September Debt Progress Report

The table below summarizes my long term and short term debt progress. In the “Current Debt” column, my totals as of September 1, 2013 have been crossed out and replaced with my debt totals as of September 30, 2013.

During the month of September I paid a total of:

  • $2,051.44 towards all of my outstanding debts
  • $355.06 of that went towards interest

I currently owe:

  • $7,541.02 less than my original loan amounts
  • $1,711.15 less than I owed on September 1st

September chart 1

You’ll notice that my credit card “current debt” total was off from last month’s report.  I usually wait until the last day of the month (day before payday) to pay a bunch extra toward my debts.  This ensures that I have no chance of running out of money if something came up.  I projected that I would have $900 from my last paycheck of the month to pay toward my credit card (I paid $500 from my first pay period), but I made a mistake.

Mistake: I have been using my Southwest rewards credit card to buy flights and pay utilities. I also bought work clothes and donated money to different charity events using my credit card (ONLY because I was working on reaching $2,000 in the first 3 months to earn 2 FREE round trips-between buying flights and utilities, I was able to achieve that).  I didn’t factor in my extra September payments because they weren’t coming out of my checking account like usual. Therefore, when it came time to make my big payment, I didn’t have nearly as much left as I wanted to (because I paid off my credit card IN FULL, of course)!

Solution: I don’t typically have extra costs like I did in September.  I started a new job and had to buy new clothes for it (company embroidered polos & scrub pants), bought a $450 flight to Buffalo, and participated in and donated to 3 charity events that month. I am now including my extra costs in my budget excel spreadsheet so I can’t lose track. This sounds like a no-brainer but that’s why credit cards can get tricky.  You buy things with it and then ‘forget’ because it doesn’t come straight out of your checking account.

I PAID OFF MY CREDIT CARD!!!!!!! I worked my butt off (worked my PRN job, dog sat, extra diligent on taking out LESS than my weekly spending money) to pay $1,400 toward my credit card in September ($500 after my first pay period and $904 after my second).  Woohoo!  I have carried a balance on that credit card for FIVE YEARS…and now I am finished with it! The graphs below give you a visual comparison of these numbers.

September Chart 2

If I paid a minimum payment of $35/month on a credit card with an average 15% interest rate, I would be paying for the next 7.5 YEARS! No thank you!

September Chart 3

If I paid minimum payments of $35/month toward my credit card, I would end up paying over $3,000 in addition to everything I’ve already put toward it!!!

Next up:  Car loan. As you can see, I have less than $4,000 on my car loan.  Based on this past month’s payoff rate, I should be able to get rid of it in 3 months (by December 2013).  Because Christmas is coming up, I’m starting to put away some money for gifts and a flight home before I attack my car loan.  Of course, I have a budget on how much I want to spend at Christmas (and it’s not much), but I want to make sure I put that money away before I drop it all and don’t have enough when Christmas rolls around.

If I continue paying my minimum payments of $228.34/month, I wouldn't be able to pay off my car for another 18 months. My plan is to attack it and rid myself of this burden in 5 months allowing me to start paying off my final and largest loan...the student loan.

If I continue paying my minimum payments of $228.34/month, I wouldn’t be able to pay off my car for another 18 months. My plan is to attack it and rid myself of this burden in 5 months allowing me to start paying off my final and largest loan…the student loan.

September Chart 5

I really am only saving about $40 in interest from my car loan to pay it off early. The real payoff will come when I am able to start attacking my student loan debt 13 months earlier!

Dollar amounts and month totals displayed in these graphs were calculated using the Financial Calculator that can be found on our Resources Page.

Roadblocks: My only roadblock was miscalculating my ability to pay $1500 in August, so I had to work hard to make up for that mistake to achieve my goal of paying off my credit card this month.  Still celebrating :-)

August Dollar Hollers: I watched a dog (dogvacay, of course) and worked some extra hours at my PRN job.  I also took out $200 of spending money for the month instead of $300.

I really need to THANK YOU, the readers of this blog, for the extra motivation to pay off my credit card.

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