Tag Archives: debt payoff

Weekend Survival Guide for the Girl on a Budget

Issue 66

WSG IconEvery Monday we provide you with our past weekend’s agenda to show you how you can continue to do what you love on the weekend while using your common cents!


Salsa chicken in the crockpot! Ready for me when I got home Friday night :-)

Salsa chicken in the crockpot! Ready for me when I got home Friday night :-)

I had another exceptionally exciting Friday night ending with an 8:30 bedtime. I enjoyed one drink at my typical Friday afternoon Happy Hour with co-workers, made salsa chicken in the crockpot, and watched the first half of Gone Girl.

Friday Spending Stats:

  • Happy Hour                                                                             $12.00
  • Dinner (sugar-free crockpot meal)                                         $0.00
  • Nightlife/Entertainment                                                          $0.00

Total Friday Spending: $12.00

Estimated Total Friday Savings: $30.00 (eating out)


Plantains with coconut oil baked in the oven and served over plain Greek yogurt with cinnamon and some honey. YUM!

Plantains with coconut oil baked in the oven and served over plain Greek yogurt with cinnamon and some honey. YUM!

The weekend started with yoga and walk on the beach….ahhhh relaxing! The rest of the day was all about the to-do list. Between wedding, Beachbody, and life my to-do lists have gotten pretty long. Guest book – check, bridesmaid’s gifts – check, transportation – check, wedding invites – check. Phew! That feels good! Who knew that vacuuming for a few can transform your whole house?! I ran the vacuum around and picked up a few pieces of mail here and there and voila! Clean house! Grocery shopping, dinner on the grill, and finishing the movie comprised the rest of my day.

Saturday Spending Stats:

  • Yoga and walk on the beach                                           $2.00 (donation)
  • Coffee                                                                               $2.00
  • To-do list marathon                                                         $0.00
  • Weekend chores                                                              $0.00
  • Nightlife/Entertainment                                                  $0.00

Total Saturday Spending: $4.00

Estimated Total Saturday Saving: $40.00 (eating and drinking out)


Finally a few hours by the pool :-)

Finally a few hours by the pool :-)

I didn’t get as much done as I wanted yesterday so I spend the morning working on Beachbody invites and participation, some more wedding stuff, and cleaning. I was able to head to the pool for a couple hours of sun which was much needed and super relaxing! A small meal prep (leaving for Brittany’s wedding on Thursdsay!), dinner, and TV watching ended my productive weekend J

Sunday Spending Stats:

  • Meals                                                             $0.00
  • Sunday Stuff                                                  $0.00
  • Poolside relaxation                                        $0.00

Total Sunday Spending: $0.00

Estimated Total Sunday Savings: $30.00 (meals out)

Total Estimated Weekend Spending: $16.00

Total Estimated Weekend Savings: $100.00

I’m always trying different fitness and nutrition challenges and this weekend was all about going sugar-free (including BBQ sauce, certain fruits, sweeteners, etc.). I actually made it through the entire weekend without eating sugar! YAY! Keeping myself busy was definitely a big part in my success. I had to prioritize my weekends this month and work on getting extra things done because I’ll be out of town next weekend celebrating Brittany’s wedding!!!!! How do you prioritize your weekends?!

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Sam’s December and January Debt Progress Reports

Debt Icon

Monthly Progress on Individual Debts

The graph below summarizes my short term debt progress during the month of December and January.

  • The blue columns represent my debt totals for individual loans as of December 1, 2014.
  • The pink columns represent my debt totals for individual loans as of January 30, 2015 (two months of debt payoff).

Looking at the debt progress in this format really emphasizes how paying more than the minimum has a HUGE impact on your debt decrease. You can also see that the debts I made minimum payments on only decreased by a relatively small amount.

2015 Jan Progress Report Ind DebtsI made my minimum payment plus additional payment of $350 toward my principal balance in December and $350 in January (see how I did it at the bottom of the report!). This is a new habit and works best when I make my minimum payment as soon as I receive the statement. Most of my minimum payment went toward my principal balance because I had just paid my previous statement 4 days before (I used to wait until the due date to make a payment).

Total Debt Progress

2015 Jan Progress Report Total DebtPaying more than the minimum has made a significant impact toward decreasing my debt.

 Amount Applied towards interest

2015 Jan Progress Report InterestBecause I made two payments just a few days apart, there was not a lot of accrued interest. Typically, almost my entire minimum payment is applied toward interest.

2015 Jan Progress Report Total IncomeRoadblocks: Saving for wedding expenses and building my emergency fund to prepare for a one income household once I get married has stopped me from putting significant amounts of my paychecks toward debt.

December Dollar Hollaaas: My new side job/hobby has created extra income that is strictly dedicated as debt payoff money. $350 in December and $350 in January were applied toward my principal balance. Thank you Beachbody!

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? Do you have any tips that help you stay motivated when you aren’t able to put as much as you’d like towards debt because you have other looming expenses?

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*Part of Financially Savvy Saturdays on brokeGIRLrich and Simple Cheap Mom*

7 Days to a Debt Payoff Plan

Starting your debt snowball or a plan to pay off debt, can be overwhelming, scary, and frustrating. Procrastination is a major roadblock for many people who are faced with the task of paying off debt because it can make a person feel like he is staring up to the summit of Mt. Everest and being asked to climb it!  If sitting down and trying to tackle the job of getting organized to pay off your debt makes you want to put on your tennis shoes and run in the opposite direction, you are not alone. I’ve been there too. That’s why I’ve come up with 7 days of “jobs” that will have your debt payoff plan feeling less like climbing Mt. Everest and more like stepping over an anthill :)

debt snowball defined7 Easy Steps to a Successful Debt Payoff Plan

Day 1: Gather it up. Find all of your student loan/debt paperwork (including the car, mortgage, etc.) and put it in one spot/folder/pile.

Day 2:  Protect it. Find all passwords, and create a word document labeled (something like “debt payoff”, “debt snowball”, “hello financial freedom”) for all of your usernames and passwords. Create accounts if you don’t have one.

Day 3: Get technical. Log on to all of your debt accounts. Make sure that you save them on your web browser as a “favorite” so you can easily click and go.

Day 4: Create your DEBT SNOWBALL. Either write down or start a word/excel document listing your debt totals in order from smallest to biggest. Include interest rates.

Day 5: Schedule it. Write on a paper calendar and in your phone all of your payment due dates. Set an alarm to alert you of a payment 2 days or 1 week before each payment is due to ensure on time payments and avoid fees.

Day 6: Plan ahead. Use your budget to decide when (month and year) you will make your first EXTRA payment.

Day 7: Easy access. Make a filing bin, cabinet, or folder for your debt paperwork ONLY! Put it in a spot that is easy to access. Most people are more willing to do something more often if it’s convenient (i.e. fast food, pre-packaged foods, etc.). Make it easy on yourself and make your debt snowball information easy to access and organized!

debt snowball picThere it is. In just 7 days you will go from, “I just pay the minimum and forget about it because it’s too overwhelming to look at” to “My first extra payment happens on 12/1”! Congratulations on taking years off of your total debt payoff time!

debt snowball congratulationsHow did you begin your debt snowball journey?

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Sam’s May Debt Progress Report

For the next couple months I will be writing my progress reports a little differently. I am paying minimums or a little more than minimums while I save up for my move in July. Therefore, I will be reporting on my student loan progress as well as my moving “savings” progress.

The Debt

The table below summarizes my long term and short term debt progress. In the “Current Debt” column, my totals as of May 1, 2014 have been crossed out and replaced with my debt totals as of May 31, 2014.

May 2014 Progress Report Chart

During the month of May I paid a total of:

  • $149.53 toward principle.
  • $273.57 toward interest.

I currently owe:

  • $17,826.31 less than my original loan amounts
  • $97.49 MORE than I owed on May 1st

I can’t give a full explanation of WHY my current balance is higher than last month’s balance (partly because I don’t yet understand all of the details), but what I do know is that most loan companies make it VERY difficult for people to pay extra on their loans, thus keeping them in debt. That is likely why my additional payments seem to have been applied towards interest, and conveniently, there was not and still isn’t an online option to pay extra towards principle.

Applying extra payments towards interest enables the loan companies to make more money off your debt because you will have it for a longer period of time which also means you will accrue and pay them more interest. Therefore, they attempt to convince people that paying extra towards interest is as good as paying towards principle, and will also help you to pay less in the long run. They might even go so far to tell you that’ is the only option. If you don’t pay toward the principle, you’re actually paying interest that you may never actually accrue. Clear as mud, right? I wonder why these loan companies make this so difficulty to explain and understand….

The Savings

The table below summarizes my moving fund progress. I provide information about my monthly savings goals as well as my actual amounts saved up to this point.

May 2014 Savings Progress Chart

Roadblocks: I had a wedding in early May that I used extra spending money for and bought a flight to Florida to look for houses. Those extra expenses prevented me from meeting my savings goal in May.

May Dollar Hollaaaaas: Because we found the most amazing place in Florida, I ended up having to spend a significant amount less on a security deposit and fees from my moving fund in May, leaving me feeling more at ease with my lack to save up enough in May.

For more information on starting a personal budget, check out our Getting Started tab at the top of the page.

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