Brittany’s October Debt Progress Report

This week you can also find Brittany’s October Debt Progress Report along with some other amazing financial posts at the Financially Savvy Saturday Link Up! Click the button below to get there.

brokeGIRLrich

The graph below summarizes my short term debt progress across all of my individual loans. The blue column represents my debt totals for individual loans as of October 1, 2014, and the green columns represent my debt totals for individual loans as of October 31, 2014. Looking at the debt progress in this format really emphasizes how paying more than the minimum has a HUGE impact on your debt decrease. My Great Lakes Student Loan 3 is my current focal loan, and I paid as much as I could above the minimum requirement in October. Because of that, it’s total decreased by just over 9% this month, whereas in prior months it was moving down at a rate slower than 1% decrease per month. You can also see that its total is decreasing at a rate much faster than the two loans that I am making minimum payments on. What was once my largest and most mentally defeating debt actually no longer holds the title of “largest debt”. Can I get an Amen?!?!

ind. progress

The bar graph below represents the long term and short term progress I have made on my overall debt. The grey bar represents my original total debt amount, the blue bar is my total debt one month ago, and the green bar shows how much debt I have today. Sometimes it’s hard to feel like you are making progress when you look at your BIG number on a month-to-month basis, but looking back to the beginning can remind you how far you have come.

total debt progress

Having ONE target loan will increase the rate at which you can pay off your debt and decrease the amount of money you will pay towards interest to help you become debt free sooner!

Because I was paying above the minimum monthly requirement on my focal loan, the percentage being paid towards interest was small—only 7% of my total payment went towards interest. In contrast, 21% of the total amount I put towards the loans I am making minimum payments on went towards interest!! You want to pay as much as possible toward the principal because that is what helps speed up the process of eliminating debt. The chart below gives you a visual representation of these numbers.

percent toward interest

It might seem like cash flowing money right now is rough, but if you make minimum monthly payments until all of your debt is gone, you will end up paying MUCH MORE than your original loan amounts in the long run.

Tell your Income Where to Go

The pie chart below summarizes where I delegated my earned income during the month of October. About 55% of my earned income went towards debt—that includes my minimum monthly payments and extra cash flow. Just below 32% went towards my living expenses (food, rent, etc.), and 13% of my earned income was put into long-term savings this month to prepare for holiday season travels and any surprise wedding expenses I haven’t considered in my budget. As much as including wiggle room in my budget pains me, I am continuing to do it. L Deep breaths…and I’ll be thanking myself in about three months.

pie chart

October Roadblocks: October was the first month since this summer that my credit card bill wasn’t (in my own opinion) HUGE at the end of the month, and no other surprise expenses snuck up on me. I’m still saving up for my wedding/holiday buffer—which even though it feels like it’s hindering my progress on paying off debt, is not a roadblock. Saving AHEAD of time is smart, not debilitating. I’ve got a life to live here, right?!?!

October Dollar Hollaaass: No additional income on my end throughout the month of October; however I have been doing a lot of research in freelance writing and am looking to take a (baby) step in that direction come November.

For more information on how to gain control of your finances check out our info on Getting Started by clicking the link in the menu bar at the top of the page. How do you stay motivated and track your debt progress?

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♥ Brittany

12 thoughts on “Brittany’s October Debt Progress Report

    1. Brittany Post author

      I know, right! I really do enjoy writing (and getting even a little money for it is nice too), but I also enjoy downtime…maybe a little too much 😉

      Reply
  1. Mel

    Congrats on the progress! You’re so right about it sometimes feeling like you’re getting nowhere with your payments, so I love that you put the big picture in focus with the graph that shows your starting point too. Good luck with November!
    Mel recently posted…Financially Savvy Saturdays #63My Profile

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  2. femmefrugality

    Love that you’re saving while paying off debt. We didn’t do that, and ended up with credit card debt the day after we paid out all off due to a car repair. Saving for goals, whether it’s an emergency fund or a WEDDING!!! not only prepares you to end that debt cycle, but also establishes those good habits now so the transition won’t be as tumultuous.
    femmefrugality recently posted…Free Tai Chi SessionsMy Profile

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    1. Brittany Post author

      Thank you for telling me that–it eases the pain of watching my progress slow down a bit–still a buzz kill for you guys, but your wisdom will pay good stuff forward 😉

      Reply
  3. Melissa @ Sunburnt Saver

    You absolutely have a life to live!! :) That’s my motto too – while saving and buying certain things could instead go to paying off debt, I do want to enjoy my time here because you never know how things can change in an instant. That’s not to say I spend money like crazy, just that I evaluate opportunities as they arise and base my spending on that :) Nice job!
    Melissa @ Sunburnt Saver recently posted…October Recap and November GoalsMy Profile

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