How I’m Able to Put $2,000+ Towards Debt Every Month And Still Have a Life

ID-100128308 (1)After many months of thinking about doing them, I started my debt repayment posts in January 2014. I calculated that I would need to put a minimum of $2,068 per month towards our non-mortgage debt if we wanted to be debt free in 50 months. Four months into tracking and we’re not too far off our goal. February had a few setbacks and we were short by about $500, not a huge amount to make up at the end of the day. I’ve received a few comments and emails about how we’re able to reach our goals every month.

Our Careers

To start, both my husband and I have good, stable jobs, with a lot of room to grow. We’re both young in our professional careers and my husband especially has a lot of potential in terms of professional growth. In the last two years alone he’s gone up by $5.00/hour with potential on the near horizon for even more raises. Having reliable income is the main source of our monthly payments. There is no way I could even fathom making these sorts of payments if I wasn’t in a good-paying career.

While I took on more debt to get my job (through further education) I have no regret about it. While I went into more debt I entered the job force and immediately had many job prospects and a life-long career. If you’re in debt and don’t have a good stable job, get one. I understand this sounds easier than it actually is, but do everything in your power to make it happen. Speak to career counselors, look into post secondary options, exhaust every option.

Budget Our Extra Debt Payments 

We ”spend” every single penny we make each month. I’ve set up our budget in such a way that even extra debt payments are established as a ”bill”. If I just let the money sit in our account until the end of the month to roll over it would be absorbed or spent somehow. Because my pay varies (I’m paid hourly) our budget is based upon the least I would make on average if it’s more than my estimated minimum (I sometimes work an extra day or don’t take a lunch break), our very fluid budget is adjusted to account for an extra debt payment ”bill”. Working one extra day per month along gives us an extra $200 to play with on average (less daycare etc). The change in my income alone and living on a budget that is a low estimate helps a lot in making our $2,000+ goal every month.

Because we’re both paid bi-weekly I don’t budget the two ”extra” pays every year we get allowing us to put some of this money towards our debt as well.

Make More Money

There’s no way around it. We needed to make more money. My main source of additional income is my online income through this blog and freelance writing, for this I am eternally grateful. My husband also writes online and makes a little bit himself. I also have the option of working more at my current job. When I went back from maternity leave, I started working a four day work week to give a little more work/life balance. The beauty of this being that I have one day per week I can work if we need me to either at my office or as a fill-in. I like that I have this ”card in my pocket” if I need to.

While we could be debt free even faster by me working five days per week it’s not something either one of us is interested in right now. I’d rather balance my life and work on debt than have a stressed out life just to be debt free faster. Paying off debt is a very personal journey. You have to figure out what you need to do and make it happen. For us it was making the most of our monthly budget and supplementing it in any way possible. Accept that you’ll have good months and bad months. Moving in the right direction is the most important thing!

*****

Picture adapted from one found here

Comments

  1. Well done on being able to make those huge payments every month. I think its great that you budget and spend every penny, if I had anything left over it too would get swollowed up some how. Job stability is very hard to achieve these days and finding something that you enjoy doing long term is even harder. Good on you and your husband for finding such great jobs.
    Debt Busting Chick recently posted..My Frugal Hair DoMy Profile

  2. We’ve always maintained a philosophy that we need to be able to have some sort of entertainment…even when we were heavy into our debt repayment. Whether it’s a simple dinner out, friends over sitting on the deck, or going to a movie…even if it’s the ONLY thing we did that month, we always found some way to enjoy life. I think otherwise we would have experienced major debt burnout. :)
    Travis @debtchronicles recently posted..Preventing Impulse Buys With A Waiting Period: Does it Work?My Profile

  3. Hey, I think that’s awesome. And, once you are debt-free, you’ll have 2K per month to save and invest!
    Holly@ClubThrifty recently posted..Disaster Averted: 4 Reasons I Love VRBO.comMy Profile

  4. Yes indeed, on the road how to retire a millionaire is a personal journey. Just like what you said about the journey to financial freedom from debt. Personal because different people need different strategy about how to solve their money issues. Some strategy work for you but those might not work for other people. How long before you reach your goal on being debt free?
    Jeff @Project Ikonz recently posted..Ebay side hustle is awesome and crap at the same timeMy Profile

  5. “Paying off debt is a very personal journey. You have to figure out what you need to do and make it happen” So true! I’ve seen every type of pf blogger out there and everyone is so different when it comes to that living life/debt repayment balance. I’ve seen people go too overboard though with spending and not enough debt repayment, and that’s kind of hard to watch. Great job on staying focused!
    Tonya@Budget and the Beach recently posted..Health & Fitness Update: Embracing the SuckMy Profile

  6. I think it’s awesome you’re able to make such a huge payment each month to attack that debt and still live life. Like Travis said, having that ability to live life is so vital when it comes to paying off debt. I always tried to have something at least once a month I could enjoy to help spur me on.
    John @ Sprout Wealth recently posted..You Can Make Money Quick! Here Are Some WaysMy Profile

  7. Excellent work, sounds like you’ve got upside on income potential and are in a pretty good spot right now compared to your costs. Keep it up and don’t let up on the gas even after you pay off the debt…at that point concentrate on something that will continue to add value to your financial situation, like saving up so that you can pay cash for your next car? In other words, make sure that your future actions are designed to keep you out of future debt.
    Money Beagle recently posted..Staying Motivated Without ReasonMy Profile

  8. Making extra money definitely helps out. That is how I was able to get out of student loan debt so quickly. I put everything and anything towards it, and it was great!
    Michelle recently posted..Frugality And Ethics – Are You Being Cheap, Frugal, or Stealing?My Profile

  9. Great job with your debt progress. Hopefully you’ll be able to make up for the shortness in February. I try to spend all of my money each month as well. I have a weekend part-time job to make some extra $$ and so this amount is variable, but I try to always have a plan for where it will go when it comes in.
    Shoeaholicnomore recently posted..I Went Shopping!My Profile

  10. Great job! My wife and I also use the zero-sum budget and spend every cent. That’s how we paid off $24,000 in debt and that’s how we are debt free today! It sounds like you and your husband are doing the right things and working towards your goals. Keep it up and before you know, you will be debt free! :)
    Kalen @ MoneyMiniBlog recently posted..Everything You Need to Know Before You Start Paying Off Your Home Early (Part 1)My Profile

  11. I think the 4 day week with a little one is so important. I had cut back and then decided to add an extra day to really kick it in and pay off our credit cards, and it was awful. I’m glad I did it, but I almost think taking a little more time might have been worth it. Mommy guilt is about as powerful as the urge to be debt free.

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