How much DEBT did we pay off in 2015? Did we reach our goals?

Wow! I can’t believe it has been a year since we decided to tackle our debt.  I remember saying that if for some reason at the end of the year we were back to our old spending habits then we wouldn’t continue this. We stopped all money going towards savings and retirement to pay off our debt and if we weren’t paying off our debt at a good rate then we would need to start putting money back towards retirement.

So how did we do? How much did we pay off in 2015 then? Well, we put a total of $39,750.26 towards our debt!! However, you gotta love interest. Our debt was actually only reduced by $33,256.74, meaning $6,493.52 went towards interest. While that number is quite appalling, $33,25674 is still a good amount! I decided to figure out our total take home income to give you a little insight on how much we made and how much we were able to put towards debt. Our income last year was $92,455.40. This includes all paychecks, extra money we made off our limited utility usage, tax refund, and any per diem we made (again per diem is money we make per day when we are working away from home). This does not include any money we took from savings to put towards debt which was about $3500. Therefore, we put 43% of our income towards debt. Pretty interesting to look at it that way!

Where do we stand now? Well we started this journey with $145,811.88 of debt. As of January 3rd, 2016 we now have $112,555.15 of debt. We have definitely made a dent, but I think it will feel a lot better as soon as we are below the $100,000 mark.

Did we reach the goals I set for 2015? Here is what I wrote in the Financial Goals post last January.

Long Term/Overall Goal

  • Become debt free in 3.5 years. Still a work in progress.

Short Term Goals

  • Pay off furniture ASAP Paid off in January, 2015
  • Pay off smallest school loan (which is a little over 10,000) by the end of April. Paid off in April
  • Pay off car (a little below $18,000) by the end of September. Paid off in September
  • Make a good dent in the next student loan. Unfortunately we were unable to put any extra money towards this loan
  • Pay off $35,000+ in debt over the course of 2015. Technically we did not reach this goal because our overall debt reduction was less than $35,000; however, we did put over $39,000 towards debt! Stupid interest.

Mini Goals to Reach Bigger Goals

  • Do not buy a single piece of new clothing/shoes for 2015 (Outside of my husband’s deployment attire) I did not reach this goal; however, I am quite proud of how I did! Over the course of the year i only bought 8 pieces of clothing. Everything was either cheap or on sale too. I bought a pair of jeans, 3 cardigans, two tank tops, a shirt, and sandals. I did have to buy A LOT of military clothing though. 
  • Find a way to make supplemental income I started looking into opportunities in the beginning of the year but never followed up
  • Track all expenses every month so I can see where my money is going and then try to improve the next month I would say that I reached this goal outside of the two months I was in training. I really had no spare time to track everything
  • Limit our entertainment fund We definitely limited our entertainment fund compared to 2014. Outside of a few trips for weddings, we really watched what we spent.
  • Attend any financial classes that are available Unfortunately there were not any classes in my area.

The Most Important Goal

  • Most importantly, our goal is to not give-up. Check!

Overall, I would say we did a pretty good job and I am happy with our results. A lot of unexpected expenses came up which hindered our overall success. However, these expenses were for something bigger and better and will pay off in the end.

I have absolutely no regrets with our decision to start tackling our debt. It is safe to say we will push forward with our plan! I can’t wait to see what we accomplish in 2016! But first, we need to set our goals. Those shall be revealed soon.

 

6 Comment

  1. Cheray says: Reply

    So proud of you two!! Keep it up! 😊

    1. Erica says: Reply

      Thank you!

  2. Cassie says: Reply

    This is so great! I wish that my wife and I had started paying off our debts last January. I know we would be much further than we are now (we have paid off over $25k in 4 months, but imagine if it had been a whole year?!). Regardless, starting the journey is the most important part, and you guys are certainly on your way there! Congrats on paying off so much debt this year!! Woohoo! I hope 2016 is EVEN BETTER!

    Cassie | http://www.diyjahn.com

    1. Erica says: Reply

      You are definitely off to a great start! I haven’t come across too many blogs that have debt as high as we do and are still currently paying on it. I am excited to share/experience the journey! Here’s to 2016!

  3. This is amazing progress. I hope I can learn from you.

    1. Erica says: Reply

      The key is live below your means! We always used to live within our means. If we ever made extra money, we thought it was a time to celebrate and buy something for ourselves. Now we live below our means and throw any extra money towards debt!

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