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April 2017 Debt Repayment

April 28, 2017
AUTHOR: Emilie
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Welcome to April’s debt repayment update where I show you the progress I made on paying off my debt over the last month AND BOY WAS THIS A GREAT MONTH!!

If you’re new to Burke Does, you may be wondering why I would want to share these very real and personal numbers on the blog. You can simply skip to the next section if you’re not new here.

This all started soon after college when I tried to build my first budget and had no idea how to do that. While it too me a while, I did successfully start budget and get a grasp on my debt. In January 2016, I shared my financial status. At the end of the year, I shared my Financial Year In Review. I try to be as transparent as possible in my successes and my failures. We’re just real here, no fluff or BS here.

April 2017
March April Change Percent Change
Car Loan (USAA) 15368.64 15121.92 246.72 1.61%
ECSI 7943.23 7943.23 0 0%
Upstart 3359.43 3196.04 163.39 4.86%
Credit Cards
Southwest (Chase) 1218.35 0 1218.35 100%
Discover 2048.50 0 2048.50 100%
Combined Debt 29938.15 26261.19 3676.96  12.28%

Did you see it? Do you see it?!

I PAID OFF ALL MY CREDIT CARDS! Yes, you read that correctly.

First, let’s review my debt minimums.

Debt Minimums
Debt Minimum Payment
Car Loan 289
Upstart 188
Southwest (Chase) 25
Discover 42

If I just pay the minimums on my debt each month, I’ll pay just under $650 per month, but with my 30K of debt at varying interest rates, I’ll be paying stuff off for at least 48 months. That’s another four years of owing other people money.

Thank you, Honey Boo Boo. You hit the nail on the head. The idea of owing other people money for the next four years PLUS all the interest that would accrue on that money make me nauseated, quite literally.

I knew that this month was going to be a big debt-payoff month. As I shared at the end of March, March was a three-paycheck month, meaning that I’d have 1.5  times my income. Along with that, I hit the 100K spending bonus on my Chase Sapphire Reserve card in March, giving me access to the bonus on April 4. I could have taken the bonus for travel credit which would have gotten me more bang for my buck or for about $1000 cash.

An extra paycheck, an extra cash bonus from my Chase Sapphire card, my regular snowball payment, and a couple of extra babysitting gigs and I did it! I am so relieved to have all these credit cards paid off! I have been carrying my credit card debt for over two years. Finally, it’s gone. I cannot tell you about the physical relief I already am experiencing.

That being said, this certainly wasn’t an easy month.

My student loan autopayment didn’t get processed and I didn’t notice until the 21st. When I reached out to my loan provider, they apologized but explained that a catchup payment could not be processed until the end of the month anyway. Next month’s payment will be two payments, in that case.

Also, we had to make some changes to the electrical in the new house. Some of the wiring needed to be fixed. Outlets and outlet covers needed to be replaced. Switches needed to be changed. After I had paid off all my debt, I had to drain my emergency fund down to 23 cents (not an exaggeration) to cover all those electric things that popped up.

That means that next month, I’ll be focusing first and foremost on rebuilding that emergency fund. With minimum debt payment of $570 and a snowball amount of about $800, this will likely only pause my aggressive payments for two months, at which point, I expect to be able to making aggressive debt repayments.

Despite not having an emergency fund at the moment (which is nervewracking in its own right), right now I’m still relieved to have all this credit card debt behind me.

Another big thing that happened this month: I decided that I would not be traveling to my cousin’s wedding in Brasil in August. After a lot of reflection, I decided that finding $2000 by August for that purpose just wouldn’t be possible. While I am bummed and will definitely miss my family, it’s the right money move for me right now. It will be a lot easier to go after I’ve got these next two debts paid off and have actual money to spend. Since this change knocks out 2K of my second money goal for 2017, I’m happy to say I’ve fully got that knocked out.

Interestingly enough, this month’s success does not particularly change my debt-free date. After revisiting my budget, I’ll be putting over 40% of my paychecks towards debt and financial goals this month. I’m really proud of that percentage! Can you imagine what putting 40% of my paycheck for the next 10 years will do for me?! Just the prospect is exciting! Despite gaining two months with the accelerated pay down of my credit cards, I lose two months having to rebuild my emergency fund. It is what it is. Overall, an extremely successful month that I’m very happy with!

How’d you do this month?

2017 Financial Goals

  1. Build emergency savings fund to 4K.
  2. Be financially prepared for FinCon ($1500 by October).
  3. Pay off 20K of debt [Current running total $6,054]

Current Debt-Free Date: November 2018.

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