Choosing Freedom Over Debt
On Tuesday I wrote about how I have changed the way I spend my money in order to accelerate my debt payments. I wrote about ditching my car, cutting cable, eating healthier and cheaper, and destroying my frivolous spending habits. All of these changes have compounded into each other and allowed me to dramatically cut my monthly variable expenses.
The tips on cutting costs that Mr. Money Mustache lays out actually do work. Today I have the proof.
This week I have been busy inputting all of my spending from 2012 into my budget tracking worksheet. With all of this data collected I have analyzed it in order to illustrate how my new spending habits have impacted my finances compared to last year. The effects are great to see.
The secret to my extra monthly debt payments is keeping my spending under control. I have been able to cut my variable monthly spending by more than half. These costs include food, bars, shopping, restaurants, etc. Rent, student loan payments, utilities, etc. are excluded from these totals.
Click to enlarge.
This right here illustrates the effects of making smart spending decisions. More importantly, I don’t feel like I’m missing out on anything compared to last year. I don’t miss the daily lunches out or the weekly junk food trips or cable. I didn’t need these things in my life and I don’t miss them now that they are gone.
The Hard Numbers on How to Punch-Out $70k in Debt
Early Retirement Extreme says:
This is what being heavily in debt must feel like. Paying and paying and never really getting anywhere. Fortunately, there is a way out: An extreme increase in payments.
Last time I talked about my outrageous goal of taking out my Wells Fargo student debt in just three years! I went into some detail about how much I owe, my new and improved budget, and the steps I need to take in order to funnel as much money as possible into my goal.
Today I am going to focus even more on the numbers. Specifically I am going to break down my Wells Fargo loans and really evaluate the steps to obliterating these debts in three years. The simple math says I need to make an extreme increase in payments. Let’s begin.
From here on out I am only going to be focusing on my Wells Fargo debt. I will worry about my federal loans once I am free from my private student loans.
My total Wells Fargo debt stands at $70,500. This is made up by two loans, one with a 6.25% fixed interest rate and one with a 9.49% variable interest rate. I made a total of $8,700 dollars in loan payments in 2012, that amount almost entirely went towards paying off interest. The outstanding balances on the two loans are:
- $36,000 @ 9.49%
- $34,500 @ 6.25%
The payment that is applied to loan 1 each month amounts to $403 and $326 goes towards the second loan. I will continue to make the regular payments on both of these loans. I am also going to be making large extra payments starting with the principle of the high interest loan first and moving on to the second loan. To begin, this month I will distribute my entire savings into that loan ($6,500).