Today’s Debt Progress Report can also be found on the Financially Savvy Saturday Link up happening over at BrokeGirlrich. Be sure to click on the button below to head on over and check out all the other savvy posts!
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 September 1, 2014, and the green columns represent my debt totals for individual loans as of September 30, 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 September. Because of that, it’s total decreased by nearly 9% this month, whereas in prior months it was moving down at a rate slower than 1% decrease per month.
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.
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 6% of my total payment went towards accrued interest. In contrast, 18% 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.
Tell your Income Where to Go
The pie chart below summarizes where I delegated my earned income during the month of September. Just over 45% of my earned income went towards debt—that includes my minimum monthly payments and extra cash flow. Just below 49% went towards my living expenses (food, rent, etc.), and 6% 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.
Roadblocks: There were no major roadblocks this month—which is nice because the months leading up to September were full of plenty crazy. A moment to breathe was very much appreciated, and it gave me an opportunity to jump start my holiday saving without feelings of stress or anxiety.
September Dollar Hollaaass: I have felt pretty good about how my income is funding my life and debt progress lately, and because of that, I haven’t gone out of my way to make additional income. I don’t see that changing anytime soon, but never say never
For more information on how to gain control of your finances check out our Getting Started page by clicking the link in the menu bar at the top of the page. How do you stay motivated and track your debt progress?