Today’s update for March 2019 takes place several months following the October 2018 post where I originally planned to kick-off my monthly tracking. In November-February, I spent a lot of time working toward eliminating the short-term debt (credit cards primarily). I also started to feel semi-overwhelmed by the fact that the credit card debt was as large as it was and that I had taken some steps to consolidate the debt in preparation for a lump sum bonus that was planned for distribution from work in late February. Knowing that this fortunate blessing was coming to take away the debt, I lacked a lot of motivation to create updates because I wanted to skip over the ugly looking months and get back on track. What I missed out on by not doing the updates was not documenting how I felt carrying what I felt was unnecessary credit card debt and the frugality in between. Keeping this in mind, I hope to stick with monthly updates going forward. If you read the October posting, you’ll also see that we have shifted around how we are allocating some of our savings/investments.
Receiving a work bonus is really a blessing especially when it may not exist some years or even at all for some people. However, this year, it was truly a blessing and helped my family eliminate our outstanding credit card debt as well as the remainder of my student loans. In preparation for both of these victories, I consolidated outstanding credit card debt in late October and did a balance transfer to a 0% credit card, which would be 0% for 6 months. For no fees/cost, I was able to move my debt and avoid all interest. Similarly, I consolidated my student loans to a third party who paid me $300 to do so. I proceeded to pay off the loans the following month. The good news for us is having this restart on our debt can put us in position to execute and not budge on our budget! I plan to include a write-up on both of those strategies as well as recommend some good cards to look at.
Here are how the numbers played out and where we are sitting in March 2019:
Due to the gap in time from the last update, I’m not going to have the side by side comparison showing contribution vs. interest. I’ll resume that in April’s update.