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This was a challenging month! We had to replace the front brakes on my car, and my husband’s recliner broke. We thought long and hard about it and decided not to replace the recliner now. This is a big change in our mindset. Jim truly does need to be able to recline because of his back issues, so we could easily justify the purchase.
In the past, we would have used a credit card. Now that we are not willing to do that, we had to consider where we would take the money from. Should we use our emergency fund? Should we take money out of our Christmas fund? Ultimately, we decided to wait. Our couch has recliners, so we’re making that work for the time being. These small decisions will help us be debt free by 2023!
|Type of Debt||Expected Payoff||Balance|
|Credit Card||2017 – November||$6,581.84|
|Credit Card||2018 – May||$5,815.47|
|Credit Card (HE Loan)||2018 – September||$8,264.00|
|Student Loan||2019 – September||$21,659.43|
|Student Loan||2020 – October||$32,307.39|
|Auto Loan||2021 – June||$18,516.94|
|Mortgage||2022 – May||$47,253.65|
|Student Loan||2023 – January||$36,031.67|
|TOTAL DEBT INCLUDING MORTGAGE||$176,430.39|
|TOTAL DEBT WITHOUT MORTGAGE||$129,176.74|
A few accounts moved up one month in our expected payoff, but two other accounts got pushed back a month. I just realized that I didn’t have the correct total in for our mortgage last month, so that’s probably why. I’m not freaking out about one month. My goal is really to be done by December 2022, so I will add extra as I can to make that happen. Our plan doesn’t factor in any tax returns, so hopefully we will have a little extra to work with!
We also transferred our Home Equity Loan to a 0% credit card. The home equity loan was our highest interest rate (6.54%), so the transfer is saving us $634 in interest over the next 15 months! You should be careful of this if you have a high credit card utilization rate because that could hurt your credit score. We opened a few new accounts this month to keep our utilization around 25%. You also shouldn’t do something like this unless you are SURE you will pay the balance off during the promo period. You don’t want to get hit with more interest instead of less.
Ah, student loans….we pay over $1000 per month just in student loan payments. It’s SO frustrating. You might notice that our unsecured debt increased from last month, but that’s just because we transferred the Home Equity Loan to a 0% credit card. It’s the same amount of debt but will save us money in interest.
I’m pretty excited to see that over $14,000 of our debt is now at 0% interest since we moved the balance of our home equity loan to a 0% credit card! Our other credit card is only at 1.9%, and the rest of our debt (mortgage, auto loan, and student loans) ranges from 3.79%-6.0%. We also lowered our interest rates on our private student loans by .25% by signing up for automatic payments. Our average rate dropped from 4.9% to 4.6%. It’s not much, but I’ll take every penny I can get!
TLDR: Modified snowball method using Undebt.it
We lowered our debt balance by $1,602.62 in August! Last month’s report was for 3 months so that number looked much more shocking. I’m still thrilled with this number though. We used to feel like all this money was going out but our balances weren’t getting any smaller. Now they are! (It looks like our percentage went down, but that’s just because I had an error in July’s report – oopsie.)
Well, at least we paid LESS interest this month. It’s still a ridiculous amount of money, and it makes me want to find ways to get out of debt even faster or reduce our interest rates even more. It is really hard seeing all the money going down the drain because we were so impatient in the past. If you have that problem, check out my post on how to stop debt caused by impatience. Take these numbers to heart and think twice before you borrow for anything.
More Wasted Money??
We didn’t hit our goal, but we did better with our dining out this month. I love that I can see all of our spending in YNAB so easily. (Note: The amount on credit will be fully paid off, as we’re only using the card for the cash back benefits.)
After last month, our goal was to limit the dining out to once per week. We did good the first 2 weeks and only ate out once per week. In week 3, we ate out twice. The second time was unplanned and it was after a very long and frustrating doctor visit for my son. We were hangry, and who makes the best decisions when they are hangry? Not me. Then in week 4 we ate out twice again. Sometimes it is just too convenient when you’re out running errands! In week 5 we didn’t eat out at all, so that makes up for week 4, right? At least it’s progress. We still overspent, but we did SO much better than last month. In July we spent $267.89, and in August we only spent $150.33. That’s an improvement of $117.56. Not too shabby.
Where do you waste money? How do you keep it under control? Share in the comments!