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Posts tagged with: budgeting

Closing Out the Month in a Good Place


the Month in a Good Place

In early May, I set forth my plan to tackle my smallest student loan. In addition, Princess got her first job and her driver’s license this month. And what I haven’t yet revealed because it just happened is that History Buff purchased a car…a $1,000 beater truck in cash. I am one proud mama!

And now that we are at the end of this month, I’m leaving it behind and feeling very good about it!

My Financial Wins

  1. Not only did I succeed in paying two months of minimum student loan payments, but I paid $1,000 towards my lowest balance student loan. That’s $1,000 total, not $1,000+306+306, but since there are no required payments, all $1,000 went to the smaller loan. Woohoo! I’m only $178 of my monthly goal needed to pay off this particular loan in one year.
  2. Princess’ senior year tuition…paid 1/2 of that. I also paid $1,500 towards Princess’ school tuition for the year. There is no penalty if I pay her full tuition by December 1st, so I decided to just pay 1/2 right now.
  3. Thanks to a fantastic month at work, after a miserable month, we are back in the black as far as living on last month’s income.
  4. I was able to cut down Princess’ insurance cost from the original quote of $1,800 for 6 months to $1,500 for 6 months. It’s not much, but every little bit helps.

What is Next

Phone Service

This coming month, in addition to my continued goal of tackling my student loans, I am dealing with my phone service. After years and years with Verizon as a business account, I am intently pursuing a cheaper option but with as good service. My phone is a key tool in my business so I can’t chance service issues. But I am done with the outrageous pricing and more specifically done with the “dangling” carrot of a “new” phone every two years which just keeps us tied up and my bill too high. More to come on that.

Auto Insurance

I’ve been nose deep in auto insurance the last couple of weeks with History Buff buying a new car and Princess getting her driver’s license.  I love our service with USAA. I’ve had my insurance with them forever and been banking with them almost as long. But it’s time to put some due diligence in and see if they are the best fit for us. I’m also going to explore moving the twins off my policy since they are both now working full time and paying their own auto insurance bills.

My next post will be a debt update…and I am so excited about it.



Student Loan Debt Update


After months of refusing to look too closely at our student loan debt, I finally scrutinized the numbers again this week. We are still in forbearance with Earnest, so we don’t technically owe a payment until July 22. But I was worried about all that beefy interest accruing. Since we finally had some money available again, I made a payment to slow down the insane interest train.

New Charts

I put $2,500 towards the loan—which I feel like is a lot—and then I updated my nerdy charts I made back in February.

Student Loan Debt Repayment Chart


Talk about a BUMMER. That $2,500 only went towards interest!

Student Loan Debt Payoff Graphs

No matter how I graph it, our debt progress these past few months is so sad. I hate seeing a plateau on a chart and 0% change, because it shows that our freakishly big debt principal isn’t changing. The pandemic has really taken our momentum for paying off our student loan debt and thrown it out the window. That’s frustrating.

The Interest is the Killer

So this week’s payment went towards interest—no principal at all—and there’s still interest left over from these past months to pay. Aaand it’s growing by the day. I decided to add two columns to the chart. I added Principal Paid and Interest Paid so I could break down each monthly payment and see better how it’s applied.

While doing this I noticed a few things:

  1. My chart was wrong! I had to correct it. While going through our papers with Great Lakes, our last lender,  I realized that in the fall of 2018 and January 2019 we were not in fact paying $1,821.39… I forgot that our payments were $824.19! Guys, we were NEVER going to pay this off! What were we thinking??
  2. Even when we had our payments increased in February 2019, though, we were still only paying interest and never principal. Our principal was perpetually stuck at $334,810.39 for I don’t know how long. (Like literally, I do not know.) Which I can’t even handle. Thankfully we got a large tax return March of 2019, because we were finally able to lower our principal.
  3. Returning to paying off only interest has reminded me that I NEVER want to be in this position again. I want to carve away at principal every single month, even if it’s just a little bit. I am so sick and tired of this debt weighing us down.

There is Progress

Since last spring, we’ve been able to pay off $47,075.88 of our principal. Even with the pandemic and so many mistakes, that’s still progress. Sitting at $287,734.51 is nothing to brag about, but at least I can see we have made a difference.

I wish I could travel back in time and tell myself to face our student loan debt so much sooner. If you have debt hanging over your head, I hope you’ll stop wishing it away and start taking action. You’ll feel so much better. You may have a marathon to run like our family, but don’t give up! Cut away a little at a time, and one day you’ll be set free.