Debt, and Our 1 Year War to Kill It

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War on Debt

Last year, in September, Wes and I started a program called the War on Debt. I wrote a blog and shared where we were starting out at, which included a summary of all of our debt. I shared some of the changes we were making and how we were trimming our “fat”. While we made a lot of changes (no cable, cutting services, couponing, etc), I felt like we were stagnant….making no progress, living paycheck to paycheck, and fighting hard to make ourselves opt out of fun events because of the cost. I was feeling burdened, so I decided to revisit the program and see what, if any, progress we had made over the past year.

Here is the summary of our debt last year on 9/3/2013:

 

Dad ($1,350.00)
Furniture ($2,194.00)
Total  DIRECT STAFFORD UNSUBSIDIZED ($2,895.00)
Laser Eye Surgery ($2,896.00)
Total  STAFFORD UNSUBSIDIZED ($4,995.00)
Total  STAFFORD SUBSIDIZED ($14,500.00)
Total  DIRECT STAFFORD SUBSIDIZED ($14,828.00)
Total  STAFFORD UNSUBSIDIZED ($18,000.00)
Total  DIRECT STAFFORD UNSUBSIDIZED ($27,220.00)
Wes FJ Cruiser ($13,299.00)
Credit Card (Wes) ($1,610.00)
Total of all loans ($103,787.00)
Debt minus student loans ($21,349.00)

 

I didn’t share what we had as assets at the time, which was only our IRA accounts since we did not have a savings.

Below is a list of our assets when we started the War on Debt program.

 

Assets on 9-13-2013 Amount
My TSP $2,667.44
Wes TSP $6,010.45
My Roth IRA $6,257.60
TOTAL $14,935.49

 

Now, here we are almost a year later. Keep in mind that in that time frame, we lost $60,000 of income per year when Wes got out of the military to stay home with our babies. Oh, speaking of babies, we had another baby in that time frame as well.

Here is our debt today:

 

Debt as of 8-26-14 Amount
Wes FJ Cruiser ($11,351.97)
Student Loan Principal ($91,563.00)
Student Loan Interest ($11,578.00)
Total of all loans ($114,492.97)
Debt minus student loans ($11,351.97)

 

And, here is our assets today:

 

Assets on 8-26-2014 Amount
My TSP $8,538.20
Wes TSP $6,147.30
Other type of savings $5,806.95
My Roth IRA $7,480.91
TOTAL $27,973.36

 

We are not paying on my student loans yet and I am actively pursuing scholarships to help me pay this down and fund the rest of my schooling for my Doctoral degree. I received a $3000 scholarship last year which helped tremendously, but I have a long ways to go. There are enough resources and programs out there to help with this kind of thing that I know I will find a way to get this paid off. I just need to be diligent in my efforts. So, we aren’t going to count the student loans for the purpose of this blog.

Minus the student loans, we have made a ton of progress.

We decreased our debt by $9,997.03 and we increased our assets by $13,037.87.

 

I am so proud of us, especially at a time where we constantly feel like we are struggling to get by. Running our numbers has motivated me to revisit the War on Debt program for a motivation boost and really get these numbers even better over the next year! We spent a lot of money this summer on things we probably didn’t need to (drinks, eating out, etc…). I have found myself in this constant state of “wanting” instead of being in a state of gratefulness. Wanting to do more, wanting a house, wanting to buy my kids more. This recap was a wonderful eye opener to me that we are not stalled. That we are progressing, even when it feels like we aren’t. It’s opened my eyes that I need to be thankful we have safe shelter, food in our mouths, reliable vehicles, and great friends to spend time with. Honestly, it’s not that I’m not thankful- I really am. I realize how blessed we are. Sometimes it’s just easy to lose that focus. This next year, I plan to be an even better steward of our money and to shift my focus to what I have and not what I don’t have.

In my next couple of blogs I will share some of the coolest, easiest ways I have found to save money. I’d love to hear the things you do as well!

 

Cheers to you – Frugal Mom!

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