(Don't worry YNABers, I hid this category and didn't actually delete it - deleting just sounds better :'D)
Guys. I'm in tears. TEARS. Today, I paid off my second to last student loan of $13,000. After I paid off my car in January, I started tackling this loan, making the pay-off time 8 months! That's now an extra $350/mo I will be able to apply to my very last student loan, which has a payment of $280/mo. With a $650/mo payment, plus the additional money from my other jobs (and Etsy holiday season coming up shortly), the remaining $20,000 loan should be gone by next year. ONE YEAR LEFT until freedom.
Once again, I calculated my monthly left-over and set up a 45 week money challenge to help direct that leftover money to my student loans. In increments of $8, I was expected to reach $8,280 within 45 weeks - an estimate about what I projected to have left after throwing my pet sitting/Etsy money on it for those 45 weeks. As you can see, I got to 29 weeks before I was thrown off from attempting to buy a house (that's a story for another day), then because I got a new job, and then because I paid it off with said new job! Either way, it was $3,480 that I might have spent elsewhere on unnecessary things - every bit counts.
To put some things in perspective, here is a chart of what would have happened if I stuck to my original minimum payment of $110/mo. With a $13,000 balance at 6% interest, it would have taken me until July 2030 to pay off this loan, accumulating $6,655 in interest along with it. THIS IS INSANE.
With the help of the debt snowball, here is what would have happened with just the $350/mo payment (Nelnet + car + $110 minimum from ACS) and no extra money from my jobs.
February of 2019 is slightly more bearable, but why bother? I just shaved off 15 years and saved over $6,000 by prioritizing my debt over everything else.
In just one year, I have successfully paid off $25,500 on a $41,000/yr salary for 11 out of those 12 months. I couldn't be any more proud of myself, and those who have supported me, for the sacrifices made and this accomplishment. Aside from the adjustments I've made to my spending and saving, I wish I could say there was a secret, but there's not. It takes hard work and time, but I believe it will all be worth it once it's over.
Three down, one to go!