March Debt Repayment Update
It’s time once again for us to let you all know where we are in our debt repayment – woohoo! As you know, we began this journey in October of 2015 and have since paid back a TON of debt. We are doing our best to smash this debt in three years so that we can begin living the lives we have always dreamed of living. Without further ado – here’s our March 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). This is our third one, but you can find the other two by clicking on our “Paying Off Debt & Saving Money” 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.
But here’s a little infographic to help you see where our debt comes from:
March Debt Repayment Update
At the end of last month, during our February Debt Repayment Update, we told you all that we had paid off a total of $23,259.44 in debt – wowza, that’s a lot! We also told you all that we had brought out debt down to a total of $174,814.7 which was awesome.
We made a mistake though.
While we have been paying off exactly what we have told you. And we have brought our told down to the aforementioned number, we need to note that we have not been including interest in these calculations. At first, this was because we were paying of the debts that were smaller and, since the other ones were in deferment, we did not feel the need to include the interest calculations in our numbers.
However, since we have gained followers and you all are invested in our debt repayment, we want to make sure that we are all on the same page. So, since we did our first calculation of how much debt we owed and stuck those numbers into our lovely little excel sheet, we have also gained a LOT of interest. We also added another loan in October for my fourth semester of grad school.
Therefore, our loan total has changed and is not, unfortunately, back up to a total of $187,724.2
Why am I tell you this?
I want you all to know exactly what our totals are so that you can rejoice in our wins when we reach them! I want you all to be on this journey with us. Most importantly, I want to be transparent with you about what our goals are, where we are, and what we are doing to reach them.
From now on, I’ll be adding up our interest monthly and putting it into these lovely little updates so that there is no more confusion. Thank you ALL for understanding, supporting us, and walking with us on this journey!
Anyway, let’s move on to the update and see what we did this last month for our March debt repayment update!
March Debt Repayment Update
Where are we at with our debt for February?
Well, we had another BIG month for debt repayment and we are SUPER excited about it. No, it wasn’t as big as January because we didn’t have the lump sum to put toward debt. However, we DID have a fantastic month for saving money and living frugally. In fact, we put more non-lump-sum money toward our debt this month than any other month we have had so far.
Let’s look at the numbers for the March Debt Repayment Update:
- $40 – this is a minimum payment to a smaller student debt which brought that debt down to $2,388.86
- $467.92 – this is a minimum payment for my wife’s federal debt which brought that debt down to 66,958.89
- $139.04 – this is a minimum payment for our car which brought that debt down to $4,919.41 (finally below $5,000!)
- $2,701.91 – this is an extra payment we put toward our high interest loan (affectionately titled Big9). We brought Big9 down to $23,430.73.
In total, we paid off $3,348.87 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 $26,608.31 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 February:
Here’s what this breaks down to:
- $1,700 – 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. We use her income as entirely supplemental – meaning that unless something happens, all of her income goes as extra payments toward debt.
- $500 – Crisis Line – every three months my wife has the opportunity to be on call for the crisis line. This means that she is required to answer calls for those in need 24/7. For this, she gets an extra $500.
- $222.65 – 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 February: $4,222.65
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 put 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.
As I told you last month, we chose to save for having kids instead of buying a house right now because there’s never a right time to have kids, but there is a right time to buy a house.
Anyway, here are what the accounts look like for our March Debt Repayment Update:
- $1,000 – Emergency fund. Our goal is to keep this right where it’s at. We didn’t have to touch it at all this month – woohoo! Let’s hope that it stays that way – knock on wood.
- $562.22 – New Family Fund. Each month we put an extra $100 toward this fund. Like I said, the saving is slow going, but it’s important to us. We also add an extra $10 (part of our banking agreement that this is auto-deposited into savings each month). Every quarter, the interest for our savings is added to this as well.
Total Assets: $1,562.22
We try to keep next to nothing in our checking account at all times. We use cash for groceries and gas (or whatever else we need) and we use all the rest of our money on debt. So, I won’t be sharing our checking account cash anymore because there just isn’t anything in there.
March Debt Repayment Update
Where do we hope to be, looking forward, after the March Debt Repayment Update?
First: Later this month we are taking a trip out to the East coast. We will be visiting my uncle and staying at his place for a few days. We are hoping to use funds from our change jar to cover this, but if we need anything extra it will be taken from the normally budgeted funding (we give ourselves $300 every two weeks for groceries and gas and it would come from this).
Second: I will be releasing products this next month and hopefully this will earn us a little bit of extra funding! I also will be working hard to partner with other bloggers and exchange guest posts to hopefully bump up my reader numbers. 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: We are considering refinancing our Big9 loan. We hope to have the entirety of it paid off by the end of 2016, but we still think refinancing could help. After looking at some numbers, it looks like we would save a total of up to $700 for just this year, but there are some things we will be considering before making the choice – stay tuned to hear what we decide!
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: $16,267
Left to reach Goal: $33,732.55
Thanks for reading! If you have any comments, let us know! We love to hear.
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