March Debt Progress Report

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How I paid off $850+ in debt during the month of March

My Story

If you have been following my story at all, you probably know that I tell my story at the beginning of every monthly report for those who just stumbled upon my blog. If you have read my story, feel free to skip ahead to my monthly report. I tell this story so I am not just some stranger, but instead someone who just might inspire each and every reader to follow the same journey!

My name is Elyse. I am 22, single with no kids and I am proudly on my way to being completely debt freeeee. I never really thought of myself as someone who was in debt. With no credit cards and no car payment, I was not the average American.  All I had was a few student loans. It wasn’t until a few weeks before my 22nd birthday that I got a loan for a Jeep and my very first credit card. I should say credit card(S). For the month of December, I thought it was so cool that I finally had a credit card. I was excited over it actually. I was learning about all the different rewards I could cash in and it was fantastic.

Towards the end of the month, I was cleaning off a bookshelf, getting ready to move (again), and found The Total Money Makeover: Classic Edition: A Proven Plan for Financial Fitness. This $15 book completely changed my life path at the time. Dave describes being debt free as such a rewarding and achievable thing. In his book, he says it will take work and it will be hard, but it will be worth it. He has been right. There have been days were I have completely questioned my sanity. I sometimes wonder why I don’t just make minimum payments forever like everyone else.

“Sometimes, you have to like like NO ONE else, so someday you can LIVE like no one else.” – Dave Ramsey

If you haven’t read the book, I recommend you go buy it RIGHT NOW. It will be $15 that changes your life completely. I will wait, just be sure to come back!

I officially started my debt free journey on January 1st, 2017. While progress seems slow right now, my goal is to have everything paid off by my 23rd birthday on December of 2017. I am a little uneasy about the goal, but I am going to work at it until I am debt free. I am trying not to look at the numbers and just keep looking at the goal ahead because the numbers will probably stress me out too much.

My goal is to get completely debt free, buy a house in cash, and continue to save for an even better house! I am extremely excited about the opportunities to come with my journey ahead.

But Debt Free At 23 has such a great ring to it.

$862.88 in debt paid off in March!

I still have a few days left in March, but I have other big plans for my last post for March. Make sure you check out my post on Friday!

Unfortunately, It wasn’t quite as much as I wanted to pay off when I got my tax return, but I got a few things for my blog as well. I wanted to use my entire tax return to my debt, but of course life happened.  I paid for a class on “How to Blog” and I have learned a lot so far. So far, I think it was a great investment.

I also ended up paying off some bills because I don’t have nearly the income this month, but cutting my hours at work has allowed me to spend so many hours in front of my computer building my blog.  I have gotten more writing done in these last 3 weeks than I have all year. That is super exciting to me!

Currently, I am posting 3 days a week and I am planning to maintain it through at least June. I will probably end up going down to 2 days a week during the summer, but I haven’t officially made any decisions.

Here is what my debt snowball looks like now:

Debt Original Paid This Month Left To Pay
Amazon Card $10.99
Mary Kay Card $275.00
Bank Credit Card $675.88
Student Loan #1 $2,087.41 $555.00 $1301.18
Jeep $2,500.00 $77.88 $2313.46
Student Loan #2 $3,550.00 $50.00 $3405.91
Student Loan #3 $11,634.62 $89.00 $11,613.63
Student Loan #4 $13,218.78 $91.00 $13,125.78

 

Giving me a grand total of $31,759.96 left to pay off.

This means that I paid off $862.88 in debt paid off in March! This is not nearly as much as I would have liked it to be since I got my taxes back this month, but I paid a few other things off and took some classes for my blog. I also got new military boots, which have been on my list to buy for four years now!

Biggest lesson learned in March: Interest sucks.

I have paid $150+ to my 3rd student loan and you can’t even tell because of the interest. Once I start throwing more money at it, the interest will go down. I cannot imagine only paying the minimum balance! I would literally never pay it off because my minimum payment is only a few dollars more than the interest it accrues every month! CRAZY!

Check out Undebt.it

If you sign up for an account, you can save all of your debts into a spreadsheet. It will tell you how much you will save and which method might be best for you to pay off your debt!  How great is that!  I found out that I was saving $48,000 in interest and about 54 years of paying the minimum payments. The premium account is also worth checking out! I suggest trying the 30 day free trial to see all of the extra things it can show you!

I can’t imagine being one of the people who doesn’t pay it down. After some crunching of numbers, I found out that I am saving almost $48,000 on interest by paying off as much as I can now! There are people who are paying way over their actual debt amount in interest because they don’t get it paid off! This isn’t going to be me!

Progress is slow

My credit cards are paid off and I am soooooo close on that first student loan!  I am ecstatic about getting that loan cut down a ton! It isn’t going as fast as I originally hoped. I had a lot higher hopes for how fast I could get it paid off and I am getting nervous that I am not going to make my goal for Debt Free by December, but I am going to keep pushing it as much as I can. I am hoping that my blog will start bringing in some income that will help paying off.

There have been a couple days that I have been frustrated with the slow progress, but every day that I am frustrated, I just imagine paying off that last loan for student loans. The feeling of not having any more debt at all will be so worth it.

 Goals For April:

No Spend Month: I wrote more about my No Spend Month on my post about it. If you missed it,  I am not going to spend any money other than my bills, a little for groceries, and a little for gas. I honestly think the hardest part is going to be not getting food at work.

Groupon had a Sam’s Club membership on their this month and I finally gave in. I am excited to get a little bit of savings on gas. The plan is to buy some of my essentials there this month!

I have some training  for the guard for 2/3 of the month. Plus, I am still working at Applebee’s at night. Having two incomes plus hopefully some blog income for the next month will be a huge benefit.

My goal is to not use my credit cards anymore. I have been using them for blog stuff every once in a while. This will change because I opened an account for my blog income/expenses.  I am finished using my credit card for anything other than gas.

Ultimate Goal: Pay off $3,000 in debt. I want to pay off the rest of my student loan and most of my Jeep loan.

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