Archive

Tag Archives: Progress

Status: Ahead of Schedule!

  • Extra Payment: $1,435
  • Total Pay Down: $1,740.66
  • Total Pay Down Since Start: $8,482.46
  • Total Outstanding Balance: $62,690.29
  • Percent Complete: 11.9%

Feb13_Goal

*These numbers are for my Wells Fargo Private Loans only.

Month two of my rapid debt pay-down adventure is complete. Overall I did very well in February. I was able to make a pretty large extra payment thanks to low rent this month and modifying my 401(k) deduction.

Again I have tracked every dime I spent during the month and graphed it all out to give myself a visual representation of how well I am doing. I love seeing how my new habits are having a positive impact on my financial health.

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 ended February $600 below my goal! Thanks to a special rebate on rent during the month and a clever adjustment to my 401(k) deduction I was able to make a much larger extra loan payment than anticipated. The best part: the adjustment to my 401(k) will allow me to keep making larger than expected extra payments. This means I will be well ahead of my goal in the coming months and this graph is going to keep looking better and better. Stay tuned.

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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.

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How I’m Tracking Every Dime

Mr. Money Mustache says:

Enjoying life while spending less money is a skill that develops just like a muscle, as opposed to a permanent state of deprivation.

money

One of the ways I am going to reach my goal is to build up massive frugality muscles. To begin I need to cut way down on the frivolous spending that has been dominating my budget for the past 18 months. The first step to cutting frivolous spending is to identify where that extra money is going. Identify it, recognize it, and neutralize it.

Mint.com does a good job of this already but I am looking for a little more detail. I want to be able to closely see how I am spending my money as it relates to my gross income and my take home pay. So, for the past week I have been building a badass budget tool that will track everything.

I have always been amazed at the magical powers that can be performed in Microsoft’s Excel program and I am a little bit of a spreadsheet nerd. With just a little effort I created a workbook that will track all of my income and expenses and all of my assets and liabilities. The best part is that this data is fully customizable. I can easily create summary sheets with my financial information and pull all of the data into colorful charts and graphs that give me a visual representation of where I stand.

These charts and graphs will help to re-enforce my debt pay down plan. Seeing my debts go down and my net worth go up will push me to do more and keep the process going. All I have to do is to input the data once a month (and keep making the extra payments).

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Mile One of the Debt Pay Down Marathon

Mr. Money Mustache says:

Developing a habit of small but frequent action that moves you in the right direction is all it takes to accomplish just about anything, given sufficient time.

sprinting

Today I began my rapid debt pay down plan. It was as simple as a call to the student loan department at Wells Fargo.

I dialed in the number and after navigating through a few menus was put on hold. I waited a few minutes listening to a piano play a song I have never heard before but have probably heard hundreds of times. I waited a few more minutes, each second I became more hesitant about what I wanted to do. Finally, a man named John picked up the phone. After the obligatory identity verification he asked me what he could do for me. Well, I said, I would like to make an extra payment on my student loan. He asked me which loan, and I told him the high interest one. He asked me how much, and I said $6,500. Next he asked for an account and routing number and I provided that information. Then he asked me if there was anything else he could do for me, I answered no.

Just like that the call was over. Ten minutes on hold and less than sixty seconds talking to John. Eleven minutes, my savings account was $6,500 lighter and my debt pay down marathon had begun. I didn’t have time to hesitate and there is no going back. My first step towards financial freedom had been taken.

It was a relief to actually begin the process. I have been planning this for a few weeks now and I can even go back to August when I found NMHD as the time when I started to really want to do something about my debt. However, I was a little worried that I would not follow through, that I would not even begin my marathon. It would be so easy for me to delete this blog and pretend like I never even thought about making extra student loan payments. My eleven minute call changed all of that.

I have begun to make extreme extra payments and it actually feels good. I thought I would be worried about having less cash on hand but that’s not the case. I am happy to be putting that cash to use, even more than that I am using that cash to improve my situation in life and I’m no longer tempted by it. I could have put a down payment on a new car or I could have went out and bought a bunch of new tech gadgets. I would be lying if I said I haven’t been tempted. I am particularly fond of the Ford Mustang.

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