1 Let's Throw Some Money at Our Problems: August 2013 Check-In | The Billfold

Let’s Throw Some Money at Our Problems: August 2013 Check-In

It’s time to check in on our debt payments and savings goals again. If you’re joining us for the first time, you can read about our decision to publicly keep track of our debt here.

I’ve restarted my vacation savings account, and should be up to date on mailing out notes to all you fine folks who have paid off your debt. Okay! Let’s get to it.

Logan’s paying off a Barclay Card, which currently has an APR of 22.24 percent, and a minimum monthly payment of $47.
July 2013 Balance: $651.62
August 2013 Balance: $565.60

I’m paying off one of my Sallie Mae Private Student Loans, with a current interest rate of 4.5 percent, and a minimum monthly payment of $55.
July 2013 Balance: $588.07
August 2013 Balance: $500.25

July 2013 Vacation Savings: $0.00
August 2013 Vacation Savings: $50.00

Remember, if you pay off one of your debts, email me your address and I’ll mail you a note to congratulate you.


See previous months here.


52 Comments / Post A Comment

Caitlin with a C (#3,578)

Backslide in some areas, doing okay in others:

Student loans
June (forgot July): $45.6k
August: $44k!

Credit cards
June: nada
August: technically $1k but I get paid tomorrow and that should go down and then be paid off again one paycheck later

Travel fund
June: $170 (yeah, totally turned into double-rent money like I predicted. YAY no more double-rent.)
August: $150, plus $250 in savings bonds that I am cashing out next time I am near a bank, plus $70 from the double-rent place’s security deposit. Does it count if it’s future money that is definitely going to savings and sitting tight?

terrific (#1,532)

Blahr. Let’s not. Fine.

Chase card, 13.24% APR
July 2013: $510
August 2013: $466

I was gonna start throwing emergency fund money at it, but then I realized I am not saving enough for ~~freelance taxes~~ so I threw everything for both of those in there.

$1,000 emergency fund goal: Sad face.

July 2013: $260
August 2013: $0 –> emergency taxes

New goal! $500 vacation fund by 11/30

July 2013: $100
August 2013: $288

maebyfunke (#292)

I was just now thinking that maybe I should just pay off my whole student loan because I’ve been paying $170 a month for years and I’m ready to be done with it. But for some reason I thought I only had $3k left and it turns out it’s more than double that! Bleh… so that is now not happening.

Dancercise (#94)

You could still pay off half of it!

Sloane (#675)

@maebyfunke You’ll be surprised how much money you’ll save if you pay off a chunk – do it!

Marissa (#467)

The Fun Fund (for secret future plans TBD)
July 2013: $3264.99
August 2013: $4017.06

Hoping I can maintain momentum and figure out the TBD part.

annpan (#3,219)

Yeehaw – it’s been a big month.

Student Loans: consolidated this month! Previously, my loan with the highest interest was 6.55%, now I’m locked in for the consolidated sum at 5.6%. To celebrate the consolidation, I threw all my extra money at ‘em.

Student Loan July: $13,076.23
Student Loan August: $12,110.84

antheridia (#2,995)

2013 Financial Goal: Net Worth of $130,000
July 2013 Net Worth: $119,443.83
August 2013 Net Worth: $124,669.66

Getting there! My investments did well this month so I’m pleased!

Jillian (#4,717)

Created a username/logged in for the first time to announce I paid off my student loans!

Sallie Mae
July 2013: $6,315.19
August 2013: $0

I graduated in May 2007 and the original balance was somewhere north of $15,000. I put every extra penny towards it: tax refunds, work bonuses, vacation payouts at work, etc. I had funded a special savings account if I were ever to lose my job and still needed to pay my loans. In July, a work bonus + student loan emergency savings account = paid in full loan!

Dancercise (#94)


Marissa (#467)

@Jillian I paid off a very similar student loan amount a few months back and I feel so freeeeeeeeeeeeeee. Congratulations!

sherlock (#3,599)

@Jillian Congratulations!

aetataureate (#1,310)

@Jillian Great job!!

Dancercise (#94)

Car loan
July: $10,296
August: $10,124

This will drop down to four digits after the next payment! I’m so excited!!

July: $6204
August: $6462

Added my normal amount to this account, but I’m also going to be withdrawing $500 for my vacation this weekend (Disneyland!!!) and I need to buy new furniture next month after my roommate moves out, so I’ll be withdrawing another $1000 or so for that.

travlinggirl (#4,335)

Pretty much the same as last month which I feel it’s better than have the numbers go up. September is gonna be a big month and more money will come in so these numbers should drastically change by then.
Emergency fund ($1500 by December)
June 2013 $311
July 2013 $371
August 2013 $271 (used $100 for a car thing :/)
Travel fund
July 2013 $29
August 2013 $600 (woo — right on target!)
Credit Card
July 2013 $355
August 2013 $385 (went up — but I’ll putting a payment of $200 mid-month)

Tatiana (#194)

Credit Card w/ an interest rate of 8.5% and a minimum payment of $106:

April: $4018.92
May: $3805.25
June: $3641.28
July: $3257.76
August: $2867.96

Not too shabby! It feels good to see how much I’ve paid off in 4 months. Hoping to keep the momentum going.

Allison (#4,509)

@Tatiana that’s a solid dent you’ve put into it!

I haven’t checked in since May …

05/29 Balance: 4625.04
08/30 Balance: 4108.38

In May I also had two savings goals: make it to the end of august without running out of unemployment money, and have enough money to move to whistler in september.

With regard to the first one, I actually need to make it to the end of september and I’m on track! More than on track thanks to some work and birthday money and things. So I have 320 left in my unemployment account which is $80/week which should do me just fine.

With regard to the second one, I originally budgeted $2000 including travel expenses but I don’t think that will be enough. But luckily I have made enough money this summer that I could add to that. In fact I have about $3150 set aside. Which … will … hopefully be enough.

Woo! After tomorrow I’ll be under $4000 on my car payment!

Katie (#4,504)

My last student loan (3.75%), with a minimum payment of $419.
July 29, 2013 – $14,125.14
August 29, 2013 – $9,880.80

I am so excited that my debt is finally in the four digits. (I started out with about $192k in student loans, which seemed never-ending, but 6 years later, I can almost see the end.) I’m torn now between continuing to pay this off aggressively and be done by the end of 2013, or hold onto that money instead in case my job does lay-offs or something else comes up where liquidity may be better.

Sloane (#675)

@Katie Holy smokes – that’s a lot of debt you’ve handled there! Great job.

Kthompson (#1,858)

@Katie I don’t mean to be too nosy, and feel free to completely ignore me, but how the hell did you amass $192k in loans? Med/pharm/law school? That is a horrible number! I’m happy that you’ve got it beat down–congratulations!

Katie (#4,504)

@Kthompson No offense taken. Law school plus a little bit from undergrad (about $32k, which definitely did not seem like a little bit then, but when compared to six figures…). And working as a lawyer at a large firm is the reason that I’ve been able to pay it down fairly aggressively, so ultimately, the risk paid off for me. I know others from law school that have not been so lucky however.

echolikebells (#3,272)

I am paying off two cards right now:

7/30 Balances: $450 and $1,821
8/29 Balances: $300 and $0!!!

I was able to pay off a huge chunk of my credit cards thanks to a smallish (but also very large for me!) totally surprise windfall. Now my biggest non-student loan debt is paid off. Which is… awesome. And I have a paycheck coming up that isn’t earmarked for any bills, so I should be able to throw some more money at the remaining balance on my smaller card!

TheDilettantista (#1,255)

Backslides on both ends–the savings and the credit card debt, partially due to my *car dying* ungh. However, fortune stepped in and my parents decided to gift me my sister’s car, which has been sitting mostly unused for the past three years, ever since she moved to New York City, where she obviously does not need a car. I, alas, do need a car, so, thanks parents!

Uptick debt and downtick in savings is related to getting my dead car diagnosed as dead and fees to pay for getting my sister’s car transported here and then paying for all the stuff to transfer title and registration. I was able to sell my car for like, $300 (it was 11.5 years old with 115,000 miles on it, so) but the transport plus other fees was about double that.

UPISIDE: I got a RAISE today (finally, non-profits, ungh) so yay. And also I was spending a lot of money these past six months keeping my old car alive, so I will no longer be losing money on my car. These two facts will likely help me get on track pretty quickly, in terms of paying off my debt and getting back on track with my savings!


July Emergency Savings: $2,185.86
August Emergency Savings: $1,724.31

July Honeymoon Savings: $425.01
August Honeymoon Savings: $525.01

July Visa Amazon Credit Card Debt: $553.41
August Visa Amazon Credit Card Debt: $654.57

Sloane (#675)

I signed up for a flexible savings account with work at the beginning of the year, withholding $50/pay check. Just found out that payroll never got the withholding requests, so the withholding hasn’t happened all year. Oh, and I took reimbursement a couple of times already, so technically I’m in the red with my own FSA, I guess. It will be interesting to see how they handle this since – my boss is really cool, but he does have to be fair to all the employees. I’m mostly annoyed because I was going to use the FSA money for some dental work (a crown) that I’ve been putting off for a long time.

Emergency fund is trucking along:
July: $8,157.00
August: $9,785.00

August was a pretty cheap month, and I got an unexpected gift, so I put the extra in savings!

megra (#2,906)

Student loans:
FedLoan (6.55%)
June total: $13,408.36
August total: $13,203.20

Private Loans (3.75%)
June total: $$6,689.13
August total: $6,533.37

Checking in after two months sounded like it would be okay, but I am noticing the creep of interest more. Might, maybe, motivate me to put a little bit extra towards these.

msworst (#2,640)

Yay! I have been itching to do this. Not sure why – I didn’t do so hot this month.

Credit Card:

July Balance:$6302.18
Current Balance: $6260.95

Student Loan 1 (of 3):

July Balance:$1004.06
Current Balance: $901.99

I have to admit I’m excited about that student loan getting under $1k. It started out at $8,500 many moons ago.

selenana (#673)

Checking in with my old friend Sallie Mae! (3% loan) Last month my extra payment did go through.
I used to pay this by check because I really liked the ritual of addressing it, writing the check, stamping and dropping it in the mail. Felt more satisfying than clicking a button. Been doing it online lately though.
July: $5157.36
August: $4952.79
Woohoo! It feels good to see that number drop below 5k.

I’m doing this for the first time:

Student Loan
July: 18,296.83
August: 14,296.83

Car Loan
July: 15786.93
August: 15,473.11

Credit Card
July: 1074.87
August: 1,374.87

I went shopping this month. This card won’t be paid off for a while cause I’ll be charging my Christmas flight on it soon. But the goal is pay it off before the interest kicks in.

ifwecantaloupe (#2,654)

Student loan w/ interest rate of 11.49%
July 2013: $3,953.79
August 2013: $3,809.37

July 2013: $3,022.72
August 2013: $3,437.23

I started grad school this month, so overall I’m happy I managed to save/pay off anything. I’ve got a stipend and I’m trying to save at least some of it for living expenses next year when I won’t have any income.

Worker Parasite (#2,292)

Last month: total liquid net worth: $86351.57 CDN. This month: $89649.04. Still aiming for 6 figures by the end of the year.

saretonin (#4,351)

I am coming for you student loans!!!! (slowly)
Is it okay to register only for student loan payments and fine china for my wedding??

Loan 1 (6.8%):
July: $4,193.24

Loan 2 (5.25):
July: $9,945.16

ArizonaTime (#2,694)



Paying off my “I don’t have enough cash to move to New York City loan,” 4% interest and $147 minimum monthly payment.

July Balance: $2,626.55
August Balance: $2,487.67

Vacation Fund (still bye bye)

May balance: $0
June Balance: $0

Chase Freedom 0% APR for 15 months, opened to get me through grad school AND OH EM GEE IT’S GONE.

July balance: $3,814

Amex Delta Skymiles card, 12.99% APR. OH EM GEE THIS ONE’S GONE TOO:

July balance: $914.00

travlinggirl (#4,335)

@ArizonaTime Congrats!

Allison (#4,509)

@ArizonaTime Congratulations!

I don’t have exact numbers because they depress me, (around $80K in student loans) but I’m excited that moving is enabling me to put at LEAST an extra $200/month towards them! Plus some $$ into my savings!! I’m wayyy more excited about this than I should be.

Allison (#4,509)

Student Loans slow and steady: July 2013: $11,246.45 August 2013: $11,105.41

I had my big big expense in July…and then a million little ones in August. A visit at home didn’t save quite as much as I hoped to (note to self, only volunteer to pay at the wineries that waive a tasting fee with the bottle purchase) So
Credit Card: July 2013 $2037.37 August 2013 $952.93. (with $500 going towards it on Tuesday!)

Side savings (vacations, etc) July 2013 $5.76. August 2013 $181.05

Regular savings July 2013 $4,417.83. August 2013 $4,694.48 This should hit my $5K threshold in September and then I guess I can feel better about having a cushion again.

aetataureate (#1,310)

This is not a savings goal BUT — I have a very part time second job now, and deposited my first paycheck this week, and now have that money in my savings account. Which is above a $5.00 balance for the first time in at least a year.

CubeRootOfPi (#1,098)

I’ve been making the minimum payments on the student loan in order to fill up the emergency fund. BUT the emergency fund should be done soon (meaning within the next few months), even when I uppped the goal again. The plan is to, after the emergency fund is topped, to continue saving some as a possible apt/other fund but put the bulk of the amount that used to be saved to the student loan.

OllyOlly (#669)

Never done this before, but I have a goal to get $2,000 in a vacation fund during 2013. This month was mainly aided by it being a 2.5 paycheck month (would be 3 but I missed a week at my new job before I had vacation accrued)

July: $1,414.97

Eventually I will decide where I want to go!

Allison (#4,509)

@OllyOlly airfarewatchdog is great for sparking the wanderlust if you need ideas!

therealjaygatsby (#4,053)

Unfortunately, I missed checking-in the last couple months, so I’ll update from May 2013.

Student Loans:

Federal and Private:
May 2013 balance: $18,933.17
August 2013 balance: $18,705.35 (sigh)

Dept. of Education:
May 2013 balance: $64,724.77
August 2013 balance: $63,782.95

May 2013: $83,657.94
August 2013: $82,488.30

I’m on the IBR plan, but my required monthly payments don’t meet the accrued monthly interest, meaning my overall debt would go up each month if I only payed the minimum. That makes me feel extremely uncomfortable, so I pay about twice the minimum each month. Is this stupid, financially speaking? Should I just let my debt rise and bank on the debt forgiveness in roughly 24 years?

Savings (my goal is $3,500.00):
May 2013: $720.00
August 2013: $600 (sigh)

Blondsak (#2,299)

@therealjaygatsby It’s not stupid at all, I promise! Mike Dang would say you’re doing the right thing too.

Allison (#4,509)

@therealjaygatsby and every bit of student loan interest you pay is tax deductible! so then maybe in the spring you can throw a huge chunk of your return at it and actually attack the principal a bit?

therealjaygatsby (#4,053)

@Blondsak Thanks, and congrats on hitting the under 50k mark!

therealjaygatsby (#4,053)

@Allison I thought you can only deduct up to two thousand dollars each year? I like the way you think, though: aggressive debt reduction each spring. (Although I’ll need to resist the urge to spend my return on something else. Eyes on the prize, Jay!)

Blondsak (#2,299)

Student Loans (total):

July: $51,950
August: $49, 154.62

Under $50,000!!!! *dances*

siouxtse (#4,718)

@Blondsak Yes! I just inched mine under $50k too. Just think, at some point in the near/distant future we’ll have positive net worth! ;)

siouxtse (#4,718)

I’ve followed along with the check-ins but never posted before.

As of last September I had $57,089.01 in student loan debt. All my loans started out with Citi but have been parceled out to Sallie Mae and Discover since then. I’ve been paying them off aggressively since getting a second job and managed to pay off my one remaining citi loan this month (it’s gonna feel so good never logging in to that crappy site again!)!

Total student loan debt at 9/2012: $57,089.01
Total student loan debt at 8/2013: $47,574.85

Citi student loan (2%) at 9/2012: $4,004.85
Citi student loan (2%) at 8/2013: $0.00!

I’m using the snowball method where I roll in any payments for loans that have been paid off into my payments for the next loan on my list. So the next victim…

Discover student loan (2%) at 7/2013: $6,279.68
Discover student loan (2%) at 8/2013: $5,735.29

If I keep making the extra payments I have scheduled, the loans will be paid off within about three years instead of the THIRTY YEARS it would take making minimum payments. Huzzah!

snackcarts (#3,300)

I’m late with this (just got back from vacation – the longest I’ve ever taken, off work for eight days!) but wanted to share anyway because I’m trying to think positively about the future!

Student loans (all federal – 4.8%, 4.8%, and 2.39% interest rates):

July: $4,041.62
August: $3,554.08

I’ve now decided to try to pay these off by the end of the year – in lieu of throwing money into savings as I’ve been doing, I’m going to plonk that money into student loans once I reach my savings goal ($15K) and that should do it, fingers crossed!

Car loan (6.99%):

July: $5,543.63
August: $5,251.86


July: $14,000
August: $14,000

The fact this stayed stable while I was abroad for almost two weeks is a miracle. I’m hoping to get it back up to around $15,000 by the end of the year if Christmas/car expenses/dental work don’t ruin my fun.

jennknee (#3,899)

i’m terrible at keeping track of my own debt.

Capital One (0% intro APR, used to finance my taking the CPA exams, and also buy a tablet to ‘study’):
June: $885.88
July: $835.88
making minimum payments until i pay off the other debt below

Chase (0% balance transfer APR, taken out to get rid of my student loan debt):
$1,575 early July
hoping to pay this off by the end of the year

kentuckienne (#4,294)

August was remarkably bad for the budget and goals; a new semester with books to buy, one small vacation, and a couple of weddings. Eek.

Emergency/Moving in a Less Than a Year Fund:
Was $571 at end of July; is $571 at end of August

Student loan:
End of July – $5799
End of August – $5646

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