Well, that’s $10k down from the start of this blog, not $10k paid off in a month! (I wish!)
I’m down to $85,264.66 as of Feb 4th. (I need to remember to check my loan balances on the first of the month, so there’s some sort of consistency to my monthly numbers update. Since interest compounds daily, UGH, if I forget to check one day, it’s already increased by the next day!) That’s $1,516.32 down from last month and right on track with my goal of decreasing my debt by $1500 each month this year. I paid a total of $1,850.90 in three payments (two minimum payments and an extra $1350), which was $299.58 paid in interest and fairly standard at this point (about $300/month in interest. Bleah!).
Most exciting is that I’m 10.3% down from my original amount at the blog birth, and nearly $10k down from the original amount of $95k! Must keep on trucking on!
So how’d the January budgets go? Fairly good–pretty spot on with the groceries and dining, just $4 over, and funnily enough, $4 under in “home supplies”. Auto & transport was $44 over the standard $120 budget but I’ll get that overflow reimbursed by work (if not more). There was an extra $40 gym fee which was the annual fee to lock in your monthly rate…blog rant to follow about this whole gym fiasco. (It’s been a waste of money and I suspected it would be…but I was trying to be supportive of Mr. Bacon’s fitness goals.) I only took $60 of cash out of the allotted $80.
Then there were the “extras”…while I said the Christmas bonus went entirely to debt repayment or savings, I did throw in an “entertainment” fund, which yes, seems to happen whenever I get a nice bonus. 😉 First of all, the day after he proposed, I took Mr. Bacon out to a celebratory engagement dinner for $103 at a steak restaurant we like. It really felt like a treat since he usually pays for dinner and we try not to spend over $40 for a dinner date! I got myself new running shoes for $107 and 76ers basketball tickets for $80 (for him). I paid for my first triathlon race of the season at $85, and put $712 on the credit card for our New Orleans flights in April. (I know, I know…but I’m actually paying off the credit card balances each month, so don’t worry! And I get points!)
Overall, January went really well. AND last week I got confirmation that I did get a raise. HOORAY! It won’t be retroactive since I started covering for my AWOL coworker, so all my hard work in January didn’t get me more money. But my salary will jump up 10% and I’ll have a chance to get a much more ginormous bonus if profits increase over last year. This coupled with the company paying for my cell phone bill means I could be bringing in net $500 ($400 more in income and $100 less in expenses) more each month!
I hope to throw in at least $300 more towards debt each month once that raise kicks in ($1800 debt decrease per month, if not more) which would be awesome. I may actually be out of student loan debt a whole year early! And done before my 35th birthday, which would be TOTES MCGOATS AMAZEBALLS!
…BUT wait, hold off, no bigger payments quite yet. Looking ahead to our current month of February (and beyond), what is NOT amazeballs, is the impending tax I’m gonna owe Uncle Sam. 👿 The early calculators show that I’ll owe $2300, so I may have to pull half of my emergency fund ($1000) and possible make smaller debt repayments in February and March. Sigh. 😦
More change is also in the air for February. While we have enjoyed saving money by being a one-car household in a very walkable neighborhood, my latest promotion necessitates a second car. So Mr. Bacon may be making a big purchase next weekend after all the research we’ve been doing! The most exciting thing is that he has been going over his budgets now that he’s serious about getting a new car.
We are also outgrowing our studio apartment–with the imminent second car, it won’t make sense to pay over $300/month in parking expenses ($155 per car per month), and that would make it a ridiculous $1800 for a studio. So we are also shopping for a larger apartment or condo and may be moving to a less walkable (but less expensive!) neighborhood in the next couple months. We could probably get a 2-bedroom, 2-bath condo (with free parking) for the same amount as what we’re paying for this studio with 2 parking spots, so that’s the current plan.
More details and more blog posts soon about all of this! I also realized I blogged 5x in January, which surpassed my 2014 blogging goal of 4x/month. Yay! Hope everyone is doing well with your goals. Anyone got car shopping or apartment shopping tips?