April Debt Repayment Update
March is almost over and it’s time once again to update you on our finances, but don’t worry – it’s been a good month! Not only did we take a much-needed vacation, but we also paid off a good chunk of debt due to our tax refund coming in. Hooray! We are even closer to fulfilling our goal of debt freedom. Without further ado – here’s our April debt repayment update!
For those who know our journey, feel free to skip ahead. For those who are new, here’s a little introduction.
So, here’s what’s going on. We plan to give these updates on a monthly basis (at the beginning of each month). You can see past months updates by clicking on our “Frugal Living” tab – or by clicking HERE.
I’m sure you’re wondering how we got to where we are. Well, we began our journey around the middle of September when my wife and I got married and decided to calculate our combined debt. That being said, we had been making payments for almost a year by this point, so we must have been much higher beforehand. Regardless, when we began religiously calculating our numbers in September, we came to the conclusion that we have $196,021.8 in debt: which is terrifying.
TIt was time to pay it off and be debt free. Unfortunately, that sort of decision doesn’t come easy – and the results surely don’t come fast. We are working our way to debt freedom and hope to achieve our goals by January 1, 2019. Stay tuned as we update our progress, how we are getting there, and more by visiting regularly or signing up for our e-newsletter – here!
April Debt Repayment Update
At the end of last month, during our March Debt Repayment Update, we had officially paid down a total of $26,608.31 since October – woohoo! Not only that, but we had paid off $3,348.87 in February ALONE. Now, we get to update you on even more money that we have thrown at this debt of ours. We have a long way to go, but we are beginning to think our goals are possible.
Let’s see where we are for April!
April Debt Repayment Update
Where are we at with our debt for March?
This month turned out to be a great month for our debt repayment which was kind of unexpected. Why? Well, we decided to take a road trip on a whim to the East Coast. A good pal of mine from work wanted to visit his girlfriend out there (in college in Virginia) and my wife and I thought it would be a great way to see a new place for cheap.
As you may remember, I made a few goals for my birthday this past year – 20 Something Goals Before 25. One of my goals was to take a vacation somewhere new. Well, when we realized that we wanted to put everything toward debt and make our big scary goal of paying off $50,000 in 2016, we decided that a vacation may be out of the question. Well, low-and-behold we had this amazing opportunity arise – we surely weren’t going to pass it up!
So, we may have put a little bit less toward debt than we otherwise would have, but we are happy that we went and we don’t regret it for a second. My lovely wife got to see mountains for the first time ever, we drove on the Blue Ridge Parkway, we climbed to the top of Humpback Rock on Humpback Mountain, we saw the sights in Washington D.C., we hung out with my amazing uncle, and we even went to a Movie Tavern that was spectacular! All-in-all, it was a great trip.
I’m sure you’re wondering, though, how this worked for us financially for our April debt repayment update. It was simple really – and inexpensive.
- We took a week of PTO (so no pay loss) and hunkered down in the car.
- We bought sandwiches for the car rides (18 hours each way) and didn’t stop for food. The groceries cost about $30 for two days worth of food for us both, plus snacks.
- The gas was split between us and my friend so that it cost about $85 each (including tolls) for the full ride to Virginia and an extra $40 for our tourist-y riding around after.
- We ate out a few times (totaling less than $200 for the both of us) and spent our nights at my uncles house (about 4 hours North of where my friend’s girlfriend lives).
- Oh, and we allowed ourselves to purchase two records totally about $60 (a treat for paying off so much debt).
So, for the entire vacation to the East Coast and a ton of tourist-ing (not a word, but I like it), we paid around $400 total for two people. Pretty incredible, right? Not to mention, I had earned an extra $190 from blogging that was put toward the trip and we had our normal $150 budget for the two weeks. Basically, we were over budget by about $60 – the cost of the records.
Was the vacation worth the $60? Definitely. Would I choose this again? Every time.
Anyway, let’s look at the numbers for the April Debt Repayment Update:
- $40 – this is a minimum payment to a smaller student debt which brought that debt down to $2,392.82.
- $467.92 – this is a minimum payment for my wife’s federal debt which brought that debt down to 68,215.03.
- $139.04 – this is a minimum payment for our car which brought that debt down to $4,780.37.
- $5,426.94 – this is an extra payment we put toward our high interest loan (affectionately titled Big9). We brought Big9 down to $17,725.33! Most of this was from our tax refund, but about $1,000 was extra on top of that. A great month for the Big9!
In total, we paid off $6,073.90 in debt in March – WOW! We didn’t even realize we could get that much extra toward our debt in one month with our incomes, but we sure are happy to have done it!
What does this bring us to in total for debt repayment? We have officially paid off a total of $32,682.21 since October. Woohoo!
Where does your income come from?
I decided to add this segment in November after reading a few income reports from other bloggers. I don’t want this to sound like bragging, but rather to help you to see that it is possible to pay back your debt on a low income (we’re doing it). You can also see that it’s possible to make money on the side (we’re doing that, too). I hope that this helps you on your journey to debt freedom.
Here’s our income breakdown for the month of March:
- $1,600 – roughly, this is my take home pay. My pay also includes our housing and utilities (since we don’t pay for those), but this is the actual cash-in-pocket amount after taxes. We use my income for all bills, minimum payments, and necessities (groceries, gas, etc.).
- $1,800 – roughly, this is my wife’s take home pay after taxes and insurance costs. We use her income as entirely supplemental – meaning that unless something happens, all of her income goes as extra payments toward debt.
- $215.16 – This is my blogging income for the month. Not bad for only a few months in! I hope that this continues to boost as I prepare to release my first course and some ebooks – we’ll see! Look forward to some new information coming your way.
Total Income for March: $3,615.16
What is in our accounts?
We are slowly building our savings account. And by slowly, I mean VERY, VERY slowly. Most of our money goes straight toward debt because that’s what our main priority is. That being said, we know that emergencies happen so we have an emergency fund that we never touch unless necessary.
We also have a “New Family Fund” as some of you may know, that we were putting $100 toward each month. As a lesbian couple, we know that having children is going to be very expensive and difficult. However, we also know that we want this to be a part of our life. On that note, we have decided to post-pone contributing to this account for a couple of reasons.
First of all, $100 a month is $1,200 a year that could be going toward paying off our debts quicker. It sounds small, but it adds up. Second, we found out that my wife’s flex-spending card can help us to pay for some of the needs in this area, so we don’t need to use as much out-of-pocket.
Anyway, here are what the accounts look like for our April Debt Repayment Update:
- $1,000 – Emergency fund. Our goal is to keep this right where it’s at. Unfortunately, we did have to take some from this this month when our car broke down which is why we couldn’t contribute as much toward debt repayment. We did pay it back quickly, though, and it is now sitting happily at the $1,000 mark again.
- $687.22 – New Family Fund. Each month we were putting an extra $100 toward this month and it was going well. We did put $100 toward it this month as well as the $25 bonus we got for starting an online account through CapitalOne360. Why not get free money? If you use this link, we both get a little bonus for opening an account: https://r.capitalone360.com/yd7NFLaMQu How great is that?
Total Assets: $1,687.22
April Debt Repayment Update
Where do we hope to be, looking forward, after the April Debt Repayment Update?
First: We will be completing a 30 Day Minimalist Decluttering Challenge starting April 1 (FRIDAY!) and we would love to have you join us. We are super excited to get rid of the clutter and move forward with our debt-free goals. We’ll be selling, donating, and recycling as much as we can and moving ourselves to a minimalist / zero-waste lifestyle. Anyway, if you are interested at all, check out THIS POST for more information and ideas: Declutter Your Life, Reach Your Debt Free Goals (CLICK HERE).
Second: Last month I said I would be releasing products this month, but with summer around the corner and the trip we went on, it simply didn’t happen. I’m hoping to release some products starting at the end of April and we’ll see what happens! Keep an eye out for them! If you are willing – please share this with your friends! We are working as hard as we possibly can to pay off our debt and every share helps!
Third: I will be looking to find some more clients for my Virtual Assistant Business – if you are looking for help with your blog, managing social media, figuring out a budget for yourself or your business, need some graphics or printables made, or need some content writing done, let me know! I’m happy to work with you to make it happen.
As you all know, we set a huge, big, scary goal of paying off $50,000 in debt in 2016. YIKES! I know it sounds crazy, but we think we can do it. So, we’ll be updating you on that goal each month during our debt repayment updates so that you can watch the progress.
Total Paid off in 2016: $22,341.35
Left to reach Goal: $27,658.65
We are almost halfway to our goal and it’s only been three full months! We are super excited to see what this year holds and know that we can reach our goals. However, we had some big lump sums during these first three months, so we will need to hustle like crazy the next nine months to reach this goal. We can do it (I hope..)!
Thanks for reading our April Debt Repayment Update!
If you have any comments, let us know! We love to hear.
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