,000 barrier, so the last $10,000 has gone in basically the blink of an eye (ahem – it’s actually taken 5 months, but whose counting?)

I’m really feeling the momentum now and it seems like the debt is just melting away! We still have a LONG way to go, but I’m feeling refreshed and rejuvenated! We’ve had great pay in June (budget update coming soon!) and expect to have great pay in July as well. That really helps as we’re working on pounding out a lot of these student loans.

Also, I’ve grouped all my Navient loans together just for ease, but I’m actually paying them one-at-a-time (first I targeted the highest interest loans, and now that all the remaining loans have the same rate I’m targeting them by smallest first – the snowball method). I’ve actually paid a couple in full lately and it feels SO SO good every time I log into Navient and see another loan with zeros all the way across for amount owed and upcoming payments. These are just the kind of emotional “wins” I need to really feel like we’re on the right track. And it feels GREAT!!!

Next steps – build EF and buy a freaking house!!!

 


2 Years Into Debt-Payoff

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Wow, wow, wow. I was just talking about how time has gotten away from me this month. I’ve done it again because here I look up and realize I’ve missed a very important anniversary of sorts. In March, we officially hit the 2-year mark since starting the debt-reduction mission. Can you believe it? I started blogging here in March 2014 with this first introduction post, followed-up by this post where I gave the nitty gritty details of our full debt situation. So what’s happened in this time? And what’s on the horizon?

Two Years into Debt-Payoff:  A Look Back and a Look Ahead

A lot has happened in the past 24 months since I truly began this debt payoff journey (note, I’d been paying some debt prior to beginning blogging here, but it wasn’t until I began blogging that I really kicked debt payoff into high gear).

In 2014 we paid over $25,000 toward debt. At our highest, we paid over $7,000 in a single month during the summer! It was a whirlwind of a year!

In 2015 we paid another $25,000 (actually a bit more) toward debt! Hubs’ business experienced some setbacks, but I landed a new full-time job that certainly helped to boost our income.

2016 is set to be a landmark year for us in terms of income. We’ve also split our priorities a bit to include some savings goals. In my 2016 goals post, I pinpointed 3 goals we’re working on this year:  1) Save $10,000 for a down payment on a home, 2) Save up $5,000 for an emergency fund, 3) Pay $30,000 toward debt.

So how are we doing nearly half-way through the year?

Goal 1:  Save $10,000 for a down payment on a home – So far, so good on this goal. We’re planning to start house-hunting in early summer (May-June timeframe), with hopes of closing by late summer (August is our target month). We’re on track to have our down payment saved by June (but there is a little bit of leeway in case it spills over into July).

Goal 2: Save $5,000 for our emergency fund. This is chugging along slowly. I’ve been saving less toward our EF as we’ve focused more on the down payment for now. But our budget forecasts currently have us meeting this goal by July. It will be nice to have a little buffer built back up before moving into a new house. You know….just-in-case.

Goal 3: Pay $30,000 toward debt. So far, so good with this, too. Every month we’ve exceeded our goal for the month. See here:

Month2016 GOALS2016
JanuaryGoal: $3500$4013
FebruaryGoal: $1000$1261
MarchGoal:  $1000$2134
AprilGoal:  $2000((estimated: $2,000))
MayGoal: $2000
JuneGoal:  $4000
JulyGoal: $4000
AugustGoal: $2500
SeptemberGoal: $2500
OctoberGoal: $2500
NovemberGoal: $2500
DecemberGoal: $2500
TotalGoal: $30,000 

 

Now that I’ve managed to extend my work contract through the summer, especially, I’m thinking this goal should be in-the-bag.

Oh, how good it will feel to dump a full $30,000 in debt this year! That will amount to knocking down my student loans by nearly 33%!

I cannot wait to have Navient out of my life forever. I want to scream it from the rooftops! I CAN NOT WAIT!!! What the world will feel like when we don’t owe a single person a thing. When our only bills are for our immediate living expenses (food, house, utilities). When we can save and grow wealth and be more generous people to the causes that matter dearly to us. To consider possible early retirements. To travel more. The list goes on and on and the possibilities are limitless.

Only a life free of debt can afford us all of these options. I want it so badly I can taste it. I can’t wait until our dream has become a reality.

We’re in it for the long-haul. Ramsey spouts the statistic that the average person going through Financial Peace pays off their debts in 18 months. Well, we’re at 2 years deep with probably another 2 years to go. Sometimes I feel like I’m flying high (like when we finally became consumer debt-free!!!!!), other times I feel absolutely defeated (like when Navient (metaphorically) stomps on my face again). But I just try to keep my eye on the prize:  eventual debt-freedom. How sweet that success will be!

Where are you in your debt-reduction mission? How much further do you have to go? How far have you come?