I am super proud of Marcus and for sticking to our budget during the month of May. We ended the month with $117 left over in our budget, and I’m still trying to figure out how. HOW SWAY? This was one of the busiest months we’ve had so far this year, and it was all due to family coming into town for my graduation. One of our guest bedrooms was basically a catchall room and has been ever since we purchased our home back in 2013. While I’d slowly been decluttering it, we had to go into overdrive to make sure it was presentable, and our family didn’t begin to question our living habits. This is when I channeled my fave Youtube Character Gail Waters-Waters and went bananas with cleaning and having him fix things. I’m sure Marcus lowkey resented me for a while. Preparing the room meant purchasing a headboard, rug, new towels, pillows, sheets, etc. I never got around to buying curtains, but my sister didn’t seem to mind. We saved up some money for our income tax return to help pay for some of these items, but it still didn’t seem to cover all the expenses, hence lack of curtains, especially when you want things to be perfect.
Many of you have probably experienced the added expense of having family come to visit. You want to make sure that they feel at home, so you go above and beyond to not only make sure the room in which they’re staying in is nice, but you also make sure your refrigerator is stocked with items you typically wouldn’t purchase for yourself. I seriously stood in front of the bacon at the grocery store trying to decide if they’d judge me for purchasing the store brand bacon. After they left I realized I bought way too much food, but I’m sure Marcus enjoyed the leftover bags of chips, extra orange juice, and other snacks that would have never made it in our grocery cart had this been a typical month. There’s also that added entertainment expense. Luckily for us, my Mom brought her Nintendo Switch (yes my Mom’s a gamer), that gave hours of fun, and we did some touristy stuff. We also went to the movies which is something we NEVER do. At $10.95 a ticket (plus snacks) the movies are expensive so we stay far away, but since it was a cold gloomy day and everyone was tired we’d figured it was a good idea to catch the Guardians of the Galaxy 2 and relax a bit. Trust me our Every Dollar app was in heavy rotation this month with keeping track of our expenses and even though we went over in some areas we were under in a lot of others.
This month I also realized my thoughts about big events had changed. Before I would have felt that I needed a “graduation outfit,” you know something to wear under my gown even though nobody is going to see it until after the ceremony. When I graduated from my Masters Program I had new shoes, dress, all that, but this year I went into my closet, tried on two dresses, chose the one that required a minimal amount of shapewear because it was going to be hot that day, and kept it moving. Throughout your debt payoff journey, you’ll find that you’re not only paying off debt, but you’re also growing and maturing at the same time. You’ll find that yourself being more content with what you have and appreciating the fact that in many instances less is more.
This month Marcus and I also hit a huge milestone by paying off one of our student loans that had a starting balance of $19,175.00! We’d been working on that loan for 6 1/2 months, and we knocked it clean out of the park on May 21st. I was so excited about updating our Debt Payoff Thermometer. I smiled every time I passed it as I went in and out of the kitchen. All I could think was how awesome we were for getting rid of that loan. I remember when I used to look my loans and just think, “yeah that’s a no for me dog.” I honestly didn’t think I would ever be able to get a grip on them. Those loans gave me anxiety every single time I looked at them. You may experience this same thing when you look at your loans. Heck, it’s normal to feel that way! You just have to tell yourself enough is enough and dive in! Just keep swimming no matter what tries to stop you.
I used to RUN from this student loan account. We started with a balance of $71K+ and had accrued over $18K in unpaid interest. Today we made the final principle payment on loan No.1 that had an original balance of $19,134.00 and start on No. 2 ASAP. As you can see we are not doing the Debt Snowball, instead we switched to a method that makes better sense for us. Pray. Plan. Execute. #brokeonpurpose
GREAT LAKES STUDENT LOAN STARTING BALANCE $19,175
New Balance: $2814.00
Amount towards debt: $2814.00
Remaining Balance $0.00
Next Great Lakes Student Loan Starting Balance: $12,008.33
Amount paid since living Broke on Purpose (26 months): $82,705.00
Since this beginning of this year, we’ve paid off $13,072 of our debt. I feel like we’re behind our numbers from last year because I had to put off a lot of my side hustles while I wrote my dissertation and prepared to defend it. Our goal for the next six months is to pay off at least another $20,000. If we’re successful in doing so, we’ll knock out two more loans within the GreatLakes group. I’m still on the hunt for my “big girl” job and signed on to work as a Post-Doc in my current lab. This means my income will increase by give or take $1000, my student loans go back into deferment! With the pay increase, our plan is to keep things the same and continue putting everything extra towards the debt. When I finally land my “big girl” job, we’ve already talked about how our budget won’t change unless it requires increased money for transportation. We plan to continue living as if I was making a student stipend and use all the rest of the money to aggressively pay down these loans. For us, debt repayment is a priority, not an option.
How was your month living Broke on Purpose? Share with us the comments. We seriously love to chat with you all, or you can hang out with us on Facebook or Instagram (we’re more active here) using the links below!