Report Card: January 2013

Status: On Track

  • Extra Payment: $6,500
  • Total Pay Down: $6,741.80
  • Total Pay Down Since Start: $6,741.80
  • Total Outstanding Balance: $64,430.95
  • Percent Complete: 9.5%

Goal_Jan13

*These numbers are for my Wells Fargo debt only.

January was the beginning of my journey to debt freedom. I got off to a great start and am well on my way towards my goal. This may be my biggest month in this entire process, from here on out it is going to be a steady marathon.

Outstanding Debt & Goals

This chart plots my high interest rate Wells Fargo loan. The black bars give you my outstanding balance goal each month and the red line is the actual monthly ending balance I achieve.

Click to enlarge.

Click to enlarge.

I was about $10 shy of my outstanding balance goal mostly because I made my payment one day late so more money went towards interest than anticipated. Overall though, I am on track. The affect of my extra payments on my total outstanding debt is really starting to look good.

DebtNetWorth_Jan13_Small

Click to enlarge.

My Net Worth continues to improve at a steady pace and my overall outstanding debt took a nose dive in January. I wish I could make $6,500 extra payments every month! Even though I can’t my total debt should still be somewhere down around $85,000 by the end of 2013. A great improvement from today!

Spending

This pie chart displays where my money is going and will accumulate over the entire year.

Click to enlarge.

Click to enlarge.

Wow! 88% of my spending went towards student loans in January! This is mainly attributable to my savings disbursement but it is still a great start. I’m thinking about 50% – 60% of my spending will go towards student loans normally. Note, these numbers include my regular payments to my federal loans.

Here is how the spending broke down in January:

IncomeStmnt_Jan13

The big numbers here:

  1. RENT: Rent was half off in January. This was due to my recently signing a new lease and receiving a special promotion for January. The other half of my rent went towards debt pay down! I also got a promo rate for February but my rent will go back to $1,152 starting in March through next year. However, I will be able to make an even bigger than planned extra debt payment this month! Sometimes things just work out.
  2. CABLE: I made my last payment to Comcast in January. Good riddance. That frees up some cash flow moving forward. So far I have not missed the 600 television channels I used to get. I have been reading more and working on this blog. I feel pretty good about this.
  3. GROCERIES: Groceries were down in January. This was because I used a few gift cards I received for Christmas for a lot of my grocery shopping. These are now tapped out and grocery shopping will be back up in February.
  4. RESTAURANTS: I spent more than I would have liked on restaurants and entertainment this month. Most of the Cash ATM expense is also attributable to this. This was higher than expected due to New Years Eve and a friend that came in to visit from out of town. This is really no excuse. I could have had just as much fun without paying ten bucks for a drink. I will do much better in February.
  5. CAR RENTAL: This was my ZipCar membership use this month. It was largely unavoidable but I use it rarely so it will be lower in the coming months. I should mention here that my transportation costs are way lower than what most people pay. I don’t own a vehicle so I don’t have maintenance costs, insurance premiums, and I never buy gas. I see this as a big win.
  6. ADDITIONAL PAYMENTS: The biggest win is my $6,500 in additional loan payments! I already wrote about this and am happy I made it happen this month. This was mostly a result of my good saving habits since back in August. Without it, this debt pay down marathon would have gotten off to a much slower start.

Overall I spent a total of $8,497.97 in January. This is probably the largest amount of money I have spent in any single month in my entire life. Due to that I am pretty happy that 88% of it went towards debt pay down.

Balances

Let’s take a look at how my outstanding balances fared compared to the end of 2012.

BalanceSheet_Jan13

This is a beautiful table. Due to my pretty great spending from the above section I performed some financial sorcery on these balances. Notice, my total assets between December and January went down by $5,100. Usually you would see this as a negative; however, now compare it to my total liabilities. Those went down by over $7,000! That extra almost $2,000 in debt pay down came as a result of my new spending habits.

Even though my assets dropped precipitously my net worth actually increased. Folks, this is what happens when you pay off debt. Your financial situation starts to improve, a little at a time. I just need to keep this going and I will be debt free. Seeing the great results from month one has got me excited about what I can do next month. I hope I can keep that enthusiasm even though I won’t be able to keep making $6,500 payments.

Looking Ahead: February

February is a good month because it is only 28 days, that means my expenses should be lower! I already talked about getting a rent promo so I will be able to make a bigger payment than the $800 goal. I should have a $1,400 extra payment this month. If I really push myself maybe I can get that up to $1,450 or $1,500. We will see.

The key to this month is watching my restaurant and bar spending and to not go bonkers at the grocery store. I’m trying to shift to eating less meat which should have a positive impact on my grocery spending. I should be able to cut down on transportation costs as well as I don’t foresee needing to use the ZipCar this month. Overall, February is shaping up to be a pretty good month. Wish me luck.

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