debt snowball progress-interestDo you know how I got my husband on board to pay off our debt faster?

One word.

INTEREST

I sat down and showed him how much of our monthly payment was going towards interest every month and how much was going to principal. I also calculated how much interest we were paying every year. It was a crazy amount of money to pay for the convenience of lower payments.

At the point that I got him on board, we were paying $4,000 a year in interest. Two thirds of our payment was going towards interest.

YIKES

We have been working our debt snowball for so long that I have completely forgotten how comfortable we were just paying the minimum for years upon years.

I was reminded of this, this past week when I talked with a recent college graduate that I been her advisor. She asked a question about if her loans would still kick in (she was in the glorious 6-month window of not having to pay yet) if she took classes for her Master’s Degree.

The answer – it depends on how many credit hours she takes. I wanted so badly to sit down and coach this young, new professional about the dangers of getting comfortable with her minimum payment. I wanted to help her understand that now, while she was young, single and without children, is when she should take that new big (because it was compared to her meager college earnings) paycheck and throw money at the loan. She should live like she’s still a broke college student and put everything extra towards the loan. Forget that 10-year forgiveness plan and work to become debt free in just a couple of years.

This is what I wanted to do, but I knew it was not the right time or place.

I was in the role of my day job, and we just had a few minutes to catch up before her students returned to the classroom. If only it had been a different setting with more time. I wish someone had sat down and explained all of this to me back when I was a new graduate.

I did go to some workshop about preparing for graduation in my senior year of college. At that workshop, they taught us about budgeting and its importance. Something that was said in that workshop stuck with me because that is the moment that I started budgeting and I have never stopped.

In a college class that I teach now, I spend one entire class period on budgeting. It’s not nearly enough time, but it’s a start. In this class period, I reference the workshop I attended and how it forever changed my financial life. I hope that someday in the future these students will look back and reflect fondly – or maybe this is just a Megan thing – on the moment they too learned how to budget.

If you are in a position of working with or mentoring new graduates and young professionals, help them out.

It seems we have mentors for everything; why not money?

Onto our October debt snowball update. This is our first month of trying out the new income strategy, which I explained in our September debt snowball update. I am so glad we made this switch because it has made planning for the month so much easier.

I am excited to report that this month we were able to FINALLY put extra money towards our debt. We have not put extra towards our debt since January. I could not believe that, but it’s true.

We had planned to have more to put towards debt, but we unexpectedly bought a carpet cleaner. Yes, it was a necessity. After an unfortunate four week illness with Amelia there were smells and stains we could not get out of her carpet. I am happy to report the carpet cleaner is AMAZING.

We also decided to get identity theft insurance. I had thought about it before. We decided that due to breaches of security, one of which affected Brian’s information, we decided it was a good decision. For a small fee every year we know that if our identity gets stolen, there is a company that will do all the legwork to resolve the problem. I have heard that the amount of work involved to deal with your stolen identity is the equivalent of a part-time job. I am certain I don’t have that kind of time in my life. I’m willing to pay $158 not to have to risk that.

We anticipate the next few months should allow us to make sizable progress on our debt snowball. I am optimistic that November will allow us to finally be under $30,000.

 

So here’s the update for October

Income report from October

Money from Varage Sale                                 $39

Money from Storage Locker sales                  $ 3

Cash back from credit cards                           $47

Mileage check for work                                  $240

Extra from paychecks                                     $567

______________________________________________________

Total extra income                                         $896

 

Amount extra put towards student loan         $896

Current outstanding student loan debt        $31,113

 

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