Part 3 of the Budget: School Debt Free (for me)


Happy New Year! The holidays hit. One beautiful festive blur. I should do a more thoughtful recap but truthfully, my memory is subpar at the moment and all of my photographic evidence of the holidays live on my iPhone- so there's that. Majorly behind on this blog space. It's hard to delegate thoughtful energy into all the things. Back to work full-time, motherhood, just life in general, right? But this is no time to say "I woulda, coulda, shoulda" about this blog. I am here! It's 2018 and I hope to share more as I feel up to it.

So as I shared in Part's 1 & 2 on Budgeting,

Welcome to Part 3: School Debt Free (for me!)

It's been 5 months since we incorporated using the program YNAB to reset our finances. The only Christmas gift we bought each other this year were two books; one of being Jesse's new book appropriately titled “You Need a Budget” and the other being “Deep Work” by Cal Newport. (pictured above)

In those 5 months of actively budgeting, I paid a total of $11,432 dollars on my school loans. My last payment posted was on 12/19, an early Christmas gift to myself.

What does YNAB force you to do? Prioritize. When you have clarity on where and when every dollar is going, it’s very easy to post extra payments.

After we allocate all of our monthly bills and variable expenses (plus some savings too) I would put an extra payment on my loan. From $20 to $600, whenever able, I did this. I'm not going to lie, I totally got a little dopamine hit each time. It felt so liberating to get Sallie Mae off my back. That B.

I've been a slave to these loans for 10 years. Don't get me wrong, I LOVED my education at St. A's and it was worth it. However, I was NOT smart in years following graduation. To any millennial (aka my little sister’s friends) if you are reading this, please don't do what I did. I paid the bare minimum for way too long. I knew interest was accumulating but I had a laissez faire attitude about it, like "oh well, everyone has schools loans".

I can tell you my original principal on my Stafford + Private loans was $37,728. I wish I knew the TOTAL of principal + interest paid, but I would probably be sick to my stomach. In fact, I tried to calculate this but I got tired of scrolling through 10 years worth of statements, so I gave up.

It is what it is. What matters, is that it’s paid off.

One important thing to be mindful of when getting organized with your finances, is to not beat a dead horse dead. It’s simply not productive to look back and think “woulda, coulda, shoulda” just like I did with this blog post. Instead, forge on. Make a plan. Get those hits of dopamine.

What’s next for us and YNAB? Well, on to the next of course! When we began, our non-mortgage consumer debt included school, furniture, and car loans, plus 3 credit cards. Since we started YNAB, we paid off the 3 credit cards (totaling $7700) and now we just knocked off another $11k with my loans. Progress, my friends. This month we posted an extra payment to Jordan’s Furniture and an extra payment to the mortgage. We will get to Matt’s sizeable school loans, all in good time.

The old adage “Success begets Success” rings true here. You just have to get STARTED.

Sincerely,

Stephanie

Note: Anyone can try YNAB free for a month. If you use my customer referral link and end up joining, we BOTH get an additional month free. This is not an affiliate program or a sponsored post, just a referral where we both win. You would then get your own link to share with your network. Thank you for reading and supporting my blog.

Referral Link here.

Lastly, I would like to dedicate this post to the 2 people who started me down this path in August; Renee Tomer and Tim Wall. Thank you. Love you guys.