Well, I can’t believe four months have already passed since I had the idea to jumpstart my debt payoff process and begin my journey to being debt-free.
If you need to do some catching up, here is the landing page for Debt Demolition.
In short – Nasty car loan (brought upon myself from my own stupidity – lesson learned), $300.00 monthly payment, low interest rate, full-time student, two part-time jobs.
Now that you’re caught up, let’s get started with what happened these past few months.
First of all, I will give you a rundown of the monthly payments and dates that I have put towards my loan these past few months.
September – Major Events + Payments
September was a pretty decent month. I made a bit of extra cash by cashing out my Swagbucks account, pet-sitting my boss’s doggos, and then I had my usual income from my marketing internship and warehouse job. I had been saving up for a bit, so I did make one significant payment in September that really kicked this series off with a bang.
Beginning September Balance: $19,363
Payment One: September 11th, 2017 – $1,800.00
Payment Two: September 19th, 2017 – $70.00
Total Amount in September: $2,500
Not fun. If anyone out there is considering buying a new car, consider this. I spent over $2,500 on my car in one month. That did put a series dent in my loan, but that is money that I am never going to see again. I’m never going to earn that money back. It’s never going to make me money in the stock market, it’s never going to pay for groceries or gas – it’s gone.
However, I did save myself hundreds of dollars in interest off the end of my loan. Plus, because my monthly payment is $300.00, I took off almost a year of my loan in just one month because all of the money above the $300.00 was applied to the principal balance of the loan. Debt sucks, but it’s the reality of my situation and you just have to be proactive in getting rid of it.
October – Major Events + Payments
Nothing super notable happened in October. I just worked and went to school. This month is more typical of what I will be paying until I graduate and get a higher paying job.
Beginning October Balance: $16,924
Payment One: $780.00
Total Amount in October: $780.00
See? Pretty lame. The debt payoff process is awful. At this point, I was getting used to the college-student grind. Wake up, go to work and school, eat tuna and mac-n-cheese, go to bed. I had to make a lot of changes in my relationship with my lovely girlfriend as well – no more frequent dinner dates, no more trips to get ice cream, movies, and the like. I made serious cutbacks in my personal spending so I could dedicate almost all of my money towards paying off my car.
Luckily, my girlfriend is freaking awesome and is totally fine with this – Netflix and pasta from Aldi is all she needs for a date night!
Now, this isn’t to say I’m living miserably. My girlfriend and I still go on dates – just much less frequent. I still spend money on things I enjoy (and occasionally on something I want), but a large majority of my income goes to my car. Period.
November – Major Events + Payments
Once again, nothing too spectacular happened in November. I was able to pick up a few extra hours at work here and there, but there were no significant boosts in my income. At this point, the initial “shock” of living frugally had worn off. I was used to not spending any money, and as usual, when the time came I put as much towards my loan as possible.
Beginning November Balance: $16,183
Payment One: $650.00
Yeah, this month wasn’t my best. Still, double my usual payment is still pretty good – that’s one less month I’ll have to pay later down the road.
I will admit, I did have some doubts during November. Mostly, I questioned whether or not I should continue investing into the stock market. I vowed to set aside $100.00 every month, and I had kept up no matter how hard it got. Part of what kept me on track was thinking into the future, and the other thing was how impressive my returns had been. As of typing this, I am making nearly a 12.46% return, nearly double the average return of 5%. The money I have in the stock market is pretty much my savings ( I know that’s risky and possibly stupid, but I at least know I won’t be tempted to touch it while it is actively making me money).
It was a pretty average month.
December – Major Events + Payments
I’ll be honest – December sucked.
I was done with school on the 15th, so I was able to work all throughout winter break and finally take a breather after a brutal semester. I did make a bit of extra income by helping my boss with a few extra jobs and picking up some extra hours over break. However, Christmas shopping really screwed me over. I spent money on only my parents, sister, and girlfriend (no extended family or relatives – totally acceptable in my opinion at this point in my life). However, even shopping for 4 people really set me back, as you’ll see from my payment.
Beginning December Balance: $15,579
Payment One: $500.00
Yep. Like I said, December sucked. However, according to the information on my bank’s website, a good majority of that payment ($464) went towards principal. It still took a solid month and a half off of my loan, so I guess it could have been worse!
January: Major Events + Payments
Beginning January Balance: $15,150
Payment One: $850.00
January was nice for a few reasons. One, because I was on winter break until January 15th, I was able to work a good majority of the month without having to worry about school. Plus, since my school schedule was rather well planned, I was able to maximize the hours I work during the school week. The only issue with that is I have to drive back and forth to school twice on Tuesdays – I have a class from 11:00 to 12:15 and then a night class at 6:30. Instead of sitting around on campus all day, I decided to just drive back home and work for a few hours.
It kind of sucks, but you gotta do what you gotta do!
Secondly, I got some money for Christmas that I put 100% of towards my car. This allowed me to make a pretty sizeable increase over December for what I was able to pay.
It’s been a hell of a journey in just the first few months. I know I have a long way to go until I am debt free, but by taking these first steps I am actively helping to improve my current situation and financial future. As of February 1st, I can officially say that my loan is below $15,000, which I think is the first major milestone in my debt payoff journey.
Thank you so much for reading! I hope you enjoyed this catch up on my journey, and I can’t wait to update you in February! If you liked what you read, please be sure to share this post with your friends and family! Also, take a look at my resources page to check out all of the awesome apps and financial services I have been using to help me on my journey. Last but not least, be sure to subscribe for email updates to be notified every time I make a post, and follow me on Twitter! Have a great day!