I put down $1,000 today towards my student loans and it got me thinking that I haven’t updated you fine folks on the numbers in a couple of months. Here is where I am at:
As I stated back in March, I was able to get a consolidation (praise!) and my new outstanding loan total that I financed was 43K. As of today, my total balance is around 36K. I have paid off approximately 7K since the beginning of April.
For those of you following me since my first “holy smokes I am in some deep water and am about to drown” realization back in 2010 (73k in the hole), then to my “okay, I am pissed about this debt and I am about to tackle it” phase in 2013 (79K in the hole):
I HAVE PUT DOWN 54 THOUSAND DOLLARS
IN A MATTER OF 28 MONTHS.
(About 43K being principal, the other 11K being ridiculous interest)
I say this not to brag. I say this to motivate you. I say this to say that If I can, you can. Get mad. Get motivated. Get started!
You don’t have to have a consolidation to win with this. You can tackle this on your own without a consolidation; yes, it may cost you a bit more if your interest is high like mine was, but if that is the case, keep trying to consolidate in the background, but move! move! move! at all times on extra payments. Paying down that smallest debt first needs to be your priority.
All that motivation aside, allow me to get real with you for a moment. There is great joy found in paying down a debt you owe, but there are also the ever present Smith’s, and their besties, the Jones’ – aka, the modern day wants:
My current pain point: I want a new car like bad.
I still have a positive outlook overall on my debt management, especially in comparison to where I was a couple of years ago; however, here lately, it has been really hard to keep driving my Honda. And when I say 'I want a new car like bad', I do indeed mean somewhat used. I have had the same Honda since I was 16, so after driving it for 12 years, I am REAL ready for something different. It has relatively low miles (150K) so I know this thing will last me another year or two, but I just want to trade her in like pronto.
On the contrary, I read a chapter out of 'Total Money Makeover' the other night and there was a line in there that struck a chord. It said something to the effect of how Dave passionately believes that he and his wife were able to win with money due to their willingness to drive old beater cars in the beginning of their makeover. I know this is true because I am projecting to be completely debt free in about 18 or 19 months; again, completely debt free!! However, if I cave and get a new car now, I will most definitely be looking at 30+ months before I would be debt free. That’s 10 or more months of having to stay in the same job that I am not super fond of, that’s 10 more months of ‘edge living’ by delaying the start of a fully funded emergency fund, and the list goes on.
Help reassure this wordy birdy that I can indeed put on my mature pants and WAIT a while before I go purchasing something I know I cannot afford yet. I need not to finance another thing, even if the payments would be completely doable and relatively low. Amen? Amen!