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Quick Debt Update


It’s been awhile since I’ve really talked about (or looked at) my total debt. As most of you know, I paid off my last credit card in July of last year. Since then, it’s kind of depressing how little I’ve had to get excited about where my debt is concerned. (Check out my debt and savings page to see the details of where I am right now.)

Now that I’m not knocking out a debt every few months, it’s easy to forget that I AM still making progress. Yesterday I updated my numbers and realized I am finally under $50,000 in debt! While that’s nothing to throw a party about, it IS a significant milestone and I don’t want to ignore it. When I got divorced in December 2009, I had a little over $61k in debt, so I’ve paid off about $12,000 in three years.

My car loan is just barely under $9k, down quite a bit from the $12k I refinanced a year ago. I’d really like to see this debt GONE in the next 2 years, though I’m not sure I’ll be able to do it. I’m thinking more and more about a part-time job (though not the one I talked about earlier this week!) to give me extra money to put toward my car loan. At any rate, I’d like it to be paid off before Jayden needs a car in the fall of 2014. He has about $7k in savings to pay for a car – I’m not financing a car for a teenager, so it’ll have to do.

As for my dreaded student loans, they’re still deferred and will remain so for the foreseeable future. The payment is enormous and I just can’t think about it right now. Once I (a) pay off my car or (b) become independently wealthy, the student loans will become my priority. I’m determined to pay them off before my 40th birthday. It’s less than 11 years away, so I need to get going!

What about you guys? What progress have you been making lately? Any milestones you didn’t celebrate because they didn’t seem important enough? Let me know what’s up!

About Andrea Whitmer

Andrea is a freelance web developer and mom trying to maintain a sense of humor in an otherwise chaotic world. She blogs in hopes of helping others avoid the same mistakes she made in the past. Join in the discussion here on So Over This, or connect on Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, or Google Plus. You can also subscribe to new posts via RSS so you never miss out!


  1. You are making progress and that is always something to be excited about, even if some months it is only $100 (I think it is more in your case).  Keep on moving forward and keep the goal in sight.

  2. Are Direct Loans on your Savings & Debt page your student loans? $40K doesn't seem too bad for a bachelor & a masters. My fiance and I are looking into grad loan options, and it really boggles the mind how expensive everything is. Plus the 7-8% interest rate and a 10-year repayment scheme, and it's over $1,000 a month in payments a year.

    • $40k is a LOT for me… Especially when my highest salary was $42k a year! The payments are insane. Plus I had a 60% scholarship for undergrad, so I get mad at the amount I borrowed because it seems so unnecessary. I guess it depends on what field you're going into and how much you stand to make. For example, my attorney had $150k in student loans, but she's a freaking attorney, so I don't feel too sorry for her. She said she paid them off in 5 years and I wanted to kick her. 🙂

  3. That's awesome for you! I'm excited for that day to come for us 🙂 

  4. Congratulations Andrea! You are going to get there and you have a lot to be thankful for today! Awesome! Keep looking forward. My wife and I experienced that feeling midway through our debt free journey. 😀

  5. You've been doing good! We've been doing good as well, but could be doing better.

  6. CentsToSave says:

    You are making great progress Andrea!  We are still trying to pay off our credit card….. Definitely a work in progress.

  7. That's wonderful! I think it's a milestone for sure! I'm kind of stuck with my debt. Hopefully I can ramp it up a bit.

  8. SmallIvy says:

    I really think you're making great progress for your income.  Now all you need to do is get the income up.  Maybe see if there are other ways you can market your services – there has got to be a good market for what you offer.  You just need to find the people who need you.

    If you could bring in another $1000 per month, that car payment would be gone in 9 months,   You would then be less than 4 years from being entirely debt free.  Instead of just being debt free by your birthday, you'd have $100k in the bank!

  9. I'm down to the student loans and hope to pay those off in the next few years! 

  10. I'm impressed. Stick with it.
    Not trying to start an argument with this question, but…Why does Jayden "need" a car? There may be legitimate reasons to need a car. I'm just curious. A lot of parents do this on autopilot, as it were. But it saves a ton of money NOT to get the kid a beater and/or to put the kid on the family's insurance.

    • This issue comes up every time I mention it – no worries. We live in a very rural part of Kentucky. We don't have public transportation of any kind; we don't even have sidewalks except on the courthouse square. His school is 10 miles from where we live. In order for him to leave the house, he'll either have to take my car or have one of his own. Since I don't relish the thought of being stuck at home every day while he's at school (or at work, since he'll have to pay for gas and insurance), he will use his savings to buy a car. It's a necessity here – I know that's not the case in larger places, but in a town of 6,000 people it's the norm.

      • SmallIvy says:

        He'd be in great shape with a 20 mile bike ride each day.  Just kidding – even I'm not that hardcore into cutting spending.  Although I did do a lot of bike riding.

  11. You are doing splendid, even if you aren't knocking off debt milestones every month. You have so many other achievements to be proud of.

    You've gone into business for yourself. You've achieved a freedom and happiness a lot of others dream of tasting. You've expanded said business by getting into new ventures. You've been an awesome mom throughout it all and you've still managed to chip away at your debt without increasing it. You've done all of this all on your own.

    If you need something to celebrate. Look in the mirror everyday and celebrate your awesomeness. Exceptional women like you is why it is necessary to have an international women's day.

  12. Awesome job! I know how hard it can be in rural KY. Wages are not fantastic, commutes are terrible, etc. One positive is that the cost of living is rather low so that makes up for a lot of other negatives.

    Don't beat yourself up over the student loans. Most of my education was 100% paid for and I still managed to have more than your total. 🙂

    You're making progress, that's what really counts. 

  13. The most important part of debt repayment is that you aren't accruing any new debt.  If you keep paying without adding to it, the debt will eventually go away.  We made lots of progress paying down debt the first four months we were gazelle intense, but now life and bills got in the way.  Now we are using all of the money that would have helped to increase our debt repayment to instead help us get through the month without taking on any new debt.

  14. Great job, Andrea!  Slow and steady.  My best progress (that I felt best about, too) was selling a few things to create some momentum.  I sold some memorabilia and weights for about $1,000 along with some baby stuff for another few hundred.  It felt really good to let go of all of my crap I never should have bought!

  15. YourFinancesSimplifi says:

    In November of 2011 we paid off our 2 cars, roughly 30k via 2 checks.  We didn't even bat an eye.  Years ago I would have thrown a party.  The only thing I was focused on was not giving the damn bank 1k a month in car notes.  The only other debt we have aside from business debt is student loans.. but I can't  for the life of me pull the trigger on paying them off.  They only cost us 184 a month and the interest rate is 3.25%.  I can't see myself dropping 20k to get rid of them

  16. Financial Samurai says:

    Congrats on paying off that CC and getting under 50K!  I remember feeling so good paying off my student debt I went and bought a car on my CC!  Just kidding 🙂

    No real milestones recently…. well maybe. I'm planning on taking a sabbatical. 

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