February Goal Recap! ($87,482)

Here’s how I did 2 months into the year.  Just about $1,600 went to principal this month, which brings the total for 2015 to:

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That’s about 14.5% of the way there, with about 16% of the year past us.  I’m okay with that–I should  be able to put an extra $1,000 or so toward debt, not counting the rent money from our tenant that is scheduled to go towards loans alternating months.

For for the total debt payoff goal.  I painted the cardboard backing, so it would be easier to actually see the puzzle.  I didn’t actually have a paintbrush, so I used a paper towel, so please excuse the uneven paint job (but hey! more incentive to cover it up ASAP).  And you can actually see the puzzle against the background.

My total debts are $93,802.  It’s crazy to think about how recently I was celebrating being under $100,000. I’m not making the progress I used to make when I had two jobs, and no housing expenses, but refinancing my big loan to a lower interest rate has definitely made a difference.  Even though I was really close to the $93,800 mark, the puzzle only reflects $94,000 – 30 pieces.  My two undergraduate loans reflect interest when they show up in Mint, but I don’t think the others do, so it might actually be that my debts are a bit higher, but if I keep using Mint eventually the interest amounts will be so low that they don’t matter in the calculation too much (in a few years…)

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So that’s it for my recap!  Hopefully I’ll have plenty more progress to report in March when I finally receive my tax return, and maybe I’ll eventually even get better at budgeting!

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January Goal Recap! ($90,455)

So here’s how far I am into my 2015 goal to pay $20,000 in principal to my student loans this year:

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This is only 6.5% of my goal after 8.3% of the year has gone by, but I’m really hoping a lot of progress gets made in the last third of the year, so I’m not going to stress about this too much, in spite of the fact that I paid extra from the house account this month.  Aside from that extra $700, I also only made a $150 payment on my UG loans, instead of the usual $225 monthly payments.  So it’s essentially a smaller amount than most months when I’m putting the extra $700 in.

As to my overall goal to pay off all of my student loans (hopefully by the time I’m 35–I’m currently 31 and a half).  This is the puzzle visual. I checked out what my total debt as of today, per Mint, and my grand total of student loan debt is $95,406.36.  Subtracting this from $100,000, I get $4593.64, and dividing by 200…22 pieces into the puzzle!  And really really close to 23!  Next month will likely add another 4 through normal payments, since I’m so close to another piece now.   I may also put a little bit of my bonus money towards UG4, so that it will be paid off by late March or early April.

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I’m going to have to work this out so that neither I, nor HGTV, are visible.  But for now, here’s the limited 22 pieces of progress.  I might have to paint the cardboard backing white so that the pieces are more visible, but I’ll start filling in that corner instead of the edges.  You know, so you’ll be able to see actual progress.  And also, because I totally have pieces in the corner assembled in the box…

Debt Progress – September/October 2014 ($95,596)+

I’m thinking I’ve been neglecting my Debt Progress posts in the last few months.  Then I realized I’ve only ever posted ONE of these bad boys. Well, tonight is the night we fix that!

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You see that magical $100,000 line!  That’s right, I’m below it!Screen Shot 2014-10-08 at 9.31.30 PM

Now I only recently celebrated being under $100,000 in a blog post. That’s because the federal loan number that feeds into Mint doesn’t show interest, which could get to about $400 or something equally ridiculous each month, so I was really see-sawing above and below the $100K mark.  But now I’d say we’re under for good.  Debt also includes whatever credit card balance I had at the time, which I pay off every two weeks or so. THAT SHOULDN’T COUNT MINT!*

I’ve realized I can do a bar graph of my individual loan balances against the same time last year. Once I figure out an efficient way to hide account number information I’ll probably add those in to these posts. I can see a couple thousand dollars of progress in some individual loans, as well as seeing $0 where there used to be balances.

As promised in previous posts this and last month, my Federal loans are getting refinanced today (and it does look like my $200 payment went through before my refinance loan was disbursed), so hopefully in the next few months I’ll be able to see further reductions (from paying basically the same amount).

Lastly, we’ve been putting all of our collected rent money into a separate account which I have not fed into Mint. This is intended to be a bit of a house buffer fund.  We’re going to use a chunk of what we have so far for a project we knew we’d need to do when we bought the house, which I expect will happen this month.  Then we’ll probably put in the rent checks from this month (due on the 15th), November and December into the account.  After that, we will probably put this money toward my student loans–at least until we have to use some of the money for house things and need to replenish it again.

* Sorry about that mini-tantrum.
+ I had a small freak out about my net worth being -95. I think this is because a $750 credit card payment is reflecting as out of my bank account, but hasn’t reflected as paid on the credit card yet. It should really be in the high 94s, which is more tolerable, though still not great.

Debt Progress – January

I tried to make a new page that I could update on a monthly basis with my debt progress but, while I could figure out how to make the page, I couldn’t figure out how to make it show up on my blog.  So I guess in addition to my monthly spending recap, I’ll post a monthly debt progress. Here’s what I have so far:

The Pretty Bar Graph:

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The Hard Numbers:

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My debt is down over $3,500 since September 1st–should be even better in February!