Paying Down Debt – October 2016

Oh my gosh, you guys.

Oh. My. Gosh.

We are SO close to being debt free {other than our home}.  Click HERE to see our current balance.  Eek!

I am hoping this is the last post I will ever write as a person who is enslaved to debt.  And if you have debt, a slave is exactly what you are.  The Bible even says so:

Proverbs 22:7b – “The borrower is slave to the lender.”

Debt ties up the financial freedoms you could have to give, invest, retire stress-free . . .

So it is my dearest hope that I click and clack on this keyboard as a FREE woman next month.  I already have what I want to share with you all drafted in my mind.  It’s been drafted for months, actually.

Today I want to focus on how it feels to be “Almost There.”

First, it’s hard to grasp the concept that we are “Almost There.”  For the past 12 years of our marriage we’ve been drowning in debt.  It seemed like it would just always be around. Actually, if we would have paid the minimum payment on our student loans, it would have taken 30 years!  No, thank you.  When we got serious about paying off our debt, we figured we could get it done in five-six years instead.  The mindset changed from feeling like we would just be in debt forever to: “Man, I guess we have to work our butts off for a long time . . .”  We did work our butts off, and after countless nights of only getting about five hours of sleep in order to make extra money, we have gotten “Almost There” in just three short years instead.  It kind of snuck up on us, so it’s truly difficult to believe.

The “What If’s” are starting to creep in.  We are only $2,426 from being debt free, y’all.  Now I’m thinking back to every unnecessary purchase we’ve made in the past three years.  Like: “If I hadn’t bought that package of Ramen Noodles, we’d be $0.20 closer, dangit!!!” Seriously though, we’ve cut out so much from our lives the past three years and we’re like practically the poster children for the word FRUGAL, but it does make me think: “What if I wouldn’t have traveled to Ohio over the summer . . . ?” or “What if we wouldn’t have dined at that restaurant . . .?” or “What if I hadn’t taken the kids to that amusement park . . .?” All of those expenses could have added up to almost $2,500 over time, and we could have been done already.  Meh.

On the other hand, by being “Almost There” I’ve noticed that the desires to be more lax with my budgeting/spending are so strong it ain’t even funny.  We’re miraculously slightly ahead of schedule, so I constantly have thoughts like: “Oh, it won’t be a big deal if I buy those shoes . . .”  I have to really watch myself.  Don’t be alarmed if you see me slapping myself in the face as I walk past department stores at the mall . . . drooling at the cute outfits on the window mannequins and uttering, “Don’t do it! Don’t do it!”  Have no fear – I didn’t buy the shoes . . . but I do have a small bruise on my cheek {wink}.

Lastly, let me tell you about interest.  This part always fascinates me—probably because I love crunching numbers.  When we were $82,000 in debt we were dishing out $11.79 just in interest A DAY.  That’s $353/month and $4,246/year.  Now that our balance is a wee $2,426, our interest is only $0.35/day.  It’s super fun seeing more and more of our payments go to the principle instead of down the drain.

Anyway . . . let’s get to the hard work.  In the month of October we paid off $4,220!  Here is how we did it:

  • I had an unusually profitable month with my Bondbons business again.  That included catering two weddings.
  • My husband continued painting and working on cars for people.
  • I supervised the ACT test bright and early on a Saturday morning.
  • I supervised several Saturday morning detentions and subbed during my plan period.
  • We referred a friend to the school our kids attend.  The school was doing a special offer this year {thanks to an awesome donor} that gave a HUGE credit toward school tuition for referrals.  Because of that credit we didn’t have to pay any tuition in October, so that money went to the debt instead.  We also won’t have to pay for November or part of December.  Talk about perfect timing!

Please stay tuned for our update next month.  Like I said, it’s already drafted in my head.

Love,

Screenshot 2015-07-26 at 11.57.14 PM

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