Here we are half way through January already. Why even bother reviewing December at this point? This is what I’ve been asking myself for a week, but here I am doing it because I know it helps. Seeing progress and holding ourselves accountable with monthly check-ins helps us stick with it.
I mentioned last month that we were feeling pretty good about not having financial stress, so of course we had huge financial stress in December! Jimi (aka Broke Dad) fell on the ice on Christmas day and broke his leg. He was in the hospital for a few days and then a rehabilitation hospital for another week. He’s now the proud owner of a metal plate and 6 screws in his leg. It’s going to be a long recovery and he can’t put weight on it for 3 months. Needless to say, this injury caused us to modify our plans.
This post contains affiliate links. For more information, please read my full disclosures.
I’m paid every other week, and December was a three pay month for me. Since our regular bills are all set to be paid based on the normal two pays a month, we use the three pay months as mini bonuses. Of course we still have to cover groceries, gas, etc., but then we use the “extra” to save for something or pay something off.
We had planned to drop $1,000 on the credit card in December, but I canceled that payment while sitting in the Emergency Room with Jimi. We will have so many medical expenses, and I would rather pay a little less on the debt and have money available for the bills. If I had paid the $1,000 as planned, then I would have been tempted to use a credit card to cover other expenses. In fact, we spent close to $500 before he even came home for things he needed that insurance doesn’t cover. Sigh.
|Type of Debt||Expected Payoff||Balance|
|Credit Card||2018 – February||$3,857.28|
|Credit Card (HE Loan)||2018 – September||$8,017.02|
|Student Loan||2019 – September||$20,917.91|
|Student Loan||2020 – September||$31,545.13|
|Auto Loan||2020 – September||$16,971.44|
|Student Loan||2021 – September||$35,501.26|
|Mortgage||2022 – October||$46,858.46|
|TOTAL DEBT INCLUDING MORTGAGE||$163,668.50|
|TOTAL DEBT WITHOUT MORTGAGE||$116,810.04|
Our figures didn’t change much because we didn’t have a payoff this month. We are just chipping away at that big number and following our snowball plan. I also changed my W4 at work so I should start seeing more money in my paycheck and less of a refund in 2019. Having that money right away instead of once a year should help us achieve some goals faster.
Our APR Distribution didn’t change much this month because we haven’t moved anything around. We made a change in January that you’ll see on the next report. All of our debt is 6% or lower.
TLDR: Modified snowball method using Undebt.it
We moved our progress from 24.1% up to 25%. Woo hoo – we are a quarter of the way done! We lowered our debt balance by $1,880.48, which I’m super proud of for the month of December!
I’m also excited because our final payoff date moved up to October 2022. Originally the payoff date was January 2023 with a goal of December 2022, but it keeps getting sooner and sooner as we make more changes. The payoff date might end up going backwards with medical bills, but we’re trying to just take that one day at a time.
We paid $609.86 in interest for December. It’s still pretty terrible, but it’s down from where we started. I am always trying to figure out ways to reduce our interest costs. I just found out that 2 of our student loans had rate increases for January, so that’s awesome. Sigh.
More Wasted Money??
We were doing okay for December until Jimi broke his leg and then frequent eating out ensued. We spent $228.94 on eating out in December, and over $100 of that was just in the last week while he was in the hospital.
It’s not an excuse, but it does help me see that it was an extenuating circumstance. Sometimes you just have to roll with the punches. I’m confident that January will be significantly better since it’s a challenge for Jimi to leave the house.
We cashed out some credit card “cashback” earnings in the amount of $75.39 in December! I just LOVE being able to get money back for things I was buying anyway. We treat our credit cards like debit cards, and only spend what we have in our checking account to cover it. YNAB makes this easy to keep track of, and I don’t know that we could have done this before YNAB.
We use several different cards to get higher percentages on certain items. It takes a little bit of maintenance, but it’s totally worth it to me right now. Our estimated cash back will be between $50 and $70 each month just by paying for things with a credit card and then paying the credit card off.
I also try to take advantage of any “bonus” offers when a card offers you extra cash back for spending a certain amount in a certain time frame. I might shift my spending from one card to another if it means I’ll end up with more cash back overall.
How did your December end up? Do you have any spending regrets? What will you do differently next year? Share in the comments!