Happy New Year! I hope everyone had a joyous celebration with friends and family and are refocused and eager to move forward in a positive manner into 2008. Or, at least, I hope I am somewhat focused.
Being the first Tell All Tuesday of 2008, I thought I would do a mini-review of what financially happened in 2007. I only started tracking anything in earnest starting in June, so this is really a recap of the last 7 months of 2007.
- I paid off a total of $9267.07 of the principal amount of my debt.
- In total, I paid $10504.54 to debt in those 7 months. So I paid a total of $1237.47 in interest.
- My “debt snowball” amount (my minimum budgeted amount to debt each month) is $810.41, or $5672.87 for these 7 months. I paid $4831.67 above that in snowflakes to my credit card debt directly. In total I paid $6231.67 to credit card debt and have $175.17 left to pay off in 2008.
- In the last 7 months of 2008, I paid off 25.43% of our total debt.
A lot of things happened to make this possible. We had some setbacks, but we also had a number of fortuitous things happen in regards to money in the past few months. My spouse had a small windfall. We got a property tax refund. I received some Christmas money. But even with those huge snowflakes, the amount of debt paid off would not have been nearly as high without all the little snowflakes I’ve collected every month. Maximizing every dollar and looking for places to earn more or spend less has really turned our lives around. And I couldn’t have done any of this without you, the reader. This blog has helped me sort out my thoughts, kept me on track, and provided a new source of revenue for our family to attack debt with that I never even imagined existed. Thank you all for reading and supporting our journey.
I don’t know how replicable our progress will be in 2008, but that isn’t going to stop us from trying as hard as we can. In the next two weeks, our credit card debt will be completely paid off. I’ll be examining the best way for our family to tackle the student loan debts in the coming weeks, and then my sights will be firmly set on eliminating my spouse’s (which is at 9%, our highest interest debt left).
Our debt snowball of $810.41 over 12 months amounts to $9724.92. My hope is to pay ~$18,000 to debt this year (so almost double our snowball) and completely eliminate my spouse’s student loan. $18,000 would be about 50% of our starting total debt (as of June 2007) and since I paid off 25% in 7 months, why not shoot for another 50% in the next 12 months? And then our debt would definately be paid off by 2009 instead of 2010. A girl can dream… My actual reasonable goal, however, is not quite that ambitious. Pay $1100 to debt every month, or $13,200 total over the course of the year. This wouldn’t be all to principal since there is a lot of interest being charged to our student loans, but it would be enough to knock the student loan to about $5000 or maybe a little less.
After the dust has settled from our holiday trip (and the car is actually completely fixed) I am going to reevaluate my 2008 goals, since when I wrote them, some of our windfall money hadn’t happened, and see where we might stand. Paying off the entire student loan might not be completely out of reach in 2008. But I do know, if we come as close to paying that off in 2008 as we came to paying off the credit card in 2007, I’ll be a very happy camper.
Happy New Year! Thanks so much for being a part of our snowflake revolution.