17. Back in the Rat Race! Plus…

Just like that, I’m working again. It’s been about a week on the job and my excitement level is on 10! The last few months have been interesting in that I’ve had the opportunity to visit family across the country a few times and spend lots of quality time with my family here at home. But, after almost 4 months, I am happy to be working again.

As a recap, when I was laid off, My monthly expenses/savings amounted to $8,672. Also we had $17,283 in debt remaining.

During the period when I was not working, I didn’t place a focus on paying down debt, even with my severance. With gainful employment, and severance continuing into 2020, we have the AMAZING opportunity to lump sum PAY OFF THE REST OF THIS DANG DEBT! So that’s what we’re doing

………………………………………….(this is me clicking “pay current balance”)…………………………………..

Boom! FREEDOM! I feel great! Here’s our picture now!

Debt Free

 

Now with the credit card payments gone, we’ve also reduced our monthly expenses

Expenses 9.29

 

Ok…so now we need to figure out what’s next? Maybe buy a house? That would be nice

15. I’m Back!

Written April 15 but not posted:

I’m back from maternity leave and back at work! There’s been so much going on that this blog was set on the back burner, but now I need to catch everyone up.

In addition to a new baby, we also MOVED! The goal was to downsize to save in rent and utilities and we accomplished that. I think it’s fair to present out new listing of bills as they stand now. We surely have more money each month ($1,210) to pay down our remaining debt.

Monthly Expenses April 2019

Here’s a glimpse at our debt today:

Debt April 2019

Over 5 months, we have made GREAT progress. As I mentioned…this was written in April, and since then we’ve had a new life event. I’ll post the details this week (week of May 12). Until then, Happy Mother’s Day to all the Mother’s out there!

13. We Need To Move!

Our biggest monthly expense is our rent. We pay almost $2900 per month and we know we can do better. The great thing about renting, is that we do have the flexibility to change our environment in the short-term, live in a new neighborhood, reduce our costs, etc.

We began looking for a new place about a month ago. Our current lease ends at the end of March. The goals of the new lease would be:

  1. Lower monthly rent expense
  2. Downsize
    1. This will also help to bring down utility costs
  3. Move states to reduce state income taxes

The great thing about where we live and accomplishing goal 3 above is that our job locations allow us the choice of multiple states. I believe we have found the ideal new rental and it will save us in rent alone $400 per month. We expect moving costs to be between $600 and $800 so after 2 months in the new lease we will begin to reap the benefits of the move. This is only considering rent decrease as we would likely benefit sooner when we count utility and income tax savings. I am so excited to build this extra money into our plan!need to move

12. Payday!

I feel like we’re in a rut! Not much debt payoff progress these last two weeks. This may just be a bit of my impatience with the process. Anywho..time to pay bills.

According to my “Bills Budget,” this period’s paycheck covers the expenses below:

billsbudget2.1

After paying these bills, what is left from our pay is $1,635. We are taking $800 for groceries, gasoline, needs for the kids and other things we may need for the family over the next two weeks. The remaining $835 is going toward paying down Credit Card 2.

Since last payday, our debt has gone down only $464 (sad face), but next pay period we will have more to pay towards debt given the bills we pay from that check are lower. Once I get over this impatience, I’ll be able to focus again on the overall progress we have made and remain confident that we are moving steadily toward our goals

That’s all this week. Thanks for reading and the support. Also, follow me on Instagram @financially_me. Take care and share!

11. Catch Up Post!

Yikes yikes yikes! My first post of the New Year is so behind schedule AND I missed the January 4 Payday post. Let’s get caught up!

Since the New Year, my husband and I have reviewed our 2019 Financial Plan. The focus this year still is paying off the remaining debt balances. Assuming we REMAIN DILLIGENT, our debt will be paid off on September 13, 2019. That is a very short time from now and we (me mostly) cannot be more excited. I say I am most excited mainly because I have a much lower tolerance for debt than my husband. Much lower. After today’s paycheck, our debts look like this:

totaldebt1.18

Progress is beautiful! Some contributors to additional debt payments have been my husband’s bonuses. He received a quarterly bonus for Q4 2018 as well as a holiday bonus. We applied the entire holiday bonus to debt and 30% of the Q4 bonus to debt. The remainder of the Q4 bonus went to our entertainment and travel fund. As I mentioned before in The Plan, it is important that we are still able to enjoy our time now together and keeping that balance is key.

Now to pay bills! According to my “Bills Budget,” this period’s paycheck covers the expenses below:

billsbudget1.18

After paying these bills, what is left from our pay is $2,739. We are taking $1,000 for groceries, gasoline, needs for the kids and other things we may need for the family over the next two weeks. The remaining $1,739 is going toward paying off the last open Student loan account and pay down Credit Card 2.

Here is what our debt looks like today, down another $4,020 since 12/21, and down $23,923 since we started on November 23:

debts1.18.PNG

I’m liking that steady decline in the Total Debt number! As, always, thanks for reading and the support. Also, follow me on Instagram @financially_me. Take care and share!

10. How Did You Pay Off Your Debt?

While cooking dinner today, I was listening to a podcast discussing various methods to pay off debt. During the podcast, the hosts were speaking of a woman who was comparing the “Debt Snowball” method of Dave Ramsey to paying the debt with the highest interest first. In her opinion, paying higher interest first was a no-brainer because it costs less in the long run.

One of hosts mentioned that the reason some go for the”Debt Snowball,” starting with the smallest debt balance then moving to the larger, is to get a sense of satisfaction and accomplishment as you eliminate debt after debt. I totally agree!

In trying to pay down our debt, starting with the highest interest rate which was also our highest balance credit card, it seemed like the balance barely moved and I was often discouraged. Not only was I discouraged, but it was enough to think there was no point. We had multiple student loans and multiple credit cards, I really couldn’t see a reasonable end. Now, since focusing on smallest balance, we’ve paid off 3 of 4 student loans and 1 credit card. Also, those minimum payments that are no longer there have been shifted to pay off the next balance.

This last month has given us so much hope and I feel a sort of control again. We are taking this debt down!

What are your thoughts? How did you pay or how are you paying off your debt?