Let’s Throw Some Money at Our Problems: December 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.

We normally do these check-ins at the end of every month, but since we were on hiatus during the holidays, we’re doing our December check-in now. Pull up those balances!

Logan’s paying off a Citi Card, which currently has an APR of 19.99 percent, and a minimum monthly payment of $47.
November 2013 Balance: $3,135.75
December 2013 Balance: $3,020.64

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.
November 2013 Balance: $270.24
December 2013 Balance: $0.00

Goodbye Sallie Mae private student loan! The next thing I will be focusing on is a private graduate student loan currently serviced by Discover (it’s been previously serviced by two other companies and has landed here in the past year). The interest rate on this loan is 2 percent (I’m not sure how I scored this interest rate—timing perhaps, and a slight discount for automating payments—but I’m grateful for it), and the minimum monthly payment is $147. The original balance on this loan was $22,377.

November 2013 Balance: $14,842.52
December 2013 Balance: $14,668.87

November 2013 Vacation Savings: $0
December 2013 Vacation Savings: $50
Money was spent on plane tickets for Christmas, so, this is being rebooted!

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

 

See previous months here.

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104 Comments / Post A Comment

Allison (#4,509)

Student Loans: November 2013 $10,673.42, December: $10,524.92 I cannot wait for this to be under 10K.

Credit Card: November $785.55, December 286.38. Didn’t even have to touch my savings to cover Christmas stuff.

Savings October November $4,756.05, $5,156.34 Love seeing this above $5,000.

Side savings (vacations, etc) November $331.45. December $356.66. Will probably start tapping this more as my plans for New Zealand further solidify. (9 weeks!)

sherlock (#3,599)

@Allison I agree, going down to four digits felt great! Good luck! (Also, a trip to New Zealand sounds AMAZING!)

RiffRandell (#4,774)

@Allison I lived and worked in NZ for 4 months, it was awesome!

Allison (#4,509)

@sherlock it’ll be like actual progress has been made!

@RiffRandell I spent about 10 days there in 2007, and I’m so excited to go back!

andnowlights (#2,902)

Student loan, starting to work on it now. $17,000.

Hoping to do it in one year on a low-level admin salary and PhD stipend. Rice and beans, beans and rice.

Let’s do it.

(Also, good job Mike!)

amyfrances (#1,522)

@andnowlights Whoaaaa, that is quite the goal.

ThatJenn (#916)

@andnowlights Awesome! I know you were looking forward to getting through this [last? I think?] student loan. Awesome to get it done while one of you is still in school! Good luck with it all.

andnowlights (#2,902)

@ThatJenn Yep, last one! There’s a whole plan as long as we can get it done before school, which we should be able to. Gonna be hard but worth it in the long run, I think.

@amyfrances Yeah, it’s a little ambitious but we paid off %62 of that in 4 months last year. It’s hard and it hurts, but it’s worth it once it’s gone! Plus we have a 5 year plan that includes it being gone by the time he graduates in May 2015!

ThatJenn (#916)

@andnowlights I always feel super-lazy on the debt fronts when I read your updates (like… paying off a car and medical debt and a huge student loan and increasing savings while sending one of you to school and on a lower income than you’d like). But that’s not meant as a complaint. You rock and it gives me some useful perspective.

kentuckygal (#4,294)

I have a few financial goals for 2014 and I figure if I share them, then maybe I’ll actually hit them:
I want to pay off $6,000 in student loans. This will require the use of some of my tax refund. I also want to have $7,000 in the future home fund by December 31, on top of taking moving expenses out when I move in with the BF in July. On top of normal savings, I’m going to clean out some old retirement accounts from early 20s job hopping and use the remainder of my tax refund to get there. These are lofty goals, but I’d rather be in austerity mode and try to reach them than not.

Moving in a Less Than a Year Fund/Eventual Home Fund:
November – $1,474
December – $1,774

Student loan ($0 minimum because I’m in grad school still, I realized recently that the loan I’d been paying on had a lower interest rate than another, so I’ve changed course to pay off the higher interest rate one; I paid $500 in December!):
November – $52,63
December – $4,869

Congrats, Mike!
Car:
Starting Balance- $15,600
November- 14,600.61
December- $14,262.78

Student Loan:
December- $1,600.

Credit Card
December- $1,090
The evil card of doom will be paid off by taxes and a little extra shove this month, after which I will put that money onto my student loan. With a little effort, I think I can put both credit and student loan to bed this year, which makes me happy. The car, though daunting, was a generous loan (with a low interest rate) from a family friend, so as long as I’m making regular payments, I feel pretty good about it. It can simmer on the back burner while I get the rest of my financial life in shape.

Dancercise (#94)

Car loan
August: $10,124
September: $9,935
October: $9,778
November: $9,605
December: $9,416

Savings
August: $6462
September: $6530
October: $7332
November: $8823
December: $9451

Marissa (#467)

@Dancercise You could pay off your car loan with your savings! I’m guessing you want to continue saving but isn’t it a nice thought that it’s possible? Good job!

Dancercise (#94)

@Marissa
I noticed that, too! But sadly, the savings will mostly get depleted by paying my taxes this year. Long story short, I started a new job in March that was supposed to be contract for 3 months and then transfer to a W4 position. Well… 3 months turned into 9 months, so I haven’t paid income tax since last March. I just put 20% of my income into savings so I can pay it all this year.

Marissa (#467)

Travel Fund:
November 2013 – $7030.42
December 2013 – $8065.34

I’m planning on leaving in late August. I was going to leave in July but then my cousin set her wedding date for August. Actually, I was originally going to leave in May but one of my best friends set her wedding for June. No one else is allowed to get married in the later half of this year!

Anyway, I’m still working out logistics and figuring out where I’m going (or at least where I’m starting), but I may actually start booking things (and therefore paying for things) in the next few months. Gah!

Allison (#4,509)

@Marissa where do you want to go?

Marissa (#467)

@Allison Ugh, everywhere. Plan A is starting in Europe which would be more expensive because Europe and because I wanted to work in a week-long sailing trip in Italy and an Intrepid trip to Morocco. If I have enough money when I’m done, I’d head to Thailand and try to hit other parts of SE Asia or Japan before heading home. Plan B is really delving into just Asia which would be considerably cheaper. Plan A appeals to me because I’m probably only going to do this kind of trip once and I’d really like to explore more of Europe and do the sailing and Morocco. It all sounds amazing. Plan B appeals to me because I would have a great cushion (aside from my emergency savings account which I pretend doesn’t exist) when I return and need to find a new job. Either way I’ll be happy but it’s still an agonizing decision.

Allison (#4,509)

@Marissa Oh man, that is a debate. The sailing and Morocco sound like really unique experiences though!

travlinggirl (#4,335)

Congrats Mike!

Well this month was kinda meh since it was Christmas and we (surprise!) got a puppy! And we had to get puppy things so my e-fund went down and I didn’t meet my end-of-year goal. But it’s okay. I’ll recover in the new year. I mean, she’s cute so she’s totally worth it.

Anyone have any advice on opening a Roth IRA account? How much did you start with? I’m thinking about it for 2014.

Emergency fund
November 2013 $916
December 2013 $850

Travel fund
November 2013 $200
December 2013 $200 (sigh)

Credit Card
November 2013 $390
December 2013 $177 (yay)

Happy New Year guys! Thanks for all your help/support last year.

CubeRootOfPi (#1,098)

@Muriel There’s a post or two about it under “How To Do Stuff.” I went with Vanguard and they’ll walk you through it step by step. Note that Vanguard funds often have minimum amounts (usually $3,000 but there are some $1,000 ones).

Beaks (#3,488)

@Muriel Check out Vanguard’s target date funds- the minimums are usually $1000 and it can get you a fair bit of diversity pretty quickly (most of them hold funds that cover the entire US stock market, the US bond market, and some international funds in varying combinations).

It is not too late to open a Roth IRA for 2013! You have until tax day in April to contribute for 2013, so if you have the cash now you could contribute for 2013 and then still be able to contribute the full amount for 2014 (which might be a reach goal, but worth thinking about).

travlinggirl (#4,335)

@CubeRootOfPi @Beaks Thanks for the advice!

highjump (#39)

@travlinggirl Wait, did someone surprise you with a puppy? Without discussing it first? I really really want a cat but I would be pissed if someone just gave me one. But maybe (definitely) I’m a control freak.

Allison (#4,509)

@highjump I’m hoping it’s one of those “oh we’re just going to the shelter to look around” and then they fall in love entirely and can’t leave without the puppy. I see a fair bit of that.

travlinggirl (#4,335)

@Allison Haha that’s exactly what happened. We started browsing PetFinder and all of the sudden we were picking it up, within a week! Granted, we had been talking about it for about 6 months so it wasn’t totally unexpected but we still didn’t have all the money needed for these things.

travlinggirl (#4,335)

@highjump No, that would be the worst! We just spent too much time on PetFinder.

Drea (#325)

I’m just going to focus on one at a time for now, since that makes me happy.

GE CareCredit (14.9%)
October Balance: $2,068.64
November Balance: $1,354.32
Current Balance: $490.01

I made my regular payment in December, and I get 3 paychecks in January, so the first one was post-Christmas buffer, and $500 of it went straight to this. The end is in reach! Congrats on paying off something, Mike!

loren smith (#2,300)

My husband and I got a solid toehold as cash hundred-thousandaires in the last quarter of 2013, so my goal is to keep that up! Personally, my goal is to buy less junk and streamline our lives going into 2014.

bonjour (#5,694)

It’s a new year, so I have resolutions – get rich! Or… pay off my debt and save money.

VISA – goal is to pay it off by 2015
Current balance: $5723.25

Long-term savings (RRSP & TFSA)
Current balance: $208.41

Savings (emergency and big expenses)
Current balance: $2.36

At least it’s not 0!

Diane! (#5,692)

I’m so used to just being like, all my accounts are Fine, I don’t need to know the real numbers! But here goes dealing with the anxiety and being more responsible about it in 2014.

Student Loans
December 2013 $9,299.00
I didn’t even realize that I had dropped below the 10k mark, so that was a happy little surprise just now!

Emergency Fund
December 2013 $1,203.47
Slowly but surely putting money into this.

Vacation Fund #1
December 2013 $4,702.73
This was my savings that I turned into a vacation fund. My mom has taken me on some memorable vacations growing up, so I’d really like to save up a decent pile to take her on a trip to central Europe like she wants to do!

Personal Vacation/Fun Fund
December 2013 $0
Gotta start somewhere.

Tatiana (#194)

So happy that The Billfold is back on its regular schedule, and I hope everyone had a nice break!

Credit Card w/ an interest rate of 7.25% and minimum payment of $73:

October: $2778.51
November: $2362.60
December: $1788.74

Under 2k! It’s crazy to see how in 2 months I’ve knocked out almost 1k. Holding strong and hoping to pay this off by my birthday in March.

CubeRootOfPi (#1,098)

Congrats Mike!

I only paid the minimum but my resolution and new budget has me putting in a decent sized extra chunk per month. After getting my savings accounts maxed out, I’ll be chucking any extra $ (e.g. Refunds, bonuses) at the loan.

Have $450 in the house/condo fund. Teeny tiny steps, I guess.

AitchBee (#3,001)

Emergency [and/or moving, and/or quitting my job] fund:

November: 8,350
December: 9,700 (SO CLOSE to my goal of $10,000! And WHAT WILL I DO THEN???)

LookUponMyWorks (#2,616)

Student loans are currently my big debt!
Total:
$35,917.66

The smallest loan balance is $5,874 and change. If I could get a $1000 buffer in my checking account, I could pay it off. *However* I’m also trying to see if I can qualify for public service loan forgiveness, so I might hold off on taking the payoff plunge until I get a verdict on that. Still paying more than the minimum every month!

Car:
$2,100

Taylor (#1,339)

Student loans! I have many, but the one I’m currently paying down has a 7.5% interest rate and monthly minimum of $56.
November statement: $4,911.73
December statement: $4,346.32

Savings account (emergencies, long-term stuff, etc):
November: $1,655.26
December: $1,225.30

:( My kitty got sick and spent Christmas at the vet. Yes, someday I should have a savings account earmarked for Cat Emergencies, but right now the debt is the priority…but at least I was able to pay for this out of [savings] pocket, not on a credit card. Of course now she’s seeming sick again, so January may not be much better.

RiffRandell (#4,774)

@Taylor get well soon to the kitty

Taylor (#1,339)

@RiffRandell Thanks! She seems better today, so no expensive vet visit yet (and more importantly no sick kitty.) Fingers crossed!

PrettyNicola (#692)

I paid off my credit card!
it was at about $600 at the beginning of December, when I started a new job, and I used my double paychecks in December(one from the old and one from the new job) to pay it all off! Next I am working on a student loan serviced by Nelnet, and also saving money for a trip to New York in the fall.

halloliebchen (#5,373)

@PrettyNicola Congratulations!!

travlinggirl (#4,335)

@PrettyNicola Congrats!

DebtOrAlive (#5,233)

So. Once more.

Debt: Credit Card
APR: 24.99% (HAHAHAHAHAHAWHHHHHHYYYYY?)
November 2013: 3,709.74
December 2013: 2,283.51

Also, these check-ins are THE BEST antidote to a lethal case of Instagram-induced lifestyle envy. I mean, so I’ve heard. Not that I have personal experience with that or anything. Ahem.

jmdj (#2,994)

@DebtOrAlive Have you tried calling the credit card company and asking for a lower APR? It works! Especially if you’ve been paying bills on time. I know it sounds too easy to be true, but as soon as you say “I’m thinking of cancelling this card for one with a lower interest rate, or can you just give me one?” They suddenly are very helpful.

DITTO on the instagram envy.

highjump (#39)

@DebtOrAlive That is a huge dent in a month! If you’re able to keep up that payoff rate you could try to fine a zero interest card to transfer to, or use that to further threaten your current CC company.

DebtOrAlive (#5,233)

@all So. About that APR.

I have both relatively poor and young credit. That 24.99% APR is not actually what I would be charged on new purchases (of which I have not made any in a year). No no, THAT APR would be my 29.99% penalty APR. Oh joy.

Looking at Bankrate, there are no credit cards that would offer less than a 23.99% APR on standard purchases. There is a Balance transfer card that would get me a 0% APR for the period I need to pay off the balance, but the transfer fee would mean I would be saving around $100 on interest. And I’d like to keep that $100, but not to the extent that the hard pull required to open a new card would lower my score.

So basically, I’ve got nothing to threaten my CC company with. Which means I just carry on throwing most of my money at my problems. Well, this got depressing.

msworst (#2,640)

Yay!

In 2013, I paid off one credit card (originally maxed out at $2300) and one student loan (original loan amount – $8500 but I had been paying on it for a few years).

I’ve recently been working on my last remaining outstanding credit card balance.

November Balance:
$3900
Current Balance:
$3300

And, I’m working on student loan 2 (of 3):
November Balance:
$3200
Current Balance:
$3000

(I’m rounding. Obviously.)

jennonthego (#5,366)

I’m paying off my Visa (11.76 APR) from my trip to London in October (original balance – $1036.27):
November Balance: $530.31
December Balance: $377.50

And I’m paying off my Mastercard (9.99 APR) which is my “everyday” credit card and I can never quite get rid of.
November Balance: $2437.80
December Balance: $2078.83

But that’s about to go back up because I have to buy a plane ticket for my cousin’s wedding next week. Fun time!

saretonin (#4,351)

Student Loan 1 (5.75%):
November:$9,939.37
December: 9,941.04
couldn’t quite beat back the interest this month…

Student Loan 2 (6.8%)
November: $3,982.84
December: $3,810.32

RiffRandell (#4,774)

My year end goal was $5,000 and I reached it!

Futher IRA savings:
Nov 2013: $4,484
Dec 2013: $5,000!

I has a little extra left over so I’m treating myself to a piece of jewelry and a new dress (I have purchased 4 garments all year, so this feels reasonable). Then time to start 2014 IRA savings with a $6,000 goal and a truck fund of $6,000. This number is a little less than half my base salary- guess I need to work some OT when they let me!

halloliebchen (#5,373)

This month and next month are going to hurt, because Christmas really halted my payoff progress, but 2014 is a fresh start, so here goes:

Big scary credit card –
Nov 13 – 4685.37
Dec 13 – 4963.04 (minimum payment + buying xmas presents = no good)

Smaller credit card 1

Nov 13 – 600.25
Dec 13 – 589.42

Smaller credit card 2

Nov 13 – 232.61
Dec 13 – 225.44

Student loan 1

Nov 13 – 31,395.73
Dec 13 – 31,289.91

Student loan 2

Nov 13 – 10,825.64
Dec 13 – 10,806.96

Student loan 3

Nov 13 – 2,231.19
Dec 13 – 2,218.23

My goal for the 2014 is to pay off the credit cards so I can start paying down the student loans more quickly. Luckily, I got some serious cash from my family this Christmas to jump start my payments.

samburger (#5,489)

The holidays + eloping put a dent in our savings rate, but we persevere!

November: $5,000
December: $6,890

highjump (#39)

@samburger Eloping? Congrats! What a lovely reason to spend a little money.

WriteBikeBobbi (#3,938)

Well done on the debt payoffs! Very awesome everyone.
We’re working on paying off our final credit card EVER, and will do so this month. It’s just under $4,000 right now. It’s 0% interest but we want all the consumer debt gone before tackling…the big fat scary student loan that seems it will never ever go away EVER. Looking at the balance makes me feel desperate and sad. $311,700, as of today. And 6.55% interest. (imagine yourself hearing weeping here).

travlinggirl (#4,335)

@WriteBikeBobbi One tiny step at a time! Keep it up!

andnowlights (#2,902)

@WriteBikeBobbi One debt at a time! Don’t get too overwhelmed and you can do it! Did you go to law/medical school?

WriteBikeBobbi (#3,938)

@andnowlights My husband attended medical school and loves his job. But he’s not one of those mega-buck earning docs (and we’re fine with that) so it’s just going to take us a lot longer to dig out of the hole. Worth it for a job he loves, even though we still live like we’re in residency some months, because we’d rather pay back the debt :)

andnowlights (#2,902)

@WriteBikeBobbi I figured someone had gone to med or law school! I think paying off the debt quicker is a great idea, honestly. Dave Ramsey suggests living like you’re still in residency for a few more years and getting it gone. Makes sense to me!

EmilyAnomaly (#4,238)

I don’t have my November numbers BUT I am pleased that I hit the $10k mark in my long term savings (sort of saving for a house, but the reality that I may not be able to own property for at least five years).

My goal was to have $10k saved by 1/1/2014 and my loans paid off by 1/1/2016. Last check in was August (eek!)

Consolidated Federal Student Loan Debt:
Interest Rate: 2.625%
August 30th Balance: $13,810.77
January 7th Balance: $13,430.66

Emergency Savings:
August 30th balance: $4,000.19
January 7th balance: $3,000.27
-had to take money from here to pay the security deposit on a new place this fall.

Down Payment (for a house, kinda) Savings:
August 30th balance: $6,772.41
January 7th balance: $10,000.56

ThatJenn (#916)

@EmilyAnomaly That’s so awesome! Congratulations on meeting one of your goals and progressing nicely towards the other!

Taylor (#1,339)

@EmilyAnomaly Yay, house savings! That is amazing.

DarlingMagpie (#1,695)

I made a big decision this month and took a large chunk out of my emergency funds to pay off my student debt faster. I realized I’m in a fairly secure position and that ending it faster and then having to rebuild would be better for my state of mind than paying it off til the summer. So here goes!

November 30, 2013 – $4,362.05
December 30, 2013 – $1,174.54

I’m scheduled to be debt-free by March 1st!

travlinggirl (#4,335)

@DarlingMagpie That’s awesome!

DarlingMagpie (#1,695)

@travlinggirl Thanks :D

ceereelyo (#3,552)

Savings :
December 2013 – $4,458
January 2014 – $5,258 (through gifts mostly)

I haven’t really addressed my credit cards from November- December with the holidays (I paid for everything in cash/debit cards), but hoping that this year after we figure out how to do money together (me and husband) we can throw some more money towards our debt and save (and hopefully my raise come May will help out).

thegirlieshow (#5,285)

SallieMae private student loan #1, interest rate 9.25%
November balance: $7,181.53
December balance:$7,132.67

Credit card
November balance: $425.61
December balance: $340.61

Still have not mastered the art of applying extra payments to student loans, but will keep at it.

ThatJenn (#916)

Main card (8.99% apr):
12/4 balance: $1137
1/7 balance: $1088

Joint card (9.99% apr):
12/4 balance: $208
1/7 balance: $0 (wheeeeee)

Citi card (0% apr until February 2015):
12/4 balance: $2,500
1/7 balance: $2,876.97 (meh. I also just had to dispute a charge on it.)

Car loan (some awesome low apr:
12/4 balance: $15,483.66
1/7 balance: $15,149.46 (I’ve paid down $6,842.08 plus interest since June 2012, and am on track to pay it off October 2017, a little earlier than the December 2017 date originally planned.)

Savings goal:
12/4 balance: $3,512.33
1/7 balance: $4,372.68 and adding $470/pay period. If I can keep from touching it until September I still might hit my $10k in savings by age 30 goal. Maybe. Though I did just realize that I’d still been thinking I’d owe property taxes ($1,600) and home insurance ($1,700) for the year in April, but I won’t since I already paid the former and switched the latter to monthly.

Side note: I realized why the math for my budget never works. Since I put nearly 1/3 of my paycheck into savings, have a lot deducted before it’s even put in my account, and then deduct more from what’s deposited in my checking account to put in my Roth IRA, I’ve actually been making both of us live on about 40% of my salary, other than medical expenses which are deducted straight from my paycheck. That’s kind of a difference. I was thinking about us going over budget on most of $60k, but really we were going over budget on $24k. I’d still like to stick to about that budget, as it’s 100% doable and not even especially tight where I live, but now that I have really realized it’s that much lower than I thought I was working with, it should be mentally a bit easier as I stop beating myself up over the past and just move forward on the knowledge that that’s our yearly budget. Lived on that before, can totally do it, just need to KNOW that’s what I’m doing so I do it right and don’t do silly things like throw a wedding, replace my HVAC, or get Invisalign for the next two years as my dude finishes school.

la_di_da (#1,425)

@ThatJenn Congrats on the joint card! I’ve done that too, the whole beating myself up because I’m making $35k and should be able to live on that. After taxes, savings, and 401k, it’s more like $24k. Good luck with savings!

ThatJenn (#916)

@la_di_da Thank you! And yeah, while it doesn’t change the facts – it’s not like I want to stop saving so aggressively – it really does help with the outlook to realize I’m choosing to live on less in order to meet certain goals of mine rather than just going paycheck to paycheck on a much larger salary than I’ve had before (and it helps me mentally rethink what I “can afford”).

Blondsak (#2,299)

2014 is the year my finances are going to be obliterated.

First, repayment on all my student loans kicked in last month, so now I owe $500 across the board, which will take a large chunk out of how much I pay toward the highest interest loan each month. In any case:

7.9% Student Loan:
November ’13: $9,767.18
January ’14: $8,040.51

My emergency fund was depleted this holiday season, so 2014 will also be about building that back up. New goal is $5,000 by the end of the year.

January: $0
February goal: $500

Finally, I have a nephew arriving in April I have to travel across the country to meet, along with another niece or nephew in August located even farther away. It would be good to have travel funds set aside for those too. Goal will be $700 by the end of May, and another $700 by the end of August.

January: $0
February goal: $150

terrific (#1,532)

I paid off all my credit cards in 2014 (and one of my student loans!)!!! No outstanding credit card debt!

This year, I’m focusing on another of my student loans.

Student Loan (mostly at 4.25%, some at 6.55%)
November ’13: $6,804.25
January ’14: $6,784.08

Savings for future move. Goal is $6,000.
Currently: $150 (haaaa)

highjump (#39)

@terrific Congrats! Being free of credit card debt is awesome.

Pebbles (#3,487)

Have a credit card that I’ve tried to get rid of for years now. It was once over 20k, at it’s lowest point I’d paid it down to $4,070. But then, you know, STUFF.

Have decided that this is the year that it goes away for good.

January 2014 Balance: $11,673

Tatiana (#194)

@Pebbles you can do it! baby steps!

Pebbles (#3,487)

@Tatiana Thanks for the encouragement! I’ve been using YNAB the past few months, and it has me feeling like this is super doable.

I haven’t been keeping up with these posts, but I just paid off my final student loan! Got the confirmation on December 31st (plus they refunded the $200 I had overpaid, whoops).

Like DarlingMagpie above, I used some of my emergency fund to pay it off– I have plenty left over, and honestly I should have done it long ago. I’d been paying 6.8% interest for wayyyyy too long.

It feels so so good to be officially 100% debt-free!

Laurabean (#3,040)

@cuminafterall Congrats! Must be blissful. :)

samburger (#5,489)

@cuminafterall I bet! Congrats!

DarlingMagpie (#1,695)

@cuminafterall Congratulations!

travlinggirl (#4,335)

@cuminafterall Woo! Congrats!

highjump (#39)

@cuminafterall Congrats! Throw a party with your new cashflow.

allreb (#502)

Student loans serviced by Edfinancial (currently – they landed there last year). 2.1% interest rate.

End of November balance: $8,861.99
Current balance: $8,679.47

SterlingCooper05 (#2,529)

Congrats to Mike and everyone else for paying off debts!

We upped our retirement and college savings in December. We also made a deposit into a car savings fund. No more car loans for us!

Kid’s College November: $9,763.12
Kid’s College December: $10,396.18

Car Savings November: $4,213.77
Car Savings December: $4,513.77

Roth IRA’s November: $5,705.46
Roth IRA’s December: $6,721.73

We also committed to contributing 10% to 401(k)’s for 2014. This was a huge step for us after focusing on debt payments for so long.
Happy New Year everyone!

la_di_da (#1,425)

I paid off my student loans with a recent windfall!

Dec balance: $835
January balance: $0!!!!!

AND it looks like I won’t have to take out any loans to go to graduate school for business(read: awesome scholarship opportunities) if I save up $10,000 to live on that first year and get a good internship to pay living expenses for the second. So…savings goal, plus taxes on previously mentioned windfall is $10,000 by August.

Jan balance: $7,940

samburger (#5,489)

@la_di_da AHHH congratulations! How great that must feel!

sherlock (#3,599)

@la_di_da Congratulations! That is incredibly exciting, well done on the scholarships!

ThatJenn (#916)

@la_di_da SO AWESOME! Congratulations!

la_di_da (#1,425)

@ThatJenn Thanks everyone! Never underestimate the power of positive thoughts from strangers on the internet.

sherlock (#3,599)

I haven’t been checking in since I finished paying off my student loans over the summer, but this month I reached an exciting milestone – total net worth just over 50k! Most of this is in retirement accounts, but I was pretty excited to see that number all the same.

highjump (#39)

@sherlock That’s awesome. I’m hoping to reach a positive net worth this year – thanks generous employer match!

annpan (#3,219)

Just realized I missed November’s check-in, so here’s my progress since October:

Student Loan October: $10,429.22
Student Loan December: $8,719.15

Savings October: $5,100
Savings December: $4,400 (ugh)

(NEW) 529 Account October: $0
529 Account December: $500

sarahsayssoo (#4,237)

I paid off about 4.5k in credit card debt with my xmas bonus so I am finally officially debt free. Well, I would have been but I had to buy a new car in November so I now have that debt instead. 1.2% APR though, and it has a 10-year warranty so it’s not stressing me out like that 19.99% APR was.

travlinggirl (#4,335)

@sarahsayssoo That’s still pretty awesome!! Congrats!

highjump (#39)

In July I will either come off probation at my job and no longer be an at-will employee, or I will be let go. Odds are they will keep me but it still kind of keeps me up at night so I’d like to save a large-ish cushion just in case. If I don’t get let go I can use the money to pay off a small student loan!

FEAR FUND
By July: $7,000
Currently: $3,200

CTYA (#3,363)

MasterCard, 5.5%

December 1: $906
January 1: $506
(Spring 2010: $15,800)

I’m going to have this paid off a year ahead of schedule, which feels pretty good.

Sloane (#675)

I had deferred a couple of charitable contributions in the fall of 2013 and put that money in my emergency fund instead. So I wasn’t sure that I would meet my 2013 goal for my emergency fund until Christmas bonuses came in. Bonus was awesome, so I made up for those missed contributions, and the e-fund goal was met!

November: $15,025
December: $15,360

I am now a goal-less person. I will continue to save 30% of my gross income – 2% into the e-fund, 5% into big annual expenses, 15% into retirement, and not sure what to do with the last 8% every month. I’d like to invest, but since I don’t know when I will be needing the savings, I’m not sure how to allocate. So for now, I’ve got a little pile sitting in a savings account, waiting for me to figure out what to do.

SomewhereWarm (#5,706)

Student Loans -
May 2012: $18,600
Nov 2013: $7,200
Dec 2013: $5,200
May 2014: $0 (projected goal)

Definitely looking to kill my student loans by the middle of this year in addition to contributing to my 401k (12-13k) and IRA (max). Gotta hunker down this year and just do it. I like this kind of peer pressure to get rid of debt!

nnlsbin (#5,447)

As of January 1

Mortgage – $272528.15
Holiday savings – $4562
Rainy Day savings – $15550.20

I am trying to work out if i should take some of my rainy day savings and put a lump sum onto my mortgage. But im not too sure yet

ThatJenn (#916)

@nnlsbin To be fair, you could pay down your mortgage anytime, but unless you’re actually refinancing with a lower principal, doing so won’t affect your day-to-day life until far into the future (when your payoff date is earlier than expected… since it won’t affect payments between now and then as the amortization schedule is already set), whereas having a really robust emergency/rainy day fund between now and then on which you are presumably earning at least a little interest could definitely impact your life in the nearer term. Basically the only thing you’d get in the next (however many, 20ish I’d guess?) years from doing that would be the personal satisfaction of seeing a somewhat lower number on your principal.

Just a thought… it’s the way I make decisions like this one.

therealjaygatsby (#4,053)

Student Loans:

Private:
November 2013 balance: $18,531.43
December 2013 balance: $18,462.22

Dept. of Education:
November 2013 balance: $63,017.24
December 2013 balance: $62,784.58

TOTAL STUDENT LOAN DEBT:
November 2013: $81,548.67
December 2013: $81,246.80

My goal was to get under $82k before 2014, so I’m relatively happy with this number, although I realize I still have a long way to go. In total, I had $84,361.32 in student loan debt in December of 2012. I didn’t really take a serious look at my debt situation until February of 2013–this site really helped open my eyes–and I’ve learned a lot about debt repayment since then. (I learned so much that I even helped my sister set up a better student loan repayment plan, which will hopefully save her a lot of money in the long-run.) I hope to use and build on this knowledge to better address my debt in 2014.

* * * *

Savings (my goal is $3,500.00):
November 2013: $900
December 2013: $1,000

tragicsans (#5,711)

Hi – I’ve been reading these for a while but am finally joining in.

AmEx – 14.5% APR
November 2013: $536.96
December 2013: $307.50
TODAY!: $0

Visa: 13.24% APR
November: $1,238.37
December: $2,987.47

I received a special anniversary bonus from my company, so I took some of it and paid off the AmEx. The Visa took a hit due to holiday travel, Christmas gifts, and other purchases, but we were given some money towards the travel and I’m using the remainder of the bonus to pay off a good-sized chunk, so the January number will be looking a lot better soon!

DreamChaser (#5,453)

CHIBERIA has taken a toll on my bank account bc I’ve had to Uber everything, had to order in food, and had to blast the heat in my apartment…HAD TO.

Student Loan (undergrad)
December 2013:4,588.63
Jan 2014: $4,518.85

ROTH IRA Contributions:
December: 1,150.07
January: 1,400.08

Discover Card:
November balance:$2,837.52
December balance: $2,659.54
January balance: $2,550.00

ifwecantaloupe (#2,654)

High-interest student loan (11.49% fixed rate):
November 2013: $3,181.58
December 2013: $3,027.63

Savings
November 2013: $3,558.07
December 2013: $3,988.66

it_grrl (#2,903)

I let my only credit card get maxed out over the last few months, so I’ve taken it out of my wallet until it’s paid down.
For now the balance is $474.32

selenana (#673)

A hundred bucks at a time. Sallie Mae 3%:
Nov. $4650.39
Dec. $4552.01

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