Debt Paydown Progress

You can check in here to see where we are in our journey toward being debt-free!

January 2019 – $75,147.74 (Change from the month before)

February 2019 – $73,213.37 (-$1,934.37)

March 2019 – $69,644.82 (-$3,568.55) we had a small chunk in savings, and we used it toward debt this month. Justin’s loans are almost paid off, only $1,600 more to go!

April 2019 – $68,438.75 (-$1,206.07) Justin’s loans are paid off! Only Jos’ grad loans stand between us and being debt-free.

May 2019 – $67,637.32 (-$801.43)

June 2019 – $68,027.20 (+389.88) move in the wrong direction here for the first time in a while. We had about $1,100 worth of moving expenses, wedding flights, gifts, and a host of other unexpected expenditures. Not a great month at all.

July 2019 – $66,741.96 (-$1,285.24) moving in with my in-laws has given us a big boost in the arm, not having to pay rent. Next month will reflect having Jos’ first paycheck(s) so we are really looking forward to that!

August 2019 – $‭63,859.91‬ (-$2,882.05) had some further expenses this month, but things should be more dialed in now, I am expecting better progress ending the summer and moving into the fall.

September 2019 – $56,249.79 (-$7,610.12) soooooo this number is kind of cheating. I sort of broke my own philosophy and bought a new-to-me car with a loan. Gassssspppp. So this large “pay-down” is partially the result of the $5,000 I got for my old car. We used that cash to pay down student loans since my car loan is at 4.49% vs. the 6-7% rates on Jos’ student loans. I’ll tackle this thinking in a post soon.

October 2019 – $53,190.63 (-$3,059.16) we considered refinancing loans to a lower 3.95% rate, but the only way we could do it would be for me to take on Jos’ loans as the primary borrower. But we are going to start saving for a home soon, so we decided to hold off on this option. Onward and upward!

November 2019 – $53,459.73 (+$269.10) as discussed in my update from last month, we decided to jump in with both feet and only pay minimums on Jos’ loans while we pool all of our “excess” money for a down payment for a home. While this number technically went in the wrong direction, we were able to save quite a bit in our first month of switching to saving for a house!

December 2019 – $53,610.56 (+$150.83) keeping this amount nearly level as we have been trying to rapidly save for a down payment on a house. Savings are coming along well. We will be making automatic payments starting in a couple of days as the grace period has run out on Jos’ loans. The recurring payment will be $608.52, so this debt snowball will creep downhill at a little better rate than the last two or so months as we’ve shifted to saving instead of paying down debt.

January 2020 – $53,771.14 (+160.58) Well, we are officially under contract on our first house! So that is very exciting for us. This loan amount continues to grow ever so slowly. We should start to see it come down again in the next few months. In the meantime, all funds are going towards finishing saving for our down payment and closing costs.

February 2020 – $69,036.76 (+$15,265.62) This is going to take some explaining, so you can look up my post “Post-House Purchase: Status Update” for an update on what things have been like over the past few months as we saved for a downpayment on a house, and how this amount seemingly rose so drastically.

March 2020 – $69,914.74 (+$877.98) Combination here of adding a few more things to the credit card and some of the other debts rising a bit with their interest accruing. The main reason why this amount hasn’t gone down at all recently is that we’ve been building up our cash reserves to pay our tax bill for 2019. Once that goal is cleared (and we know exactly how much we owe in taxes), then we should be able to start actively pushing down our balances once again.

April 2020 – No Update

May 2020 – No Update

June 2020 – No Update

July 2020 – $60,287 (-$9,636.74) Apologies for no updates recently. My father is dealing with significant health issues, so the blog has obviously taken a back seat recently. As you can see, we’ve gotten back on track since March, just recently finishing paying off our credit card debt that stacked up as we moved into our new house. Lesson learned: moving into a new house costs much more than just the down payment and associated fees! Right now, student loan interest and payments are frozen which is great. Our only other debt is ~$7,700 on the Chevrolet Spark EV, which we have been trying to unload.

August 2020 – $51,611.77 (-$8,675.23) We were finally able to unload the Spark EV, so that loan is gone now. We were also able to make our first payment on student loans since March. Credit card debt is all but taken care of at this point. Basically we are back to student loans being the only outstanding debt. Loans are still at 0% interest and no payments officially due until the end of September/early October.

September 2020 – $49,418.97 (-$2,192.80) Making slow progress. Owning a house gives you all kinds of fun expenses when you don’t anticipate it. Hoping next month will bring more progress.

October 2020 – $44,392.60 (-$5,026.37) This ended up being a surprisingly good month for us. We each had some side work that helped us make some inroads, and we were able to keep spending down overall. If we are able to put a few more months together like this one it should be smooth sailing. 0% interest on 100% of our current debt (thank you, COVID) is helping a great deal.

November 2020 – $44,549.39 (+$156.79) Ended up needing to make some larger purchases this month like two full sets of snow tires for our two vehicles and a vet bill for one of our kitties. Next month should be better in theory.

December 2020 – $42,742.05 (-$1,807.34) Got things worked down a bit. We are working on refinancing our house with the crazy low rates, so that could put a pause on further progress temporarily. Thankfully the government pushed back student loan payments again, this time until January 31st of 2020.

January 2021 – $43,723.02 (+$980.97) It’s a new year and we are happy to be out of 2020. The Christmas season increased our spending a bit more than what is normal, and we are working on saving for the closing costs on our refinance which should close in the next week or two. The refi will save us about $180 on our mortgage every month which is going to help a lot in the long term. Right now the closing costs are a bit of an inconvenient expense.

February 2021 – No Update

March 2021 – No Update

April 2021 – No Update

May 2021 – No Update

June 2021 – No Update

July 2021 – No Update

August 2021 – No Update

September 2021 $40,682.82 (-$3,040.20) Longest gap in updates on this, my apologies. This amount is remaining grad student loans, which we haven’t made any payments on at all during COVID since payments AND interest were both paused. The rest is a few credit cards, none of which we are paying interest on. The only interest we are paying on anything right now is our mortgage. We have a pretty decent chunk of money saved instead, which we are trying to decide what to do with next. We are contemplating a few options including saving the money for when loans inevitably resume, finishing the basement in our house, and potentially getting a different vehicle (2005 Buick and 2008 Prius are both paid in full right now).