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As you may have noticed, I stopped doing monthly debt reports back in October. This happened because there were months we made little progress on our goals and I was struggling to keep up with my blog. Between work and college, something had to go. I decided to switch to quarterly reports because I think it gives a better idea of how we’re doing on our debt pay-off and gives me a break from the monotony.
The first months of 2017 have been good and bad. I need not remind you that our dreams for a home fell through in mid-February. While I believe that was a blessing in disguise, it was disappointing and caused us to lose money.
On the positive side, we had been trying to save as much cash as possible during that time, so we were able to make some bigger payments on the truck loan. Unfortunately, because we were trying to save so much cash – our credit card usage went up quite a bit, and we back-tracked several thousand dollars. It is all explained below.
Today, we have $69,483.
I am not upset about this. I have accepted our mistakes and turned from them. Since the whole house thing, we have recentered and refocused. We’ve updated our Excel spreadsheet and I even made a “Road to Debt Freedom” poster. Every time we pay off $1000, we color in a patch of road. I started it at $75000 so we would have several patches colored in. We have paid more than $5000 in debt off since we lost the house. Imagine what the numbers would have been if I had showed them to you then!
The “road map” is working well. I think it’s helping Mike to focus better on our end goal and realize that we’re not far from paying off all our debt. We’ve been coloring in 1-2 patches of road every month. This is a vision board we can work with.
A Look at the Numbers
1. The Changes.
The first thing you’ll notice is the Quicksilver card has made it’s way back on to the report, but the USAA truck loan is gone. I mentioned in my 2017 goal review that we transferred our truck loan to the Quicksilver so we could drop the exorbitant 9.7% interest rate down to 4%. The balance transfer has no promotional ending period and will stay at 4% until we pay it off. This is going to save us $$$$ in interest by the time we kill that debt.
2. The Glaring.
You’ll also notice that the Quicksilver is way higher than the amount of our truck loan. We accrued quite a bit of credit card debt while trying to save more cash when we were in the home-buying process. It set us back A LOT. I am acknowledging the mistakes I made and admitting that buying the house would have been extremely negative on our finances, and I probably would have regretted it. Except the yard. Wouldn’t have regretted that. We live and we learn.
3. The Goal.
Our goal this year is to pay off the Quicksilver card. According to our debt pay-off planner app, we can accomplish this by Christmas if we stay the course. That is while paying the minimums on all the other debt. Of course, as I have been known to do, I might change things up as the year progresses.
We have been saving 10% in our Roth TSP and 10% in our traditional TSP. Find out what a TSP is here. We are going to continue contributing to that while paying off debt because we know we may not put that extra 20% towards debt if we had it in our pockets. I am proud to say that we have reached a cumulative total of $5000 in our retirement savings! Woopee! Gotta start somewhere.
5. The Savings
Our e-fund/savings has also dropped a bit after the whole house charade, but we are working diligently to build it back up again while paying the debt off. We’re sitting at $1300. By the end of the year, we should be in the $2500 range. That’s taking actual car repairs and emergencies in account.
So there’s the dirty laundry. Things could be better, but they could be worse. I am confident with what this year will bring and we are back on the road to debt freedom! How are things going on your side?