Our 12-month average ended up being $2,672.40 ($1,000 above our goal), exceeding all of our expectations.
Like I’ve told y’all before, we haven’t sold anything, inherited any money, lived on beans and rice, or moved in with anyone. I wish I could tell you there was some magic wand we waved to accomplish this, but it came down to determination, focus and really hard work.
Yes, you read that right. April was by far our lowest month so far, especially after coming off of such an amazing month before, but this is real life. I could blame some of it on an unexpected car repair, but honestly we just lost focus. Instead of paying more toward our debt, we added quite a bit of home security features and ordered take-out a few times.
I may or may not have ordered a few things online….
Debt Paid: $658.46
Okay, so we didn’t hit our monthly average goal this month either. The money we would normally use to pay down debt was thrown into our emergency and Christmas funds. We wanted to make sure both of those were fully funded before taking on the next twelve months.
Debt Paid: $1,112.05
I’ve shared with you how skeptical I was in the beginning that this could actually work for us. My budgeting skills and financial knowledge were nonexistent. This whole plan was very intimidating, but I was committed and willing to take it on. Now, after the first year, I believe that no financial goal is unattainable if I’m willing to work hard.
We paid off over $32,000 of our debt, which is over $12,000 more than our 12-month goal, while also increasing our emergency fund by 25% and fully funding our Christmas fund six months before the holidays! All of this was done without having to sacrifice the things we love.
I’ve learned not to panic over the unexpected expenses that pop up as we go. The car repairs, broken appliances, medical bills and surprises no longer throw me off track. Preparation is key and the emergency fund can seriously save you so much worry!
We didn’t hit our goal every month, but some months were way higher than anticipated. At the end of the day, we are making significant progress and that’s the best feeling. It’s worth all of the budgeting and planning and hard work!
Most people are uncomfortable talking about their debt situation, so they don’t and end up feeling very overwhelmed. Your financial fitness is just as important as your physical and mental fitness. It’s okay to seek help when you’re in over your head.
What many of us don’t know is that we really aren’t alone. Debt is an extremely common struggle, and there are ways to improve your financial fitness. It’s even more common to get stuck in the debt cycle.
I encourage you to sit down with your finances and make a plan! Set your goals and be real with yourself. Believe in yourself and stick with it even when it’s hard.
Maybe our story will motivate you to jumpstart your own payoff journey. If you’ve already taken the first steps, I hope this is a place you find encouragement to stay the path and confidence to help exceed your goals.
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