"In the end, we only regret the chances we didn’t take."

Adventures In Becoming Debt-Free: Then and Now

It’s been just a hair over a year since we sat down, confronted our debt and made a plan to begin eliminating it.  We’ve made some pretty big changes in our lifestyle and spending over the past year and, as we hit the one year milestone in our journey, we figured it was a perfect time to share some pretty interesting reflections so far.

Income VS. Expenses

August 2016 was the last month that we spent without regard or focus on actively becoming debt-free.  And our checking account definitely showed it!  The most noticeable changes were in the extra payments we put toward becoming debt free, a huge reduction in our recreation spending and a large increase in the money we put into savings.  Here’s a comparison of then and now.  Pretty incredible!

AUGUST 2016 AUGUST 2017
– INCOME – – INCOME –
Paychecks $6383.82 Paychecks $6896.00
Ebates $57.49 Ebates $43.00
Co-Op Stand N / A Co-Op Stand $164.12
UpWork N / A UpWork $16.00
Interest $0.13 Interest $0.12
TOTAL INCOME $6441.44 TOTAL INCOME $7119.24
– EXPENSES – – EXPENSES –
Automotive $280.55 Automotive $0
Bills $5072.84 Bills $3100.30
Extra Payments Toward Becoming Debt-Free $0 Extra Payments Toward Becoming Debt-Free $1640.00
Charitable Giving $0 Charitable Giving $29.00
Clothing $117.36 Clothing $98.39
Dining $555.75 Dining $271.15
Dog Expenses $85.00 Dog Expenses $65.00
Fuel $128.72 Fuel $188.81
Groceries $816.16 Groceries $772.20
Home Improvement $46.65 Home Improvement $37.75
Lodging $204.06 Lodging $0
Medical $35.00 Medical $160.92
Recreation $1065.01 Recreation $252.08
Savings $29.55 Savings $363.80
TOTAL EXPENSES $8176.10 TOTAL EXPENSES $6984.15
END OF MONTH -$1734.66 END OF MONTH $135.09

Progress With Paying Off Debt

When we began our debt-free journey at the beginning of September 2016, we were sitting with a total debt amount of $73,676.99 (not including our mortgage).  As ghastly as that number was when we finally sat down and put it all together, the progress we’ve made over the past year by focusing our attention on paying it down has been awesome!  We’re currently sitting with an outstanding debt balance of $33,852.23, which means we’ve paid a total of $39,824.76 in a year!  If my questionable math is right, that means we’re 54% of the way to paying off the mountain of debt that we managed to accrue!  That may be a lot of exclamation points, HOLY SHIT, we’re getting there!  It’s pretty scary to think of what our debt might look like if we hadn’t taken the reigns last year…I am so, so, SO thankful that we did!

[rprogress value=54 text=”Debt-Free Progress – 54% COMPLETE!”]

 

Continuing to follow our current plan has us making the last payment on our debt in October 2018, just a little over a year from now.  And then, it’s on to the next step of our plan!  We’re already scheming about ways to get done even sooner, but, for now, our progress is pretty satisfying.

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