March Debt Repayment Update!

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!

March Debt Repayment Update- www.diyjahn.com

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.

If you want to read more about how we racked up so much debt, you can read about it in our post here (click here).

But here’s a little infographic to help you see where our debt comes from:

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:

March Income

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

Looking Ahead

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!

Goal Update

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.

Click HERE to read more about the goal: Financial Goals for 2016

GOAL: $50,000

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.

Disclaimer: Some of DIY Jahn posts contain affiliate links. While I do earn money through Fronto, Ibotta, and other companies, and bonuses for referring people, all of my opinions on the company are 100% honest and my own. Also, please note that recipes, fitness tips, and financial tips are not given by a professional. To understand what this all means for you, click here.

41 Replies to “March Debt Repayment Update!”

  1. Wow! Great job! Keep at it. I just paid of my student loans in June! (I graduated college 9 years ago.) We decided it was the one debt we would pay last since it had a small interest rate.

    1. Thanks, Nikki! It certainly is difficult to do, but I’m hoping the freedom will be worth it. Congrats on finally paying off your student debt!! Woohoo! 🙂 Does it feel great?

  2. This is amazing and so inspiring. My husband and I are currently on a mission to pay off debt as we await the arrival of our first baby. Our goal for March is to pay off a loan of $2,700. I’m a bit nervous about how we’ll make it work, but we are determined. Looking forward to read your other updates.

    1. That’s a big goal, but I know that if you put your mind to it, you can do it! You have got this. It’s a big mission, but it’s so worth it when you can pay it off. Also, congrats on the excitement of the new baby! 🙂 Yay! Thank you for the comment, Terri

  3. First, congratulations. You took good decisions! the numbers looks better now!

    if you keep this payments, you will close the Big9 in 8 months.
    Ask a simulation at the bank to refinance with a lower tax and shorter period, and compare to have a clear value. Even 700 dollars are more than nothing – you work for this money.

    Another remark: in 8 months you will close the Big9 and next month the car loan ( that is already small and will be reduced by minimum payments and closed in month 9) so in October/November you will be with 2 depths closed. If you permute the order of closing, first the car and then the Big9, how much you will pay in plus? it is possible that with less depths to be able to ‘renegotiate’ easier with the bank .

    1. Thank you so much! The numbers are certainly looking better – like you said, it won’t take long at all to pay off Big9. We will have him done within the year for sure. Our goal is to pay off Big9, the car, and the two small student debts (totally about $5,500) by the end of 2016. Scary goal, but I think we can do it. You have great advice in this area – that’s for sure. I’ll definitely be taking your advice!

  4. WOW.. great for you guys! my husband and I JUST STARTED a new budget and payoff plan. Just started meaning, 3/1 is our day 1. i’m excited and scared.. and already a little overwhelmed, but I now it will be worth it!!

    1. That’s so exciting, Miranda! I know that you and your husband can do this. It is DEFINITELY overwhelming and a little scary at first, but I promise that it’s worth it. If you want any tips or tricks, read some of our past blog posts or email me any time! I know you can do this!!! 🙂 Thank you for your comment

  5. I think it’s awesome that you’re putting so much towards debt repayment! It’s never a fun way to spend your money but it you will feel like a million bucks when you pay off your CC debit. When we got rid of our CC debt, I was shocked how much extra money we had each month!

    1. Exactly! We are done with our credit card debt as of January, so now it’s all student debt (plus our car). We can’t WAIT to get rid of it. You’re right, it sucks now, but is so worth it in the end. Thank you for the comment, Katy!

  6. Even a little bit is still a lot. As long as you aren’t adding new debt to the picture, your debt will be eliminated. We are on a similar journey and it is definitely an uphill battle at times but will be so rewarding when we hit the top!

    1. Exactly, Amanda! That’s how we fill! It’s a hard, hard battle, but it will all be worth it when we reach the end. We can do this. I know we can and you can too! I’d love to hear more about your journey if you’re ever willing to share! Thank you for commenting!

    1. It may feel like you aren’t making headway, but as long as you aren’t taking on MORE debt, you’ll get there! You’re on the right path! 🙂 Thank you for reading and commenting, Angie. If you ever need any help, please stop back or contact me!

    1. Thank you, Jon! I really appreciate you reading and commenting. Debt is super hard, but like you said – we are a third of the way toward our goal! Woohoo! 🙂 I’d love to join the group and share my article on there. I’d love it if you would join our FB group as well which is just now getting off the ground – you can find the link here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/fiscalfast/ Hope you’ll join us!

  7. I started following you last month – so was interested to see how much further ahead you are. I’m impressed that you’ve made it to almost 1/3 of your annual goal – and it’s only March. Keep going!!

    1. Thank you, Liv!! I’m so glad that you’ve started following us and joining in our journey. 🙂 I hope you’ll continue to follow us as we work toward this goal. Thank you for commenting, reading, and supporting us! 🙂

    1. WOOHOO! Congrats on knocking out the credit card in February. Working hard definitely pays off. I’m sure if you keep working those other two credit cards will be out of the ballpark before you know it. Thank you for commenting! 🙂

  8. Congrats! You are really crushing your debt. I hope my blogging income continues to increase so that money could ALL attributed towards additional debt payments.

    1. It certainly is! It doesn’t happen often enough, unfortunately, but when it does it is time to celebrate! Hope your debt repayment is going well, Denise! 🙂 Thanks for commenting

  9. Congratulations! Keep the great work!

    You are the perfect example of why we built Yazing.com, A tool to help you both save and make money online!

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