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Andy and I first started our Debt Snowball in September. Somehow, I forgot to share a snapshot of what our finances looked like as we embarked on this journey. I did this with my first round of Debt Snowballing (pre-marriage) and it was such an encouragement then that I decided to back-track and share a Round 2 recap as well!
When I did my first round of Debt Snowballing as a single lady, I calculated my total debt: $24,053.88. I paid off $3,582.62 in 2014 (the year I started my first “real” job) and in 2015, I paid off $14,697.53, all while making only 23k gross income per year from my day job (and moonlighting at a retail store to make extra money)! I was only $6,500 (one student loan) away from debt freedom when Andy and I got engaged and decided to put my debt snowballing on hold to pay for our wedding. After we said “I do”, Andy took on my debt as his own and we decided to conquer this together. Unfortunately, we had acquired about 10k worth of debt that we used to fund our wedding. We don’t regret this decision at all, because it was the right choice for us given the circumstances, but we definitely want to pay it off ASAP and not go into debt again!
Here’s a look at exactly how much debt we had when we started Debt Snowball Round 2 in September. At that time, we could only put $25 a month extra towards debt, but every little penny counts! 🙂
Bailey’s student loans: $5923.09
Personal loan (used for wedding): $4,036.20
Credit card (also used to charge wedding expenses): $4,992.86
Tithing “debt”: $1,130
*One year after Andy joined the Army, he felt called to give his entire annual tax return to his old church in Arizona. He mailed the pastor a check, but it got returned to him since the pastor had moved away. Andy didn’t know what to do with the money, so he kept it, but felt guilty about it. When we first talked about our (my) debts, Andy brought this up and we decided together that we would pay it back to the Lord. We will treat it like any other debt– except, instead of paying it to a credit card company or a bank, we would give it to a church, non-profit, or others in need.
Total debt: $16,082.15. Estimated debt payoff date: November 2019.
Since we’re now a solid 6 months into our debt snowball, I thought it would be fun to see how much progress we’ve made in such a short time. We were blessed that Discover refunded $1,400 in previously-paid interest to our card due to SCRA relief. This allowed us to make significant process in paying off our debt! As of mid-January, our debt is down to:
Bailey’s student loans: $5,699.52
Personal loan (used for wedding): $2,884.25
Credit card (used for wedding): $3,141.32
Tithing debt: $1,130
Total debt: $12,855.09. Estimated debt payoff date: September 2018.
And then… we were blessed again! At the beginning of January, I finally began working again at a seasonal part-time job as well as a second (year-round) part-time job. Since we are fortunate enough to live entirely off Andy’s income, we can use my income solely to pay off debt! Our new goal is to have our credit card paid off by our first anniversary this June and to be completely debt free by our second anniversary in June 2018.
It seems like bit of a stretch, especially given that we have some major expenses coming up soon, but we’re both really excited! We can’t wait to be debt free and stop giving our hard-earned money away for bad decisions! Once we have all of our debt paid off, it will be like a $5,000 a year raise!