The road to debt freedom is full of potholes

The road to debt freedom is full of potholes

Photo courtesy of Christian Schnettelker

I have a very specific debt plan. Each month we pay off at least $3,416.59 on my husband’s student loan. This is the minimum we put in the budget in order to reach the goal. We have been able to stay on track or beat that amount every month since we started this journey in August.

Until this month.

Since we are on a 28-day budget, our budget started last Wednesday. As I pulled together the final budget, I realized that we were going to fall short of the $3,416.59 goal. We had hit a pothole.

Actually, we had hit a few potholes.

  • The first was our sick cat, which drained a huge portion of our baby emergency fund. This month I had to replenish that fund before doing anything else.
  • Our quarterly water bill was due this month and has jumped dramatically. That also had to be paid.
  • Our gas bill was higher than last April because it’s been cold in Connecticut. Luckily it is finally starting to warm up.

These three items threw my budget off by $939.43.

I started to panic! The goal would not be met this month! Doom and disaster had hit our budget! I started cutting back on other things to make up the difference. Surely, I could pull $939.43 out of somewhere. My husband thinks I can make money just magically appear but not $939.43.

I needed to take a step back and take a breath. Perfectionist Kristin needed to chill out a bit.

It was time to remember some very important facts:

  • We could still pay all of our bills.
  • We were able to replenish the emergency fund.
  • Even with the extra bills, we were still scheduled to pay $3,004.25 on the student loan.
  • When we first put the snowball on the wall in November, we were scheduled to pay everything off by November 2016. We are now scheduled to pay everything off in July 2016. In six months, we’ve cut our debt free date by FOUR MONTHS.
  • Did I mention I am teaching a summer class to make extra money?
  • Did I mention I will be getting an extra check from work in September?
  • Did I mention I’m completely insane when it comes to paying off the debt? (Just wanted to make sure you were still paying attention)

Once I remembered all the progress we had made, I realized how silly I was being over $400. It was not the end of the world. We hit a few potholes.

Don’t let a pothole keep you off the road. Keep driving. Keep on track. We’ll get there.

 

 

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

  • Tammy Fuller

    Great reminder!

  • That’s amazing that you guys are able to pay off so much toward your debt each month! I completely understand how frustrating it can be when you don’t hit that imaginary goal in your head–even if you’re making excellent progress, it’s hard to not get down on yourself. But how awesome that you guys are four months ahead of your payoff debt!!

    • Kristin

      We have cut our lifestyle so we can live on half of our take home pay. It’s tight but the progress we are making has motivated us to stay on track.