Debt Snowball Progress: January 2018

Recently, I shared that we had plans to get gazelle intense with our debt snowball this year. I believe the progress we made in January displays our new resolve. Here's what happened.

First off, we made January No-Spend Month. 

We temporarily deleted our dining out and coffee shop cash envelope categories, slashing this month's budget to the basics of groceries, fuel, and food for our two pups. For the past several months, we've had decent chunks of extra money at the end of the month that always find their way to restaurants. We wanted to see just how much we could scrounge up to put toward debt in a month if we truly tried to cut our restaurant spending

This was especially a challenge because January is my birthday month, and what better way to celebrate than dining out at a favorite restaurant? But we were extra motivated and did not give in, not even for my 29th birthday. Instead of going out for dinner, my husband cooked a tasty meal for me at home.

In fact, we did excellently for almost the entire month. But by the last week, our grocery envelope was empty, and so was our refrigerator. It turns out that you need a lot more groceries when you don't go to restaurants. We didn't take this into account at the beginning of the month when we gave ourselves our usual $65/week for groceries, and by the end of this very long month, we had to dip into our checking account for additional funds.

But, all in all, I think we did pretty great. We spent no unbudgeted cash, and we swiped no cards for 27 out of 31 days.

And all that caution seriously paid off. We had enough extra cash leftover at the end of the month to 1) replenish the amount lacking in our $1000 emergency fund, and 2) PAY THE CHASE CARD BALANCE IN FULL!!!

One credit card down, one to go! Chase was our highest interest rate too (24.99%!?!?), so I sure am happy to see that one gone.

And of course I was pretty ecstatic to update my new consumer debt payoff bullet journal as well.

I'm loving the visual representation this thing provides! Its just so satisfying to color in the little squares.

I'll end with another favorite visual aid. Our current debt, via photographs.

I'm not sure how often I want to initiate No-Spend Months, because I think it'd be easy to get burnt out with them. But I definitely want to do it again this year, maybe quarterly. I think it was the perfect way to start 2018; now our snowball is rollin'! 

1 comment

AnnaM said...

Congrats on paying off the Chase card! That's super impressive.
I also LOVE your bullet journal.