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May 2017 Debt Repayment

May 26, 2017
AUTHOR: Emilie
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Welcome to May’s debt repayment update where I show you the progress I made on paying off my debt over the last 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.

May 2017
April May Change Percent Change
Car Loan (USAA) 15121.92 14866.31 255.61 1.69%
ECSI 7943.23 7825.17 118.06 1.49%
Upstart 3196.04 3026.61 169.43  5.30%
Combined Debt 26261.19 25718.09 543.10 2.07%

Last month was a big month. That is because I finally paid off all my credit cards! This left me just three, albeit much larger, debts. After successfully paying off all my debts, though, I found out that I had to drain my emergency fund for some electric work that needed to be done on the house- $982 worth of electric.

That meant this month my debt snowball was on pause so that I could focus on rebuilding my emergency fund.

I only snowball $700 a month, though, so trying to find $1000 was going to be a stretch.

And then I went to the dentist. You see, the dentist and I have an interesting relationship. I don’t go to the dentist because every time I go I get a big bill. Every time I get a big bill, I try not to go back. I have been in this cycle since I first lost my dental insurance in sixth grade. I had dental insurance again my senior year of college and I tried to take full advantage of it, but even with my insurance I had high costs that were a lot for my student budget.

The dentist told me I needed about $4000 of work in my mouth in order address some important things. Of that, half was pretty much an emergency. In other words, I was going to need to spend $2000 on my mouth ASAP and try to cashflow finding $1000 for my emergency fund, all while my snowball was only $700. Does your head hurt because I promise you mind did?

The good news: I DID IT!

I tutored, I babysat, I wrote more, I refereed, and I scrimped and saved.

I cashflowed $1140 of the first phase my dental work. I still have the second part that I am going into next week, that I will cashflow in April. I also stacked my Emergency Fund back to it’s $1000. Actually, to be more specific, I’m 20 cents short, but I’m giving myself a pass on those.

I only paid the minimums on my debts because of the circumstances, but I still knocked 2% off my debt.

In a planning sort of way, I think that if I’m snowballing about $700/month, I could get my Upstart loan, the next debt I’m focused on taking care of, in 3.5 months. To my knowledge, Upstart does not make it easy to pay down the principle early. I’ve already reached out to their support team to adjust my account. I’m bracing for this to be difficult.

Next month, I’m going to need to finish more of that dental work. Probably $1400 of things that need to happen. The good news is that this will end the urgency and should make it much easier to break some of it into smaller, more affordable gaps.

I’m considering starting a couple of sinking funds/specific savings accounts for medical bills. Has anyone done this at this stage of the debt snowball? I’d love to hear experiences.

I’m thinking about giving cash envelopes a try for my June budget. I know some people swear by this, but I’m not sure if it’s for me. I just want to mix it up to help keep my- and my budgeting- on my toes.

How’d you do this month? Anything special come up?

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 $6,598]

Current Debt-Free Date: November 2018.

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