Debt Repayment Updates

August 2017 Debt Update

Debt Repayment:

In August 2017 we paid off a total of $922!

At the end of August 2017 our total debt remaining was $100,612. 

If you are new to our blog, we are on a journey to repay our $245,000 of mostly student loans and you can read all about how our debt journey began here. We have made some really great progress so far, paying off $145,000 in just under 4 years. 

We were able to contribute $2,050 towards our maximum out of pocket goal. Read all about our new goals while I’m pregnant with baby #4 here. This means that our total maximum out of pocket savings goal is currently at $5,116. We plan to complete this goal in October. As long as baby and mommy are well after delivery, this entire sum of money will get thrown at our debt.

Budget items:

  • Mortgage – $1,300
  • Life Insurance – $51
  • Giving – $50
  • Groceries – $169
    • We participate in a food rescue coop with a group of other people to help lower our grocery costs. A group picks up donated food from grocery stores that are nearing expiration, simply bruised, or ‘imperfect’. This has completely opened our eyes to the amount of food waste that goes on in America. Yes we have to sometimes pick through a pint of squishy berries to get some good ones and have produce that is bruised, but we are avoiding so much food going in the garbage. If you keep your ears open and are connected in your community chances are there might be something going on like this by you. We went were very good this month about only using our food from co-op and items we have in our freezer with very limited extra purchases.
  • Toiletries/Cleaning – $68
    • We had only budgeted $25 but went significantly over budget. We always make our own homemade laundry detergent and have for over four years! Recently however it doesn’t seem like we can get our cloth diapers clean enough so we decided to buy Tide. Ouch! One container was $18! That was more money on one container of laundry detergent than we normally spend all year! This includes two boxes of diapers (we use disposable at night and when we go out), wipes, etc.
  • Restaurant – $42
    • I thought that if I tried really hard to be disciplined we could avoid this category this month and thus didn’t budget anything. Bad decision being pregnant because we ended up ordering Chinese food once and getting Culver’s once. Oops!
  • Vitamins – $54
    • I ran out of iron pills (I need them during pregnancy) and they are fairly expensive. I just so happened to get them at a 25% off sale at Whole Foods and was able to save $15!
  • Country Life Natural Foods (Bulk Foods) – $290
    • When we travel to Michigan we stop at this bulk food store to have a yearly stock up. We bought 2 gallons of coconut oil, 9lb tub of peanut butter, chocolate ‘greens’ powder, 2 gallons honey, 25 lb bag of oats, etc.
  • Utilities
    • Comed (Electricity) – $105 
      • This is the result of being pregnant in the summertime! It was a hot month in the midwest and the air was on pretty much 24/7.
    • ATT (Internet) – $40
    • Nicor (Gas)- $25
    • Ting (Cell Phones) – $33
      • We used to be normal. We used to have smartphones with Verizon and have the normal HUGE phone bills to go along with them. Doing without our coveted smartphones was something we never thought we could do. How would we drive without the GPS feature? What on earth would we do to entertain our daughter while waiting at restaurants? (These are the real excuses we used to try and rationalize keeping them.) We knew we had to cut that bill and have never looked back. We have basic phones from Ting and couldn’t be happier. It was easy to switch, and they even give you 25% of your early termination fee if you are stuck in a contract. There are no plans, you just pay ­for what you use. ­­­Our bill is normally around $31 for two devices. If you do think about switching, use my referral link and you’ll get $25 in credit. https://za9s673qlg8.ting.com/    We also use Magic Jack as a house phone as a way to lower the amount of minutes we use on our cell phones. We have also told our families to use skype to call us sometimes. We figure we’re already paying for internet, why not make the most of it?
  • Vehicle Expenses
    • Vehicle Gas – $150
      • We came in $75 lower than we budgeted!
    • Oil Changes – $60
    • IPass Recharge – $40
    • Tire Rotations – $16
  • Miscellaneous
    • Misc. – $69
    • Homeschooling – $53
      • This includes membership for our homeschool group, new paint brushes, some workbooks, posters, etc.
    • Medical – $250
      • The remainder of the urgent care bill for our daughter’s stitches for her chin was $60.
      • I needed to go the chiropractor twice this month which was $60.
      • My husband and children haven’t been to the chiropractor in about a year so wee decided it was finally worth a visit – $115
      • Dentist – $15
    • Birthing Costs – $4,880
      • We prepaid our birthing cost before 30 weeks in order to get a $500 discount, putting our entire prenatal and delivery cost at $4,500. We also had to pay for my ultrasound, lab tests, and bought a few supplies for the birth. This expense didn’t technically have any impact on our budget because we had already saved $5,500 for total birthing costs as part of our baby goal #1. 
    • Child Date – $5
      • We bought a groupon for $15 with a $10 coupon that daddy will use in the future to take our older girls on a kids date.
    • Clothing – $32
      • When we went to Michigan for the weekend I forgot to pack my two girls’ swimsuits! Another pregnancy oops! We bought two swimsuits that will fit them next year so atleast this expense isn’t completely wasted.
    • Anniversary – $111
      • We splurged and went to The Melting Pot for our 8th anniversary!
    • Michigan weekend – $113
      • This is the only vacation that our family takes every summer. Our family has lodging so we only need to spend money on gas, icecream, and a cleaning fee. To us, this is money well spent!
    • Awana – $94
      • This is the fee for registration and supplies for two children for the whole year.

Today is the first day of September! Don’t fret if you didn’t do a September budget, just get your coffee pot brewing for early tomorrow morning, and tell your spouse that budget meeting is first thing Saturday morning! Comment below if you’ve done your September budget and what was unique about this month for you. Ours is printed, we each sign it, and hang it on our refrigerator like we talked about in our 5 tips for a successful budget meeting.

 

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