Over the past year I have tried to track my progress of paying off debt in quarterly updates. At the beginning of 2015 I had a total of $264000 in debt which included three primary debts: our mortgage, a personal loan, and my student loan. My goal for 2015 was to pay off 10% of my debt, which I was able to accomplish. I was also able to pay off a huge tax bill and our HEAT loan for 2015. For 2016 I have several financial goals, but one of them is to continue with the 10% pay off goal, which would mean I need to pay off about $26,400 for the year.
Here are my current totals at the end of the 4th quarter of 2016:
$171,025 168,780.16 166,320.16 162,762.77 161,020 $ 157,210 $ 155,120 $152,750 $149,489
2) Student Loan:
$65,959.39 $65,188.58 64,427.07 63,657.24 63,392 62,903 $62,426 $61,910 $61, 371
3) Personal Loan:
$27931.41 $25,401.80 $17,484.39 14,169.27 10,994 7,186 $0
4) Car Loan: $21,655
$264,915.80 $ 259,113.61 $248,231.62 $240,589.28 $235,406 $ 227, 229 $217,546 $210,860 ($232,515)
This quarter I have paid off $
8, 177 $9, 683 $2,886, $3792. My goal was to pay off $26,400 for this year. However, I only paid off $24,546. I didn’t make my specific goal.
However, my total debt is really $232,515. Part of this as I mentioned before is because I refinanced Mrs. ROB’s car loan and put it into my name, which isn’t necessarily bad. Moreover, I do NOT include Mrs. ROB’s student loan debt in this equation. However, we are both on Public Student Loan Forgiveness so that could give you an idea of how much student loan debt we have together.
How Did I Do This Year?
That is a good question. The truth is I didn’t make my goal. However, there were some extenuating circumstances that kept me from said goal.
First, Mrs. ROB and I were dealing with infertility treatments so that increased out-of-pocket medical expenses.
Second, we paid for over $3000 in house repairs including a new Dishwasher and electrical work (1400), a new refrigerator ($1100), and mold treatment because of a water leak ($600).
Third, we had at least over $2000 in car repairs. All of those repairs were necessary including new tires, shocks, brakes, etc. Hopefully, our car repair budget will go down in 2017.
Fourth, we owed another income tax bill this year. Our income tax bill was not as large as in 2015, but we still paid the government over $2000.
Fifth, I increased our emergency fund this year to just give us more insurance.
Finally, we paid for over $4000 in travel expenses. We went to Prague this year and I booked a trip to Las Vegas so we can see our nephew baptized (I am the godparent so I should be there).
Our total external expenses (other than debt) was over $12000. Just think if we would’ve cut that in half I could’ve met my debt paying goal.
That said I still didn’t make my goal and I need to do better next year.
2017 and Beyond
I want to continue paying off debt as much as possible. My original debt was $264000. However, if you include our newly refinanced car loan it was more like $289000. Currently, it stands at $232,515. At 10% per year, I should be closer to $231,000. So I am a bit off.
In 2017, I want to continue my 10% goal, which would mean paying off close to $29000. However, I have some stuff to make up so my real goal would be to get my total debt under $200,000.
I can certainly do that to an extent. First, I will be paying off about $13000 in mortgage debt if I just make regular payments. I will also pay off over $6600 on the car loan and about $2000 in student loans. That is almost $22000. So I have to find a way to pay off about $7000 more.
Moreover, there are additional expenses that we might incur.
First, I am pretty sure we will have another tax bill this year. However, I hope it won’t be more than $2000 like last year.
Second, we have more house repairs that we need to do. We need to install a new electrical box because we have too much power going into our current one. We need to upgrade from 100 Amps to 200 Amps. That is going to run about $3000.
Third, we have talked about reglazing our tub, which can run about another $1000.
Fourth, there is the possibility of more international travel because of my job. The good thing is that my university will pay for most of it, but Mrs. ROB’s plane ticket and partial hotel, food, and transportation need to be taken care of that is probably $2000.
Finally, there is the elephant in the room regarding infertility treatments. This time we will incur extra expenses that could run up to 5-6k.
Some of those expenses are not necessary (e.g. reglazing the tub). However, we will probably have at least 5-10k in extra expenses and that is stuff we don’t even know that will come up.
My first priority is, of course, to make sure that I cover the taxes and infertility treatment expenses. Everything else takes a backseat, but I want to meet my goal.
If I can get debt below $200,000 and handle the rest of these expenses it will have been a really good year, at least financially.