It’s been a while since I wrote a financial update after switching from saving to paying off debt. Pour yourself a cup of tea and let’s catch up.
What Happened with My Tax Bill?
The first weekend in February I did our taxes and found out that I personally owed $2,462 by April 15. I refused to take money from my emergency fund to pay the bill since at the time I had 9 weeks to save the money. During those 9 weeks, I was only able to invest $1,500 rather than my planned amount of $3,645.
As much as it hurt to not save, invest, or pay off debt during those 9 weeks at the rate I wanted to be going, I am very proud of myself for what I did accomplish. I saved $2,462!!! The most important part is that I was able to make a payroll adjustment to prevent this from happening again.
If you owed money this year, consider using the IRS tax withholding estimator. I ran our paychecks through the IRS estimator and found that I needed to have an additional $83 withheld each week in order to avoid another large tax bill next year.
What Got Cut from My Budget?
I had to say good bye to my personal trainer. My personal trainer was my bar, my after work drinks, my shopping spree, my new shoes, my daily coffee run, etc. for me. Already being in my third no spend year, my expense budget is getting tighter and tighter with more emphasis on paying off debt. The personal trainer was really the last sort of not necessary expense I was holding on to. Once I realized that I needed to pay an extra $83 per week, I knew I had no other choice but to say good bye. It sucked.
Interesting fact. I’m getting in even better shape all by myself at home. I am seeing more muscle tone and feel stronger. Maybe I am better off without the personal trainer.
Why Did I Switch from Saving to Paying Off Debt?
It was a purely mental thing. In theory I was totally ok with saving and investing $21,000 for my #Save21 goal. I had an instant change of heart once I looked at how long it would take to pay off my student loans. I’m going to let my nerd flag fly here. I have my own debt pay off excel schedules that will instantly tell me how long it’s going to take if I do or do not pay extra money. It actually adjusts the whole schedule for every single dollar extra I pay.
Seeing that I had about 14 more years to go on my student loans kind of made me a little sick to my stomach. That’s why I switched from saving and investing to debt paying. Being debt free is a very powerful draw for me. Debt free equals freedom to me. I want to be free to live the life I dream even if that dream changes.
How Much Have I Saved or Paid Towards Debt?
As of today, I have saved and invested $4,900, saved $2,462 for my tax bill, and paid $2,225 extra towards my student loans. Since the tax bill doesn’t really stay in my pockets, I was able to save/invest/pay extra of $7,125 in four months.
I am not completely abandoning my $21,000 goal. I’m just planning to put more of that money towards my student loans. I’m spending about $5.35 per day in interest alone for my student loans.