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12 Month - Debt Payoff Update

December 20th, 2017 at 07:49 pm

Hi, it's been a while again but I decided to post my 12 month review to reflect on the debt progress. Last December DW and I made a decision to live financially healthier lives so that we can achieve goals that seemed really far fetched.

Welp folks, it's been one year already! Can you believe it? Time sure does fly. Smile I'm happy to report in the previous 12 months we have paid of $18,478 in credit card debt. We started at $40,714 and now reside at $22,236. Honestly, the best decision we could have made for ourselves and our family. By January 1, the debt should go down by another $1500 or so since there is one paycheck left in the year.

We are still using YNAB and totally swear by it but I have to admit I do not check YNAB everyday. We reconcile the accounts often enough for us not to get too far behind. Our habits have allowed us not to rely so much on YNAB to keep us on track, being financially healthy is a mental game that can sometimes break you. You just have to keep it going.

On a personal note, February 1st I will be done with my first year of my MBA and my anticipated graduation date is January 2019. DS car took a dump so I sold him my 14 year old Toyota Corolla and we decided to lease a 2017 Honda Civic since I drive 7 miles each way to work. I know the monthly debt payment isn't ideal but boy it's nice to have a reliable car and a year ago we would not have been able to afford it due to the debt and credit scores because of the debt. DW still has her 13 year old car and in about 2 years we will get her a paid in full used car. I took a month off work in October and it felt so nice to have the cash in the bank for all our vacation plans. We used zero credit cards, honestly the best feeling ever. So it's been a solid few months of continued progress both financially and personally.

For 2018 our goals are to finish paying off CC#9, which is slated for end of February. Rather than pay off CC#7 and because it's on a 5 year (3 years left) 0% installment plan we are going to keep the monthly payments of $350 going and then try to tackle the student loan debt and work on starting an emergency fund for ourselves. Rents in our area are increasing rapidly (remember I live in SoCal), we have thought about looking into a home purchase program called NACA. We may take it more seriously around the middle of 2018 depending on how we do with the debt and savings overall.

A huge thanks to the community on this site for the support! I wish you all blessings and prosperity as we come into the new year!

August Debt Payoff Update

August 19th, 2017 at 12:00 am

July was such a busy month for our household, I did not get a chance to post.

Debt Update:
We finished paying off CC#4 entirely, Woohoo! We will begin focusing our efforts on CC#9 before the promotional balance transfer rate expires. My annual review is late so any retroactive pay from my increase will go toward CC#9 as additional payment.

Personal Update:
I have completed 12 credits out of my 35 credit MBA program. Work has not slowed down and I have been accelerating the pace of my MBA program. I'm not going to lie, I am very tired and fatigued. I am taking almost an entire month off work soon, so I will rest during that time. We have some travel lined up soon. Denver for 24 hours in September then a Baja cruise in October. All is cash funded and none have been put on cards, I'm really proud of our efforts.

I have been keeping my eyes peeled on the labor market and it seems pretty good for my industry at least in California. The additional responsibilities and experience I've received over this year coupled with my MBA, should yield me an increase of at least 30% when I transition to a new company. I am beginning my strategic exit plan for this and so far it looks promising. We will see.

That's all I've got so far. I hope my posts thus far have been somewhat inspiring or motivating to those lurkers out there afraid to take the plunge and commit. I promise it's hard but totally worth it!

6 Month Check-in: Debt Payoff Update

June 16th, 2017 at 10:39 pm

We are still chipping away at the debt. I look back over the previous 6 months and I'm glad that we started and we stayed committed.

We are paid biweekly which means June is a 3 paycheck month. There is still one paycheck left in the month but so far CC#4 has gone from $3599 down to $640, with the interest charge added in there. We've paid down this card by $3000 since last month's update. We are on track to have this card completely paid off by end of the month and I cannot wait to make that last payment. CC#7 paid down by $350, the min payment.

After this we will only have two cards left, which both have 0% interest rate, but we will focus on CC#9 because we want to take advantage of the introductory period for the balance transfers that we made. At our pace, I am hoping to have CC#9 paid off somewhere between September and October.

Lastly, I've mentioned before that DS has been saving his income from part-time employment. He purchased his first vehicle, a used one. All Cash, $3600! We had cash flowed his graduation present which was some of the cost of the used vehicle but most was his savings. He graduated from high school yesterday and we are so proud of him. His AP exam scores will arrive early July, we are hoping he passed one or some of them to get college credit. This will help him with reducing college expenses.

All in all, we are half way through the month and lots of changes and progress!

May Debt Payoff Update

May 22nd, 2017 at 12:15 am

Almost at the close of a very successful month with a lot going on but seeing the debt balances go down is proving to be addicting and so influential in our daily decisions.

CC#4 went from $4610 down to $3599 this month. June will be a month with 3 paychecks and if all goes well, I'll have CC#4 paid off by June 30th. Through some forecasting, it seems I should have CC #9 paid off in November.

Funny story...stress from work and grad school led to my decision to start working out. I went to the gym to get a membership ($45/mo) and the only staff there, was on lunch. I waited 10 minutes then decided to come back another day. I get home and look for a mobile app to get started until I go back to the gym to sign up. Well, Nike+ Training Club is a free mobile app that gives you a workout plan catered to whatever equipment you may or may not have accessible to you. I spent this past week using it and absolutely love it! I've decided not to get a gym membership after all.

Lastly, DS graduates from high school in 3 weeks so there has been spending on his Senior year activities (which are costly btw) all cash funded. In addition, he starts his driver's training program this week (he paid for half of it from his car fund), we expect him to get his license sometime in June. I'm really proud of him. He will graduate with credit for 3 college courses (maybe more depending how he did on his recent AP exams) and was accepted into the local state university and will start in the Fall. He has a bright future ahead.

Still going nYNAB strong, it's truly changed our financial picture for the better.

That's it until next month.

4 Month Check-in: Debt Payoff Update

April 21st, 2017 at 10:31 pm

Where does the time go? A month has flew by yet again but the good news is we are still chipping away at the mountain of debt.

We decided to take advantage of a great 0% balance transfer offer from one of our cards that had a $0 balance on it. CC#2 & CC#6 are now transferred to CC#9. The promotional rate is good until February 2018 which I plan to have this card paid off by then.

We've managed to pay off CC#5 in April and I had some business expense reimbursements from earlier in the month that I paid off on CC#3.

We started this journey exactly 4 months ago to the date (12/21/16), with 40,714.15 in debt and now we are at $31,006. That's almost 10K paid off in 4 months, whoa! To be fair our annual household income is in the six figures but we have cut down our expenses over the last 18 months and learned to live on less which has helped accelerate the debt pay down. It's not only about changing your habits, but also changing your mindset. Once you change your mindset about finances, the rest is a walk in the park.

DS has been working since December part-time and through what we've learned we have been teaching him about budgeting and managing his money. He has saved 90% of his paychecks and is 66% of the way towards his goal for a car. I could not be more proud.

Well hello there, it's been a while - Debt Payoff Update

March 10th, 2017 at 10:37 am

I haven't posted in almost 2 months. Life gets in the way and work has ramped up exponentially leaving me with little time. Some great news is that I've started a MBA program, making my schedule even more hectic.

Now the even better news is that we've still stayed the course with the aggressive debt payoff. The following credit cards were recently paid off (Last 2 weeks):

CC#5 - Beginning balance $2888, 25.2% now $0
CC#8 - Beginning balance $2373, 25.24% now $0

We will focus next on CC#2 and begin snowballing the minimum payments. We hope to have this CC paid off in September 2017, with CC#4 to follow with a pay off in February 2018.

Payday and Debt Pay Down Update

January 22nd, 2017 at 07:31 pm

Payday was last week but between some holiday travel to San Francisco with DW & DS, work and the Women's March... it's been quite busy.

The SF trip meant that less went towards debt this paycheck but we cash flowed the entire trip, Woot Woot! The trip cost was almost $700 for all three of us.

With that said, we paid:

CC#2 - Paid $129 (Min Payment)

CC#4 -Paid $95 (Min Payment)

CC#1 -Paid $63 (Min Payment)

CC#8 -Paid $400

Next payday we will resume with the aggressive payments. Smile

Anyone living in California, hope you have been staying warm and dry. The rain has been a nice change of climate for us.

Starting the year strong

January 6th, 2017 at 11:16 pm

Last month (December 2016) I started this blog in hopes of keeping ourselves accountable and committing to our goals of paying off our credit card debt and mastering the budget process.

We started with a balance of $40k and are now at $37k, seeing this has motivated DW and myself. We've been using Mint.com to help us understand where our money was going and this helped us cut expenses, which was great but it did lack some features that I am learning are necessary for budgeting. Now that we've cut as much as possible it's time to take it a step further.

One of our 2017 goals is to master the budgeting process and after hours of watching videos and doing research we decided we liked what YNAB (You Need A Budget) has to offer. We are 1 week into using YNAB and we are absolutely loving it! This forces us to manually enter in our transactions and balance our accounts and budget. We know more about our expenses and can be more mindful before we spend. We also love all the reading material available on the YNAB for free. This is my two cents anyway.

So, I'll report back on our new budget mastery skills with an update on more debt payments when we get paid again.

Oh and one last thing, DS got a job! We have decided to let DS in on our budget and debt payment journey in hopes he learns from our mistakes. We recently set him up with a new bank account so a YNAB account is next. We plan to have family budget night every paycheck(All three of us will get paid on the same paycycle) and splurge on a pizza. Big Grin

I have to say, this site has definitely changed our lives for the better and the support on here has been more than I can ever ask for.

Payday and Debt Pay Down Update

December 30th, 2016 at 10:25 pm

Last paycheck for the year and even after rent + other bills we were able to make the following payments:

CC#3 - Paid full balance of $749 /New Balance $0 (My company reimbursements helped pay back the business related expenses)

CC#5 -Paid $500/Old Balance: $1888/New Balance: $1388

CC#7 -Paid $350/Old Balance: $19893.64/ New
Balance: $19543.64

That is a total of $1596 this paycheck where $850 of it was not part of my reimbursed business expenses. Just last month CC#5 had a balance of $2800, it's so motivating to see the balance continue to drop and know that we are one step closer to paying off this high interest credit card.

DW also got paid today but her check takes a few business days to clear. Once it does, TBD on the CC#8 payment amount but most likely will be $600-$700.

Slow and steady wins the race...

Newbie here

December 22nd, 2016 at 12:15 am

Hi, newbie here. I've made some financial mistakes that are and will cost DW and I greatly in the form of credit card debt but let's leave the past behind. Looking ahead, DW and I are committed to tackling this debt and said we will never be in this situation again. We've made great strides in reducing our overall monthly expenses to really only what we need recently, so I am happy with this. DW started working again part-time and it will accelerate the debt payments.

We are taking this one paycheck at a time and are trying to remember it's not a sprint but a marathon.

With that said, the following payments went through this week from our most recent paycheck:

CC #5 - $1000
CC #6 - $68 Min Payment
CC #1 - $64 Min Payment
CC #8 - $400 payment
Total - $1532