Category Archives: debt

July by the Numbers

Z_Birth So… once again, not a lot to report. However – This is hopefully the last month that the debt snowball is on pause!

While I was laid off in April (and now plan on staying home), the self-employed one in the house has had a tremendous increase in work. Praise the Lord!

Also, baby boy was born mid month! 🙂 He’s so precious. Yep, I’m bias, but he’s a super cutie!

And if you recall from previous “by the numbers” once the hospital bills are finalized, we’ll be able to use the Crisis Fund to Pay All the Medical Bills (creating no new debt!) and throw the rest at my student loan.

I’m guessing that the total number toward debt will be a bit smaller than I would have liked or hoped (mainly due to my not working since mid April), but every little bit helps.

I was looking at my student loan this month, and just paying minimum or a few dollars over minimum since November means we’ve still made a little progress. We are now almost under 13K for the loan. To put this in perspective, this loan was around 35K when I consolidated it into a 20 year loan, in 2008. (We’ve paid off 22K in 6 years. And we plan on having it done in less than 12 months, which is ultimately 13 years ahead of schedule.)

All that to say I can’t wait to report back for “August by the Numbers.”

One thing that was a bummer for July is that we seem to have spent a lot on food. However, this is because my mom was in town and we made trips to Costco and Sams. We purchased extra, and then she made us a bunch of meals – of double or triple proportions. Now we have somewhere between 10-15 meals in the deep freeze for simple cooking. We also have a wonderful community of friends that are providing us with meals a few times a week for the next few weeks. Which means the August food bill will be low and more than make up for the larger food bill in July.


Filed under baby, budget, by the numbers, debt, family, food, pictures

June by the Numbers

We are only a few weeks away from the birth of our little boy – and yes we are super excited to meet him.

In addition to meeting him, to not being pregnant anymore, to having a new baby at home and getting into a routine – we are REALLY looking forward to getting the debt snowball going again.

As you know, we’ve been on hold, but once the baby is born and medical bills are paid – we will use the rest of the Crisis Fund to throw at debt.

I. Can’t. Wait.

In the middle of this month, we did dip a little into the Crisis fund to purchase the last remaining necessities for the baby (like the car seat).  At the same time, at the end of the month, we had a bit of extra income and gift money that we put toward the Crisis Fund.

That being said, I’m guessing it will be at least August by the Numbers before we have exact figures and know what portion of the Crisis Fund is for medical expenses and what portion is for debt. Mostly, the timing will be based on when we get final bills from the hospital.

I’ll leave you with the following picture, me at 37 weeks. Officially full term.


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May by the Numbers

May was my first month entirely unemployed, though I did receive unemployment benefits. Thankfully, my husband’s work has improved considerably in the last few months.

And, believe it or not, we made a little progress on our debt – even if by accident.

First, we traded in a huge stack of old DVDs (movies and TV series we no longer wanted) to a local shop that buys used media.

So extra income for the month: $71

I’ve been putting in my student loan payment manually for the that last few months. That is to say, when we got so far ahead, they removed the auto payment feature, so I had to remember to pay each month. For some reason, this month, the auto payment was reinstated, AFTER I’d already payed for May. Meaning, we paid twice this month on my student loan.

Extra Debt paid: $211

Total Debt paid in May: $461

Total Debt Paid Since Jan 2013: $1,426
(This does not count the money we’ve been putting into The Crisis Fund. We’ll total up that amount when we put it to debt after the baby comes and all medical expenses are covered)

Since 1/1/2012 – Total Debt Paid off: $32,444*

*For the purpose of Baby step 2 we are not factoring in our home mortgage

****UPDATE: I was just re-reading this (in Feb 2016) and realized I never said way back then, I was laid off in April of 2013. I never did go back to work. At the time, no one hires a woman who is 6 months pregnant and then I became a stay at home mom.

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I just felt I needed to share how thankful we are for the generosity of fiends and family. I’ve mentioned in posts before, how we have received gifts for the baby and how the only new items we purchased are some shelving for the baby’s closet.

That still holds true.

Since those posts, we’ve received a few more gifts – a couple of which were duplicates, which actually is completely terrific! Because duplicate gifts mean I can return one and get a store credit. We are now a little over halfway to purchasing the car seat with gift cards & in-store credits.

It’s one of the few items we felt it would be best to make sure was new.

Other than that – in a week or so, May by the Numbers will actually have a bit of an update. The debt snowball is still on hold, but we’ve made some unexpected progress.

Stay tuned…

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Still Pushing the Boulder Down Hill (AKA April by the Numbers)

As you know, our debt snowball is on pause. A status it has maintained since November. In the meantime, as we build up our crisis fund with extra money, we still pay our minimums. And just because I like round numbers, I’m actually paying 4 dollars more on something each month just because it makes it a nice number ending in a 5 instead of a 1.

Even with very slow momentum, this boulder of debt is still rolling down hill.  It makes the pushing feel just a little lighter each month.

We have around $14,500 left. Since December, that means we’ve chipped away another $1,000. EVEN in a time of slower income. It’s the little victories that keep us excited and motivated.

If we maintain this really small 4 dollars extra a month (which we won’t — we’ll dump in a lot at some point hopefully this year) but even that small amount, added to last year’s work, all of our debt would be gone, March 2019.

My student loan, when consolidated in 2008, was set for 20 years. So – even this would be 9 years early!  CRAZY. 

In the battle against debt, math can sometimes be very discouraging. But when you start pushing that boulder just a little harder, and the down hill momentum works in your favor, Math becomes your greatest friend and encourager.


Filed under by the numbers, debt

February by the Numbers

And, not much to report.

Baby is still on its way. Hubby’s work is still slow. Debt Snowball is still on pause.

However – I did a bit of math the last few weeks and was amazed at – with slower work, the payroll tax holiday ending and my insurance premiums going up – how much less in income we take home each month than a mere 6 months ago.  This realization (along with news headlines this week pointing out that across the country, income has dropped significantly) – I was so thankful that we started getting out of debt last year.

I think we have somewhere around $500 LESS a month in payments because of all the items we finished paying off.  So not only did we save a ton of money (on interest that we won’t be changed), we created a decent bit of margin in our monthly budget. That is really helping us get through our current drop in income.

[March sneak peek… Might be ‘Consignment by the Numbers’  🙂 ]


Filed under budget, by the numbers, debt

A Debt Snowball Setback

So… in November I posted about how we were putting the debt snowball on hold due to a slower than expected fall. This was, and is still true.

However – we also had a second reason – which we could not share at the time… and while it’s a debt snowball setback – it’s also terrific news.

We’re expecting a baby!

Due this summer – so our debt payoff is on hold – but we couldn’t be more overjoyed.

And we are so thankful for all the hard work we put in last year.  Baby will be born into a family that is only a few more payoffs from being debt free!


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