Progress Report: November ’13

Day 216 | $16,087.54 paid | $55,988.04 to freedom

Annual Milestone #1 met!  216 days ago I set the goal of paying down $5000 in principal of my student loans before the end of the year.  Now, one month before that deadline, I’ve reached the goal and then some.  Looking back, I thought that my goal was overly ambitious – I was only planning on being able to knock down $350 in principal per month at first.  With some discipline, focus and a renewed energy and investment in my financial well being, knocked off nearly $700 in principal last month.

It’s kind of amazing when you think about it.  I was perfectly oblivious to the fact that I was paying down my student loans at half the rate that I could afford to.  Part of me wants to say “what if you did that earlier,” however I’m a glass-half-full kind of guy.  I’m more excited about what I can do in the future, knowing that accomplishments I can pull off.

The Brass Tax

  • $1,000 paid
  • Principal reduced by $693.53
  • $496.19 over 2013 annual goal – as of now!
  • $300 in addition income

nov-prog-gramAt the current pace, I am paying down about $700 a month – that’s a $1,000 payment.  It’s a little more than my budget really allows.  I have been receiving additional income since September, however that will run out after my December paycheck.  I am hoping to find a way to keep making $1,000 payments, but I might have to drop down to $850 again.  Either way, I should end 2013 about $1200 past my goal.  If I apply that excess to my 2014 paydown goal, it means I would have an additional $10,800 to pay off in 2014.

2014 in $850 payments
$6,600 in normal payments = $4,200 short of $10,800.

2014 in $1000 payments
$8,400 in normal payments = $2,400 short of $10,800.

Needless to say, keeping that payment at $1,000 will be crucial.  In both circumstances, I put myself within reach of my goal, give or take additional income that can be applied.  This year my additional income came in over $5000, however I anticipate it to be down next year.  Of course, the higher payments also mean a slightly quicker decrease in the amount of payment that heads towards interest, which sits at about $300 per month currently.

Looking forward, holiday season is coming.  That means I’ll have an increase in spending, but unlike in years past, I have a plan.  My coaching stipend in December will be $200 larger than the previous three months, plus a few gifts have added to the size of the holiday fund.  Hopefully I won’t have to dip into my normal budget too much!

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4 Responses to Progress Report: November ’13

  1. Cat says:

    Congratulations on hitting your goal early! That’s awesome!

  2. Leah says:

    Keep up the good work on paying off student loans. My husband and I are both teachers, and we paid off our student loans this summer (we both turned 31 this fall). He had $35k or so from undergrad when he started, and I had $13k from getting my license. Felt good to get it all done!

    Also, side note, but I think you mean to say “brass tacks” above, as in “getting down to brass tacks.” It’s a phrase about getting down to the important details.

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