Paying Down Debt – Jan/Feb 2016

Life is busy.  It’s even busier when you’re on the fast track to paying off debt.  I did not have a chance to write at the end of January, and I’m just now writing at the end of February {AKA—the middle of March . . . don’t hate}.

The past two months have been hard.  My main avenue for making extra money to throw at our debt is through my Bondbons business, but I knew January was going to be a slow month.

Side Note: Doesn’t January just flat out suck?  If I could get rid of one month, it would be January. Everyone is broke, fat, and cold.  That’s it.  It’s good for nothin’.

Anyway . . . January wasn’t just slow.  It was Puh-Thet-Ic.  I had hardly any orders, but  I was optimistic about making up for it in February with Valentine’s Day.  Unfortunately, I only ended up with about 35% of the orders I was expecting.

It was Bummer-ville at the Bonds.

But we have a goal to reach—and that is to be completely debt-free {other than our home} by the end of this year, so we had to utilize other avenues to make this happen. Despite some set backs, we were still able to pay off $3,649 in January and $4,132 in February.  Those numbers are huge for us.  You can see our current balance by clicking here.

Here’s how we did it:

  • Randy majorly downgraded his wheels . . . he sold his cute little car and has started driving the van that he uses for his painting business.  It’s not cute, but it’s worth it.
  • I started using the ibotta app.  In a nutshell, I get rebates on groceries.  You can also make money on referrals.  In just two weeks I racked up $130 that I was able to transfer to my PayPal and pay off debt.  If you sign up using my code {fjovarx} you will receive $10 and I’ll get $5.  Try it.  It’s fun.
  • Randy’s painting business was profitable.  PTL!
  • I have tried to sub during my plan period at work as much as possible {I make $20 each time I do it}
  • Randy bought, fixed up, and sold another car and made a nice profit.
  • I have been fortunate to work as a home bound teacher for most of the school year. The sweet girl who I’ve worked with since August finally got to return to school in February. Fortunately I was given another student to work with the very next week. I work with him about four hours/week.
  • Randy switched his business account to another bank that requires a much smaller minimum balance {something I did with my business account back in December}.  This was a difference $700!
  • I have supervised Saturday morning detentions and worked on a curriculum committee at school {both offer extra duty pay}
  • Our gas bill was $80 lower than usual–so $80 went straight to the debt
  • I taught a cake pop class at Sweet! Baking Supply in Lawrence.
  • We’ve saved a ton of money with fuel prices being so low. We’ve saved even more money by using our Kroger Fuel Points.  In February, we were able to fill up 35 gallons for only $11.52!!!  35 gallons would have cost us about $135.00 just a few years ago.  The money we’ve saved has gone straight to debt.
  • I sold cake pops at Trails Market and Gallery for Topeka’s First Friday Art Walk in February.
  • We’ve also been incredibly frugal.  We rarely dine out, spend money on entertainment, and refrain from shopping for anything that’s not a necessity.

I want to touch on something before I close.

Do I think college is ridiculously too expensive?

Yes.

Are interest rates too high on student loans?

Yes.

Does paying student loans make life difficult and strain finances?

Yes.

However, these student loans are OUR responsibility. We are the ones who went to college and took out the loans.  No one forced us to enroll at a university or tricked us into being in debt.  That was our choice.  It was also our foolish decision not to pay on them for years and to live in denial as the balance accrued over $25,000 in interest.

Randy and I are not sitting back and whining about our debt situation—hoping that the government will swoop in and fix our problems, and our decisions and mistakes certainly are not the fault of the wealthy in this country.

We are taking action for our choices.  After several years of sacrifice, it will all pay off.

 

Love,

Screenshot 2015-07-26 at 11.57.14 PM

 

 

 

 

 

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3 thoughts on “Paying Down Debt – Jan/Feb 2016

  1. Kay Coward says:

    Thank you for the note about student loans. My parents couldn’t pay for my college, so I took out loans. Of course, loans and expenses were much, much, lower and the economy was better, or seemed better., but I wanted to be a nurse and its was MY responsibility to figure it out, taking nothing away from my parents but I was the oldest of 6
    I am sure many will disagree about this matter, but that is why we can all have our own opinions.
    Thank you

    Liked by 1 person

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