Saturday, January 15, 2011

Day 93 - Mid-Month Report

January 15, 2011

Mid-Month Report

The first and fifteenth of each month I will update you on the status towards our goal of paying off $60K in one year.  

** Check out the Real Time Debt Tracker!!!  Keep up to the minute tabs on our debt balance and whether we can pay it off in 365 days!

This month we were slightly under budget and didn't really have any unexpected expenses come up.  It felt surprisingly easy to stay within our budget this pay period.  I think this is partly due to the fact that the holidays are over, but I also think we are getting used to the reduced budget.  Eating in more and spending less is starting to feel like a habit rather than a sacrifice.

Scheduled Payoff of First Debt:
As soon as Mike gets paid (just a few more days), Mike Student Loan #1 will be gone!!  THIS FEELS SO GREAT!  We are ahead of our original schedule by about a month.

Increased Income: We decided a long time ago that once Mike's first student loan is paid off, the monthly minimum payment of $134 that I have made will now be used for monthly expenses.  Although this decreases the total amount going to debt, I think we could really use this extra money.  Plus, with the increased income we will receive from the payroll tax reduction (which we will use for debt), we will not end up applying less to our debt each month.

Payroll Tax Decrease:  The amount of payroll tax taken out of your paycheck in 2011 decreased 2%.  For us, this equates to about $250 in extra income a month.  Since we never included this amount in our monthly expense budget, we are going to apply that extra money to our debt payments.  If we do it now, we should never notice a difference since our budget has always excluded this extra income.  We'll reassess next month and see how this is working.

Challenges: Nine months left to pay off $37,373 (after Mike's payment in a few days). This equates to approximately $4,152 a month in debt payments.  We know that we currently can't pay that much a month towards debt.  But the bright side is that when we calculated this last month it was closer to $4,252.  If we can find about $500 extra a month to apply to our debt we should be right on track.  By continuing to put extra money towards debt this should continue to go down and (hopefully) result in our goal of paying off $60K in one year.  Any ideas???

Upcoming Significant Expenses: Physical therapy, vet appointment and doggie meds

Additional Cutbacks: No new cutbacks to speak of.  We feel like we are living without many extraneous expenses.  The only additional cutbacks we foresee are when we have an unexpected expense come up.

Stay tuned,
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