Hello friends and fellow debt fighters! 🙂 I am checking in with my ninth financial update for 2016! September was a doozy! I had some very low moments. Towards the end of the month I fought very hard to ensure that I wouldn’t have to check in and report a debt increase to you guys! Keep reading to find out how I did!
I started 2016 on a quest to become Financially Fit – out of debt and with an emergency fund. 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 completely out of debt! Half of 2016 passed and I didn’t reach any of these goals. But my mindset remained positive!
And guess what? I reached a goal!! 🙂 I officially have my $1,000 baby emergency fund! 🙂 Whoop whoop! I’m so happy to finally check that off the list, and to see how it positively impacts my financial life moving forward!
Action Steps Update
Make more money: My earnings for September were $580. Not as high as I would like. I unfortunately lost a new client before we could even begin working together. I did do several projects in September that I was not immediately paid for, so hopefully my October earnings will be looking good! 🙂
Stick to a tight budget & use a price book: We buckled down towards the end of the month so our food spending was nowhere near as outrageous as it was in August! The key here (for us) is not so much the price book, but avoiding eating out at all costs!
Have regular family budget meetings: September was much better than August! Maybe 2 – 3 meetings? I sound like a broken record I’m sure, but the communication really helps! Share your goals and share your progress regularly! Scheduling the meetings in advance is also really helpful (and they don’t have to take very long). If you have young kids like I do, you will want to find quiet times to discuss money matters. Screaming children are not helpful when you’re trying to formulate a plan to attack debt or concentrate on crunching numbers!
Continue my financial education: I still haven’t finished these two great books: “It’s Not About the Money” and “Retire Inspired.” I was loving them both but they got called back to the library before I finished! And then I got distracted by books about potty training! 🙂 No podcasts lately, I’ve been obsessed with music on Spotify while I’m at the gym. I really need to work reading and podcasts back into my schedule for the rest of the year because I do find them so motivating!
The Numbers Update*
*as of 9/29/2016
I know what you are really here for – the numbers! 😉 Here we go …
Consumer Debt (4 credit cards) $11,409.14 <— this number drives me crazy! I hate consumer debt!
Medical Debt $346.14
Car Loan/Lease (one of each) $44,108.70
Total Debt $55,863.98
Progress? Yes! I reached my savings goal finally so that is obvious progress. Do I still have more debt than I would like to have? YES! Especially the consumer debt, I hate it so! The medical debt concerns me less because it couldn’t really be avoided. I haven’t made the financial progress I wanted to in 2016 but I’m not giving up on my goals!
We do have $561.98 LESS DEBT than we did one month ago in August 2016, and $17,151.03 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 September.
Can I be honest with you guys? These numbers bum me out! 🙁 They are not anywhere near where I wanted to be at this point in the year. Most of this month I felt like I was just fighting to keep afloat instead of seeing how much debt I could pay off.
To pay off all of our debt and be 100% debt free by the end of 2016 we need to pay off $18,621.33 per month. Not. Happening. To just eliminate the consumer debt (leaving our car loan and lease and medical debt) we need to pay off $3,803.04 of debt per month for the rest of the year. I won’t go as far as calling that impossible, but that is still a very big number! Of course all of this is only if we don’t ADD any new debt. That still seems to be a big struggle!
I made my savings a priority and finally reached my goal. It feels good, but not as good as I wanted it to! I threw extra money into the savings account at a moment when I was feeling stressed and scared. That took away from the fun of reaching a goal. I truly look forward to the day when my financial decisions are not motivated by fear!
Where Did the Extra Money Come From?
I moved money around from budget category to budget category to make things work in September. I also used a lot of cash I had set aside from consignment sales to pad our savings account and try to tame our credit card debt. We also received one residual check from my husband’s previous career, and he picked up a few small extra side jobs.
I finally cashed out my earnings from the Ibotta app and sent $141.25 to credit card debt! That’s $140+ 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 $320! 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!
September can suck it. (LOL) That’s putting it lightly! 🙂 I lost a client (losing potential income), and the unwanted expenses just kept coming! I’m calling them unwanted now, instead of unexpected expenses, because I think it makes more sense! The unwanted expenses were big in September, and all car related! A repair, a set of new tires purchased a few months earlier than planned, and delinquent car taxes (really really stupid)! All of that combined added approximately $1,300 to our credit card debt! 🙁
I did finally potty train my oldest son in September, so I look forward to seeing what it’s like to not pay for as many diapers! 🙂
Oh boy – October is going to be CRAZY. Grandma (my mom) is moving in! To prepare, we have some window blinds to install, need a shower added to our basement bathroom, and a few other minor things to make her feel comfortable. I want to keep these expenses off of our credit cards if at all possible, so I am stressing about keeping the budget super tight and finding new earning opportunities. Send good vibes my way please!
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 September for you? Did you get to cross a goal off your list?