Better to be overdue in blog posting than overdue in my debt payments, kids! 😀
By now, it’s so far along into September that I’ve kind of forgotten how August went. Fairly uneventful. I stayed mostly within the normal budget, and was able to put an extra $1,500 into the student loans. Nice! There were a couple “splurges” in August, namely I finally got an eye exam for the first time in 3 or 4 years and bought new contacts, and we also got a camping tent for our annual Labor Day weekend with Mr. Bacon’s race car friends. Overall, everything was very reasonable, which was reflected by being able to toss in the $1,500–what I’m now striving to pay extra each month.
So the new balance as of September 1st was $76,985.70. That’s a decrease of $1,821.63 from the previous month (payments of $2,057.14 with $235.51 in interest). Not too shabby!
But in between September 1st and the 1-year bloggoversary (September 5th), we got our mid-year bonuses! Nice! So I threw in another $1,500. That put the bloggoversary balance at $75,518.30, a decrease of $1,467.40 with $32.60 in interest in those 4 days.
That brought the total paid off in the year since the blog launched to $19,508.57 and 20.53%! Just shy of of $20k, and over one-fifth of the debt paid off. Wow. Despite feeling like I’m still a debt-paying slacker half the time, I can honestly look at these numbers and be impressed with myself. $19.5k is no joke!
Now, I could’ve thrown a ton more towards the loans with the bonus money, but instead put it in places it’s been needed: we officially opened up a joint weddings savings account and I put a big chunk toward my emergency fund (reserved for much-needed car maintenance). Also paid for the plane tickets back to California as my brother just had his first baby! My first nephew! Sometimes just throwing a ton of cash at the student loans makes it seem like it’s going into a black hole…so this way I feel like I’ve distributed it evenly into various debts and savings/emergency funds.
Overall, I feel like I’m in a pretty good place. I haven’t been as stressed out about finances lately as I’ve learned to control what I can, and that most of the pressure comes from within. Changing up the game plan last month really helped, along with communicating better with Mr. Bacon about our joint budgets.
It still seems like so much to go, but then again, looking at $75k is mind-blowing when I remember how many years (over the last 5!) I had “about $95k of student loans” that never seemed to budge. The newer game plan has me on target to be under $70k by New Year’s Day 2015, and under $50k by the 2-year bloggoversary, which will be the month of our wedding. YAY!
Let’s keep the momentum going strong!