Debt Repayment Updates

July 2017 Debt Update

Debt Repayment:

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

At the end of July 2017 our total debt remaining was $101,460. We made an error last month in calculating our debt total since we were still getting back in the swing of our finances so that’s why the total is higher than last month.

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 only able to contribute $66 towards our maximum out of pocket goal. Read all about our new goals while I’m pregnant with baby #4 here. This made us really disappointed but there were a couple of reasons for the extremely low month.

Budget items:

  • Mortgage – $1,300
  • Life Insurance – $51
  • Car Insurance – $433
    • We pay car insurance once every six months in order to save on premiums.
  • Groceries – $362
    • 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 way over our budgeted $265.
  • Toiletries/Cleaning – $95
    • I’ve decided that this year we are focusing on training our children how to help cleaning so we invested in some cleaning supplies that will help with that. Normally I just clean with homemade vinegar cleanser but we bought dishwasher pods, swiffer cleaning pads, etc. 
  • Restaurant – $90
    • We normally only budget $30 for one monthly restaurant trip now that I’m pregnant. However July was the culmination of my husband’s busy season at work and worked very late nights for two months. I took the kids to a restaurant more than I should have and it shows in this category.
  • Country Life Natural Foods (Bulk Foods) – $73
    • When we travel to Michigan we stop at this bulk food store to have a yearly stock up. We bought some coconut oil, peanut butter, spices, smoothie powder, etc.
  • Utilities
    • Comed (Electricity) – $85
    • ATT (Internet) – $40
    • Nicor (Gas)- $37
    • Ting (Cell Phones) – $43
      • 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?
    • Garbage Service – $52
      • This is a quarterly expense.
    • Extra Garbage Stickers for Landscape Waste – $27
  • Vehicle Expenses
    • Vehicle Gas – $170
      • We came in $50 lower than we budgeted!
    • Oil Changes – $60
    • Honda Repairs – $132
      • Our Air Conditioner was not working and we finally decided to have it looked into. After this smaller fix didn’t work they found out the real problem was going to cost $850 so we made the decision to continue driving it without air conditioning.
    • Car Sticker – $102
  • Miscellaneous
    • Misc. – $49
    • Homeschooling – $40
      • I bought most of our curriculum in June at a homeschool convention but this was some supplies like markers for the year.
    • Medical – $260
      • Our first large child medical emergency happened when our oldest daughter split her chin open after falling at the pool. I immediately thought to go the Emergency Room and I’m thankful my husband remembered that urgent care was open and would be cheaper. That one decision saved us hundreds of dollars.
      • As my pregnancy progresses I needed to go to the chiropractor more than the once/month we normally budget.
    • Date Night – $13
      • We had $65 in the date night category after a few months of rollover but decided not to spend it all and had a great time! We used a buy one get one free coupon for miniature golf, bought icecream cones to enjoy at home, and rented a movie at home. Making time for your spouse does not have to cost a lot!
    • Home Repair – $324
      • As we prepare for our 4th child the struggle to renovate our upstairs in order to add a bedroom (we previously had 3 children in one bedroom) was very real. However we chose to spend money on the cheaper alternative of renovating only the area that will be a bathroom into an office for my husband. The majority of this cost was an air conditioner since the space is not conditioned yet.
    • Landscaping – $14
    • Clothing – $32
      • After 3 pregnancies my maternity clothes are getting worn out. I heard Old Navy was having a major clearance on their maternity clothes and decided to go see. For $32 I got a new pair of jeans, a beautiful maternity dress, a white shirt and a black shirt.
    • Household – $32
    • Arkansas – $620
      • After my husband’s grandfather passed away we made the decision to have a sudden road trip so this was the cost of gas, hotels, food, etc.
    • Church Small Group Class – $50

So, August just started… comment below if you’ve done your August budget!  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.

Budget meetings are not always going to happen perfectly! The Saturday morning we were scheduled to have our budget meeting we were on the road. We didn’t use this as an excuse to not have an August budget but made sure that we had a budget meeting in the car!

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