I started writing this blog on June 19th, 2007, exactly one year ago today. At the time, I started it rather impulsively to help me organize my thoughts about debt reduction and keep me motivated to continue even after the newness of all the ideas I was trying to implement wore off.
I honestly could never have imagined what a labor of love and support this has turned into. I truly get excited every day about writing posts, reading comments, thinking about new ideas, participating in the personal finance community, and keeping my focus and drive about reducing my debt.
My spouse and I were talking a few days ago about how my blog’s first anniversary was coming up, and he said to me that when I first told him I had a plan for us to be completely out of all non-mortgage debt by December 2010, he thought I was crazy. Which, looking back, I realize now is why he basically focused on our credit card debt for the first few months when he was talking about our debt at all, and never really mentioned the car or the student loans. The credit card debt, I think he was reasonably sure we could eliminate by 2010. But he doesn’t think I am crazy any more, not by a long shot.
I am happy to report that at this point, not only have we eliminated our credit card debt, but we’ve, in total, eliminated $16,401.39 of our debt in the past year. And in total, we’ve paid $19,338.48 towards debt (including interest) since June 2007. Of that, $10,535.33 was the budgeted minimum payments of $810.41 per month and $8803.15 was snowflaked from a myriad of sources, as humble as taking online surveys for some additional pocket change and as big as adding another part time job. We’ve revamped our goal of December 2010 to December 2009 to have eliminated all of our non-mortgage debt, and so far are well within target to meet it. As of June 19th, 2008, we have paid off 45% of the debt we had as of June 19th, 2007.
On January 1st, 2008, I set a stretch goal of paying $18,000 to debt in 2008. So far we have, in 6 months, paid $8833.94 to debt. That is almost exactly on pace to meet the $18,000 stretch goal, with 49% of that goal met in 6 months, and that was with both a car engine replacement and furnace replacement. I think our stretch goal is well within our reach – only time will tell if we can meet it but I feel very optimistic. And, as a bonus, meeting that would also mean my spouse’s entire student loan would be paid off. Being down to only two debts… I can barely imagine it. But I want to!
All in all, it has been a great year. Thank you all for joining me in this journey so far and sharing yourselves with me as well. On to the next year, and the next chapter of our journey. Who knows, I might have to start thinking about how to eliminate mortgage debt much sooner than I ever thought I would.