I started 2016 on a quest to become Financially Fit – out of debt and with an emergency fund. I could not have predicted the events of the year, financial or otherwise. Here I am though, checking in for the eighth time with an update on my debt pay off and savings progress for the month of August. While my journey to get out of debt is not perfect, I hope by being open about it I will inspire others to improve their finances.
I had three financial goals when I started this journey at the beginning of 2016. Save up a $1,000 baby emergency fund, save $100 to attend Financial Peace University, and get out of debt! Half of 2016 passed and I didn’t reach any of these goals. But my mindset remains positive!
Action Steps Update
Make more money: My earnings for August were around $705. I believe that makes August my second highest earning month of the year so far. There’s something about back to school season and the upcoming fall weather that is reinvigorating my motivation! I feel determined to push hard and take things to the next level for these last 4 months of the year!
Stick to a tight budget & use a price book: August was outrageous. That’s a strong word, but geez! Especially in terms of our food spending, we were out of control. Back to buckling down in September!
Have regular family budget meetings: I really dropped the ball on this one in August! And you can tell when you look at our spending for the month – especially on food! The regular check in’s are so crucial when it comes to staying on the same page and reaching goals. That is one of the biggest lessons I have learned on this journey – communicate, communicate, communicate! And in the case of my family, I have to be the one to initiate the communication!
Continue my financial education: I’m really close to finishing two books I started last month: “It’s Not About the Money” and “Retire Inspired.” I have really enjoyed them both and look forward to reviewing them here on the blog! 🙂 No podcasts lately.
The Numbers Update*
*as of 8/29/2016
I know what you are really here for – the numbers! Here we go …
Consumer Debt (4 credit cards) $11,337.12
Medical Debt $432.14
Car Loan/Lease (one of each) $44,656.70
Total Debt $56,425.96
Progress? Yes! Now that I am so far into this debt payoff journey I have learned to be happy with progress, no matter how small! Any progress is good progress and you have to keep pushing no matter the setbacks. “Just keep swimming” as Dory would say! 😉 Do I still have more debt than I would like to have? Of course! But it’s going down and I’m not giving up on my goals.
We do have $693.09 LESS DEBT than we did one month ago in July 2016, and $16,589.05 LESS DEBT than when this journey began in December 2015! My original monthly goal for debt pay off was $6,084.58. I obviously did not hit that number in August, but again, that’s okay.
To pay off all of our debt and be 100% debt free by the end of 2016 we need to pay off $14,106.49 per month. Yikes, that’s a big number. To just eliminate the consumer debt (leaving our car loan and lease and medical debt) we need to pay off $2,834.28 of debt per month for the rest of the year. Still a pretty intimidating number, but not impossible.
My savings is thriving and it is because I have finally made it a true priority. I am confident my goal of a $1,000 baby emergency fund will be reached by the end of the year, if not sooner. That is a GREAT feeling! Is it weird to look forward to the first emergency? I want to experience the feeling of having less stress during an emergency because I have this safety net in the bank!
Where Did the Extra Money Come From?
So much of my extra debt payments and extra savings this month just came from our budget! I have learned that money will always come (maybe not as fast or as much as I’d like, but still!), and you need to put it to work! I threw extra dollars towards my goals this month that otherwise would have eventually be spent elsewhere.
You know I can’t have an update without mentioned the I word right? I haven’t cashed it out yet but I do have a $100+ balance on my Ibotta app! $100+ of FREE money, from a FREE app. If you haven’t signed up yet, this is my referral link, click it now! When you verify your first rebate (within 2 weeks of signing up) you will get $10 and I will get $5! That’s a win win and just part of why I think you are CRAZY if you’re not using this app! My year to date earnings from Ibotta have exceeded $200! Don’t you want your part of that? Especially if you’re a mom – since a lot of my rebates are on diapers and wipes!
August was a crazy, and long month, with a lot going on in my personal life. I did myself (and the blog) a bit of a disservice but not keeping good notes on the financial aspects for this month. My stepkids summer visit overlapped into August and there are additional expenses there. The only unexpected expense that comes to mind though is a cell phone repair (broken GPS on an iPhone) which was around $75.
Our total spending on food was really disappointing – way too high! I really want to do better in September. It’s far too tempting to be lazy on the hard days of life and spend money on convenience.
I usually list my worries in this section, but I feel pretty good about September’s budget so far. I always wish there was more money, but our bases are covered, debt will go down and savings will go up. I do have a good list going of items I’d like to save up cash for – eye exams and new prescription glasses, some home improvements (blinds and installing a shower in our basement), etc.
If you read this far – thank you! Your time and your interest in my story mean the world to me! <3
Want to help?
If you’d like to help my debt payoff journey in a small way, consider signing up for Ibotta through my referral link! Or use my Amazon link the next time you need to shop there, I’ll earn a small commission at no extra cost to you!
I also recommend you sign up for Swagbucks and Ebates while you’re at it! Swagbucks is a great way to earn giftcards, and Ebates let’s you earn money back shopping online. You can also check out my Hire Me page if you could benefit from my virtual assistant services – especially if you’re a fellow blogger!
(Stay at home yogi is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com)
If you found this post helpful or encouraging in any way – please share! Pin! Tweet! Stumble! Like! 🙂 I’d love to have it posted on your social media of choice or sent directly to a loved one who is struggling to get out of debt!
How was August for you? Did you reach any goals?