This is SO LATE! I literally got alllllll of these details and numbers all ready and APPARENTLY I forgot to actually post this. I’m eye rolling SO HARD right now.
This month we did a pretty good job of paying off debt. Nothing super great, but I see that we’re nearly at 23% of our debt paid off this year and our goal is to have paid off 33% this year so we are doing really well. I wish I could say we were working extra hard and scaling back, but we’re really just coasting right now.
I think once we’re on to Justen’s car, it’s game. on. because #1. that number doesn’t fluctuate, and #2. freeing up his car payment will give us so. much. more. money in our monthly budget (the payment isn’t insane, but it’s our 3rd largest set payment behind rent and my car).
But first the Southwest card has just become a beast, because it just keeps going up and down. I 100% understand why Dave Ramsey says to CUT UP your credit cards because it’s so hard to get on top of right now. It’s connected to my essential oils account and my Southwest travel account and a bunch of small recurring payments (like hosting, Netflix, etc) and I’ve never gone in to change those. We’ve had a few unexpected expenses come up that we’ve put on the card and then I use my Poshmark money to pay it down each month, but it’s hard when those unexpected expenses are huge. So anyway. Even though that’s sometimes really frustrating, I’m just remembering that we’re so on track for hitting our goal and I don’t need to be disappointed that I’m not on track to be an overachiever, lol 😉
Last month I decided to try and start bi-weekly Poshmark Paydays. That didn’t work, like at all. I stupidly turned my credit card into what I was using to purchase my Poshmark inventory and so that created a balance on my credit card. Instead of bi-weekly I decided to start weekly Poshmark paydays.
Also, for whatever reason, I’m just really struggling to save up to pay off my phone. Maybe because it’s the mental thing of having to save the whole remaining balance in order to pay it off, but it’s just a bit of a struggle right now. Anybody have any ideas for that?
My car seems to have dropped a lot but it’s because this recap is coming a little late, so two car payments have posted whereas usually there’s just one when this recap posts.
ONE LAST THING. Working for yourself and having an irregular income is hard for me with this debt repayment stuff. I did really well when I’d get a consistent paycheck from an employer, but it’s hard for me to get my feet underneath me. I’m figuring out what payment schedule works best for me, and we’re now taking all of our monthly bills out of Justen’s paycheck so I’m hoping that helps me see my paycheck as the fuel for our debt destroying fire.
This month was all about maintaining. We’ve still been treading water waiting for more hospital bills to roll in. But the good news is that even when we’re paying minimum payments, the number goes down.
Two things have happened behind the scenes this month:
I decided to create Poshmark Paydays for myself. As fun as it is transferring $15 or $20 or $38 dollars a few times a day, it’s made me a little out of touch with how much money I’ve been making. Now I transfer my balance every other Thursday (so it’ll hit on Friday). It helps me feel more like I have a job and less like I’m just casually making side money.
I started squirreling away (small amounts of) money to eventually pay off my phone, which doesn’t allow additional payments. Because it has to be paid in full, I started the process to saving up the $700 to pay it off.
Here’s something really exciting. We’re under $20,000!!!! This month has felt so mundane with our debt repayment that this little victory is exactly what we need to stay the course.
We finally got some of our medical bills. Which is great because I just want them gone, and we can’t get rid of them if we don’t have the amount. We decided to pay them off via credit card, and here’s why:
Instead of having to pay two extra accounts, the two accounts we’ve been throwing money at will just get a surge in balance.
Because both of the cards are with my primary bank account and my income is almost completely dedicated to debt repayment, I can log into one account and make all of our payments from there.
More vision on the numbers
I check the credit card totals daily, because I often transfer my Poshmark earnings out daily. That means I see our goals every single day, and I try to make payments as often as possible.
It’s mostly a mind game, I guess. What is the most accessible way to pay our debts off faster? is the question I asked, and this was it. We swapped out owing new debt on new accounts for owing MORE debt on familiar ones. At the end of the day, do whatever you need to do to stay motivated and pay things off at an aggressive speed.
We received $1,851.12 in medical bills this month. UGGGHHHH. We put them on our Disney card to get the reward points (we’re going to Disneyland in May) and then paid them off. Just know that in addition to the debt repayment, we’ve been cash flowing our medical bills. I’m just glad to pay them off and not carry that balance!
We also decided that while we are going to pay my phone off as part of our debt repayment, we’re keeping it out of the snowball for now because we can’t throw extra payments at it – we have to pay it off in full. Once we’re done with the credit cards we’ll start saving for paying that off, but we need to keep up the momentum of $20 payments here and there that result in the number dropping. SO ANYWAY!
Here it is, y’all. Phew. I actually literally cannot wait to no longer be posting these because we’re debt free. One day!
Y’all. I have been opening the draft of this post SO MANY TIMES this month and I’m SO EXCITED to finally publish it. This month, Justen and I had a “no spend” month. We had $5/week to spend, we pre-loaded $35 each on our Starbucks cards, and all of our income went towards paying off debt (we still used wedding money, gift cards and birthday money).
Because guess what started rolling in. The hospital bills from my gallbladder surgery in December. and the insurance hadn’t been applied yet. So I got $27,000 in hospital bills and that lit the HUGEST fire under my butt. We called and had them all re-processed with insurance and they’re slowwwwwly starting to trickle in… but we know we’re going to have thousands of dollars to pay. We needed to kick the year off with something to get us going on our goal of paying off 33% of our debt this year.
Happy last few days of 2017, everyone! It’s been a crazy December for me. I got my gallbladder removed and there was a death in the family right before Christmas. I’m not one of those people to say an entire year sucked, but 2017 was probably one of the most emotionally challenging years of my whole entire life. The highs were high and the lows were rock bottom lows.
But I am alive, I am breathing, and I have made it through every high and low I’ve faced this year and for that I am so grateful.
SO MUCH happened this year. I’ve been doing a lot of looking forward to 2018: figuring out what is important, setting goals and coming up with a plan of action. But I’m excited to keep on keeping on with my our debt free journey.
At the beginning of the year, I was one year into dating Justen. We’d talked about getting married but nothing had happened. I was working two part time jobs. I started to aggressively pay off my debt, and in February I was credit card free. In March, we got engaged and I decided to spend the summer in Nashville with the Halters. I stopped paying off debt so I could pile up money for my move across the country, for a place to live with Justen, and for the wedding.
I didn’t get a job when I came back, and instead casually began babysitting and reselling clothes on Poshmark. We got married (with $0 owed on it when we came back from our honeymoon) and furnished our apartment and decided to hold off on aggressively tackling our debt until after the new year so that we could be prepared for Christmas.
That’s the overview of 2017. Here’s where I started and where we ended up.
Credit Card: $699.16
A few things to note. One: our credit cards now have a balance. Honestly, I only recently activated my card for our credit union, our main bank account. I’ve had a LOT of mental hurdles to get over with sharing a bank account with Justen. I’m trying to break out of the habit of saying “your bank account” or “my bank account” and being a team. My credit card has taken some of that heat, because when “my” bank account was running low, I’d purchase things on the credit card. Or we’d budget for things that were automatically charged to the credit card but wouldn’t factor those into our monthly payments. It as messy. But we sat down and got on the same page and today I used the credit union card for the first time ever. Little victories, people!
Two: We’re counting our phones. I want all of the money we can squeeze out of our monthly budget, and that means paying off our phones. We added them to our debt snowball. Debt is debt. If I’m paying someone back for something I already have/experienced/enjoyed, then that’s debt, phone included. Plus, Justen pays $11/month for his phone and I pay $35, so we’ll be getting $46 back in our wallets each month for paying off debt once we trim down our phone bill by getting rid of device payments!
Three: I currently have a bill for $20,487 due for my hospital stay. We’re waiting for our insurance to be applied to that number, but our debt is either going to go up (worst case scenario) or stall (best case scenario) in the first few months of the year because of those bills. I had a meltdown one day as we were talking about this, and so Justen and I sat and budgeted out his paycheck and took care of necessities and bills and figured out a plan of attack and now I can breathe.
While it sucks to see that number go up (sucks is quite possibly the biggest understatement of the whole entire year) I’m trying to be easy on myself. This month, I lost a week of work because of my gallbladder. I was sad because of the death in my family, and I was busy with holidays. Life happened and I wasn’t able to make as much ground as I’d hoped. But that’s why we have a plan so that we can get back up and move on forward.
One of my goals is to drop our debt by 33% this year, which means that at this time in 2018, that “total debt” number would be $15,853.14 and we’d be THISCLOSE to paying off Justen’s car.
We’re kicking off 2018 with a No Spend Month for January. I’ll share more about the parameters soon, but we’re hoping to start the year throwing a crap ton of money at this debt.