Back to Rolling That Debt Snowball!

We stopped our aggressive debt payoff when I was laid off in October because we were trying to make ends meet. Some months, we did; and some months, we didn’t. One month, we even made an extra payment on a student loan. One month out of ten. :/ So, we fell off the wagon and I stopped paying attention to our debt repayment goals.

Truth be told, I was obsessed with debt payoff when I was working steadily. Our income was predictable and I would project what our expenses and debt payoff numbers would be six months ahead of time. After getting laid off, however, I stopped with the budget projections and just projected a month in advance. I abandoned my debt payoff spreadsheet (which predicts when all the loans will be paid off if we make certain extra payments). It was sad, really.

Now that Mr. Stapler’s new job puts us in the positive, I am back to my old tricks and it feels awesome. I wanted to do a 6-month projection so I could evaluate our cash flow during my maternity leave, and then it just felt natural to open up the old debt snowball spreadsheet and start dusting it off. What did I find? We have a really strong chance of paying off a loan by the end of the year. What a wonderful feeling!

How the Debt Snowball can be Addictive

Now, I know a lot can happen between now and December (and a lot will happen!), but when I’m tracking our debt payoff and our cash flow is less depressing, we do so much better on our debt snowball.

We Made A $2,200 Student Loan Payment!

How did we manage the big student loan payment? It was a combination of three factors:

  1. Snowballing our paid loan’s $89.08 monthly payment into the next loan.
  2. Adjusting Mr. Stapler’s withholdings to include my freelance income, which freed up $1,200 we had in our “Save for Taxes” savings account.
  3. Deciding not to hire a doula for Baby Stapler’s birth, allowing us to pull $900 more from our Maternity Leave savings.

Our student loans are now down from over $200,000 when we graduated, to a grand total of $181,257. Here is a snapshot:

Loan Type Sept 2013 Balance Current Balance Current Payment 1 Year Difference
My Consolidated $75,288.58 $73,831.19 $448.58 $1,457.39
Mr’s Consolidated $77,069.85 $73,534.32 $504.97 $3,535.53
My Private $10,310.18
My Bar Study $5,904.40
Mr’s Private $12,843.50 $12,089.19 $97.12 $754.31
Mr’s Private $12,664.95 $7,625.25 $96.20 $5,039.70
Mr’s Private PAID PAID $0.00
TOTAL $194,081.46 $181,257.77 $1,323.21 $8,865.87

Has anyone else turned a corner on their goals this year? 

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