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Celebrating Debt Milestones

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We reached another debt milestone yesterday: we paid off our debt principal below $280,000. We’re sitting at $278,667.51 to be precise. (Oh is that all?? Gulp.)

One of my September goals was to pay $750 extra instead of my normal goal of $500 extra. I used my freelance work and a refund we got when we switched our insurance. So we paid our usual $2,302.49 payment plus $750:

Debt Milestones

That means in 2020 so far we’ve paid off
– $13,770.46 of principal
– $9,771.99 of interest

Celebrating Our Small Milestones

We’ve set some small milestone rewards to help keep us motivated. For every $10,000 we pay off we earn a pizza night. Our last one was in February, so it’s been a while. Like usual, the kids helped me mark off the chart I made and the one from Debt Free Charts.

Debt Milestones

Sometimes I wonder how much they’re paying attention to our milestones, but as I brought out the charts my 10-year-old asked, “Does this one get us a pizza party?” She notices.

Passing this $280k milestone is both exciting aaaaand overwhelming. I mean, we still have to pay off $280,000. How could we be working this hard, but still have so far to go?

Our 10-year-old also asked if we’d be earning a night at the beach. That was our prize if we dropped our debt principal down to $230,000 by the end of 2020. Considering so far we’ve only paid off under $14,000,  had to shrug and admit to her that’s probably not going to happen. I get frustrated having to say it out loud. (Thanks again for the memories, 2020.)

But we have to take time to celebrate our small victories. These debt milestones that we celebrate as a family are helpful. Without them, I think I’d be catatonic in the corner.

So last night we had Papa John’s and—because we’re Harry Potter nerds—butterbeer (cream soda blended with vanilla ice cream and butterscotch sauce). Our five-year-old said, “Wow, this is a party!” It really did feel celebratory.

Working Towards Our Next Debt Milestone

It’s been a year since we refinanced our student loans with Earnest. Dropping our interest rate down from 7.2% to 4.3% has been a big deal. We pay about $1,100 in interest each month, or nearly $35 a day. But in the beginning of 2019, we were only paying interest each month and not even carving away at our principal. So we’re making progress, just very slowly.

I’ve been scheming when we’ll be able to make a big payment at once towards our loans again. Those are so much more efficient. We have a tax refund and part of the sale of our house sitting in savings just in case COVID shuts down our business again–we don’t want to be caught scared and scrambling again. But if things look more hopeful with the pandemic, I want to put as much of that as possible towards our loans.

We also should have a payment coming from a state audit of our business. (Yeah, they first audited 2017, and now they’ve done 2016 AND 2018 to be thorough.) But we found out this week they owe us about $350 for 2018. So whenever that comes in, we’ll push it to out debt.

In the mean time, I’ll keep hustling with side jobs and keep trying to grow our business. And I’ll keep aiming at those debt milestones on the horizon.

Does Everything Come in 3s, Part III

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It’s been several days since my dryer went out and my client decided not to pay and thankfully, no other tragedy has hit. But when I look back at the week, I decided that we did in fact get hit by a 3rd tragedy…both of the twins cars stopped working last week, literally the day before they moved out.

Now thankfully, Sea Cadet’s seems to be a easily fixable issue after a mechanic friend made a house call to take a look. And it is something he can do himself…if he will prioritize the time.

We are not so sure on History Buff’s…and again, he is going to have to prioritize taking the time to look into it and putting some money into it.

I was very grateful when a friend of theirs showed up with his truck to help move their big stuff last week. They are now completely moved out and we are beginning the process of deep cleaning and rearranging the house again.

In the meantime, both of their vehicles are parked at my house. Princess and I have taken turns getting them to classes, work and home. But I’ve let them know that they are going to need to spend some time and money on their cars as I cannot be a car service. They did take one of our two bikes so that might help. (They both work within 3-5 miles of their new apartment, so not insurmountable.)

In light of the car issues, I did go ahead and buy their first groceries along with a few necessities including a microwave. All their needs are taken care of with the move…

But I’m hopeful that now that 3 tragedies have struck our family in the last week, we can all recuperate and get back to some normalcy.

Update: As I was finishing this post up, Sea Cadet called and asked if I would come get him so he could work on his car. Yeah! Praying he is able to get it fixed today.

 

 

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